About 26 million Americans suffer from frequent lower back pain that can often be debilitating. It’s one of the most common, costly and difficult to treat chronic conditions. It interferes with work, sleep, exercise, relationships and general well-being.
“Unfortunately, many forms of traditional treatment have serious side effects,” notes Terry Lemerond, an icon in the natural products industry. His mission, as president of EuroPharma and a worldwide expert in holistic care, is to introduce revolutionary natural products that can improve the health of Americans effectively and safely.
“Surgery creates complications, and over -the- counter or prescription pain killers cause side effects and don’t always address the root of the problem,” he says.
Lemerond recommends the following natural products to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and increase endorphins that treat lower back pain without harmful side effects.
*Curcumin from turmeric. While turmeric has received much attention in the alternative health care field, it’s actually curcumin that has the active compounds that are most effective. It acts on multiple inflammation pathways and neutralizes free radicals—the root causes of pain. Curcumin has been clinically studied on its own and in combination with boswellia for treating people with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, as well as, or better than, prescription drugs. Scientific studies of human spinal discs treated with curcumin showed an 80 percent reduction in inflammatory compounds and a 70 percent reduction in cartilage-damaging enzyme activity.
Boswellia. This is a specific inhibitor of inflammation and a perfect partner to curcumin. Together, the double whammy has been proven to be more effective in relieving pain than the drug celecoxib, brand name Celebrex. Sufferers of lower back pain had better reductions in pain and greater increases in walking distances going the herbal route. “And unlike celecoxib, known for adverse side effects that include nausea, ulcers, headaches and increased risk of both heart attack and stroke, the herbal group saw no serious side effects at all,” says Lemerond.
White Willow. A recent study revealed that this herb is as effective at relieving back pain as the prescription drug Vioxx. Sixty percent of patients in each group saw significant reductions in pain—but white willow was the least expensive choice with far fewer side effects.
Devil’s Claw. This long-trusted herb from southern Africa can improve flexibility and reduce inflammation, says Lemerond. “Scientific research says it may also increase hyaluronic acid which is important for lubrication and cushioning of the joints,” he says, adding that in another study, the herb reduced pain in 30 percent more patients than Vioxx.
“Aside from adding these natural interventions to your daily regimen, proper exercise is also important to prevent and relieve back pain,” adds Lemerond. In a review study of 1,450 people suffering from back pain, half had surgery to fuse vertebrae and half had no surgery and used other forms of treatment.
“After two years, only 26 percent of the surgery group had returned to work compared to 67 percent of the group who didn’t have surgery,” says Lemerond. “On top of that, the surgery patients also saw an increase in the use of opiate pain killers by 47 percent—a dangerous result from a procedure that should have helped them.”
But the expert emphasizes that you should always consult with your health care professional before embarking upon any exercise program for back pain. Often, you may be referred to a physical therapist who can demonstrate the correct form to improve posture and function in the lower back while relieving pain.
“You don’t need dramatic ‘solutions’ to treat back pain,” says Lemerond. “You can deal with this condition naturally. And once you have your regimen in place, you are on your way to a stronger, more flexible, pain-free life.”
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