AyuKarma Ayurveda

Back pain

WHAT IS BACK PAIN?

Back pain is pain and discomfort in your spine and back, ranging from mild to disabling. Back pain usually radiates from injury, activity, and medical conditions. Men and women both are vulnerable to back pain, though the risk is more in women. It usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50 due to the aging process, but an inactive lifestyle also results in back pain over time. With aging, the risk of lower back pain increases due to degenerative disk disease, previous occupation, etc.

Lower back pain, also called lumbago, is not a disorder, rather a symptom of several other conditions with one or more parts of the body, such as muscles, nerves, ligaments, or the bony structures that make up the spine, called vertebral bodies. Sometimes, pain could come from nearby organs, such as your kidneys, abdominal, and internal pelvic organs.

Upper back pain can arise due to conditions of the aorta, spine inflammation, etc.

In most cases, back pain is not a reason to worry about. Treating the underlying cause will help get away with the downsides of back pain.

Signs and Symptoms

Back pain is followed by muscle aching to a burning or stabbing sensation, mainly in the lower back. The pain may radiate down to the leg or may get intense when walking, standing in one position for long, bending, twisting, lifting, etc. Back pain decreases your range of motion and your ability to flex the back.

The symptoms of back pain due to strain do not usually last longer but for days or weeks. If symptoms persist longer than three months, back pain is classified chronic and usually requires medical intervention.

When to see a doctor

In most cases, upper back pain is not a cause of worry. Usually, it gets better with home treatment and OTC painkillers within a few weeks. However, it can be inconvenient, painful, and cause discomfort.

Contact your healthcare provider if your back pain:

  • Lasts longer than weeks
  • If it does not improve with the rest
  • Radiates down to one or both legs
  • Is followed by unexplained weight loss
  • Is causing numbness around the genitals, anus, and buttocks

If pain develops suddenly, such as from an injury or accident, and signs and symptoms severely advance, seek immediate medical attention.

Sometimes, back pain is a sign of some serious medical condition, causing signs such as bowel or bladder problems, urinary incontinence, fall or a blow to the back, presence of fever, etc.

Let your doctor know if you have any of these signs.

Causes

The human back is the structure of muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, and bones that together provide support to the body and allow us to move. The spine segments are filled with cartilage-like pads called disks. If there is any problem in this structure of the back, pain can be experienced.

Fall, back injury, and medical conditions can make your back go on uncomfortable.

Strain

Back pain that comes from strain or injury or pressure can have reasons, such as:

  • strained muscles or ligaments
  • muscle spasm or tension
  • damaged disks
  • injuries, fractures, or falls

Lifting heavy things, making an uncomfortable movement can result in this sort of back pain.

Structural problems

Structural problems also result in back pain.

  • Ruptured or bulging disks
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney problems

Using a very curved or hunched sitting position using computers can result in back and shoulder pain later in life. Back pain may develop due to poor posture or everyday activities.

Examples include:

  • twisting
  • coughing or sneezing
  • over-stretching
  • standing or sitting for long periods
  • long driving sessions without a break
  • sleeping on a mattress not comfortable for the body

Other Causes

Some medical conditions also trigger back pain.

  • Cauda equina syndrome: It is a rare but severe condition that indicates pressure and swelling of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord. Symptoms include pain in the lower back, as well as numbness in the genitals.
  • Cancer of the spine: A tumor growth on the spine may result in back pain.
  • Infection of the spine: Back pain or discomfort can also occur due to infection of the spine.
  • Other infections: Infections such as kidney, bladder, or pelvic inflammatory disease triggers back pain, many a time.
  • Sleep disorders: If you have sleep disorders, likely you experience back pain compared with others.
  • Shingles: It is an infection that, disrupting the nerves and causes back pain. The affected area depends on which nerves are affected.

Risk Factors

The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:

  • occupational activities such as sitting job or lifting heavyweight
  • pregnancy
  • an inactive lifestyle
  • poor physical fitness
  • older age
  • strenuous physical exercise or work
  • genetic factors
  • medical conditions, such as arthritis and cancer

Lower back pain is more prevalent in women than in men due to hormonal factors. Stress and anxiety are also linked to back pain.

Ayurvedic treatment for Back pain

Ayurvedic treatment for back pain works on different aspects such as lifestyle, diet, and medicinal herbs. Lifestyle changes are helpful in maintaining the natural curvature of the spine, and medicinal herbs tend to pacify the vitiation of doshas. This aggravation of the dosha is the main factor responsible for inflammation in soft tissues.

Poor posture results in decreased spacing in the intervertebral joint space. This depletes the Vata balance, which is taken care of in the treatment process. It is assured that the body is rid of all the toxins to enhance overall efficiency.

Panchakarma therapy is considered the best therapy for the pacification of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha imbalance in the body. As the doshas restore their balance, bones and joints get strengthened, and back pain gets reduced eventually.

Abhyanga is another therapy for treating back pain by way of doshas balance.

Along with therapies, the diet of the patients is also taken care of. We suggest patients shall consume only warm and salty foods to calm the aggravated Vata.

Additional therapies like Pranayam and Anuloma Vilomam are considered the best in the management of Vata.

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