Back pain is commonly caused by a number of everyday things, from bad posture as a result of slouching over a desk, to the deterioration of spinal discs as you age. Sometimes the pain can become too much to bear. We can often become stuck when searching for the right pain relief methods, so before you rush to buy your over-the-counter medicines, there are various other remedies you can try to help alleviate discomfort naturally. Nutritionist Sarah Flower has explored the different options.
As it is classed as a food supplement, the manufacturers and retailers cannot make any medical claims, but research has shown it is beneficial for a number of conditions including pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation, sleep disorders, inflammation, migraines and joint pain, all of which can affect anyone with back problems, says Sarah.
She added: “It has also been shown to help with fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and autism. CDB oil stimulates your dopamine and serotonin levels, giving you a ‘feel good’ factor which can help when suffering with pain, depression and related conditions.
“It also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can help to boost the immune system I would recommend buying from a reputable manufacturer such as Power Health. Their CBD oil contains 20 servings of CBD, which should be consumed in 50mg doses squeezed under the tongue.
“For optimum absorption and results, simply keep it in your mouth for up to 5 minutes before swallowing and repeat up to 4 times a day, depending on requirements. Remember to always seek the advice of your GP before you start taking CBD oil as it can affect some medication, such as anti-depressants.”
One of the primary functions of magnesium is to repair and relax the muscles, advises Sarah, so she recommends using a magnesium citrate as this is the most bioavailable form.
She said: “You may also find some benefit from having an Epsom salt bath to help ease muscles and absorb magnesium through the skin.
“If you’re suffering from cramps try using a magnesium spray; when applied directly to the skin, it quickly floods and bathes muscles and nerves helping to relax them and alleviating the pain rapidly, often within a few minutes of application.”
Curcumin is an active compound found in turmeric, which is recognised for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can promote healing.
Sarah explained: “Studies have shown that turmeric may relieve pain in the same way that prescription and over-the-counter medications can.
“There are many different ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet; you can add it to scrambled eggs, toss it with roasted vegetables, use it in soups and blend into a soup.
“Our bodies struggle to absorb turmeric on its own, so I recommend adding black pepper and healthy fats to your dish to gain the full benefits. If you don’t like the earthy flavour of turmeric, you can take it in capsule form.”
This is a naturally occurring chemical found in in the synovial and bursal fluid, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments.
Sarah advised: “Joints are protected by the fluid and cartilage that surround them. In some people with osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and becomes thin, and this results in more joint friction, pain, and stiffness.
“Research has shown that taking glucosamine supplements may increase the cartilage, aiding joint flexibility and reversing damage.”
“This herbal medicine is known as an adaptogen, and is one of the most well-known, commonly used supplements in the world,” explained Sarah.
She added:”It is a great fatigue-fighter, stress-buster, overall vitality-booster, and has also been shown to provide pain relief. As most of our aches and pains are made worse by tension and stress, this is an excellent herb to add to your pain relief armoury as it supports the adrenal glands, helping your body respond to stress.”
Arnica is a great remedy for easing inflammation and works without any known side effects.
Sarah explained: “It is most commonly used as as a topical cream or gel that can be applied to the affected area, but it is also available in tablet and pellet forms that dissolve in your mouth. Both topical and oral Arnica can be used together.”
One of the most popular uses of MSM is to relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
Sarah recommended: “It has anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to benefit those suffering from joint degeneration; studies on patients with sports related injuries showed 40 per cent fewer visits to a chiropractor.”