Herbs for Back and Neck Pains

perscription_drug_casePains are without a doubt the #1 complaint of all the patients seeking care. Unfortunately most pains are very difficult to treat in Western medicine. Most pains are treated with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) over the counter such as Asprins, Ibuprofen, or a similar drug of action Tylenol. More severe pains are treated with Opiates that are addictive, dangerous, have bad side-effects, and are almost completely unsuccessful at treating nerve related pain. NSAIDs have much less side-effects, but long term use WILL lead to G.I. tract issues and ulcers. There are of course many reasons and needs for such Western pain relievers. It is important to know such side-effects and weigh risks with rewards to know if you should seek alternative treatments.

Luckily many modalities have become more mainstream in helping deal with pain. Some alternatives can be used in conjunction with medications and many times they can replace or rid the need for pills. Chiropractic care uses manual manipulation, electric therapy, and exercises to treat pains. Chiropractors utilize manual manipulation with the concentration on the spine to not only align the body to bring correct mechanics, but also manipulate the spinal nerve roots of the spine to also help with pain. Acupuncture uses techniques that have the longest record of empirical use than ANY other modality. Through the use of Chinese medicine theory,  needles and other manipulation are used to bring balances and help stop pain. These energy techniques seem to give commands to your body, your body takes these direction and seems to make changes or initiates healing processes. Massage started at the dawn of man although written techniques aren’t as old as Acupuncture. Massage has become widely diverse with many many modalities and very effective with many different kinds of pain especially musculo-skeletal pain. Massage can also be used in conjunction with almost any other modality. Lastly lets talk about some herbs.

Since upper back pain and neck pain is very popular I will cover some recommendations for treating this area. Other common problems like lower back pain will be covered later. A formula modification that is now used for neck pain and things such as a whiplash claim from an auto accident are prescribed a formula containing:

Bo He / Mint

Chuan Xiong / Chuanxiong Rhizoma

Bai Zhi / Angelica Dahurica

Qiang Huo / Notopterygium Rhizoma

Jing Jie / Schizonepeta

Ge Gen / Kudzu

Gao Ben / Ligusti

Yan Hu Suo / Corydalis

Of course there are many options to choose, but this is an excellent formula for such neck pains, including headaches! This herbal combination includes a very general but strong pain herb called Yan Hu Suo or Corydalis. Chuan Xiong, Bai Zhi, Bo He and Gao Ben are specific pain relievers for the head, upper back and neck. Ge Gen and Jing Jie help with the pain but are used in formulas, including this one, to direct the herbs effects to the upper part of the body. Qiang Huo is a very important upper body pain herb. In this formula for our example of neck pain and whiplash it is the most important herb in formula. Qiang Huo has a profound effect on the upper spine and occipital area. In fact if you look at the cut and prepared version of the herb you will see it looks a bit like a spinal cord.

6grams of each of the herbs can be combined in 4 cups of water and simmered down for 20 minutes. Simply split that up into 2-3 portions to take a day. For headache you can even use less, perhaps half, that dosage but keep a higher dosage of Bo He / Mint.

If you are suffering from neck or back pains that you suspect could be a result of your place of work, or if you have suffered an actual accident at work that wasn’t your fault, please contact Irwin Mitchell Solicitors for more information.

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