Updated: August 2018
There has been an increasing amount of research done lately about the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. This medicinal root, most often used in Indian cuisine, comes from the curcuma longa plant (part of the ginger herbal family). The question is… can turmeric relieve back pain?
The confusing aspect after researching turmeric is understanding that many of the studies showed the same thing. That curcumin is the important component within turmeric that has the most anti-inflammation properties. There have been many studies done on Turmeric (literally 100’s maybe 1000’s), but many required larger doses to get enough curcumin.
Curcuminoids are the key chemical compound found in Turmeric extract but the most prominent curcuminoid is curcumin. The problem is that turmeric only contains about 3-5% curcumin in it. The only way to get larger amounts of curcumin is through a supplement that has been concentrated to contain as much as 95% curcumin.
It does seem that curcumin is effective as a natural way to help the body’s ability to cope with inflammation. And we’re not talking about just joints but also in other ailments caused by inflammation like coronary, skin, and more.
Curcumin works similar to a Cox-2 inhibitor, which is the way Non-Steroid Anti Inflammatory (NSAID) pills work in the body. The benefit of curcumin though is that it doesn’t have the negative side effects on major body organs like NSAIDs do.
Is Turmeric Worth Trying?
For those who normally experience at least some back pain relief from Ibuprofen or Aspirin, it’s worth trying a turmeric curcumin supplement as a substitute. Throughout my years of lower back pain, I would take Ibuprofen like candy throughout the day. I knew the risks associated with liver damage and such but it helped with the pain. In my mind, the alternative, constant use of prescription painkillers was worse.
While turmeric may not help for everyone, it’s one of those cheap and low risk options to try. Being backed up by science to work as a natural anti-inflammatory makes it worth considering. Like other natural supplements, it’s hard to weed through all the different types of this product.
One I can definitely recommend is BioSchwartz Turmeric Curcumin. I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried turmeric and if it helped them. Please leave a comment below.