Each year 13 million Americans visit the doctor for chronic back pain. While about 2.4 million are left chronically disabled, another 2.4 million are temporarily disabled. Back problems can affect the spine’s flexibility, stability and strength, causing pain, discomfort and stiffness. Before you resort to taking dangerous NSAIDS, relaxants and steroids, try this easy elixir and eliminate back pain naturally.
Causes and symptoms of back pain
For most, the cause of low back pain is unknown. But it inevitably comes from an injury, strain, lifting, twisting or bending. In some cases, often rare, low back pain can be a sign of infection, arthritis (including gout) or a tumor. Symptoms of low back pain may include tenderness, pain and stiffness in the lower back. Often the pain spreads to the buttocks or legs, and standing or sitting for long periods can be difficult. Additionally, legs may begin to feel weak and tired while walking.
In most cases, back pain can improve with self-care. But without improvement, your doctor may prescribe medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants and steroids. Your doctor may even prescribe opiates for short-term use or a cortisone shot to help decrease inflammation. But here’s the problem: long-term and even short-term drugs often come with a plethora of unwanted side-effects.
The problem with NSAIDS
NSAIDS include ibuprofen and naproxen. NSAIDS are some of the most commonly used pain medicines in adults. Though you can buy NSAIDs such as Motrin, Advil and Aleve without a doctor’s prescription, not everyone should take them. According to the American College of Rheumatology, possible side-effects from using NSAIDS include:
- Bleeding ulcer and stomach upset
- High blood pressure
- Swelling around the lower legs, feet, ankles and hands
- Kidney problems
- Heart problems
In 2007, the American Heart Association issued a warning regarding NSAIDs and the risks for developing ischemic heart disease.
“Our Scientific Statement was a review of the evidence suggesting that NSAIDs may impose an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death in patients with known heart disease or who are at risk for ischemic heart disease.”
With so many negative studies surrounding pain and inflammatory relief drugs, perhaps the best approach might be a natural one. If you have back pain, chances are you’re harboring inflammation. This simple four-ingredient elixir can reduce inflammation and eliminate your back pain. Here’s why:
Ginger, unlike NSAIDS, actually soothes the stomach rather than cause upset. It may also reduce pain caused by inflammatory diseases. There is some evidence that ginger may help reduce pain from osteoarthritis. Research by the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Miami included 261 people with osteoarthritis. Participants who took ginger extract twice daily had less pain and needed fewer pain-killing meds than those who received placebo.
Natural pain relief is among the many health benefits of drinking lemon juice in water. Lemon juice can help reduce joint and muscle pain in the back. In addition, gout — a form of arthritis — happens because of a buildup of uric acid. Lemon juice helps dilute this acid, thus reducing the pain.
Cayenne contains capsaicin, the active chemical responsible for giving cayenne pepper a spicy kick. Capsaicin is known to naturally alleviate pain. Capsaicin has been shown to reduce the amount of substance P, a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. Less substance P means fewer pain messages reaching the brain. This means less pain is felt, according to Medical News Today.
Cranberry extract can do a lot for lower back pain, particularly if an infection is behind it. Cranberries have a long history of maintaining the health of the urinary tract. Cranberry juice has been widely used for the prevention, treatment and symptomatic relief of urinary tract infections. In fact, cranberry juice blocks bacteria from multiplying. A 2006 study suggests that people with early stages of rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from a high intake of cranberry.
Back Pain Elixir Recipe
- 1 tablespoon grated, fresh organic ginger and juice
- 1/2 organic lemon, juiced
- 1/4 eye dropper cayenne extract
- 1/4 dropper cranberry extract
1. Add all of the ingredients to a tall glass.
2. Top up the glass with cool, fresh and filtered water.
3. Drink this elixir throughout the day and alleviate your back pain quickly!
— Katherine Marko