Backache (back pain) is defined as discomfort/pain which is felt in the upper, middle and lower back, arising from any structures in the back like muscles, nerves, bones or ligament.
Back pain is divided into three major parts –
Upper back pain -affecting the area of cervical and thoracic spine
Middle back pain- affecting the area of dorsal spine
Lower back pain – affecting the area of lumbo-sacral spine.
Anatomy of Back –
The back region in humans is made of interconnecting structures like bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
The spine of the back itself is made up of 24 small bones (seven cervical, twelve thoracic and five lumbar) supporting back.
These small bones are called vertebrae and they are further attached to sacrum and coccyx as we go from top to down.
Backache affects both men and women equally. The onset most frequently occurs in people aged 30-50 years.
Low back pain is a common complaint in adults of all ages.
• Osteoarthritis: the joints of the backbones undergo degeneration.
• Herniated Discs (disc prolapsed): any heavy strain or increased pressure in the back can displace the round, resilient discs which act as shock absorbers for the back bones. Injuries and fractures of the vertebrae -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 (stenosis): the spinal cord travels through a narrow, hollow shaped bony canal called the ‘spinal canal’.
• 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).
• Occupational: long hours of standing, lifting of heavy weights or sitting in an uncomfortable position
Risk factors –
• Trauma: acute or chronic unusual lifting
• Any acute illnesses can cause poor muscle tone
• General poor health
• Faulty structure of feet
• Stress , anxiety , depression
• Physical examination –duration of pain, along with the presence of any fever, weight loss.
• Palpation. He will also need to verify whether you have any outward signs of trauma broken bones, brazed skin etc. Your doctor will also assess your reflexes, joint stability, and flexibility of the muscles around the joints
• Gait: Check the way you walk.
• Straight leg test: This test is done to confirm the affection of the sciatic nerve as it passes through your leg.
• A complete blood count (CBC)
• Radiographic evaluation
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) /Computed Tomographic Scanning (CT )
• Bone scanning
• Needle electromyography and nerve conduction studies
Painkillers: Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Physiotherapy: physical treatment through appropriate exercises for improving posture and muscle tone provide lasting relief
Aesculus hippocastanum –
• Lameness in neck and back
• Region of spine feels weak
• Back and legs give out , worse walking
• Soles feel tired and swollen
• Stiffness in the lumbar region
• Joints red, swollen worse on least movement
• Physical weakness
• Cramp like pains
• Stiffness of joints with shortening of tendons
• Pain extending down the thigh
• Muscle contraction
• Chronic backache in lumbar region
• Lumbago with numbness of lower part
• Intense pain along the nerve
• Chronic muscular rheumatism of back
Kalium carbonicum –
• Heaviness and tearing in limbs
• Swelling in limbs with sensitivity to pressure
• Pain from hip to knee
• Lumbago with sharp pains extending up and down
Rhus toxicodendron –
• Pain and stiffness in lumbosacral region
• Stiffness in limbs and better by motion
• Tearing down thighs
• During lifting heavy objects, keep knees bent and squat while lifting the object. Avoid bending while lifting.
• Keeping spine erect and straight
• Avoiding twisting body
• While moving heavy objects, push it instead of pulling it
• Do not remain seated for long hours. Get up once in a while and stretch body
• Avoid wearing high heeled footwear
• Exercise daily. A good exercise will improve your posture
• Managing weight. Try maintaining body weight within the range optimal for your age, sex, and daily routines
• Have foods rich in calcium, Vitamin D, phosphorus and proteins. They both help in building and repairing bones and muscles
• Wearing low-heeled shoes.
• Quit smoking. Smoking contributes to osteoporosis. It hardens the arteries supplying blood to our bones and reduces the blood supply to other vital structures that form your backbone
• Avoiding stress
• Avoiding long hour standing
• Avoid slouch while sitting
• During long hour sitting making sure that chair has a high back and supports the back
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