6 Ways To Use Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain (How To Guide)

Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain - Does It Really Work?

Ever dealt with chronic back pain? I have – and believe me, it’s really frustrating:

  • The pain isn’t always that strong
  • But it strikes in the worst moments

Now – besides classic medication, there are lots of herbs that seem to help. Ever heard of hot pepper? Well – it’s one of the best remedies.

So how can you use Cayenne pepper for back pain? How exactly does it help? 

Well, you will find out the top 6 methods I use.


How Does Cayenne Pepper Work?

After turmeric and Boswellia – Cayenne pepper is probably the best natural pain reliever:

  • Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain - Does It Really Work?really strong effect
  • decreases pain and swelling really well
  • can work within minutes

Now – the difference is that it can only be applied on the skin. It’s way too powerful to take it as pills.

On the other hand, both turmeric and Boswellia work better when taken by mouth.

1. What It Contains?: Shortly – a substance called capsaicin:

  • it’s the main responsible for Cayenne pepper’s power
  • it’s the substance that gives the spicy taste

Now – what exactly does this capsaicin do?

  1. Provides a very fast pain relief (when applied on the skin).
  2. The skin gets hot and a tingly sensation comes up.
  3. After a while, the pain starts to decrease.

2. How It Works?: That’s the most interesting part.

Surprisingly – scientists don’t know exactly how capsaicin heals pain.

The mechanism is unknown, but there is one belief:

  1. Capsaicin inhibits certain neurons that create the feeling of pain.
  2. Once these neurons can’t receive the usual signals – they can’t produce the pain anymore.
  3. In this way, the pain is still there – but you can’t feel it anymore.

Now – this is a totally natural process, as there’s no artificial substance inside Cayenne pepper.

For this reason, it’s considered a 100% natural pain reliever.


6 Ways To Use Cayenne Pepper

Obviously – you can’t cut the pepper into two and hold it on your painful back.

That would be absurd. Besides a deep sting – you wouldn’t feel anything else.

So how exactly can you use Cayenne pepper to treat your back pain?

Well – there are over 10 different ways, BUT:

  • I will only include the simplest methods
  • You can do any of them yourself – at home
  • You don’t need any special ingredient/recipe


#1 – Capsaicin Patches

That’s probably the easiest method of all.

Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain - Does It Really Work?

You can find capsaicin patches in any pharmacy or drug store:

  • they work amazingly in treating the pain
  • the best effect is when your pain is inflammatory
  • but in most cases, back pain is caused by inflammation

So once you get a capsaicin patch – it’s simple:

  1. Apply it on the painful part of your back.
  2. You will start to feel a hot sensation (it works by heating up the painful spot).
  3. Soon after you will notice that the pain is getting lower.

Now – the effect depends from person to person.

But usually, Cayenne pepper patches are super fast. They can work in less than 10 minutes.

So how long could you keep a patch on?:

  • the label should mention that
  • normally – you can use up to 3 patches per day

Obviously – if you feel like they stopped working, you can change them anytime.

It’s pretty easy overall, isn’t it?

You’re not getting dirty, your hands aren’t getting greasy and you don’t have to worry about reapplying it every hour.

That’s why capsaicin patches are the easiest way to use hot pepper.


#2 – Capsicum Creams

Here’s another easy way to use Cayenne pepper – as creams or lotions:

  1. Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain - Does It Really Work?There are hundreds of different brands.
  2. You can find them in drugstores and also online.
  3. However, not all of them have the same effect.

So what makes a good cream? Here’s the thing:

Before you buy anything – it’s essential to take a look at the ingredient list.

If capsaicin is among the first ones OR if the cream claims it’s based on capsaicin – it’s probably what you’re looking for.

Instead, if it has many ingredients ahead – here’s what it means:

  • capsaicin is only in a small quantity
  • usually – that’s not enough to soothe your pain.

Now – I’m not saying that only capsaicin creams can treat back pain.

