Pain in the lower back or low back pain (medically known as Lumbago) is a common disorder that involves the muscles, nerves and bones of the back. It’s particularly common, although it can affect anywhere along the spine, from the neck down the hips. Lower Back pain is the most common reasons people consult their doctors, miss work and leading cause of disability. Most people have lower back pain at least once.
In order to have better understanding of lower back pain, I have split this article into different headings.
The specific duration required to meet each of this is not generally agreed upon but pain lasting less than 6 weeks is classified as acute while pain lasting 6 to 12 weeks is sub – chronic and more than 12 weeks is chronic.
However, drugs and herbs do not solve chronic back pain. Some patients may still need to undergo physiotherapy while for some, it’s surgery (though it’s rarely needed to treat lower back pain). Whichever method of treatment a patient adopts will still needs therapy.
Functions of The Lower Back Pain
The lowet back or lumbar area, performs many functions for the human body that includes: structural support, movement and protection of certain body tissues. When we stand, the lower back is functioning to support the weight of the upper body when we bend, extend or rotate at the waist. The lower back is involved in the movement. So therefore, injury to the structures vital for weight bearing such as the bony spine, muscles tendons and ligaments often can be detected when the body is standing erect or used different movement.
Also, protecting the soft tissues of the nervous system and spinal cord as well as nearby organs of the pelvis and abdomen is a critical function of the lumber spine and adjacent muscles of the low back.
So far I have examined lower back functions. Let’s move on to the symptoms.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can shows several signs depending on the cause. They are:
1. Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking.
2. Shooting or stabbing pain.
3. Pain that radiates down your leg.
4. Pain that improves with reclining.
5. Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolong sitting such as on a long car trip.
7. Inability to walk without worsening pain.
8. Joint pain.
10. Atrophy (decreased in size of the lower extrimity muscles).
Although lower back pain may not always manifest signs. Any pain that manifest at your low back region and dissapear after 24 to 72 hours shows that you’re fine but once the pain exist more than 72 hours, see your doctor.
You’re about to find out …
Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is not a specific disease but rather a complaint that may be cause by a large numbers of underlying problems with different levels of seriousness. They are:
1. A slipped (prolapsed) disc (a disc of cartilage in the spine pressing on a nerve) – this can cause back pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in other body parts.
2. Sciatica (irritation of the nerve that runs from the lower back to the feet) – this can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet.
3. Ankylosing Spondylitis (swelling of the joint in the spine) – this causes pain and stiffness that is usually worse in the morning and improves with movement.
4. Spondylolisthesis (a bone in the spine slipping out of position) – this can cause stiffness, as well as numbness and tingling sensation.
Other Causes Are
Women may suffer acute lower back pain from medical conditions affecting females reproductive system such as: endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer or uterine fibroids.
Very rarely, lower back pain can be a sign of serious problems such as: an infection, a broken bone in the spine, cancer and cauda equina syndrome (where the nerves in the lower back become severally compressed).
Before proceeding to examine how lower back pain can be prevented. It’s important you know the risk factors.
Anyone can develop lower back pain. The factors mention below can increase your chances of developing back pain. They’re:
Lack of exercise, smoking, osteoporosis, kidney infection, traumatic injury, athletic activity, pregnancy, ageing, lifting objects with your back and psychological conditions such as anxiety as well as depression.
The following tips may assist you in preventing lower back pain. They include:
- Doing regular exercise to keep your back strong.
- Avoiding sitting for too long when driving or at work place.
- Ensuring the mattress on your bed supports you properly.
- Checking your posture when sitting, using computers and watching television.
- Avoiding injury to the lower back.
- Losing weight through the consumption of healthy diet and exercise.
- Performing specific exercise designed by therapist and other health care professionals to strengthen the lumber area and adjacent tissues to minimize risk of injury to the lower back.
This article is not meant to be a substitute where the service of a medical expert urgently needed.
