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Home :: Backache

Backache (With Pictures)

Alternate Names : Low Back Pain, Lumbar Pain, lumbago

Pain felt in your lower back may come from the spine, muscles, nerves, or other structures in that region. It can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain starts suddenly and is usually the result of misusing the body in some way. Backache often occurs in younger people whose work involves physical effort and older age peoples. Nearly 80 percent of adults are affected by back pain at some point in their lives, most often in the lower back. It can be either acute or chronic. Most back problems will get better on their own. The key is to know when you need to seek medical help and when self-care measures alone will allow you to get better.

Causes of backache

You'll usually first feel back pain just after you lift a heavy object, move suddenly, sit in one position for a long time, or have an injury or accident. For many years, it was assumed that most back pain was the result of spinal degeneration or injury, especially damage to the intervertebral disks. These structures are located between the vertebrae and act as cushions. Each disk consists of a tough, fibrous outer layer surrounding the soft interior, which provides the cushioning. With the ordinary wear and tear of living, the disks show signs of aging and may be injured. When a disk begins to degenerate, a strain-even something as small as a sneeze-can cause the disk to rupture, or herniate, allowing the soft interior material to protrude out of the disk and press against the spinal cord. This situation is sometimes erroneously referred to as a slipped disk.

Backaches during pregnancy are commonplace. The abdominal muscles stretch because the uterus is getting bigger and the back muscles are becoming shorter and tighter. Coupied with this, your spine has to support additional weight, so your posture may change and backaches can result. Other contributors to back pain can include poor posture, improper footwear and walking habits, improper lifting, straining, calcium deficiency, slouching when sitting, and sleeping on a mattress that is too soft. Kidney, bladder, and prostate problems, female pelvic disorders, and even constipation may produce back pain. Chronic conditions that can cause back pain include arthritis, rheumatism, bone disease, and abnormal curvature of the spine. Fractures are rarely the cause of back pain.

Symptoms of backache

Lower backache

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 and pyruvic acids 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.

Weak muscles in the back and stomach increase the risk of backaches. Therefore, moderate exercise is highly recommended.

Vitamins and nutrients for backache

Suggested dosage
Vitamin b12 2,000 mcg daily. Aids in calcium absorption and digestion. Use a lozenge or sublingual form.
Manganese 2-5 mg daily. Take separately from calcium. Aids in healing cartilage and tissue in the neck and back. Use manganese gluconate form.
Boron 3 mg daily. Do not exceed this amount. Improves calcium uptake. Take boron only until healed, unless you are over age' 50
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids 3,000-10,000 mg daily. Essential for formation of collagen, which holds the tissues together. Needed for repair of tissues. Relieves tension in the back area.

Herbs for backache treatment

  • Horsetail is a good source of silica, which is necessary for bones and connective tissue.
  • Arth-X from Trace Minerals Research is a formula containing herbs, sea minerals, calcium, and other nutrients for the bones and joints.
  • Lemon is another useful remedy for backache. The juice of one lemon should be mixed with common salt and taken by the patient twice daily. It will give relief.
  • Other herbs recommended for backache include alfalfa, burdock, oat straw, slippery elm, and white willow bark. They can be taken in capsule, extract, or tea form.
Considerations and prevention tips
  • Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Try ice for the first 48-72 hours, then use heat after that.
  • Wear comfortable, well-made shoes. The higher the heels of your shoes, the greater the risk of backache.
  • When sitting, keep your knees a little higher than your hips and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Exercise regularly to loosen up the back and strengthen its supporting abdominal muscles . Stretching your back helps loosen it and prevent injury.
  • Lose weight.
  • Epidemiological studies in the United States, as well as studies of smoking and nonsmoking pairs of twins in Scandinavia, have shown that smoking aggravates problems in the disks.
  • Do not sleep on your stomach with your head raised on a pillow. Instead, rest your back by lying on your side with your legs bent, so that your knees are about an inch higher than your hips. Sleep on a firm mattress with your head supported on a pillow. If your mattress is not firm enough, place a board between the box spring and the mattress.
  • If pain comes after lifting something heavy, after coughing, or after unusually heavy exercise, and the pain prevents you from moving or shoots down one leg, you may have a herniated disk.

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