Summary: If acute pain is in the upper back or shoulder, perform the Liver Cleanse. If acute pain is in the lower back, perform the Kidney Cleanse, practice Straight Line back stretching, and exercise the stomach muscles. Use a 1:1 ratio calcium magnesium supplement long term.
Many times, using a good 1:1 ratio calcium magnesium supplement like Now Full Spectrum Minerals or Solaray Cal-Mag Citrate enough to get at least 100% RDA magnesium daily, plus drinking adequate water, is all that is necessary to alleviate back pain, whether the upper or lower back. A 1:1 ratio calcium magnesium supplement should be used long term for general health as well. See the Minerals section for more information.
When pain is in the upper back or shoulder, the most likely cause is a clogged liver. Using Futurebiotic Silymarin Plus is all that is generally needed, along with adequate water, although 100% RDA magnesium is good for long term use after the 2 to 3 week duration liver cleanse regimen is complete. It may speed results to give the liver a break by limiting carbs plus trans fats and hydrogenated oils in the diet.
When pain is in the lower back, results can be slower. The most important supplement is magnesium to clean the kidneys and this should be used long term. The Water Cure is necessary as well, and it alone can effect major benefits used alone. Using a kidney supplement like Planetary Formula's Stone Free for a couple of weeks will speed the results. Practicing Straight Line back stretching can alleviate some pain in a short time if the problem was cause by undue compression. What is also helpful, and is well worthwhile investigating for its many other health benefits, is Inclined Bed Therapy. An obvious but sometimes overlooked practice is not putting a thick wallet in the back pocket since this can cause lower back problems.
If both upper and lower back ache and one needs to minimize the supplements used, use the Stone Free since it has action on both the liver and kidneys, plus the Solaray Cal-Mag Citrate and the Water Cure.
Pain relief will come quickly as the problem is repaired, and minerals like calcium and magnesium relax the muscles which provides some relief, but if additional pain relief is needed, bromelain capsules can be taken in large amounts (4 to 6 capsules at a time as needed). Turmeric extract (curcumin) is also an excellent anti-inflammatory and COX-2 inhibitor but cannot be taken in large amounts since too much may upset the stomach. If needed, use 1 or 2 capsules two or three times per day.
Lower back pain can also occur in young, active people who have no nutritional deficiencies. This can be caused by muscle imbalance between the front and back of the body. Many sports and exercises strengthen the shoulders and back, but few strengthen the abdominal muscles. And the activities that strengthen the back can be surprising, such as walking, jogging, and bicycling, and not-so-surprising, like swimming, weight lifting, and many team sports. If the back muscles become too strong in relation to the abdominal muscles, it puts stress on the lower back. It is necessary to create balance by performing abdominal exercises. Even just using a contraction exercise on a regular basis, tightening up the abdominal muscles for a few seconds, then releasing, is generally sufficient to prevent problems.
One of the best all around devices for strengthening the abdominal muscles is an abdominal wheel, or ab wheel. This is a small wheel such as the type found on lawnmowers and children's wagons, but with handles on both sides. It generally costs around $10. One kneels and rolls the wheel as far as possible forward (not enough to cause painful straining) and brings it back in. It is among the most efficient devices for toning the abdomen and alleviating muscle imbalance between the back and abdomen even using it as little as 10 reps per day. However, it does require a good bit of arm and shoulder strength to use, so use caution when starting out and just push it out and back a foot or so at first then build up to a longer distance. The dual wheel models are a bit more stable so may be more suitable for those with weak arms. Put a pad under the knees to cushion them if necessary. As a bonus, the ab wheel also works other muscle groups plus most people will quickly lose a pants size when using this device on a regular basis.