My answer to your question will be a blend of personal and professional advice. Personal because I have been suffering from chronic pain due to a herniated disc at L4-L5 and spinal stenosis. It occured in 2007. I refused the surgery and did not tolerate the epidural injections. The injections not only did not remove the pain, they caused severe facial flushing, agressivity and other side effects. The partial relief lasted less than a week so the side effects did not justify the benefits.
The medical specialist precribed analgesics (narcotic), anti-inflammatory (prescription) and a muscle relaxant. In short, these drugs prevented me from working because of the number of side effects. I told the medical specialist that I would turn to herbal medicine and he basically through me out of his office and said just come back when you can no longer stand the pain.
It is this event that pushed me to begin research on herbal remedies for pain and inflammation. The research began in 2007 and it led to the creation of CuraPhyte Technologies at the end of 2009. I am publishing my second book on natural pain medications this month. This new book is specifically dedicated to how I treated the herniate disc with ONLY herbal remedies and continue to do so today.
On the herbal remedies, my quality of life was excellent and still is. I do not suffer from physical addiction to opioid narcotics and nor any other other undesriable side effects.
My pain ranged from moderate-to-severe and radiated all the way to the tip of my toes. The side of my leg was numb to touch and I had to lay down to tie my shoe laces or put socks on. The pain prevented me from sleeping. Today, I tolerate the mild pain in the toes but constantly get pain flare ups. The pain flare ups range from moderate to severe pain. Since I switched to the herbs, I NEVER use drugs for the pain, muscle cramping or insomnia.
The key treatment is taking daily for 1 to 2 months a strong anti-inflammatory herbal remedy. Then you take the anti-inflammatory as needed. No surprise, I use CuraPhyte and EnteriPhyte brands.
When spasms/cramping occur, I used and recommend an antispasmodic herb like Skullcap. Valerian also works but it tastes bad. For night pain, I recommend California poppy. It will help for both the pain and insomnia.
If you slept well, you will begin the morning with no pain or minimal pain. As the day progresses, the pain will increase and reach its max at night. This is normal and very common.
Other than the above treatments, it is important to strengthen the muscles and loose weight to reduce the stress on the spinal column. I recommend you see a physiotherapist to get proper guidance for the exercise because any false move will result in pain.
I strongly recommend that you consult with a health care practitioner. This will be important so that they recommend adequate dosages of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic herbs. For California poppy, I recommend between 2.5 and 3 grams of the dried herb top in the form of a concentrated extract. It causes drowsiness so use it at night.
Response by Guy Chamberland M.Sc., Ph.D.