Back pain, caused by undue strain on the muscles can be obviated by paying attention to habits and day to day activities . Usually back ache begins when we place undue strain on the muscles and ligaments supporting the lower spine , bending forward from the waist , working in a static posture or carrying heavy loads , taxes the muscles and ligaments sometimes beyond endurance , this result in low back ache . some times back pain follows acute injury or sudden strain , diseases of muscles , spine vertebrae infections etc.,
A problem that will affect 80 out of 100 people in any one year , back pain costs 33 million working time amounts to billions of dollars in the USA and the economic effects of this malady are more important to western economies than all the strikes , go slows and recession periods of growth put together , it probably accounts also for the rapid growth of alternative therapies in the UK , USA and Europe as it is cited as the most common reason for people turning to complementary therapies by seeking treatment from osteopaths and homoeopathy practitioner .
Coping With Back Ache : if despite the best efforts low back pain develops with agonizing spasms of the lower back muscles , causing problems at work and lower back muscles , causing problems at work and during sleep , the best advise is rest hot fomentation , pain killers and exercise , when severe lower back strain afflicts you take bed rest , most comfortable position is lying propped up in bed with knees bent , when condition improves , patient is allowed to sit in a chair with feet propped up on a hassock or stool .
Hot fomentation with wet towel , hot water bottle or heating pads increases the blood supply , thus speeding up the heating process and lessening the tension of the muscles . Moist heat is the best alternative , soak a towel in hot water wring it thoroughly , then apply hot damp towel to the back , as it cools and dries replace the towel or pour warm water on the towel to keep it moist and warm , fomentation should be done for one hour , 4 times a day . Pain killers , like aspirin , acetaminophen and combiflam can provide relief from pain and allow restful , sound sleep . Doctors usually prescribe a combination of pain killers and muscle-relaxant drugs and ointment . Exercise helps loosen tight , tense muscles and strengthens supporting muscles and ligaments and keeps joints flexible during bouts of acute pain , do not exercise when the pain subsides , start the exercise by trying the movements slowly and carefully , if pain increases and lasts for more than 15 minutes , stop the exercise and do not exercise until you have taken doctors advise .
Do the exercises on a hard , firm surface , covered with a mat or heavy blanket , always start exercising slowly and gradually , increase the speed and duration , exercises help relax and strengthen the back muscle . If the pain gets worse despite rest and fomentation . if pain radiates down one leg or if there is numbness or weakness of an extremity or if pain persists for more than a week , it may need further investigation
Causes : there are very many causes of back pain , some having little to do with the spine , so it is important to seek proper diagnosis , especially if the problem is recurrent and causes you to stay off work . the spine can be thought of as the “central pole “ holding up the tent of the body , so that if it is stiff or twisted , it can affect all the other organs as well . It is made up of 33 bones ; 24 small bones called vertebrae .( seven in the neck , cervical , 12 in the chest , thoracic , 5 in the lower back , lumbar ) below these are the sacral bones which consist of 5 fused bones and the last one or tail bone is made of 4 fused , vertebrae and is called the coccyx , each vertebra is made up of a body , spine and facet joints , the spinal cord runs through the middle and the nerves supplying muscles and skin come out of each side of an opening formed by 2 vertebra , between each vertebra is the” disc “or spongy cushion which acts as a “ spring “ keeping the spine of flexible and absorbing many of the shocks and pressure when we exercise or move . The facetal joints are surrounded by ligaments to which are attached the muscles . Back pain can arise from any of these areas ( bone , disc , joint nerves , ligaments , muscles ) and an accurate diagnosis will help treatment and recovery , although every one is subject to back pain , certain occupations and age groups are more likely to suffer attacks , these include manual workers , clerical workers , sports men and women who injure their backs especially in contact sports , people who are obese , because of the pressure on their spines , “ arthritis “ may develop as a consequence .
Elderly and extremely tall people are also prone to suffer , other causes of back pain include referred pain from gynaecological causes , especially in late pregnancy . The pain may be acute and scaring and be referred down the leg as far as the ankle ( sciatica ) or it can be dull , aching and made worse by movement or coughing , it can occur when lifting heavy objects or playing sport , or bending over rapidly to pick some thing up – even tying your shoe lace , it is often the result of poor posture or an un supported car seat , office chair or soft mattress . It often arises at times of stress and can be a sign of unresolved mental conflict , chronic back pain often has a psychological component to it which will need exploring .
