Earlier this week, while performing normal activities, I somehow threw out my back. "Throwing out my back" is not a technical term but stands for I-am-in-so-much-pain-I-can't-move-a-muscle.
Amazing what a few misplaced vertebrae can do.
Being an herbalist I, of course, grabbed the phone and called the neighbors to bring me some IB profen. I can't believe I am admitting this, but I truly did. I haven't taken IB profen in years, mostly because I love my liver, but somehow being in that much pain reduced my thinking abilities and I resorted to some habit of long ago.
I took the IB profen, but never found much relief. It wasn't until a few days later (after seeing a joint specialist and soft tissue specialist) that I finally thought to myself, "What the hell am I doing?" and reached for the herbs.
Taking a cue from Kiva, I had my husband apply rose liniment to my back followed by an aches and pain salve containing infused oils of rue, artemesia, and cottonwood. Relief was almost instantaneous.
Using herbs for back pain has been something I have pondered a lot this year. As a Structural Medicine Specialist I have the tools to diagnose and treat back pain without herbs. Unfortunately it's a lot harder to diagnose and treat myself and I am so relieved to have these helpful herbs in my medicine chest.
If you are interested in learning more about herbs and back pain, check out Jim McDonald's essay.