Whether Earth’s abundance of water or the assortment of plants that produce countless remedies with therapeutic benefits, there are many healing wonders that Mother Nature provides. Earth Day serves as an excellent reminder that there are many healthy spices available in raw, powder, capsule, or oil form that may prove to be an effective conservative treatment for chronic back pain.
The active component in chili peppers, capsaicin may minimize the potency of an inflammation-causing chemical. A form of capsaicin can be applied to the skin, although it takes a few days to take effect. Dihydrocapsiate, a related compound in chili peppers, helps with weight loss, which can, in turn, minimize back pain.
Devil’s claw has been used in some osteoarthritis therapies in Europe, although a recent study found that an extract form of this herb may not help with rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies suggest devil’s claw has anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit back pain sufferers.
Considered safe in moderation for people living with persistent back pain, ginger has a long history of health benefits. This popular herb, noted for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can be chewed raw, ground into various foods and beverages, sprinkled on favorite recipes, or consumed in supplement form.
Many of the health benefits of this peppery spice have been known or suspected for centuries. The curcumin in turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe or prevent back pain. It can also be combined with bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple juice, for added benefits.
Flavonoids, nutrients in plants thought to help keep cells healthy, in willow bark combine with anti-inflammatory properties to minimize back pain for some people with chronic discomfort. Similar to aspirin, the salicin in willow bark plays a role in providing the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits associated with this herb.
If you’re on blood-thinners, it’s recommended that you avoid turmeric and willow bark due to bleeding risks. Before starting a regimen that includes any herbs or spices for medicinal purposes, check with a board-certified doctor to identify potential issues with medications you may already be taking for back pain or other conditions.
If you’ve tried conservative methods to no avail, it may be time to speak with a Los Angeles spine surgeon about additional treatment options. Call The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation to learn more.