But if you’re looking for a capsaicin-based cream, try to choose one with a high percent in this substance.

What I personally don’t like about creams is:

  • you have to reapply them several times a day
  • washing your hands afterwards is a must
  • some creams have a terrible smell

This is why I prefer patches – they are way more comfortable. Also – I noticed their effect is also a bit more intense (the pain goes away for a longer time).

But if you usually like creams, capsaicin-based ones are really good in treating pain from different causes.


#3 – Cayenne Pepper Oil

Just like there is Almond or Coconut oil– there’s also Cayenne pepper oil.

Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain - Does It Really Work?

Well, that is pretty improper said – because it’s not a real Cayenne oil. Instead:

  • It’s a mix between Cayenne powder and any vegetable oil
  • I personally use Olive oil – but you can also use Almond or Coconut oil

So how can you prepare this oil? It’s simple:

  1. Mix 1/4 cup of Cayenne powder with 1 cup of oil.
  2. Put it inside a sealed jar.
  3. Let it sit for a few weeks.

Afterwards – you can simply apply the mixture on the painful part of your back.

One more thing – make sure there’s no wound or mucous membrane.

Capsaicin is a strong substance and it can be very dangerous if it gets inside your skin in high quantities.

That’s not way favorite way to use Cayenne pepper. But if you prefer organic stuff, that’s probably the best choice for you.

Just make sure you let the mixture sit for a few weeks – otherwise you won’t get the same powerful effect.


4. DIY Cayenne Salve

You can study this method on Wikihow – because I how I learned it too.

Basically – it’s pretty similar to the Cayenne pepper oil from above.

But there are 2 differences: 

  1. You heat the mixture a couple of times.
  2. You use beeswax or honey to make it thicker (like a cream).

Now – here’s what I don’t like about this method:

  • there’s a lot of work overall
  • you have to heat the oils and strain them for a couple of times
  • takes a long time

So if you’re a pretty busy person, you’re probably not going to try this.

When you’re doing it for the first time – it’s going to take a while.

But if you’re a DIY lover and you like organic solutions, this Cayenne salve might be a great choice. So it’s up to you.


#5 – Home Made Tea

That’s a really easy recipe that you can use for many conditions:

  • How To Use Cayenne Pepper For Back Pain (In 6 Ways)sore throat
  • fatigue
  • influenza

However – it’s not the most effective way to use Cayenne pepper for back pain. That’s because the dose is very little in this case.

Now – how can you prepare this special tea?:

  1. Start with a cup of warm water.
  2. Add some honey a 1 tablespoon of Cayenne powder.
  3. You can also add a little black pepper additionally.
  4. Mix it up and heat it up.

That’s it – this Cayenne pepper recipe can make wonders. But as I said – it doesn’t work so well for pain.

Now – that’s one of the few methods that uses Cayenne pepper internally (not topically).

For this reason, the quantity you use is very little – and so is the concentration.

That’s why it’s not as effective as the lotions or patches from above. 


#6 – ACV Paste

That’s another easy method to use hot pepper:

Now – ACV is one of the most praises remedies for arthritis. However, I didn’t have amazing results with it.

Besides, it didn’t help me when I consumed it – so how could it help when I simply apply it on my skin?

However – if you have a mild pain, it might actually help more.

So here’s how to create this paste:

  1. Get a bottle of organic ACV.
  2. Mix together 1/2 tablespoon of Cayenne powder and 1 tablespoon of ACV.
  3. Make sure they form a thick paste.
  4. Apply it on your painful spot and let it sit.

Unfortunately – this mixture will never soak in completely. So you will have to clean it up.

But even so – you should feel an effect in about 15-20 minutes (more or less).

For some people, it might be a really good remedy. For others, it might be just too weak.


So Is Cayenne Pepper Worth Using?

Short answer: Yes – it’s cheap and really easy to find.

