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Backache is your body’s way of telling you to take care before it is too late. Some ways to get rid of the pain in the back.
All of us have experienced backache sometime or the other. It could occur at the end of a tiring day, or could suddenly surface while moving something heavy. It persists on some days, while at times it just disappears. A backache can be a signal from the body to take care before it is too late, and becomes excruciatingly painful and problematic.
People experience backache at various points on their back. It varies in symptoms like intensity, duration, triggering and relieving factors, and needs to be managed accordingly. It could be due to exertion, bad posture or as complex a cause as a renal condition.
Here is a list of causative factors, which could be avoided to prevent backaches at all times and places:
People usually start oil massages and take fomentations to relieve pain, which are helpful. But, one must be cautious not to overdo it and immediately consult a doctor if pain persists or gets worse.
Medicated oil can be prepared using any of the following or all of them—clove, garlic, asafoetida, cumin, ginger or aniseeds. These should be powdered and boiled in oil [gingili, mustard, til, coconut oil]. This massage should be washed off using hot water or herbal fomentation [papaya leaf, castor leaf or cabbage leaf can be heated and placed on painful area] to get relief.
Tip: Any of the above oils with camphor dissolved into it acts faster.
Eating a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables is a must. Food and beverages that help relieve constipation should be preferred. Avoid eating fried food, and food that causes flatulence like peas, potatoes, and caffeinated drinks like coffee, and tea. Drinking fresh fruit juice, ginger tea, clove tea with liquorice powder or pomegranate juice, or lemon juice also helps.
Sedentary lifestyle can cause backaches. So it is advisable to start simple exercises like walking or jogging regularly before aches and pains start.
Garlic, ginger or potato paste can be smeared on a thin cloth and applied on the affected area. Garlic paste may cause some transient blisters and application of soothing oils will heal it. [If blisters do not manifest, garlic paste would be one of the best plasters to relieve pain.]
What is your opinion about taking painkillers to relieve backache?
No one should start painkillers and that too for long term without a physician’s direction. Taking painkillers for long, itself may trigger the pain to come back. If pain is intense it is best to get a clinician check the patient first before any natural medication is tried. Backache could be due to different under lying pathologies and crucial time should not be lost trying home remedies.
Would you advice a patient suffering from backache to do yoga or simple exercises to get relief?
It is usually not advisable to start yoga when you have pain. But, if one has been doing exercises and yoga, they could restart once pain subsides and it is always necessary to do it under supervision or after getting advice from someone qualified in it. We do suggest not doing anything that might irritate the back further.
— Dr YB Hegde, Orthopaedic physician, professor and head of the department of Orthopedics at the Mysore Medical College