Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Sleep Well

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for a healthy lifestyle and can help prevent or manage chronic disease. We can help you deal with sleeplessness so that you can be more alert and stay productive during the day.

Overview

Many people find herbs and supplements helpful for occasional sleep loss. However, studies have not shown that they actually improve sleep. If you are taking melatonin, valerian, or any other herbal medicine, be sure to tell us.

Common Herbs to Improve Sleep

  • Melatonin. This is a natural hormone that the brain produces in response to a lack of light. Some people take it as a supplement to help with jet lag. It may also be taken by people adjusting to working at night. Melatonin is generally considered safe to use for short periods of time.
  • Valerian root. This is used in many parts of the world to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Research is not conclusive about its effectiveness. However, unlike some prescription medications it does not appear to slow you down or have after effects the next day.

Safety and Quality Issues

If you are thinking about taking any herbs or supplements, talk to us first. Some herbs can cause side effects and can interact with other medications, which can result in serious health problems. Some herbs can cause sickness and even death. Typically, we don’t recommend herbs and supplements for children, pregnant women, or nursing mothers.

Our pharmacies only stock herbs and supplements that have been proven to be effective for treating certain medical conditions. If you have questions, there are several ways to find out more about specific products:

  • You can ask us. 
  • We also recommend the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 
  • The National Institute for Health Information has a reliable “Herbs at a Glance” series online. 

The websites are updated all the time to reflect the latest research.

Additional References:

Regulation of Herbs and Supplements

If you do decide to use an herb or supplement, buy them from a trusted source. In the U.S., these products are not tested to ensure they actually improve health. They are also not tested for safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Here are some problems that can occur:

  • Toxicity. Certain herbs can make you sick.
  • Contamination. The herb (or a pesticide used on the herb) may make you sick.
  • Impurity. Herbs may be imported from other countries. They may have other ingredients or prescription drugs added to them. Labels may be inaccurate.
  • Incorrect dosage. You may be getting less – or more – of an ingredient than the label shows. This can happen even if the label says the ingredients are "standardized" or "certified."

Related Health Tools:

Classes and Coaching
Interactive Programs
Podcasts

See more Health Tools »

If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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