Causes of Specific Back pain :
Lower Back : fibrositis , kidney trouble , osteoarthritis , slipped disc , ankylosing spondylitis ( brittle spine ) , sciatica , osteoporosis ( soft bones ) cancer
Upper Back : osteochondritis ( degeneration of growing point in spine ) , fibrositis , sprain/strain , pleurisy , scoliosis ( curved spine ) shingles , infections of the spine .
Neck pain ; cervical spondylosis muscle tension , torticollis (wryneck )
Prevention And Self Help :
- check all your furniture and ensure that your back is supported well .
- follow a regular exercise routine , try yoga .
- women should avoid high heels at work and home , wear firm , flat , walking shoes
- sleep on your side , with one or both knees bent , if you feel comfortable on your back only , place a pillow under the knees , never sleep on your stomach as it bends the back .
- when driving , keep your back straight , on long drives , stop hourly and walk around the car to relax tension and loosen the muscles and tendons
- keep body weight in check , a protruding paunch is often balanced by a painful , sway back posture , making one more prone to back ache
- exercise regularly to tone up muscles and tendons .
BACK PAIN : check all your furniture and ensure that your back is supported well . Follow a regular exercise , routine –try yoga , take care over every day activities like lifting or bending , treat the acute symptom with rest , heat , hydrotherapy , pain killers , seek help from an osteopath or homoeopathic treatment .
Approach your doctor for an X-ray if the pain persists or if there is doubt about the diagnosis . Take “ rhus tox or arnica tablets ( homoeopathy ) every 2 hours in the acute stages . Have regular massage and homoeopathic treatment to relax your muscles , seek the help of a counselor , if the problem is recurrent and you have identified a high level of stress or conflict , traditionally , rest and pain killers in the acute stages followed by heat , physiotherapy and ultra sound are the corner stones of treatment , homoeopathy would only be used as a first aid measure and continued until an accurate constitutional remedy is identified.
Preventing Lower Back pain :
Most back aches are due to incorrect posture , which can be prevented by careful attention to habits and day to day activities .
- while bending down to pick some object , never bend from the waist , sit squat or kneel to pick it up .
- while lifting the heavy object , keep the object in front of you , check your balance , think about your back , bend both knees , use your strong thigh and shoulder muscles , straighten your back and stand up slowly .
- never move heavy furniture or a stall car , or try to lift very heavy objects alone , take the help of others
- avoid prolonged standing whenever possible , but if your job can be done only in standing position give rest to the back by elevating one foot on a hassock or foot stool , alternating it after a few minutes
- while sitting in a chair , always keep back straight shoulders in line with each other , do not use deep chairs
- sleep on firm couches .
BACK ACHE AND MUSCLE PAIN :
Back ache is a frequent problem in pregnancy due to the increased weight being carried and the changed stance adopted by pregnant women . However nearly every one suffers from back ache at some time in their life ,it may arise from poor posture or injury , but normally responds well to some time in their life . It may arise from poor posture or injury , but normally responds well to some form of treatment , lower back pain or lumbago is a symptom found in many disorders . these range from the common complaint of fibrositis (inflammation ) of the muscles , usually in the back ) to more serious conditions such as a slipped disc where the soft disc between 2 vertebrae protrudes and presses painfully on the nerve roots , for continuing or unresponsive back pain , always consult your doctor .
Symptoms and Homoeopathic Medicines :
A severe continuous , dull ache in the lower back and hips , back is worse when walking or stooping and may feel that it will give way while walking —-aesculus hipocastanum .
Muscular pains causing great tiredness , pregnancy is often associated with the muscles pain —–aletris farinose
Pain as if left side of the abdomen is sprained —-ammonium muriaticum
Stiffness and pain in the small of the back , back ache is better for complete rest lying on the back to give it support and pressure —brynoia alba
Severe back pain is experienced which shoots down the buttocks —kali carb
Lower back pain is felt with tiredness —-pulsatilla
There is stiffness with or without pain , pain seems to be in the deep back muscles , which feel bruised and hurt on movement , pain feels worse in bed but it is better for warmth and improves with some movement ––rhus tox
Pain comes on about 3 am , with belief that getting up and moving around will relieve it , back feels weak and stiff , pain arises from feeling cold and lying on the affected side , useful for back ache after giving birth .—Phosphoric acid