In today?s scenario almost 80 percent of adults are affected by back pain at some point in their lives. Almost every family has one or more people suffered with this some time or the other. Lumbago is defined as mild to severe pain or discomfort in the area of the lower back. Weak muscles in the Back & Stomach increase the risk of Backaches . A variety of problems in the muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, or an underlying organ, such as the kidney, may also cause backaches.
The pain can be Acute (sudden and severe) or Chronic if it has lasted more than three months. Lumbago often occurs in younger people whose work involves physical effort though is not uncommon in elder people of retirement age also. Lumbago is a term for muscle pain in the lower back, near the pelvis & affected region with pain is Lumbo Sacral region of spine hence it is termed as Lumbago.
Q. – What are the causes of Lumbago?
Ans. – There can be many precipitating causes for backache. In the majority of cases, it is impossible to identify the exact cause of backache. Still in 25% of cases, however, it is possible to identify the cause. Often, these patients are suffering from conditions like a Slipped Disc, Osteoporosis (brittle bones), deformation of natural spine curvature (Scoliosis) or more rarely, skeletal damage due to tumors or infection. It is believed that back pain is usually the result of spinal degeneration or injury, especially damage to intervertebral discs. These are structures located between the vertebrae that act as cushions. Each disc consists of a tough, fibrous outer layer surrounding a soft interior, which is what provides the cushioning. With the ordinary wear and tear of living, the discs show signs of aging and may be injured. When a disc begins to degenerate, a strain – even something as small as a sneeze – can cause the disc to rupture, or herniate, allowing the soft interior material to protrude out of the disc and press against the spinal cord. This situation is sometimes erroneously referred to as a “Slipped Disc” or Disc Prolapse. A herniated disk can indeed cause severe intermittent or constant back pain.
Though the main cause of back pain is simple muscle spasm or strain. Although symptoms may come on suddenly and can be acutely painful, this is actually a problem that develops over a long period of time. When muscles contract, Lactic acid and Pyruvic acid are produced as byproducts of muscular activity. It is the presence of lactic acid in the muscles that produces the familiar sensation of muscle fatigue following strenuous activity. If high levels of these acidic byproducts accumulate in the muscles, they cause irritation that can eventually turn into pain and interfere with the normal conduction of electrical impulses in the muscle tissue. This results in a condition called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Problems with acidic build-up are often made worse by dehydration.
Wrong or Poor posture.
Wearing improper footwear.
Improper lifting & Bending.
Slouching when sitting.
Sleeping on a very soft mattresses.
Intravertebral disc damage, injury, wear & tear.
Herniation or prolapse or rupture of intervertebral disc.
Bone disease specially Osteoporosis.
Abnormal curvature of the spine or Scoliosis.
Fractures can also rarely cause the backache.
Kidney, bladder, prostate problems and female pelvic disorders.
Female reproductive disorders or problems. Premenstrual Pain.
Pregnancy and labor. (Baby is head down, facing toward mother’s pubic bone instead of her backbone), back labor is a frequent occurrence. It can be very intense back pain due to the pressure of the baby’s skull pressing against the tailbone.
Psychological, emotional or stress-related problem.
Q3 What are the symptoms of Lumbago?
Ans. – Symptoms usually are: -
Acute or Chronic pain.
Pain radiating into legs.
Numbness and /or tingling in limbs.
- Pain across the lower part of the back that sometimes radiates into the buttocks, the back of the thigh or to the groin. The pain is usually worse on movement.
- Limitation in movement of the spine – especially bending forward and leaning back.
- Tense spasm of the muscles surrounding the spine and causing a stiff back.
With severe pain and spasm, the back may tilt to one side causing a change in the posture.
The pain is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation or numbness in the back or buttocks / hips or leg.
Q.4- Is Lumbago a dangerous condition in any way?
Ans. – In case there is suddenly loss of control on bladder or bowel movements with the area of the lower back or legs turns numb, It calls for an immediate medical attention or a consultation with the Specialist. If one suffer from backaches and notice reduced strength or muscle bulk in one or both legs, a Neurologist and Orthopedic surgeon must be consulted. These warning signs indicate compression of the spinal cord and its branches and early treatment is essential to avoid the permanent damage. To see the exact nature of problem and pressure on the nerve investigations should be carried out.
X-Rays are often considered a routine part of back pain diagnosis, yet only a few back conditions show up on X-Rays. If the pain is caused by muscle strain or herniated disc, the X-Ray will do little to aid the diagnosis, since discs, muscles and ligaments are all soft tissues. X-Ray exposure should be avoided in pregnant women patients.
CT- Scan and MRI – Scan can show the nature and extent of the discs involved. However, it is noted that 20 to 30 percent of people with back pain have herniated discs that are not the source of their discomfort. If pain comes after lifting something heavy, after coughing, or after unusually heavy exercise, and the pain prevents one from moving or shoots down one leg, one may have a slipped, prolapsed or herniated disc. Smoking aggravates problems in the discs.
Q. – Are there any home remedies or measures to ease Backache?
Ans. In Acute low back pain
- Use painkillers. Special medicines for relaxation of muscles may sometimes be prescribed. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and muscle relaxants relieve more pain than placebo.
- Activity is beneficial. Stay active. Get on with your life within the limits of your pain.
- Heat or Warmth helps, as does swimming in a warm pool.
- Rest and sleep lying on a firm, flat surface, if possible.
- Avoid stooping, bending, lifting and sitting on low chairs.
- Bear in mind that backaches are rarely caused by a serious illness and usually go away in a couple of days.
In Chronic low back pain
- If you have suffered backaches for a long period, you must see & consult your Physician for the proper referral to the specialist to rule out any underlying pathology e.g. T.B. etc.
Q. – How to prevent the occurrence and What are Dos and Don?ts for the patients?
Ans. – Prevention
? Adopt correct & good posture
? Exercise regularly – especially swimming
? Avoid Jerky movements or rides.
? Don?t stay in the one position for too long. Stand up and stretch after you have been sitting for a while or crouch for a few moments if you have been reaching up.
? Lift correctly with your legs, not your back. Do not bend at the waist to lift.
? Support your lower back when sitting. Buy a special cushion if necessary, particularly for driving
? Try and sleep on your side – ensure you have a firm mattress.
? Get up from the bed by turning to the side and don?t get up straight from the bed.
For the treatment of back pain, any of the following medical systems and types of practices can be opted:
All Medical Systems like Allopathy, Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Reiki, Yoga and Physiotherapy etc. deal with the patients of Backache.
Surgery in extreme cases is recommended where there is Cord Compression and Root Canal Stenosis has occurred and causing weakness and wasting or Neurological deficit is threatened. Though Surgery always entails a degree of risk; there is always the chance of permanent damage and impaired mobility. (Refer to Testimonials in website www.ovihams.com)
Allopathy – Medicines Like Pain Killers NSAID (Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, Muscle relaxants, Injectable painkillers etc.
Homeopathically: – The best is the constitutional remedy.
Remedies like Arnica; Bryonia; Rhus Tox; Kali Carb; Cimicifuga; Kalmia Latifolia; Ruta Colocynthis etc. I have found are very useful according to their indications in my practice.
Excellent results has been obtained at OVIHAMS Medical Center in treating the cases of Lumbago, Spondylosis, Prolapse Disc etc. causing Backache with the integration of Homoeopathic Medicines and Acupuncture with holistic approach.