Low back pain or lumbago is one common ailment I come across in my day to day practice. The adage “You are as young as your back” seems outdated. More and more younger people are presenting with this ailment.
Quadripeds or four legged animals have their spinal column well supported. Where as, we Bipeds, use the spinal column to hold the body erect. The column is composed of 33 bones stacked on top of one another with small fibrous discs in between them as shock absorbers. The whole back is kept in alignment by the abdominal set of muscles and the muscles of back. As long as the muscular pull is uniform in both directions, the bones are in balance. However, since most of our tasks involve forward bending, the strength of abdominal muscles remain. But the back muscles lose elasticity with time (the reason why we hunch and stoop forward as we age).
The region C4-C6 in the neck, L3 – S1 bones in low back are the weakest links. These work as hinge joints when the neck and the upper torso bend respectively. Most Mechanical pains (75% causes of backache) originate here.
The alignment problems of low back can be due to bad posture, wearing high heels, pregnancy, straining-lifting, over – enthusiastic weight training exercises etc.
Back muscles can be strengthened by backward bending yoga poses like Bhujangasan, Dhanurasan, Ardhachakrasan, plank poses and core strengthening regimes.
Please visit a physician to rule out other medical causes of back pain and also to rule out pathologies in the neighborhood structures which can produce back pain.
Management of pain at home begins with hot fomentation to the affected area, followed by gentle pain relieving oil massage in the upward direction. This will relax and smoothen the sore muscles and send the pain chemicals back to the heart for purification. This explains why oil massages work better than sprays. If this is followed by the exercises mentioned above it would help. The relaxed muscles respond better to stretching than a sore spasmodic muscle.
Movement is the song of the body! Move straight in grace,
get your back to work, make your spine younger and flexible.
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Author: Dr.Kiran Shanbhag
Dr. Kiran Shanbhag is a Homeopathic physician. She has been practicing from the last 18 years. She is passionate about her work as a Homeopathic doctor and is also passionate about cooking, equity markets and quest into spirituality. All the four have now become an integral part of her life!