Lumbago or back pain is defined as mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of the lower back. The pain can be acute (sudden and severe) or chronic if it has lasted more than three months. Back pain often occurs in younger people whose work involves physical effort and is not uncommon in people of retirement age.
What causes Back pain ?
There are number of pathological conditions which can cause backache. These are:
Arthritis– It as one of the most common causes of backache, backache due to arthritis can be felt anywhere in the back, and usually aggravates by movement. Stiffness, inflammation, swelling is often associated.
Injury to the back – Injury to the disc can play a major role in such complaints
Disc prolapsed or slipped disc – Due to any reason can cause severe backache. Compression of nerve may occur due to which the part which receives nerve supply from same nerve can become weak. For example, compression of the lumber nerve restricts the upward movement of the big toe.
Tumors – Abnormal growths or tumors in the tissues of back region can cause back pain.
Spinal stenosis – caused due to the constriction of spinal canal; aging population is mostly affected by this.
Osteoporosis – can induce severe backache, osteoporosis can weaken the bones and can causes compression fractures of the vertebrae.
Infection – if your back region is affected by infections like tuberculosis an osteomyelitis it can also lead to backache.
Metastasis – cancer may spread to the bones like breast cancer, lung cancer and causes back pain.
Wrong posture of sleeping – Backache can occur due to faulty posture when a person is sitting or sleeping. Sleeping on very soft mattresses can also induce such complaints.
Obesity – Increased weight can put more pressure over spine which can lead to frequent backache.
Pregnancy – Enlarged belly during pregnancy can stretch the spine which ultimately leads to back pain or backache
Backache during menses – Usually females often complain for lower backache during menstruation
Over exertion – Mechanical cause – includes abnormal posture, injury or trauma, heavy lifting.
Classification of Back Pain
On the basis of duration of suffering back pain or backache can be divided into three sub types as 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 persist 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.
Symptoms of Back Pain
- Pain in lower back, which usually aggravates on bending, lifting weight and exertion.
- Stiffness in back, especially in morning and in cloudy weather
- Pain in hips, thighs and legs. This is called Sciatica and occurs due to a pinched nerve in back resulting from a slip disc or intervertebral disc compression.
- Numbness in legs.
- 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.
Diagnosis of Back pain
- Physical examination – Includes posture, gait, movement, extension of the pain, modalities of the pain, and examination of the related joints like sacroiliac joint.
- Blood test – Culture examination-for osteomylitis, complete blood count, ESR test.
- Bone density examination or densitometry –To detect osteoporosis.
- X-ray spine – To diagnose fracture, decreased bone mass, arthritic changes.
- CT scan-spine, MRI– To detect nerve compression. It can be done in the condition of long continued pain.
- MANTOUX test – To diagnose tuberculosis as it can cause back pain.
- Bone scan – To detect developing malignant diseases.
- Urine culture – To diagnoses urinary tract infection.
Conventional Treatment of Back pain
The conventional treatment of back pain usually includes use of pain killers, muscle relaxants and physiotherapy. In some cases surgery is suggested.
Back Pain – Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which a patient is suffering.
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 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
- Calcarea fluorica
- Oxalic acid
- Nux vomica
- Bryonia alba
- Calcarea carb
- Actea spicata
- Ledum pal
- Thuja occidentalis
- Natrum muriaticum
- A violent pain in the back, as if broken, is the greatest characteristic of Rhus in the back pain.
- Rhus seems to be especially suitable to affections of the deeper muscles of the back.
- There are great pains,dull,bruised, and aching on attempting to rise.
- It is more suitable to the chronic forms of lumbago, often times give prompt relief.
- back pain of Rhus is better from pressure, but worse in bed.
- The Rhus patient likes to lie on sometime hard.
- The Rhus pains are relieved by bending backwards.
- This remedy has quite a clinical reputation for curing back pain, and especially the back pain due to spinal irritation.
- It has pain in the lower part of the back, with a fullness or burning pain.
- Lumbago worse on beginning to move and relieved by continued motion.
- lumbago from strain, cured by Calcarea fluorica when Rhus tox fails.
- Another remedy in back pain, especially if referable to spinal affections, is Nux vomica.
- It is in the lumbar region is worse at night when lying in bed.
- Pain of a drawing, lacerating or bruised character, with perhaps sudden stitches in the back, and a characteristic is that the patient must sit up in bed to turn over.
- It has also a morning back pain, and the longer the patient lies in the bed the more the back pains.
- The back pain brought on by sexual excesses should lead to the consideration of Nux vomica Stiff neck and torticollis may also be benefited by Nux vomica.
- It has an acute pain in the back relived by change of posture.
- Back seems too weak to support the body.
- The pains are worse when thinking of them.
- Pain accompanied by debility and numb feeling in the limbs, aching pain in lower part of the back between shoulders, pain and tenderness.
- Pain worse from any kind of movement or exertion; pain in spots.
- Sepia is very frequently indicated in the back pains which are due to uterine disease.
- It is a general weakness in the small of the back when walking, and is worse while sitting.
- Sudden pain in the back, as if struck by a hammer.
- Pain relieved by pressing back upon something hard.
- Backache worse in morning.
- Patient feels dull stiffed in morning and feels better when busy in some work.
- Bryonia is the homeopathic remedy that has symptoms opposite the Rhus toxicodendron remedy.
- Patient tries to stay as still as possible, since even the slightest motion makes the pain worse.
- These people tend to be very irritable and grumpy, not wanting to be touched, even though pressure on the point of pain often helps.
- Bryonia is indicated when there is hardness of muscle groups and headaches are common.
- Another indication for this remedy is when warmth makes the pain worse and cool applications feel better.
- Another homeopathic remedy for soreness, weakness and stiffness in the muscles that is worse from over exertion.
- Pain is also worse when the weather is dry and tends to be better in rainy weather.
- The muscles in the legs feel contracted, tight and sore, with restlessness at night.
- The forearms are weak, even though they are also stiff.
- These patients feel better in a warm bed or warm shower.
- Homeopathic remedy to use when there are spasms in the large muscle groups.
- Body feels sore and bruised all over, and there may be jerking and twitching of the muscles.
- The spine feels sensitive, and there is pain especially in the back, neck and shoulders.
- Cimicifuga patients feel better with warmth and pressure, and feel worse with touch, motion, cold applications and during their menstrual cycle.
- Homeopathic remedy that helps heal nerve pain.
- It is especially useful when there is numbness or tingling in the extremities,
- Radiating pain from one area to another.
- Hypericum is useful for the unbearable prickly pain that radiates along nerve pathways, is worse with movement, and worse when touched.
- It can be beneficial when depression is an associated symptom of muscle pains.