Herbal Solutions to Back Pain

I have had back pain off and on for the last 2 years. I am always interested by alternative perspectives about health issues. Herbal solutions to back pain was not on my radar but many people say it is very efficient and helpful.

Here is an excellent post by Jim McDonald, herbalist at www.herbcraft.org

To address this, the first rule is to be extremely vigilant about
taking it easy. Over exerting can result in extended recovery time.

Foundationally, people need to be sure that they’re adequately
nourished. To much emphasis is put on calcium when we think of
nourishing bones and connective tissues; we need to look at other
nutrients that increase the utilization of calcium; silica (from
horsetail or oat straw), magnesium, Omega 3 EFAs, boron, and other
nutrients that work together to enhance bone/connective tissue
strength.

Herbally, you need to address several things at once:

*structural integrity (weakness of injury)
Horsetail, St-John’s wort, Comfrey, Solomon’s Seal, Osmunda, Mullein, Goldenseal, etc.

*muscle spasm
Black Cohosh, Arnica, Kava, Lobelia, Cramp Bark, etc.

*nerve involvement
St-John’s wort, Sweet Clover, Jamaican Dogwood, Mullein Root, ect…

*problems with fluids in the joints; either atrophy (dryness) of
tissues or fluid stagnation
Black Cohosh, Mullein, Solomon’s Seal, Yarrow, Calendula, ect.

*inflammation (in many cases, the herbs that address the problems
listed above will act on inflammation; as a broadly acting
anti-inflammatory I’m inclined to recommend, initially, fish oil)
Ginger, Turmeric, Willow, Black Cohosh, Solomon’s Seal, St-John’s wort, etc.
mullein (lower spine), blue vervain (upper spine)… they’re nice together…

Pain relief is a large consideration, though it must be
remembered that pain is your body’s way of communicating to you what
you can and can’t do. I think the use of strong pain medicines
contributes greatly to re-injury and results in chronic pain and the
“need” for surgery.

Of course, pain medicines can be useful and can be necessary, just as
surgeries, but they should be used consciously so that their use
doesn’t worsen the problem. If someone is using pain meds so they can
tolerate moving around too much or sitting for long periods of time,
they’re going to do *far* more damage than good.

Ice is sometimes appropriate initially, but alternating heat or cold
or heat pads are more helpful for addressing the attendant muscle
spasms.

Externally, a warming salve (burts bees, tiger balm or homemade) can
be helpful, especially if it contains saint john’s wort or
(preferably) you add saint john’s wort oil or salve to it. You can
also mix in some lobelia tincture, some arnica tincture or oil, some
kava tincture or oil, and other applicable antispasmodics.

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