Backache is perhaps one of the most prevalent conditions of the modern world. It may get accentuated by sedentary habits and harmful work requirements. Psychological conditions such as stress which causes spasm of muscles may also lead to backache. Backache is known to also affect several overweight people as they need to carry extra body weight.
Muscles, bone and tissues come together to form a complex structure called back. Spine consists of 24 bone blocks which are piled up over one another and are separated from each other by cartilage cushion & elastics tissues known as intervertebral discs. These discs facilitate mobility and act as shock absorbers for the back. When these discs rupture and slightly protrude the condition is called slipped disc. In this condition nerve gets affected in such a manner that pain moves down to thigh and leg. If the disc protrudes in the neck area, numbness occurs and the pain moves to arms. In fact, problems related to disc do not suddenly occur but build over time. Bones, joint muscles, discs and nerves are closely interrelated and any injury in back or neck may have adverse effects. Vertebrae, spinal cord and spinal nerves stay protected by backbone.
Symptoms of Backache: Backache symptoms include pain in middle or lower portion of back. The pain may reach waist/hips. In condition of acute pain a patient may remain bedridden. Cervical or lumber spondylosis is most common and almost 9 out of 10 people with backache suffer from it. Spondylosis is degenerative, in this condition vertebral bone/ intervertebral disc turns soft and looses shape.
Causes of Backache: Primary causes of backache are strain in muscle, inappropriate posture, poor diet and lack of exercise. When muscles are not regularly exercised, weakness persists leading to increased chances of injury. Other causes of backache include chronic kidney or prostrate disorders, arthritis, influenza, female problems, stress, wearing high heels, lifting weights inappropriately.
Natural treatment of Backache: Although many medicines are available in the market which temporarily relieve pain, most of these medicines relax muscles without curing the underlying cause. Medicines taken to temporarily relieve pain may have side effects in long run. Therefore it is essential to understand the cause of backache and then cure it.
- In order to prevent backache those following a sedentary lifestyle must keep themselves active by regularly exercising. Exercise helps in supplying essential nutrients to discs and maintaining their health for long. Swimming, Walking, Cycling are considered good exercises for relieving backache. Loosing excessive weight is also advised. If occupation requires one to keep sitting at a position for long hours, standing up every hour for a break is advised.
- One must avoid sleeping on very soft mattresses and replace them with firm ones. Sleeping on sides with knees bent perpendicular to Torso is recommended. Bending from waist to pick anything is not recommended. One could squat and bend knees while keeping back straight for picking up anything. Afterwards, slowly rising up is recommended.
- For relieving neck strain, one should exercise neck by rotating head clockwise and anti-clockwise, let the head fall backward and forward, turn head right and left many times. These exercises will help in relieving stress of contracted muscles and improve blood circulation.
- Patients suffering from backache must have a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables such as raw tomato, cabbage, cucumber, radish, carrot, lettuce and slightly cooked/steamed vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, carrot. All fresh fruits except banana are recommended. Oily, spicy foods must be avoided. Patients must stay away from coffee, tees and completely give up tobacco in any form. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus and Proteins are essential for development of healthy bone structure.
- For immediate relief, hot fomentations are effective.
- Asanas such as Bhujangasan, Halasan, Shavasan, Shalabhasan, Uttanpadasan are effective. Such modifications in diet and lifestyle will not only relieve backache but also improve general health.