Back pain is a common issue that can affect people of all ages. From sharp, shooting pains to dull, aching discomfort, it can be difficult to live with and can even affect your daily activities. In this post, we will discuss potential causes of backache, treatments that can help ease the discomfort, and tips to help prevent it in the future. We’ll also explore the different types of back pain and how they can vary in severity. Finally, we will provide some home remedies that can help alleviate the pain and provide some relief. With the right information and treatments, you can find relief from your backache and get back to living your life.
What is Backache?
Backache is also known as back pain (common English), Pith Me Dard / Kamar Ka Dard (Hindi/Urdu), Path Dukhi / Kambar Dukhi (Marathi), Muthuku Vali (Tamil), Bei tong (Chinese), Dolor de espalda (Spanish), dor nas costas (Portuguese), Prustha shula (Bengali), bol’ v spine (Russian).
Picked up more than you can carry? Slept on the wrong side of the bed? Not standing up straight? Overdid that workout? For all these reasons and more, when you strain the muscles around the spine, you could end up with a backache. Backache during pregnancy is uncommonly common these days. It has become an occupational hazard in many different kinds of work. Sedentary living habits and hazardous work patterns has made backache, one of the most common ailments.
- The main causes of backache and spondylitis are muscular tension, joint strain, poor posture and incorrect nutrition resulting from dietetic errors and lack of exercise.
- Acute or chronic illnesses like kidney or prostate problems, female disorders, pregnancy, influenza and arthritis, sciatica may also lead to backache.
- Other causes include stress and strain resulting from sitting for a long time, improper lifting of weight, high heels and emotional problems which may cause painful muscle cramping.
- Poor posture results from soft chairs and coaches, which facilitates slouching and sitting incorrectly.
- Shoes with high heels place a tremendous strain on the back and other muscles of the body.
- Sleeping on too soft a mattress which results in an improper back and neck posture, can cause tension, headaches and pain in the upper and lower back.
- Another major cause of back problems and tense muscles is lack of exercise. Modern conveniences have made office work easier. The easy life can lead to obesity which puts a great strain on the back. When muscles are not exercised and remain weak, the chances of injury to them is increased manifold.
- Some people may even have a slipped disk, sciatica, pregnancy which can lead to severe back pain.
Lower Back Pain Symptoms
The back, a complex structure of muscles, bone and elastic tissue, is known as the life bone of the body. The spine is made of 24 blocks of bone piled one on top of the other. Sandwiched between these bony blocks are cushions of cartilage and elastic tissues called inter-vertebral discs. The vertebral discs act as shock absorbers for the back. Mobility would be impossible without discs. Sometimes these cushions rupture and the pulp protrudes a little. The process is erroneously called a ‘slipped’ disc. If the cushion disappears entirely, the result is known as a degenerated disc. In slipped-disc trouble, the nerve is affected in such a way that the pain radiates down the thigh and leg. If the disc ‘slips’ in the neck area, it causes numbness and pain radiates to the arms. Disc trouble does not occur suddenly but builds up over a long time. The backbone forms a protective arch over the vertebrae and spinal cord and protects the spinal nerves that are interwoven through the spinal column. There is a close relationship between the bones, discs, joint muscles and nerves in the back and the slightest problem or injury to the back or neck area can have disastrous effects. Whatever the cause of your backache, the following natural Ayurvedic home remedies will be helpful.
Backache Home Remedies to Get Fast Back Pain Relief
- Ginger Powder: Try ginger paste and then eucalyptus oil to the affected area. Apply a paste made of ginger powder mixed with sufficient water to the affected area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, wash it off, and then rub the back with some eucalyptus oil.
- Mahanarayan Oil: Apply the mahanarayan oil on your back and then follow with a hot bath in which you put some ginger powder and baking soda (1/3 cup of each). Soak in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes. You may repeat this bath 2 or 3 times a week.
- Turmeric: If you like Indian food like curry, you’ve got a head start on the pain relieving benefits of turmeric. The active ingredient in turmeric is the yellow pigment known as curcumin, which gives curry its distinctive look. Turmeric has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which help it relieve your back pain. This may be due to its ability to block what is known as “substance P”, a pain neurotransmitter in the body. Tablet or capsule containing curcumin can be taken as per requirement after consulting your doctor.
- Mustard Plaster: A mustard plaster eases a number of back issues such as sciatica, neuralgia, joint inflammation and rheumatic pain. Quantities for the mustard paste will depend on the size of plaster required. Use a piece of cotton or linen cloth at least twice the size required. Grind mustard seeds (be aware that black are the hottest), then add 4 times as much all purpose flour and enough cool water to make a paste. Spread paste onto half the fabric, fold over, if too wet add another layer of cloth, once placed on the affected area this will increase blood circulation, perspiration and heat. Do not let the paste touch bare skin, and do not use for longer than 30 minutes. Remove and wash well with warm water.
- Ice Pack: Ice reduces swellings and is particularly beneficial for sprains. Ice packs help to relieve backache.
