Any type of pain is ….a pain! But we need to remember that pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. By listening to your body and addressing the cause as well as the symptom, you can create a plan to manage or combat lower back pain efficiently and effectively.
A Naturopathic approach to managing back pain includes a combination of herbs, nutritional and lifestyle strategies to reduce the inflammation which leads to the pain and improve the strength, structure and function of bones, muscles, nerves and ligaments.
Not only do we need to take into account the physical factors involved, but also how the condition can affect you emotionally and mentally; as well as how it affects your ability to move, work and play. One study on back pain followed 100 people over a course of four years. The study reported that participants who scored low on the psychological tests were three times more likely to experience back pain by the end of the four years.
My top 3 herbs for pain:
Curcumin is the yellow pigment found in turmeric, a relative of the root ginger. Curcumin has a very powerful anti-inflammatory action that has been widely used to treat the aches and pains of joint and muscular conditions. Curcumin supplements can be found commonly these days, but know that not all supplements are created equally. Curcumin isn’t easily absorbed and requires a specific composition to promote optimal absorption. At Vibe we recommend a uniquely formulated curcumin supplement designed specifically to enhance the absorption of the curcumin. Research trials with this form of curcumin show superior results in treating inflammation and pain. Curcumin is also recognised for its antioxidant properties, which is essential for to mop up the free radicals that can further contribute to the inflammation and pain.
Boswellia is a plant native to Africa and the Middle East that contains a resin traditionally used to treat pain. Commonly referred to as Indian Frankincense, it is highly valued for its medicinal properties in Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine. The resin contains unique compounds known as Boswellic acids that are responsible for its pain and inflammation relieving actions. They work by blocking inflammatory cells produced by the body in damaged tissue and joints. A recent study showed the superior benefits of a combination of Boswellia and Curcumin versus a common anti-inflammatory drug used for joint pain and arthritis. The results after 4 months of treatment showed that a total of 93% of participants in the herbal supplement group reported an improvement in or elimination of pain, versus 79% in the drug group.
Ginger is traditionally used in many cultures in cooking and meal preparation for its warming and digestive properties. Ginger acts as a circulatory stimulant, creating blood flow to the area of tissue damage and pain for healing and repair. It also has a wonderful anti-inflammatory action that is very beneficial for joint and muscle pain. One study showed the pain-relieving effects of ginger – 2g of fresh ginger was taken for 11 days and resulted in reduced pain levels following exercise-induced muscle injury in the study subjects.
Need help to reduce your pain?
The Naturopaths at Vibe Natural Health in Brisbane offer a range of anti-inflammatory herbs alongside food and lifestyle recommendations allows us to tailor a unique formulation and treatment specifically to suit your needs. Work with us to look at all the factors that are causing your pain and get you back to a pain-free life. Phone 3366 7970 or book online now with our Naturopaths.
- Osiecki, H 2006, The Physician’s Handbook of Clinical Nutrition, AG Publishing, Brisbane.
- Sarris, J & Wardle, J 2010, Clincal Naturopathy, Elsevier, Sydney.