NATURAL SUPPLEMENT TREATMENTS FOR BACK PAIN

There are a number of different ways you can treat your back pain naturally: vitamins, minerals, herbs, nutrition, and homeopathy medicine. Some will help heal your back pain and others are dangerous, so itís best to consult with a physician or nurse practitioner before taking anything and never, ever exceed recommended dosages.

The FDA has no control over natural supplements, so it does not recommend them. That doesnít mean, though, that all supplements are bad. Some medications turn out to be unsafe, too, despite rigorous trials and testing. The bottom line is to research every product you consider taking and make sure you get supplements from a reputable source, like a health food store.

There are many natural supplements that can be found in supermarkets and drug stores. You may have to check health food stores for more obscure supplements. You can also buy supplements over the internet, but you should be sure you buy from a reputable source so you know exactly what you are getting.

Listed below are some natural supplement treatments that have been shown to help alleviate back pain. When dosages are listed, you should know that if you are particularly thin or heavy, you should consult an expert before taking the supplement. And remember, natural supplements will not relieve pain immediately, but have to be taken for weeks or sometimes even months before you see results.

Vitamins and Minerals
VITAMIN E-400 IU daily; anti-inflammatory
VITAMIN C-250-500mg twice daily
ZINC-30 mg twice daily; anti-inflammatory
CALCIUM-600mg daily; strengthens bones
BORON: 1-3 mg daily with food; helps the body absorb calcium and magnesium
MAGNESIUM- 250 mg daily; strengthens bones and relaxes muscles
COPPER: 2 mg daily
GLUCOSAMINE SULFATE: 500 mg. three times daily. Can rebuild cartilage in joints and has been studied by the American College of Rheumatology as an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
NIACINAMIDE: 500 mg three times daily; anti-inflammatory and heals damaged cartilage. Can cause liver damage and aggravate diabetes, low blood pressure, ulcers, and glaucoma, so have a doctor monitor you if you take this supplement.

Herbs
Herbal supplements can be found in capsule or powder form, or as teas. If you are making your own herbal tea, use 1 tsp. of herb per cup of hot water. Cover mixture and steep for 5-10 minutes, or 10-20 if you are using roots. You can safely drink 3-6 cups of tea daily.

Muscle Relaxants
KAVA KAVA: Recognized by some doctors as a safe alternative to Xanax and Valium.
BLACK HAW: relieves muscle spasms and is similar to aspirin
VALERIAN ROOT: Widely researched and documented as a sleep aid, valerian has been given a number 1 rating for safety by The American Herbal Products Association.
WILD YAM: Long used to treat menstrual cramps; generally taken as a tea.
JAMAICA DOGWOOD: Used to treat muscle inflammation and spasms; little research has been done on it and excessive amounts can be toxic. Do not use with sedatives.

Anti-inflammatories
BROMELAIN: 500 mg three times daily
BOSWELLIN: 150 mg three times daily. Has been proven in clinical trials to help alleviate low back pain
CURCUMIN: 400-600 mg three times daily; sometimes mixed with ginger, curcumin has not been studied in clinical trials, but herbalists use it as an anti-inflammatory.
MSM: Has not been researched, but herbalists use it as an anti-inflammatory.
ST. JOHNíS WORT: 300-500 mg capsule three times daily; interacts with a wide variety of medications and should only be taken under the advisement of an herbal specialist.

Pain Relief
WHITE WILLOW BARK: effects are similar to taking aspirin
DEVILíS CLAW: 400 mg three times daily. Used to treat arthritis, research shows devilís claw may boost the effectiveness of conventional drugs.

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Susan Norrad
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