- Ayurveda Herbal Formula: Take yogaraj guggulu, 1 tablet 3 times a day, or 1 tablet of kaishore guggulu 2 or 3 times a day. Both of these special Ayurvedic formulas are available from most sources of Ayurvedic herbs.
- Willow For Lower Back Pain: Since the early 1800s, willow bark has been used as a kind of “natural aspirin.” The active ingredient in willow bark is salicin, a compound similar to salicylic acid, which is found in aspirin and has anti-inflammatory effects. Since it’s a natural form, it’s safer and much more gentle on the stomach. Don’t use willow bark if you are allergic to aspirin. Willow bark is effective in relieving lower back pain. Willow is available in several dosage forms, including tablets, capsules, powder, and liquid. Please consult your physician for appropriate dose.
- Musta / Nagamotha Powder: Backache can also be relieved by the use of the herb musta, which is a muscle painkiller. Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon 2 or 3 times a day with warm water.
- Sage: Wash the affected area with sage tea, as hot as you can handle. One teaspoon dried sage per cup of boiling water. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Strain before use.
- Mild Exercises: Certain safety measures, especially, for people in sedentary occupation, are necessary to relieve and prevent backache. The most important of these is exercise which improves the supply of nutrients to spinal discs, thereby delaying the process of deterioration that comes with age and eventually affects everybody. Safe exercises include walking, swimming and bicycling.
- Yoga Poses: Some gentle yoga exercises such as Camel pose, Lotus pose, Cow pose, Forward Bend, Spinal Twist, Palm Tree pose, Locust pose can help with back pain.
- Induce Restful Sleep: The herbs tagara and valerian are muscle relaxants. Taking 1/2 teaspoon of either with some warm water will relax the muscles that may be causing back pain. It will also help induce restful sleep.
- Backache Relief Oil: Create your own massage oil to reduce back pain. Mix together in a 1 ounce glass bottle 1/2 oz. sunflower or apricot kernel vegetable oil, 1/2 oz. St. John’s wort herbal oil (Hypericum perforatum), 7 drops peppermint oil (Mentha x piperita), 2 drops rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) and 4 drops lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia). Shake for a few minutes and then apply to the back.
- Joint Inflammation and Tissue Repair: Bromelain ( an enzyme that comes from the center of pineapples) and Boswellia, an ayurvedic herb that comes from India, both possess anti-inflammatory properties that ease back pain. Research shows that Boswellia extract produced a significant reduction in joint pain, swelling, and morning stiffness, while improving general health and well-being. Boswellic acid also improves blood supply to joint tissues.
- Neck Exercises to Relieve Tension: Tension arising from long hours at the desk or behind the wheel of the car can be relieved by certain neck exercises. These include rotating the head clockwise and anticlockwise, allowing the head to drop forward and backward as far as possible and turning the head to the right and left as far as possible several times. These exercises help to loosen up contracted neck muscles which may restrict the blood supply to the head.
- Hot Herbalized Bath: For extra healing and muscle relaxation, apply the mahanarayan oil on your back and then follow with a hot bath in which you put some ginger powder and baking soda (1/3 cup of each). Soak in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes. You may repeat this bath 2 or 3 times a week.
Tips to Avoid Back Pain in Future
- Avoid exposure to cold weather or cold winds.
- Don’t walk in high-heeled shoes.
- Don’t try to do jogging, jumping, or other strenuous exercise, rather, do some gentle yoga stretching as mentioned above.
Q. What are some possible causes of a backache?
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Poor posture
- Overuse or injury
- Spinal misalignment
- Sleep deprivation
- Kidney stones
- Herniated disk
Q. Could a backache be a symptom of arthritis or diabetes?
Yes, a backache can be a symptom of both arthritis and diabetes. In the case of arthritis, the backache may be caused by inflammation of the joints, and in the case of diabetes, it may be caused by nerve damage.
Q. Can a backache be a sign of vitamin D deficiency?
Yes, backache can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, and a lack of it can cause weak and brittle bones, which can lead to pain or aches in the back. Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include feeling tired, having muscle weakness, and increased risk of fractures.
Q. Are backaches caused by sitting in one position for too long?
Yes, backaches can be caused by sitting in one position for too long. Poor posture and incorrect sitting posture can contribute to back pain, as can a lack of movement and exercise. It is important to take regular breaks from sitting and to keep your body active to reduce the risk of back pain.
Q. Does sleeping on the ground heal a backache?
Sleeping on the ground may provide temporary relief from a backache, but it is not a cure for the condition. If you experience back pain, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Q. Who does a backache patient have to consult, a bone doctor or a nerve doctor?
It depends on the cause of the backache. If the cause is related to muscular or skeletal issues, such as a herniated disc or arthritis, a bone doctor (orthopedist) would be the best option. If the cause is related to a nerve issue, such as sciatica or a pinched nerve, a nerve doctor (neurologist) would be the best option.
Q. What causes backaches in middle-aged women?
Backaches in middle-aged women are usually caused by a combination of factors, including poor posture, weak core muscles, and age-related changes to the spine. Other potential causes include disc degeneration, arthritis, nerve compression, muscle strain, and obesity. In some cases, the cause may be unknown.
