Willow bark is the original source of aspirin, but when used as the entire herb it has been found to be much safer and more effective. Many studies have been done using willow bark, and they consistently show its effectiveness in reducing pain. For example, in 2 studies of 661 patients with severe chronic low back pain, willow bark extract with 240 mg of salicin left -40% pain free after 4 weeks, with improvement being evident after only 1 week of treatment. In those receiving standard orthopedic care and Motrin for four weeks, only 18% were pain-free. No adverse effects on the stomach lining (e.g.-indigestion, ulcers, etc) were observed with Willow bark, in contrast to aspirin. Willow bark extract has also been shown to be as effective as Vioxx for osteoarthritis.
Boswellia, also known as Frankincense, has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It has been shown in studies to be helpful for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, with the pain index falling by 90% after eight weeks with a similarly dramatic increase in function. Boswellia has also been demonstrated to have significant anti-inflammatory properties, being helpful in asthma and colitis as well as pain. A common dose is 350 mg 3 times a day.
Cherry Fruit contains compounds which inhibit COX-1(inflammation) as effectively as ibuprofen and tart cherries possess both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, though we have focused on metabolic therapies, do not forget how powerful manipulative therapies, acupuncture, body and energy work, etc can be in treating pain--especially when combined with these therapies.
You do not have to be in pain any more!