Pain in the lower back is one of those things that conventional Western medicine has not enough to say about. When the problem gets serious enough though, what people do is they turn to healing methods that lie outside of the mainstream – herbs, spinal manipulation, nerve stimulation and so on. Let’s see how these fare as methods that bring us lower back pain relief.
Devil’s Claw is all the rage now for its virtues in lower back pain relief. Devil’s claw is a herb from Africa, and goes by that picturesque name for the way its fruit comes with little barbs on the outside. Its relevance for lower back pain hasn’t been made popular until recently. The herb is an anti-inflammatory and is credited with some great effects in lower back pain. There have been studies that have found that 100 mg of it are quite effective – much more so than a placebo. It even works quite well for people who suffer from arthritic pain. The problem is though that it seems no more effective than the popular drug for lower back pain, Vioxx. Of course nothing comes without a catch – Devil’s Claw has some pretty strong effects on the health of your stomach, and it can bring down your blood pressure. If you have stomach ulcers, you should probably stick with your Vioxx.
Spinal manipulation is all about having a skilled physiotherapist work on your head, your neck, your shoulders, and that all along your spine, to help with back pain. The therapist uses heat, ultrasound, and powerful massaging strokes, all in service of a little lower back pain relief. If short-term pain relief is what is on your mind, it works for some people. Most studies on the subject don’t really seem to believe in spinal manipulation. They feel that the benefits it offers are no better than what you would get with physical therapy or regular exercise. The good news is, that you don’t need repeated visits to see if you are one of the lucky ones who will respond to this. If you find that you do, you won’t need more than a couple of weeks to get better. To make sure that you get a skilled therapist though, careless manipulation of the flesh around the spine can actually do more harm than good.
Nerve stimulation is an interesting enough concept. They use a portable electric device called a TENS machine. You place little electrodes on your skin, and the device puts out mild electric currents to help you. What they believe is, that nerves are only able to carry one kind of signal at a time. If you saturate the nerve with artificial currents, it won’t be able to carry its pain message anywhere. But this is just a theory. There are some studies that prove that it is quite effective as a short-term remedy. If you are on the lookout for quick lower back pain relief for a problem nerve stimulation could be your ticket. According to the American Academy of urology, nerve stimulation is pretty useless if what you’re dealing with this chronic pain, something you’ve battled for quite a while.
But there are certain kinds of lower back pain that TENS is very effective in. There is a certain kind of lower back pain called diabetic nerve pain. It affects most people who have diabetes, and it gives you a kind of burning sensation. And TENS is extremely effective here. There is no cure all when it comes to stubborn problems like lower back pain. You need to narrow it down to something that works for just the specific kind of problem you have. And when you do, you’ll be surprised how effective it turns out to be.