Q. Do you get a backache with a copper coil?
Copper T (otherwise known as an intrauterine device or IUD) is a form of long-term birth control. It is a small, T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. It is made of flexible plastic, and it contains a small amount of copper. The copper works to prevent pregnancy by making the uterus and fallopian tubes inhospitable to sperm. Copper T can be left in place for up to 10 years, and it is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is possible to experience backache when using a copper coil. However, this is not a common side effect and there are many other factors that can contribute to backache, such as stress, poor posture, or underlying health conditions. If you experience backache after using a copper coil, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider to determine the cause.
Q. Is it possible to get a backache after having a hysterectomy?
Yes, it is possible to experience backache after a hysterectomy. This is due to the strain of the surgery on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back and abdomen. Additionally, the recovery period following a hysterectomy may require the patient to remain in bed or in a semi-reclined position for a period of time, resulting in further strain on the back. If backache persists, it is important to speak to a doctor about possible treatments.
Q. What are the major courses of backache in women aside from labor and menstruation?
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Herniated disc
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal arthritis
Q. Is it safe to practice pranayama if I have a backache?
Yes, it is safe to practice pranayama if you have a backache. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise program. Some pranayama techniques may be more beneficial than others for particular back issues. Additionally, your healthcare professional can provide guidance to ensure that you perform pranayama safely and effectively.
Q. What is the difference between sciatica pain and general backache?
Sciatica is a specific form of back pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is often described as a shooting or burning pain in the lower back, down the buttock and along the back of the leg. General backache, on the other hand, is a more general term for pain in the lower back. It can range from mild to severe, and can be caused by a range of issues, such as poor posture or muscle strain.
Q. How do programmers avoid backache? Tips to avoid back pain for long time computer users.
- Take frequent breaks and stretch during work hours.
- Use an ergonomic chair and set up your monitor, keyboard, and mouse properly.
- Make sure your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- Adjust your chair to the right height so that your arms can rest comfortably on the armrests while typing.
- Place the keyboard in a position that allows you to keep your wrists straight and your elbows close to the body.
- Consider getting a separate keyboard and mouse pad to reduce strain on your wrists.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy posture.
- Use a standing desk to help reduce the amount of time spent sitting.
Q. Why do I get a backache at night?
Backache at night can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor posture, working for long hours in the same position, or even sleeping on a mattress that does not provide enough support. Other possible causes of backache at night include muscle tension, stress, dehydration, and a misalignment of the spine. To reduce the discomfort, it is important to maintain proper posture, stretch regularly, and ensure that the mattress and pillows provide proper support while sleeping. Additionally, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can help to reduce back pain.
Q. Will calcium deficiency cause a backache?
Calcium deficiency may contribute to backache in some cases, as calcium is important for maintaining strong bones and muscles. Low calcium levels can lead to weakened muscles, which can cause backaches. However, other conditions such as poor posture, muscle strain, and arthritis can also cause back pain. If you suspect a calcium deficiency, consult your doctor to determine the cause of your backache and receive advice on the best course of treatment.
Q. I have a low backache. So should I use pillow or not and on what type of bed I should sleep?
Low back pain is best treated with a firm mattress and minimal pillow to support the natural curvature of your spine. It is important to avoid using too much pillows or a soft mattress as this can cause further strain on your back. It is also recommended to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees to provide extra support.
Q. Can sitting on a bed with pillows behind your back for a whole day give you backaches?
Yes, sitting on a bed with pillows behind your back for an extended period of time can cause backaches and other related pain. Prolonged sitting in any position can put strain on the muscles and tendons in the lower back, leading to pain and discomfort. It is important to take regular breaks throughout the day, get up and move around, and use proper ergonomic support when sitting to avoid backaches.
Q. How can I prevent lower backache when I sleep?
There are several ways to prevent lower backache when you sleep:
- Choose the right mattress: Select a mattress that provides adequate support for your spine and that is comfortable for you. Consider a memory foam mattress or a mattress with a pillow top to provide extra cushioning.
- Adjust your position: Make sure your lower back is supported when you sleep. Place a pillow under your knees to help reduce pressure on your lower back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as it can cause your spine to twist and cause pain.
- Use a lumbar support pillow: A lumbar support pillow can help to provide additional support for your lower back while you sleep.
- Consider a new sleeping position: If you are used to sleeping on your back, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. This can help to reduce the pressure on your lower back.
- Stretch before bed: Stretching can help to reduce muscle tension before you go to bed. Spend a few minutes stretching before you lay down to sleep.
- Try heat therapy: Applying a heating pad or warm compress to your lower back can help to relax your muscles and reduce pain.
Q. Which type of beds and cushions are best suited to avoid backaches?
The best type of bed and cushion for avoiding backaches is a medium firm mattress and a pillow that can provide good support for the neck and head. A memory foam mattress and a contoured pillow are both good choices. If a person has particular issues with back pain, they should consult a medical professional to ensure they purchase the correct type of bed and cushion for their specific needs.