Back pain may be a symptom of a variety of problems in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones or an underlying organ. The many contributors of back pain may be one or several conditions such as; arthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, infection and fever, tumor, weak stomach muscles, peptic ulcer, emotional stress, female problems, prostate problems, slipped or ruptured disk, abnormal curvature of the spine, bone disease and even constipation and disorders of the urinary system.
However, the leading cause of back pain is simple muscle strain or sprain. Even though the symptoms may come on suddenly and can be extremely painful, this is actually a problem that develops over a long period of time.
Muscle strain or sprain results from excessive or improper physical exertion, incorrect lifting, straining, poor posture, sleeping on soft beds and calcium deficiency. Other factors responsible for back pain include flat feet, improper footwear, unequal leg length and obesity.
Backache prevention includes exercise, good posture, proper lifting, avoiding unnecessary physical strain or emotional stress and good nutrition.
Good nutrition helps prevent and correct many back problems. Certain nutrients are essential for maintaining the health of your back. Taking individual nutritional supplements in addition to a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement may provide you relief.
Calcium and magnesium and vitamin D
Calcium is needed for strong bones. For proper absorption use a mixture of 3 different forms: calcium asporotate, calcium carbonate and calcium chelate. Calcium supplements are more effective when taken in smaller doses spread throughout the day and before bedtime. Taken at night it will promote a sound sleep. Take 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams daily.
Magnesium works with calcium. Use the chelate form. Take 700 to 1,000 milligrams daily.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Take 400 IU daily.
Vitamin A and natural beta carotene and vitamin E taken together supply a balance of nutrients important in formation and metabolism of bone and connective tissue and needed for healing. Take 15,000 IU vitamin A daily (if you are pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily). Take 15,000 IU of natural beta carotene daily and 400 to 800 IU daily of vitamin E.
Silica improves calcium uptake. Take as directed on the label.
Vitamin B12 aids in calcium absorption and digestion. Use the sublingual form. Take 2,000 milligrams daily.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is essential for formation of collagen, which holds the tissues together, for repair of tissues and relieves tension in the back area. Take 3,000 to 10,000 milligrams daily.
Zinc plus copper
Zinc is required for protein synthesis and collagen formation; in addition, it promotes immune system health. Take 50 milligrams daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 milligrams daily from all supplements.
Copper works in balance with zinc and vitamin C to form elastin and is needed for healthy nerves. Take 3 milligrams daily.
Boron improves calcium uptake. Take this supplement only until healed, unless you are over the age of 50. Take no more than 3 milligrams daily.
Manganese aids in healing cartilage and tissue in the neck and back. Use in the form of manganese gluconate. Take 2 to 5 milligrams daily. Take separately from calcium.
Vitamin B complex is needed to repair and to relieve stress in the back muscles. Take a high stress formula high in vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Take as directed on label.
L-Proline and vitamin B6 and vitamin C
L-Proline is an amino acid that helps heal cartilage and strengthens muscles and tissues. Take 500 milligrams daily on an empty stomach with water or juice, do not take with milk. Take with 50 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 100 milligrams of vitamin C for best absorption.
Essential fatty acids are needed for repair and flexibility of muscles. Flax seed oil is a good source. Take as directed on label with meals.
Protein is necessary for firm supporting tissue; but, animal sources will contain uric acid and are best avoided, at least until healed. Other sources are soy and combinations of grains and legumes.
DL-Phenylalanine or DLPA (amino acid) helps to alleviate pain. Take as directed on label. CAUTION: Do not take this supplement if you are pregnant, suffer from anxiety attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, phenylketonuria (PKU) or preexisting pigmented melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
Herbal remedies that can be taken in the form of capsule, extract or tea.
Some of the best herbs used for their nerve pain relieving actions include: St. John's Wort, jamacian dogwood, prickly ash, sweet clover and stinging nettle.
Some of the best herbs used to prevent or relax muscle spasms (antispasmodic) include: black cohosh, dong quai, hops, kava kava, lobelia, mullein, passion flower, red raspberry, rosemary, skullcap, thyme, valerian root and wild yam.
Some of the best herbs used for their anti-inflammatory actions include: angelica, astragalus, black cohosh, dong quai, gotu kola, horsetail, meadowsweet, mullein and stinging nettle.
Solomon's Seal and mullein both may restore proper lubrication to the joints.
Horsetail is a good source of silica, which is necessary for connective tissue and bones.
Herbal supplements should only be used in amounts typically recommended for medicinal purposes and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications.