To treat pain, you need to address the immediate cause of the pain, which is often inflammation, but you also need to address the long term issues that can cause pain. With back pain, often there is some issue with the disc that cushions your joints. Especially if you are over 40, it is not uncommon to have degenerative disc issues.
For relief immediately:
Bromelain is an enzyme that is derived from pineapples. Your body makes its own enzymes to digest food as well as do cellular repair. When you get older, your body does not make as many enzymes. Since you have fewer enzymes for cellular repair, you are more likely to have aches and pains for no apparent reason.
Bromelain, when taken on an empty stomach, or with a small amount of food, will go into your bloodstream and help to clear damaged tissue and relieve inflammation. It is a very inexpensive remedy. Often one pill of 2,000 GDU is enough to get rid of many ailments.
When buying bromelain, you will want to check the label and be sure that you are getting a stronger version. Enzymes are not measured in milligrams. They are measured in units. You can have the same amount of milligrams and have a higher amount of strength. Common measurements are 600 GDU and 2,000 GDU. I prefer to take the stronger amount so I take fewer pills.
I like to combine different types of natural remedies for the best results. Bromelain usually gives fast results, while glucosamine sulfate takes longer, but can regenerate the joints.
An easy explanation for how enzymes work is that when you take them on an empty stomach, they go into your blood stream and clean up waste material that your body did not have enough of its own enzymes to handle. It might help to see it is Pac Man.
The pineapple that is in cans has been cooked and the enzymes are all dead. If you want to juice pineapples, there is a lot of bromelain in the core of the pineapple.
If you do juice pineapples, be aware that they will dissolve the inside of your mouth. The bromelain is active in your mouth. If you eat a lot of fresh pineapple, you might think you are allergic to it, when it is just dissolving the inside of your mouth. That is how strong it is. I prefer pills.
If strong bromelain is not strong enough to treat your pain by itself, there are other enzymes that treat inflammation. Systemic enzymes such as bromelain can be combined with other protein dissolving enzymes to treat pain anywhere in the body.
A strong enzyme is serrapeptase. It is the same type of enzyme used by silkworms to dissolve their shell, so it is very strong to dissolve scars and damaged tissue.
I have found enzymes to be one of the most effective things to do to relieve pain. Since they are used by your body to digest your food and for cellular repair, they are effective and safe for most people. If you are on blood thinners, like Coumadin or Plavix, please be aware that enzymes will thin your blood and you should not take them without speaking to your doctor.
Herbal Plasters For Back Pain Relief
Herbal plasters have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to relieve pain. Herbs that relieve pain and restore inflammation are put on a plaster and applied to be left on for 24 hours. The herbs improve circulation and the fact that they are able to stay there all day and penetrate can be very effective.
These patches are not a substitute for treating the cause of the pain internally. The inflammation, especially if it is in your spine, needs to be fixed. These patches can treat muscle pain, but not inflammation or pain in the spine from a disc prolapse.
To use these plasters, you just peel off the herbal plaster, put it wherever you have pain and leave it on for 12-24 hours. I personally prefer 24 hours. The herbs soak in as the day goes on. To remove them, it is best to soak them in the shower to loosen them. Please do not use plasters every day. You can have a skin reaction.
Stretching – Important For Back Pain
I have learned from personal experience that a major cause of back pain is tight muscles. We sit at our desks all day and do not move enough. This causes the muscles to get tight. If you do not move or stretch, you get TIGHT.
What I do is gentle stretches. You can lie in bed, put your leg on the opposite side of your body. You can feel the tightness in your lower back muscles. If you just hold it like that for a while, it will gently stretch out your lower back muscles.
I don’t like hard exercise with back pain because it can irritate the nerves in the back. Just gentle, regular stretching can be extremely effective to relieve back problems.
Check “Best Exercises For Lower Back Pain” for more information.
