Back pain is common and normally improves within a few weeks or months, but there are a variety of different things it can be caused by – some more serious than others. Your doctor will be able to to determine what the cause is when evaluating your back.
In most cases the pain is not caused by anything serious and will usually get better over time.
“Non-specific” back pain, where there is no obvious cause, tends to be down to posture, and tends to get better or worse depending on your position. Conditions such as a slipped disc can also cause back pain.
The NHS recommends staying as active as possible, trying exercises and stretches specifically for back pain, and taking inflammatory painkillers.
Other health experts say supplements can help reduce symptoms of back pain. Nutritionist Dr Josh Axe recommends seven on his site.
Fish oil (2,000mg a day)
People with back pain need higher doses of omega-3 fats to help reduce inflammation, according to the site.
It adds: “Supplementation is often required since most of our diets don’t include the necessary dosage.”
Turmeric (1,000mmg a day)
The site says: “Turmeric contains curcumin, which is the active ingredient that has powerful anti-inflammatory abilities, anti-ageing effects and reduces pain.”
Proteolytic enzymes/bromelain and papain (500mg three times daily)
The site explains: “Found in pineapple, these enzymes are natural anti-inflammatories that also help reduce swelling.”
MSM (2,000 to 8,000mg daily)
MSM is an anti-inflammatory supplement that’s high in suffer to help rebuild cartilage.
“It can help alleviate muscle spasms,” the site advises.
Magnesium (400 to 500mg daily)
This mineral is sometimes called the “relaxation mineral” because it helps relax muscles and reduce stress.
The site recommends: “Decrease the dosage of magnesium if it causes diarrhea.”
Peppermint and wintergreen oil are effective analgesics that cool inflamed joints and reduce back pain.
Dr Axe says: “You can mix these oils with coconut oil and rub onto joints or make a homemade muscle rub.
“Frankincense and cypress oil reduce inflammation and improve circulation, which improves back pain.”
“Capsaicin cream (derived from hot chilli peppers/cayenne) can be applied to the skin to temporarily reduce chemicals that contribute to inflammation and pain,” the site explains.