Q: I can’t stand this back pain any longer. But I’m not sure I want to go to a doctor about it. All they seem to do is prescribe pills that knock you out, or try to get you on the operating table. And I’ve never witnessed anyone who’s had back surgery come out feeling all that much better. Do you have any suggestions?
Dr. Wright: There are many natural options you can try to relieve your pain before submitting to narcotics or surgery.
First, you might want to try willow bark, the natural anti-inflammatory that actually served as the basis for aspirin. Many researchers have maintained that willow bark has even more to offer than our synthetic pharmaceuticals when it comes to relieving back pain.
Another possibility to explore is vitamin D deficiency. In fact, the Mayo Clinic did a study several years ago in an inner city clinic that discovered 93 percent of the 150 people with complaints of chronic, non-specific low back pain had vitamin D deficiency. And these weren’t just older folks…they ranged in age from 10 to 65 years old.
Also, just a few weeks ago, more news emerged regarding the benefits of acupuncture for treating low back pain. Acupuncture involves inserting very thin, flexible needles just under the skin along specific points on the body that relate to organs, areas of the body, or body systems. The needles work to correct the flow of energy (or chi) through the body, alleviating any imbalances or blockages that might be causing pain.
To locate an acupuncturist near you, contact the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine by calling (703) 548-9004 or visiting their website, www.nccaom.org.
While you could check these out on your own, it’s always a good idea to work with a doctor who is open to looking at nutritional and natural solutions for your pain. To locate one in your area, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800) 532-3688 or www.acam.org.
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