Nutritional Supplements as "Holistic" or "Natural" Back Pain Therapies

Often, certain keywords are associated with nutritional supplements, such as "all natural" or "holistic" back pain therapies. But are they? The theory behind supplements, vs. pharmaceutical medications, is that their ingredients are taken from natural sources, ground up, and made into powders to drink, creams to rub on, or capsules to swallow. Because these nutritional supplements are not artificially synthesized in a lab, they are less likely to produce side effects, and more likely to help patients with their underlying condition. Believers of the benefits of nutritional supplements are likely to offer one or more of the following reasons for taking them or promoting them as beneficial.
  • Because nutritional supplements are derived from natural sources, they are less toxic to the body.
  • While most pharmaceutical medications are associated with side effects, nutritional supplements rarely produce harmful effects in the human body.
  • While pharmaceutical medications treat the symptoms of a medical problems, nutritional supplements are designed to promote health in general, and are designed to treat the cause.
  • The active ingredients of many nutritional supplements have been used to treat pain and other musculoskeletal disorders for thousands of years. While most pharmaceutical meds have been first introduced to the market in the last 50 years, people around the world have been aware of the healing properties of certain herbs, vitamins, and enzymes almost from the beginning of recorded history.

So here are some of the facts and arguments towards taking supplements to promote health and healing in the body. Two questions that I have about them, and you may also have, are:
  • Do the active ingredients of these nutritional really work? That's great is these supplements are all natural, and have little or no toxicity to the human body, but what's the point of taking them if they didn't really work. If these things really worked, then why isn't everyone taking them.
  • If the active ingredients of certain supplements do really work, does it's state in pill, powder, or cream form work the same as they do in their natural state? Imagine That the substance Boswellia serrata, extracted from Asian trees, does successfully help arthritis patients with inflammation reduction and pain relief. But does this extract still work, after being dried, ground up, made into a capsule, and stored on a shelf somewhere. Substances such as Boswellia serrata have been used for thousands of years among the local people who are able to pick and harvest them, and consume directly by eating them, or making them into teas. But there is some debate in the medical and alternative literatures about whether certain extraction methods affect the ability of the active ingredients to maintain their beneficial health properties.
These are good questions to ask about nutritional supplements, especially since they are largely unregulated and untested. These supplements are not required to undergo the same rigorous process to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval. If you do want to purchase nutritional supplements, try to get them from a reputable dealer and look for the words "standard" or "standardized" on the label, which means that the supplement meets an international standard of quality.