Back Pain Remedies

Doctor showing her tablet with red spinEight remedies for back pain.

Improving your diet by eliminating alcohol, dairy, caffeine, sugar and high-fat foods as well as eating whole foods, fruits and veggies, and omega-3s can help your body regenerate and repair itself.

2. STAY HYDRATED

Fielder says drinking enough water may help reduce the shrinkage that happens in the spongy disks of the back (shrinkage occurs naturally with age and can lead to pain). Caffeine, as in coffee and soda, may cause dehydration and should be replaced with water. She also suggests drinking more than the minimum eight (8-ounce) glasses a day if you exercise.

3. TAKE GLUCOSOMINE, CHONDROITIN AND MSM

These three supplements are associated with connective tissue repair and are often recommended by naturopathic experts to treat back pain. Talk to your healthcare provider about the proper dosage.

4. TRY NATURAL PAINKILLERS

Unlike medications, natural painkillers won’t upset the stomach. Fielder recommends devil’s claw, which research shows is comparable to Vioxx for pain relief, and turmeric, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Willow bark — the active ingredient of which is similar to that in aspirin — is more gentle on the stomach and is just as effective in pain management as NSAID rofecoxib.

Bromelain (derived from pineapples) and the ayurvedic herb boswellia provide anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief.

5. SIP GINGER TEA

Another natural remedy for back pain, as suggested by Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, author of Pain 1-2-3: A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now, is fresh ginger: Dice a slice into a cup of hot water and enjoy.

6. RELAX WITH B VITAMINS

Most doctors also recommend vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. These help muscles relax and can decrease neuropathic pain.

7. EAT UP OMEGA-3S

Many doctors say the back loves omega-3s because the fatty acids help reduce inflammation and, as a result, back pain. Research recommends eating coldwater fish or taking fish or flaxseed oil supplements.

8. CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC

Find a chiropractor who not only does manual realignment of the spine but also incorporates exercise, strength training, stress management, and stretching into treatment programs for back pain. Getting the back in alignment is only one part of the process to treat back pain; strengthening and balancing your muscles and nourishing your body and mind are essential, too.