Nutrition

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Back Pain

Did you know that back pain is the 3rd most expensive disorder after cancer and heart disease? Definitely it is!

Back Pain or otherwise called backache is one of the most common health problems, affecting around 8 out of 10 people in their entire life. At average, Americans spend around $15 billion yearly for health care and disability expenses. Back pain can be experienced as dull, continuous pain or even sudden, sharp pain. Back pain is classified into two types: acute back pain which occurs suddenly but only last for a few days or usually around 6 weeks while chronic pain last for more than three months. Acute pain can result from lifting heavy objects, from a misstep, sudden motion and falling while chronic back pain can develop from stress, viral infection, emotional problems, muscle tension, poor movement and posture, congenital defect and weak muscle due to certain health condition, or as a result of pregnancy.

Most back pain lasts for only a few days and usually goes away on its own. Taking over-the-counter analgesics and rest can help relieve the pain. But, be very careful not to bed rest for 1 to 2 days as it can worsen the condition. If you’ve done everything but nothing happens or no improvement was observed, then it is necessary to consult with your health care doctor for further lab test and proper medical treatment.

It has been associated that majority of cases that causes back pain are due to the muscles, bones and ligaments breakdown. Smokers often experience back pain as a result of Vitamin C deficiency which is destroyed by nicotine. Back pain sometimes indicates other diseases such as cancer. However, the brain can sometimes mistake signals from other parts of the body such as the uterus, prostate gland, kidney as originating from the back.

If you experienced numbness, tingling of the legs, pain shooting down a leg to the foot or knee, urinary incontinence, stomach cramps, chest pain, fever and inability to move legs and feet, you must right away call for help or consult with your doctor, as it signals more complications.

Prevention is the best means to protect against back pain by lifting correctly—always bend knees, develop good posture, lose extra weight, and strengthen the abdominal muscles and the extensor muscles of the back. Stretching promotes elasticity & flexibility along with back exercises is mostly beneficial.

Nutritional Supplements:

  • Vitamin C—1 to 3 g, strengthens connective tissues.
  • Bioflavonoids—function synergistically with vitamin C.
  • Calcium, Magnesium—500 mg, relaxes body muscles.

Herbal Supplements:

  • Willow bark—contains salicylate, the pain relieving substance from which aspirin is derived.
  • German chamomile—has anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Wintergreen oil—apply on skin, contains salicylate, and relieves pain.
  • Capsaicin—cream or balm apply on skin, compound from hot peppers that relieves pain; crush hot pepper and apply directly to affected area or can be mixed in cream.
  • Peppermint—contains menthol, eases muscle tightness.

Aromatherapy:

  • Sage, Rosemary—add several drops to carrier oil and massage, contain compounds that relax muscles.
  • Birch, Lavender, Clary sage—massage, help relieve pain; add lavender to warm bath.

Ayurvedic Medicine:

  • Kaishore guggula—200 mg twice daily after meals.
  • Dashamoola basti
  • Mahanarayan oil—use as massage on affected area.
  • Mustard oil—use as massage, reduces pain and aching.

Chinese Medicine:

  • Teasel root, Ginseng, Acanthopanax—can relieve pain.
  • Jing Jie, Pseudoginseng Root—helps relieve swelling and pain.
  • Acupuncture—stimulates certain acupoints to relieve pain.

Homeopathy:

  • Arnica montana—for acute muscle spasm; 30×potency—take four tablets every hour on the first day while awake, four tablets every two hours the second day, and four tablets four times a day for four to five days.

According to symptoms:

  • Aconite napellus
  • Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Arsenicum album
  • Bryonia
  • Calcarea carbonica
  • Calcarea phosphorica
  • Cimicifuga
  • Dulcamara
  • Ignatia amara
  • Kali carbonicum
  • Natrum muriaticum
  • Nux vomica
  • Rhus toxicodendron
  • Ruta graveolens
  • Sulfur
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