Back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions and as such is often hard to diagnose. Arthritis, pinched nerves, muscle strain, and bulging discs are at the top of the list of those dealing with chronic pain. Because the back plays a major role in the ability to function in our everyday lives, you want to alleviate your pain as quickly as possible with the least amount of side effects or potential danger to your other other organs.
Using over-the-counter or prescription pain relief medications may help; however, with many of these, there is a greater risk in taking any of them over an extended period of time.
When possible, looking around and seeing what types of things occurring naturally in nature can open up a new set of possibilities.
Here are two plants that have shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating pain.
White Willow Bark
Also called white willow or salix, the bark is taken from the branches of the willow tree found growing in North America as well as Central and Southern Europe.
Once the collected bark has fully dried, it is then ground to be used in a variety of ways such as extracts, pills, or tinctures. The active ingredient salicylate glycosides, which is the basis for the synthetic ingredients in aspirins and other anti-inflammatory pills. It has been shown to be just as effective when dealing with back pain plus is gentler on the stomach.
Even though it is more natural, care should be taken while using this product. Even nature-based medicinal plants should be taken in moderation. Patients allergic to salicylates should not take products containing the bark. Patients taking blood thinners will want to talk to their doctor as to the safety of using the bark as well.
The name devil’s claw comes from the hooks that protrude from the fruit of the plant in its attempt to attach to the fur of animals as they walk by. It is a desert-like plant growing mainly in Africa.
The roots of devil’s claw are ground and used for medicinal purposes. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and has been used widely in Europe for many years. Research is still on-going for various conditions it can treat, but it has already been found to be effective for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
Caution should be taken before deciding to take devil’s claw. Pregnant or breast-feeding women are advised to avoid it. People with ulcers have found trouble when using it. Also, it has been known to lower blood sugar, so patients with diabetes are also advised to speak with their physician before starting any new treatment.
If you are wanting to try an alternative path to treating your back pain outside of conventional medicine, white willow bark and devil’s claw may give you the relief you’ve been looking for.