Glucosamine Sulfate For Back Pain Relief
Glucosamine sulfate has been used for years to heal re-build connective tissue. The problem with glucosamine is that many people buy the wrong type. There are glucosamine HCL and Glucosamine sulfate. The glucosamine HCL is not effective for many people. The kind to buy is the glucosamine sulfate.
Glucosamine sulfate is derived from shellfish. If you have a shellfish allergy, please consult your doctor before taking this.
The glucosamine is used by your body as a building material to re-build damaged connective tissue. When you have joint damage, often the part that cushions the joint is worn down or inflamed. Glucosamine is a natural anti-inflammatory.
When I take a good quality glucosamine, I usually feel the results within a few hours. Not everyone feels the instant relief. Even if you do not feel fast relief, that does not mean it is not working. If your connective tissue has been really damaged, it can take some time to heal it.
Glucosamine is often taken with chondroitin sulfate or MSM. These are also natural anti-inflammatory supplements. Some people find the chondroitin and/or MSM to be helpful, others do not. Everyone is different.
MSM is a type of sulfur that your body can use to repair damaged tissue. Some people use this for arthritis relief. It is also used as a topical pain relief product. I personally tried that, but had no success. For topical pain relief, I recommend Boswellin creams or pain patches.
Please be sure to read the label of the glucosamine you buy. It is often not on the front of the container, it is in the ingredient list.
Boswellin and Willow bark
Boswellin and willow bark are powerful natural pain relievers. One of the best products I have found is Willow Aid . This product is formulated by an herbalist. He makes the best herbal formulas I have found that are sold over the counter. These are natural anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. Willow bark is used to make aspirin.
Inversion Tables For Back Pain Relief
Inversion tables are a way to relieve pressure on the discs in your back. The theory is that when you stand or sit upright all day, you are putting pressure on the discs in your back and if you use an inversion table, the pressure is taken off the discs to give them a chance to heal.
Since back pain can be caused by either muscle tightness, muscles spasms, disc problems, or a combination of those things, the only way you will know if this will help you is if you rule out muscle tightness first. If your muscles are tight, no inversion table will help you, because that is not the cause of your problem. You will also want to address the inflammation of the back.
I do have concerns about people with high blood pressure or other health issues such as weak veins using an inversion table.
I do not think that you have to go to such a big angle change that it would cause a problem, but it is worth considering. I think just a slight change in position is what does it. From what I have read, you do not put your head down on the floor with it.
Before I bought an inversion table, I would rule out doing back stretches, acupuncture, topical pain patches and creams as well as Joint Advantage Gold. If you do not treat the underlying inflammation and spinal disc problem, I don’t think an inversion table will be a complete remedy.
Please bear in mind, this is just my opinion about inversion tables. I don’t want the inversion table people getting mad at me. A lot of people get relief from them.
Click on “How to use inversion table for back pain” for more information.
Click on “The Benefits of Inversion Therapy” for more information.
Acupuncture For Back Pain
Acupuncture can be very effective for back pain. Acupuncture :
- Relaxes tight muscles
- Relieves muscle spasms
- Restores blood flow to treated areas
- Enhances circulation, so your body can heal itself
- Relieves swelling
If you have a muscle spasm and get acupuncture in the muscle, within 20 to 30 minutes, that muscle will relax. I also like to use far infrared heat lamps. This feels like heat, but is actually more than just heat therapy. It is a therapy all by itself. The heat will relax the muscles even more and improve circulation so the acupuncture is stronger. Very few people do not get back pain relief with acupuncture.
Acupuncture is not usually painful. However, if your muscles are very tight or in spasm, it can hurt a little. However, most people start feeling relief so fast that they do not mind the slight ping feeling.
You can feel some relief during the treatment, and right after the treatment, but your body needs a little time to adjust and heal. Within 12-24 hours is the best time frame to expect a difference. Usually the next day is a good bet to feel better. You can sometimes be a little sore, but your muscles will usually be so much more relaxed.
Click on “The Truth About Acupuncture” for more information.