Q. Dear Terry, “I have been working with a chiropractor to help manage my low back pain. I’ve been doing some at-home stretching, walking when the pain isn’t too bad, and trying to work on my posture. I’ve used over-the-counter pain medications in the past, but I know they can be harmful. What can I take for my back pain that is safe and natural?”– Selma K., Washington, D.C.
A. Dear Selma, Back pain affects millions of Americans and can be caused by a wide variety of conditions. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are frequently used, but come with a long list of side effects including damage to the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract.
To help with pain and inflammation, I recommend a combination of curcumin, boswellia, devil’s claw, DLPA, and white willow bark. These ingredients help to provide a targeted, effective, and safe approach to pain relief with no serious side effects.
Curcumin excels at relieving pain and inflammation. Scientific studies have even shown curcumin to be equal to, or superior to, over-the-counter or prescription medications for relieving pain. The curcumin I recommend is enhanced with turmeric essential oil (which has its own anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving abilities) in a patented process and has been clinically studied.
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 standardized to high AKBA content and low in beta-boswellic acid.
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 have a low standardization of 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, like endorphins, 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 2,325 mg of these ingredients per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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