Backache has become such a common ailment that one can hardly find a person who has not suffered from it. It can affect both the young and the old. One of the reasons why it has become so common now-a-days is the excessive luxury of our everyday lives with few people doing any regular exercise.
How many of us put equal weight on both legs while standing, even if we have to stand for just a few minutes? What we do is, either lean against something or constantly shift our weight from one leg to the other.
A labourer carries heavy weights on his head throughout the day. Tiring work isn’t it? But in spite of it he walks gracefully and erect at the end of the day.
On the other hand, an executive, who has spent the day sitting on his comfortable cushioned chair, is seen slouching and walking with stooped shoulders. Does he not look even more tired than the labourer?
Prolonged bad posture – whether while sitting or standing – will definitely lead to low backache or lumbago. Cervical spondylosis is also a result of bad posture. Sciatica, an agonizing condition can also develop.
Diseases related to the organs of the pelvic region can also give rise to acute backache. But this pain is not localized; neither is it affected by movement. It is a dull continuous ache and can only be got rid of when the cause is removed.
Continuous low backache in a woman is a warning of a gynaecological problem. These are usually infections but tumours of the ovary and uterus cannot be ruled out. Kidney and bladder conditions as well as rectal and prostatic disorders can also cause back pain.
Results of bad posture
Lumbago: Here the muscles of the loins and their tendons are involved. It usually comes on as seizure in one or both sides of the small muscles of the back. It is of severe cutting or stabbing character, greatly aggravated by movement of the body, especially in attempting to rise or in taking deep breath or when coughing or sneezing.
Cervical spondylosis: This occurs because of a reduction in the intervertebral disc spaces resulting in a loss of normal curvature of the neck. This increases pressure on the respective nerves and blood vessels which, in turn, cause stiffness, pain and numbness in the neck and arms and giddiness. The most common cause is the prolonged use of a high pillow while sleeping or reading. Also refer the post Home Remedies for Cervical Spondylosis
Sciatica: This is due to an affliction of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is characterized by severe and sometimes agonizing pain, extending along the great sciatic nerve, which emerges from the pelvis and runs down the back of the thigh. The pain usually starts behind the hip joint.
The most painful points are where the nerve emerges from the pelvis at the lower line of the buttock and about the knee and ankle joints. The pains are often coupled with a sensation of numbness throughout the whole thigh. In serious cases of sciatica all movements of the extremity, particularly while stooping forward or bending the hip with the knee straight, aggravate the pain.
Thus the patient inevitably becomes bed-ridden. What happens is that he sciatic nerve, composed of thick strands of nerve ‘wires’ which distribute power and function to all muscles of the leg, has become gummed-up in the sheath in which it slides.
* Lift with legs and not with the back. Bend your knees when you wish to pick up something heavy. Keep your back straight.
* Exercise regularly in order to keep the muscles of the back strong and healthy. A moderate spell regularly will do more good than strenuous exercise on rare occasions.
* Drink adequate water. Sometimes dehydration too can lead to backaches.
* Have more of fruits like Figs ( anjeer) and jamuns. Eat drumsticks (sahijan) on a regular basis. These help in strengthening the muscles of the back.
* Avoid overexertion. A person who is not accustomed to lifting heavy weights should not try to carry too much at a time.
* Change your position frequently. Avoid cramped sitting position that brings on fatigue. Move around. Remain flexible.
* Remember that a correct posture will go a long way in keeping back trouble away. If you have to sit for long hours, see to it that you are using a good ergonomic chair. And if you do have backache, do not worry. With proper treatment it will soon go away. A massage with some of these homemade oils should help.
Homemade oils for backache
Lepam made with Neem and Nilgiri Oils
Curds (yogurt) ,
Kapur (camphor), (Buy here)
Eucalyptus oil (Nilgiri Oil), (Buy here)
Neem Oil (Buy here)
In a pan, take 1 tsp of neem oil and 2 tsp of eucalyptus(Nilgiri) oil and add ½ tsp or two small tablets of camphor. Slowly heat it on a small flame stirring constantly. Be careful - the boiling point of eucalyptus oil is very low and it can catch fire easily. Then transfer it to a bowl. After it cools, add 2 tsp of curds (yogurt) and mix well. Ask someone to massage this Lepam on your back. After half an hour, if you wish, you can take a bath with warm water. And you’ll find great relief. A regular use of this oil can even rid your back of unsightly pigmentation marks and blemishes. Whenever you get a backache, neckpain, a pain along the spine or even when your feet ache you can use this oil. It is best to prepare this oil fresh every day. You can use this oil up to 3 times a day. If you find the quantity insufficient for thrice a day application, while preparing you may increase the quantity of the ingredients proportionately.
Tailam made with Niligiri oil & Guggulu
Eucalyptus oil (Nilgiri Oil),
Turmeric powder (Buy here)
In a pan, take 2-3 tsp of eucalyptus oil, add a pinch of turmeric powder to it and heat it on a low flame taking adequate care. Then add 4 guggulu pieces and stir. It dissolves very quickly. Guggulu (also used in dhoop) is the ingredient of choice in backache, arthritis, muscle soreness, sciatica and joint pains . Then add ½ tsp of crystal salt and stir well. Transfer the oil to a bowl. Have this oil massaged on your back 15 minutes before a bath. Soon after oil application, you have to take warm potli massage on your back. For preparing this potli, you have to take a fistful of coarse crystal salt and place it in the centre of a clean cotton or muslin cloth and then gather the edges and tie it tightly with a string. Your potli is now ready. Warm this potli by placing it on a pre-heated frying pan or tava and ask someone to gently apply pressure with this potli on your oil-massaged back as shown in the pics below. This massage enables the oil to seep into the skin. Overall this procedure promotes blood circulation and provides tremendous relief from pains and muscle spasms.
(Guest Post by Dhanya)
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