From the Magazine

4 Natural Ways to Relieve Frustrating Back Pain

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If you’re like 55% of us, fall chores such as stowing away lawn furniture, doing yard cleanup and trading screens for storm windows are bringing on backaches. To recover quickly and slash your risk of future pain flares by 67%, experts recommend…

Snacking on apples

Apples are at their peak of sweetness now, and enjoying two of these crispy fruits daily can reduce even chronic back pain by 46% —plus it could cut your risk of future backaches in half, Canadian researchers say.

Turns out apples are brimming with compounds (polyphenols) that calm overactive pain nerves, plus speed healing of damaged muscle tissue and cartilage. Tip: You’ll get four times more polyphenols per serving if you eat the peels, since that’s where the compounds are most concentrated.

Sipping rose hip tea

Drinking three cups of fruity rose hip tea daily could trim four days off your recovery time if your back is currently bothering you—plus it will cut your risk of future backaches by 25%! Explains orthopedic surgeon Kristian Marstrand, M.D., rose hips contain a natural plant compound (galactolipid) that reduces inflammation and pain the same way aspirin does, but with no risk of stomach upset.

Going for lunchtime strolls

You don’t have to do hours of physical therapy to heal a bad back. A 15-minute daily stroll will cut your recovery time by 55%—as long as you get outside for your walk! That’s the word from Boston University researchers, who say walking relaxes painful back spasms, while sun exposure kick-starts your body’s production of tissue-healing vitamin D-3. Bonus: Daily lunchtime strolls will keep your back muscles strong and limber, cutting your risk of future injuries by 67%.

Taking this bedtime Rx

It’s magnesium! Five studies suggest a nightly 400-mg. dose of this mineral cuts back pain by 55% in two weeks, and it prevents back pain flares for up to 92% of women studied. Explains Alan Gaby, M.D., author of Nutritional Medicine, magnesium encourages tissue healing, plus it strengthens muscles, so they’re less prone to injury. Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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