Back pain is quite common especially as we get older. I mean, my back hurts at least several times a week and those days really do blow. There are some days that I slap on a cold compress and it will do the trick; other days, a short walk would be enough to work out some of the kinks and on some really bad days, I use a cold compress, then pop an OTC pain reliever. All these work for me of course, but the thing here is that I try not to pop too many pills and this has led me to look at herbal remedies.

I admit that I am fascinated with herbal remedies because they are natural and I feel like the less chemicals I put in my body, the better! However, I would also like to caution everyone that “natural” does not always mean “safe,” so before you try any of these remedies for treating lower back pain, do ask your doctor for a go-signal. It does not matter what your reasons for lower back pain are, I just think asking your doctor about herbal remedies is a great idea.

Herbal Remedies

Capsaicin cream – The first time I heard about this cream, I had no idea what it was and slathered it on. Big mistake because it was hot, hot, hot! It was like rubbing a chili pepper all over my body! As it turns out, I was not far off the mark since capsaicin cream has the hot stuff that makes chilies so hot. I tried it again on my lower back pain and let me tell you, it really did the trick. My advice is to wear gloves when applying the cream for added protection.

• White willow bark and devil's claw – Herbs and plants have long been used to remedy a number of illnesses and diseases so why not back pain, right? Since back pains are mainly due to inflammation, I suggest you give anti-inflammatory herbs a try. These herbs include white willow bark and devil's claw because according to a 2007 research that was published in Spine, they worked better to alleviate pain when compared to placebos.

• Ginger – Now I understand that more studies are needed but initial reviews are coming in and they say that ginger is perfect for folks who want to alleviate inflammation naturally. It contains wonderful phytochemicals that stop inflammation. Another thing I like about ginger is that there are very few side effects linked to it.

Those are just some of the herbal and natural remedies that you can try. One interesting thing I found out was about vitamin D. This kind of took me by surprise but after reading more about it, I guess it makes sense. I found out that one of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency is chronic muscle pain and according to a 2005 report published in the British Medical Journal, treatment using vitamin D supplements effectively led to an improvement in lower back pain. You can spend more time out in the sun but you can also try supplements – I say go for both! Whatever your reasons, you can give these remedies a try for sure.