Upper and lower back pain
Most people suffer from upper or lower back pain at some time during their lives that needs treatment. The majority of backaches are not symptoms of serious disease, but are a variety of disturbances in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones or underlying organs. 70% of sufferers will have recovered within a week and over 90% within a month. Very few back problems become serious, however they are debilitating when they happen.
Vital to a healthy back are the midsection of the body, good posture, weight control, spinal alignment, rest and stress management.
What causes upper or lower back pain?
The many underlying causes of upper or lower back pain may be one or several conditions, such as
- Arthritis and osteoporosis
- Infection and fever
- Weak stomach muscles
- Peptic ulcers
- Emotional tension or stress
- Female problems
- Gallstones lodged in the common bile duct
- Pulmonary embolism
- Slipped or ruptured disks or other spinal cord injuries
- Abnormal curvature of the spine
- Disorders of the urinary system.
- Muscle strain or sprain results from excessive or improper physical exertion, incorrect posture, sleeping on soft beds or incorrect lifting.
- Obesity or simply carrying too much weight
- Flat feet and unequal leg length are other factors that may be responsible for back pain. Muscles can contract together in spasms that are very painful
Back pain that is accompanied with fever or a headache should receive medical attention.
The spine is a very complex structure which is never still...
The slightest movement, including breathing, involves the spine. Man's upright posture puts additional stress on the neck and lumbar regions, which are the commonest sites of back pain.
Back pain may be sharp and sudden in onset, or an ache may develop gradually over several hours or overnight. There is often an obvious cause such as unaccustomed activity, or a strain during strenuous movement (lifting, digging, twisting the trunk), but back pains may come on without relation to any particular activity.
Treatment of acute attacks consists traditionally of rest, local heat and simple pain killers.
Treating back pain naturally...
Natural treatments that may help include:
Massage - around the vertebrae is relaxing and relieves muscle tension
Relaxation techniques - will lessen pain and aid healing
Chiropractic or osteopathic treatment can also help
Natural pain killers - include the herb White Willow, and the amino combination DL Phenylalanine.
Inflammation can also be relieved by the use of herbs such as Wild Yam, Turmeric, Boswellia and the herbal product Yucca. We always recommend a supplement of anti inflammatory oils in a combination such as Efamarine (contains fish oil and evening primrose oil).
If pain is severe enough to keep you on your back, or if it hasn't improved considerably in two or three days, consult your back care provider. Early treatment on your back often speeds recovery, and your back care provider will recommend exercises, postural correction and care in movements to prevent or reduce further back problems.
Certain nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy back...
Protein is necessary for firm supporting tissue, however animal sources will contain uric acid and are best avoided until your back is healed.
Spirulina and chlorella are excellent natural sources of protein, as are soy products.
Magnesium is essential for the proper contraction of muscles in the body and a deficiency of this can cause muscles to become tense, which could lead to back problems. Magnesium Complex is a good supplement.
Nutritional and Herbal support for back pain includes:
DL Phenylalanine - extends the life of endorphins (natural pain killers) naturally occurring in the body.
Magnesium - Essential for neuromuscular system and connective tissue, especially bone. Essential for the proper contraction and relaxation of muscles in the body.
You can get both herbs in the one product.
Pain Relief is our strongest natural anti inflammatory and pain reliever.
Mineral Power - a great mineral complex for the health of your bones. May be used to treat or retard the progression of Osteoporosis.
Glucosamine - essential for the health of your joints. Assists cartilage health and repair - useful for both osteo- and rheumatoid-arthritis
Some interesting points about upper and lower Back Pain
- Avoid meat, animal protein products, gravy, oils, fats, sugar or rich highly-processed foods. These place an extra load on the kidneys, and increase the acid content of the body.
- Drink 8 large glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration.
- Apply heat to the sore area. Either by having a hot bath, or by using a heat pack. Reduce stress with effective relaxation techniques.
- Wear comfortable shoes, the higher the heel of your shoes the greater the risk of backache.
- Regular moderate exercise strengthens muscles. In particular your abdominal muscles are extremely important to protect your lower back.
- Maintain a healthy weight. This lessens the strain on the spinal column and muscular system.
- See an osteopath or a chiropractor. They can help to realign any spinal problem, that may contribute to back pain.