Plus – except turmeric and Boswellia, it’s probably the best herb for relieving pain:

  • I’ve seen the effects of Cayenne pepper myself
  • It can really improve your pain visibly

However – it’s up to you how exactly you prefer to use it.

I personally like capsaicin patches most, because they’re the most comfortable solution. But some people prefer Capsicum creams, which are also effective in treating pain.

If you’re an organic stuff lover, there are DIY solutions as well:

  • Capsicum oil or a special salve (using beeswax)
  • ACV + Cayenne powder paste
  • Hot pepper tea

It’s up to you which you prefer.

So have you ever used Cayenne pepper to treat your pain? Did it work as you expected? Let me know your answer in a comment and I will reach out to you.

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

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6 Responses

  1. Visitor says:

    Thanks for these info on Cayenne pepper. I have hip arthritis and I tried using those patches you talked about. The thing is that my body doesn’t tolerate them much and I always get some kind of rash around that area. It’s not itchy, but I get some small red dots on my skin.
    I tried adding the patch elsewhere and it’s the same. I don’t get great improvement either.

    I would like to try something else, and maybe you can recommend me a thing. I don’t want any pills as I already took enough. I was thinking about some vitamins or herbs, but I don’t know exactly what I should choose. My pain is not that bad, it goes away with nsaids, but I don’t wanna use those for long.

    Sorry if my comment doesn’t make any sense 😛

  2. Heather says:

    Hi there, your comment makes perfect sense, don’t worry.

    You’re probably allergic to capsaicin, that’s why you get that rash. You said it happens no matter where you place the patch, so it’s surely because your body doesn’t tolerate this substance. Unfortunately, you can’t do much about it. Just forget about these patches and anything that contains capsaicin.

    I wrote this article about the best vitamins for hip pain, but you can find most as supplements. You can try to eat more fish, as it contains Omega 3 acids, which are good for every type of arthritis. But it’s hard to get a higher dose from food alone, that’s why for me capsules are a better choice.

    Anyway, herbs could also help you but you need to consume them for a longer time before you see any improvement. Turmeric is my #1 favorite because it’s the strongest natural anti-inflammatory. You can also try celery, which has a lot of other benefits besides in inflammation. There’s also ginger, but I don’t like it’s taste (just a personal opinion). Instead I prefer cherry juice, because it’s sweeter. But it’s a great anti-inflammatory too.

    If you don’t like any of these, I wrote a list about several anti-inflammatory herbs.

  3. Elin Doonert says:

    I think it’s good if you don’t have deep pain. I have my low back hurting me because of sacroiliac joint I think. For me capsaicin is weak in any form, patches and creams. Do they have oral pills, have you got any idea?

    Thanks for the article, very informative.

  4. Heather says:

    Hi Elin, I’m not a fan of capsaicin either, at least not in topical forms. Just like in your case, it’s too weak to bring me relief on the long term. Plus that it’s really annoying to keep changing the patches thrice a day.

    If you’re not sure it’s your SI joint causing your pain, you should check out these symptoms and see if you’re experiencing them. It’s not always the SI joint, but you can also tell after the pain.

    From what I know, there are no pills based on Cayenne pepper, but maybe you could find some that have it as an additional ingredient. You should try a drugstore to know for sure. But find out which is the main ingredient, because if it’s also a weaker herb, I doubt it will do much. I usually recommend turmeric, I don’t know if you know about it or not, but it’s the best herb I tried for RA and inflammation.

    Please get back to me if you need some other advice.

  5. Janet says:

    I sometimes take ordinary kitchen cayenne pepper in a homemade squeezed lemonade sweetened with honey; just a couple of shakes of cayenne. It’s not bad, and I started doing it because it has a reputation for giving you a lift. I found quite by accident that my pain was lessened.

  6. Heather says:

    Hi Janet, thanks for this suggestion. You say it doesn’t taste too bad? I’m not a fan of Cayenne pepper as a spice, so I doubt I would like this kind of lemonade. But thanks for sharing, it’s great to hear it helps.

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