Blog written by Dr Fathima Mohammed (Medical Director) Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at Kerala Ayurvedic Centre Dubai.
Lower back pain(lumbago) is the common problem which affects our daily activities. Pain in the lower back restricts activity and reduces work capacity and quality of enjoyment of everyday living and turns daily life into a misery. Surveys indicate that 70 per cent of the population suffers from low back pain at some time in their lives. The highest rate of back pain occurs among the 30 to 64-year age group.
Known to Ayurveda as Katigraha or Prishtashula, the condition is characterized by a chronic, persistent pain ranging from a dull ache to a sharp stab-like pain to a burning sensation affecting the lower back. It may also present with stiffness and loss of motility, numbness or tingling with pain shooting down the buttocks, back of the thighs and the legs and feet.
What causes lower back pain
Low back ache is often precipitated by moving, lifting objects or twisting of the waist. Common causes for the backache is a poor posture habit,Lack of physical exercises,incorrect posture,constipation,stress are the common minor causes
Other common major causes are: Degenerated disc diseases like spondylosis, herniated disc, sciatica,arthritis,lumbar muscular spasm,infections,skeletal deformities,anorectal diseases like haemorrhoids,fistula etc,uterine disorders,renal diseases like urinary calculi,etc.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Low back pain:
Ayurveda holds that low back pain is a result of vitiation of one of the three principal ‘doshas’. ‘Katigraha/Prishtashula’ or low back pain is most often an indication of Vata aggravation and bone and muscle weakness (asthi dhatu kshaya or mamsa dhatu kshaya
Treatment in Ayurveda aims to bring the vitiated dosha back to the state of equilibrium and thereby to the state of health. One thus pacified, the balanced doshas will allow treatment efforts to be directed to the dhatus (tissues) involved.
In severe cases patients are adviced to take rest initially. Treatments like lepam (herbal pasting on the affected area),kashayadhara (pouring medicated herbal decotion on the affected part),nadi swedam (a type of sweating treatment),virechanam(purgation) etc gives quick relief from pain and stiffness.
Panchakarma procedures and other various ayurvedic treatments are indicated in lower back pain. There are various internal ayurvedic medications that have to be selected depends upon the stages of the disorder and condition of the patients.
To avoid reoccurrence Ayurveda Practitioner will allow few changes in your lifestyle and Diet.
- To follow an exercise program: It can include Yoga, aerobics Strength training, endurance training, stretching.
- Improve posture: completely avoiding slouching and to sit up straight all the time.
- Undertake Back-Friendly activities: Walking, Swimming etc
- Quit smoking: Smoking leads to degeneration of spinal disc
- Shed excess weight: Extra weight puts more pressure on back muscles and vertebrae.
- Stress Management -Relaxation techniques like meditation, Yoga, Pranayama etc.
We depend on our backs for the most basic daily functions: standing, sitting, bending and walking. Our backs are, quite literally, the backbone of our existence. So the back is the keeper of mind-body integrity.
Let’s face it, our backs can make or break us. So keeping our backs healthy should be a top priority! So do not let your back pain overtake you and your life balance, instead nail your bad habits and bring balance in your life through Ayurveda.
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