Back pain is pain felt in the back that usually originates from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine.
Back pain may have a sudden onset or can be a chronic pain; it can be constant or intermittent, stay in one place or radiate to other areas. It may be a dull ache, or a sharp or piercing or burning sensation. The pain may radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet, and may include symptoms other than pain. These symptoms may include tingling, weakness or numbness.
The spine is a complex interconnecting network of nerves, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which are capable of producing pain. Large nerves that originate in the spine and go to the legs and arms can make pain radiate to the extremities.
The following factors are linked to a higher risk of developing low back pain:
- Age - older adults are more susceptible than young adults or children
- A mentally stressful job
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Gender - back pain is more common among females than males
- Strenuous physical work
- Pregnancy - pregnant women are much more likely to get back pain
- Strenuous physical exercise (especially if not done properly)
Causes of backache
Apart from the above mentioned triggers, backache can be caused by a number of other conditions.
- Osteoarthritis (OA): with increasing age, the joints of the backbones undergo degeneration. OA of the joints that link one vertebra to its neighboring ones (called the facet joints) causes back pains.
- Vitamin D3 and Calcium deficiency: Routine blood test for Vitamin D3 and Calcium, bone density study will help evaluate the health of bones. Osteoporosis is a common condition leading to back pain.
- Herniated Discs (disc prolapse):any heavy strain or increased pressure in the back can displace the round, resilient discs which act as shock absorbers for the back bones. They cushion every impact on the back such as when jogging, weight lifting, horse-riding etc. injuries, normal wear and tear, and diseases that affect the backbones can cause minor tears on the disc surfaces as well as make them bulge out from their places. Displaced discs can press on surrounding nerves and cause pain, tingling & numbness in the legs.
- Injuries and fractures of the vertebrae (backbone):conditions that cause nerve, bone and tissue injury can cause back pain ' vehicular accidents, fall from a bike, fall on the back compressing the structures in the back.
- Compression of the spinal cord itself (Spinal stenosis):the spinal cord travels through a narrow, hollow shaped bony canal called the 'spinal canal'. With aging, the lumen of this canal tends to become narrow, compressing the contents within it. Back pain is a common symptom of spinal stenosis.
- Deformities: often the backbone curvature is damaged secondary to other diseases. The alignment which is usually straight tends to deviate either to the sides (scoliosis) or appear bent forwards (kyphosis). Long-term mal-alignment of the vertebral column can cause tremendous stress and strain on the supportive muscles that surround it. This usually gives rise to backache.
- Occupational: many occupations can take a toll on your back. If your work requires long hours of standing, lifting of heavy weights or sitting in an uncomfortable position, your back will possibly suffer.
- Athletesare very prone to low back aches.
Homoeopathy works effectively in relieving one's backache. At bodhin, we offer specialized programs according to individual needs. 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 and can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain.
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