The clinic has had a few cases of back pain in this week. The most important issue with back pain, is treating it as soon as possible, so other more chronic issues will not complicate the issue. Some people suffer chronically from ongoing back-pain , which can be a debilitating issue on a daily basis. Back pain, backache or lumbago affects upper, middle and lower back.
Back pain or backache is defined as pain or discomfort felt in the upper, middle and lower back, arising from structures in the back like muscles, nerves, bones or ligament.
Back is divided into three major parts – upper, middle and lower. Depending upon the location, back pain is classified as Upper Back Pain (affecting the area of cervical and thoracic spine), Middle Back Pain (affecting the area of dorsal spine), and Lower Back Pain or Lumbago (affecting the area of lumbo-sacral spine).
Lower back pain, or lumbosacral pain, is the commonest type of back pain. Low back pain is also known as lumbago.
The backache is also classified according to the duration and intensity of the pain. Generally three type of back pain are there, acute, sub acute and chronic. Acute lower back pain persists for less than 40-45 days, while chronic lower back pain persists over three months and in-between of these two, pain can be defined as sub acute pain.
The pain in back can also be one sided. Left side back pain or right side back pain commonly occur from a muscular sprain, herniated intervertebral disc, or renal calculi. Other causes of one sided back pain are listed below.
BASIC ANATOMY OF THE BACK
The main parts of our back are vertebral column, posterior part of rib cage, scapula and muscles. Our vertebral column or backbone provides support to our body weight. Vertebral column consists of 33 vertebrae. In between vertebras, lie intervertebral discs. Both vertebrae and discs form spinal canal from which, the spinal cord passes. The spine also consists of blood vessels, muscles, tendons and ligaments. When all the contents work simultaneously, and in good alignment, it provides easy and fluid movement of the back.
Back pain or backache can be divided into acute, sub-acute and chronic.
- Acute back pain – This kind of pain is usually sudden in onset, short lasting, often for few days or few weeks, usually occurs in lower back.
- Chronic back pain – Long lasting pain which persisst for more then 3-4 months; deep, aching dull pain, which may extend to the leg.
- Backache, which persist in-between can be termed as sub-acute pain.
CAUSES OF BACK PAIN
- Diseases of vertebral column – like pott’s spine, tumor, and disc prolapsed or herniated intervertebral disk, degenerative disk disease, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, spondylosis.
- Infection of the spinal cord .
- Mechanical cause – includes abnormal posture, injury or trauma, extreme obesity, heavy lifting, sleeping on very soft mattresses.
- Referred pain – of renal calculi, renal tumors, renal tuberculosis, pancreas tumor, diseases related to female genital organs.
- Nerves can become weak. For example, compression of the lumber nerve restricts the upward movement of the big toe.
- Pain aggravated by movement, prolonged overwork, sitting (but inflammatory pain ameliorated by movement and aggravated by rest).
- Extension of the pain may occur to the other parts of the body especially to the buttocks, back of thigh, calf muscles.
- Sharp pain in the neck and back after lifting heavy objects.
- Difficulty in walking or standing straight due to muscle spasm and stiffness.
- Vertigo or giddiness may occur when the cervical spine is involved.
Rest should be advised to the patient in the condition of acute back pain. Osteopathy is often helpful in cases of chronic lumbago. The exact concomitant treatment depends upon the underlying cause and should be done only under the guidance of a professional.
Homeopathic treatment of back pain
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat pain in back, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility of the patient. For this patient’s current symptoms, past medical history and family history are taken into account. There are many homeopathic remedies which cover the symptoms of back pain and lumbago and can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain. For individualized remedy selection and treatment of back pain, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important homeopathic remedies for the treatment of back pain or lumbago are given below:
- Rhus tox. – Muscular pain, when pain is relieved by walking and worse at rest or at first motion. There is marked stiffness and warm application gives relief.
- Brynoia alba. – When the pain is worse on every movement and better by absolute rest and pressure.
- Hypericum – Excellent remedy for nerve pain especially after surgery or injury.
- Colocynthis- Pain in the back is so severe that makes patient unable to walk or stand which finally settles down on the upper part of the thigh and buttock. Bending forward often ameliorates.
- Kali carb. – Lumbosacral backache, pain goes down the back to the legs. Pains, stitching, darting, worse during rest and lying on affected side. Backache and weakness after labor or profuse menses; while walking feels as if she must give up and lie down.
- Nux vomica – Backache due to chill, which aggravates in the morning and is better from heat. Especially suited to people working for long hours in an air-conditioned office and sitting in a chair for long periods. Irritability in their mood is often increased.
- Arnica montana. – Acute pain after an injury along with sore bruised feeling. Slight touch aggravates.
- Aesculus hip. – For persons with haemorrhoidal tendencies, and who suffer with gastric, bilious or catarrhal troubles. Severe dull backache in lumbo-sacral articulation; more or less constant; affecting sacrum and hips. Back “gives out” during pregnancy, prolapsus,; when walking or stooping; must sit or lie down. Sensation of heaviness and lameness in back. Paralytic feeling in arms, legs and spine.
Back pain can be difficult to live with. I have seen best results over the years, by combining a few different modalities on a daily basis. Yoga is great for keeping everything stretched out, swimming great for strengthening the back and pelvis, Pilates fantastic for building and maintaining core strength. The remdies are invaluable for acute conditions, and can be wonderful in treating long standing chronic pain.
See how you go, do not be afraid to try one or two remedies if they are well indicated. See what results you get. Best of health for you