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Backache

Back pain (also known as dorsalgia) is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine.

Back pain is ranked second to headaches as the most frequent location of pain. Four out of five adults will experience at least one bout of back pain at some time in their lives. It is almost next to common colds in the list of common diseases.

The most common site for pain is the lower back because it bears the brunt of our weight and hence is more prone to get affected.

Back pain may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet, and may include symptoms other than pain, such as weakness, numbness or tingling.

Causes

  • Lumbar strain - A lumbar strain is a stretch injury to the ligaments, tendons, and/or muscles of the low back. The injury can occur because of overuse, improper use, or trauma.
  • Nerve irritation -The nerves of the lumbar spine can be irritated by mechanical pressure (impingement) by bone or other tissues, or from disease, anywhere along their paths -- from their roots at the spinal cord to the skin surface. These conditions include lumbar disc disease (radiculopathy), bony encroachment, and inflammation of the nerves caused by a viral infection (shingles).
  • Lumbar radiculopathy- Lumbar radiculopathy is nerve irritation that is caused by damage to the discs between the vertebrae
  • Bony encroachment- Any condition that results in movement or growth of the vertebrae of the lumbar spine can limit the space (encroachment) for the adjacent spinal cord and nerves. Causes of bony encroachment of the spinal nerves include foramina narrowing (narrowing of the portal through which the spinal nerve passes from the spinal column, out of the spinal canal to the body, commonly as a result of arthritis), spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebra relative to another), and spinal stenosis (compression of the nerve roots or spinal cord by bony spurs or other soft tissues in the spinal canal).
  • Bone and joint conditions- Bone and joint conditions that lead to low back pain include those existing from birth (congenital), those that result from wear and tear (degenerative) or injury, and those that are due to inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
  • Heavy physical work
  • Frequent bending, twisting, lifting
  • Pulling and Pushing
  • Repetitive work
  • Static postures
  • Vibration
  • Fall
  • lifestyle

Symptoms
  • Pain across the lower part of the back that sometimes radiates into the buttocks, the back of the thigh or to the groin. The pain is usually worse on movement.
  • Limitation in movement of the spine – especially bending forward and leaning back.
  • Tense spasm of the muscles surrounding the spine and causing a stiff back.
  • With severe pain and spasm, the back may tilt to one side causing a change in posture or a limp.
  • The pain is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness in the back or buttocks or leg, which may pass right down into the foot. This is called sciatica.

Management
  • Warmth (such as hot packs) helps, as does swimming in a warm pool.
  • Rest and sleep lying on a firm, flat surface, if possible
  • Avoid stooping, bending, lifting and sitting on low chairs
  • Low back pain benefits from back exercises, attention to posture
  • If you have long hours of sitting, like a long car drive, try taking stops every one hour and walk around a bit
  • Manage your weight. Try maintaining your body weight within the range optimal for your age, sex, and daily routines.
  • Have foods rich in calcium, Vitamin D, phosphorus and proteins. They both help in building and repairing bones and muscles.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes. Avoid wearing stilettos for long periods.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking contributes to osteoporosis. It hardens the arteries supplying blood to our bones and reduces the blood supply to other vital structures that form your backbone.
  • Relax. Avoid stress from getting at you. Stress causes the supportive muscles of the back to go into an abnormally contracted state. Try yoga, and massages which are known to help.

Homeopathic management

Homeopathy offers excellent relief from low back pains. Homeopathic medications can relieve the spasms of the back muscles and provide effective pain relief without any side effects.


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