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I have been dealing with chronic back pain.

Q. Dear Terry, “I was in a car accident several years ago that damaged my spine. I have been dealing with chronic back pain ever since. The pain isn’t constant, but when it occurs I can hardly walk it hurts so bad. I’ve had steroid injections, prescription medications, but unfortunately nothing has helped. What would you take?” — Wren K., Columbia, MO

A. Dear Wren, Back pain affects millions of Americans and can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, including accidents or trauma. Because chronic inflammation is often linked with pain, it is necessary to address the underlying inflammation.

To help with the pain and inflammation, I recommend a combination of curcumin, boswellia, devil’s claw, DLPA, and white willow bark. These ingredients help to provide you with a targeted, effective, and safe approach with no serious side effects.

Curcumin excels at relieving pain and inflammation. Scientific studies have even shown it to be equal to, or excel at relieving pain versus prescription and over-the-counter medications. One drawback with curcumin is the fact that it is very difficult to absorb. The curcumin I recommend is blended with turmeric essential oil (which has its own anti-inflammatory and pain relieving abilities) for enhanced absorption.

Boswellia is a specific inhibitor of 5-LOX, an enzyme that activates inflammatory compounds. This type of inflammation cannot be managed with prescription painkillers. The boswellia I prefer is standardized to contain high levels of the key compound, AKBA, which gives boswellia many of its health benefits. While most of the compounds within boswellia are anti-inflammatory, there is one compound that is actually pro-inflammatory. Therefore, I recommend a boswellia that is low in beta-boswellic acid, which can actually cause inflammation.

Devil’s claw is not only great at relieving pain, but it can help stop the deterioration of the joints. Many devil’s claw extracts are only standardized to 2% harpagosides, the plant’s key compounds. I prefer a more potent devil’s claw extract, standardized to 20% harpagosides, which is more effective for relieving back pain.

DLPA is an amino acid combination that improves mood-elevating chemicals in the brain, including dopamine and blocks a nervous system enzyme that intensifies pain signals.

White willow bark extract has long been recognized as a pain-relieving natural medicine for back pain. This time-tested ingredient has been shown to be a safe anti-inflammatory for chronic lower back pain, joint problems, and osteoarthritis when compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), including aspirin.

Together, these powerful ingredients can relieve pain, stop damaging inflammation, and help rebuild the cartilage that cushions your spine. I would take these ingredients two to three times per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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