LOWER BACK PAIN HERBAL TREATMENTS
1. GARLIC (Tafarnuwa in Hausa; Ayuu in Igbo; Alubosa ayu in Yoruba) Add 3 pods of fresh garlics in your diet.
2. OCCIMUM GRATISSIMUM (Effirin in Yoruba; Scent leaf in English; Ufuo – yibo, Ira in Urhobo; Doddoya in Hausa; Nchuanwu in Igbo; Ayeneba in Idoma; Esewon in Edo) Prepare tea infusion of fresh scent leaves. Drink 250 ml three times in a day.
3. MONODARA MYRISTIACA (Ariwo in Yoruba; Gydar Kamshi in Hausa; Nutmeg in English) Mix half teaspoon of Nutmeg powder with little Shea butter ( Ori in Yoruba; Okume in Idoma; Okwuma in Igbo). Put both in a steel container, place on a low flame for 2 minutes. When it’s lukewarm rub it over the affected area.
4. WINTER GREEN ESSENTIAL OIL and PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL: Both essential oils cool swollen or inflammed joint and lessen lower back pain. Mix 4 drops of each essential oil with 2 tablespoons of Olive oil thoroughly. Apply the mixture over the affected area two times in a day.
5. KIGELIA AFRICANA (Sausage tree in English; Hantsar giiwa in Hausa; Pandoro in Yoruba; Ala nwanyi ngbologodo ala in Igbo) Prepare a poultice of fresh Kigelia Africana leaves. Put it in a pan. Reduce the flame. When it is lukewarm apply it over the affected area. After 1 hour rinse it away with water. Do it twice a day.
6. TURMERIC (Kurkur in Hausa; Gigir in Tiv; Ohuboboch, Nwandumo in Igbo; Atale pupa in Yoruba; Iblue in Urhobo)It contains active compound known as curcumin that possesses anti inflammatory properties, anti ageing and reduce lower back pain. Boil half tablespoon of Turmeric in 250 ml water. Strain and drink when it is lukewarm. Do it twice a day.
7. FENUGREEK SEEDS (Ukpo idooma in Idoma; Hulba, Ayoyo in Hausa; Eso ewedu in Yoruba; Atiavi in Tiv)Prepare tea decoction of 1 table spoon of Fenugreek Seeds in 250 ml water. Strain and drink, when it is lukewarm. Do it twice a day.
8. LEMON JUICE (Itie-akpaenfi in Urhobo; Ekpe nkirisi in Igbo; Omi osan ganyin in Yoruba; Baba lemu in Hausa) Put 2 tablespoons of Lemon juice in 150 ml lukewarm water. Mix and drink. Do it twice a day.
9. TURPENTINE OIL: Massage Turpentine oil over the affected area. This oil is very effective in dealing with lower back pain. Do it3 to 4 times in a day.
10. PINEAPPLE (Ogede oyinbo in Yoruba; Aregede in Idoma; Akwu olu, Aku ocha, Akwu oyinbo in Igbo; Mbuer u butter in Tiv) It contains powerful anti inflammatory enzymes known as bromelain that help to heal the body. Drink fresh natural pineapple juice daily. Or : Eat pieces of Pineapple fruits daily.
11. WALNUTS (Arinsa in Ebira; Kie in Tiv; Asala, Awusa in Yoruba; Ukpa (udi) in Igbo; Okwe, Okhue in Bini, Geda yorubaa in Hausa) It is rich in omega – 3 fatty acids, manganese and copperthat makes it very effective in treating back pain. Eat 4 to 5 Walnuts on an empty stomach before breakfast everyday.
12. CARICA PAPAYA (Papaya, Pawpaw in English; Gwanda in Hausa; Okwuru bekoe,Okwere, Ojo, Okpurukwa in Igbo; Etihi mbakara in Efik; Ideru in Idoma; Mpuer in Tiv; Eto oyinbo in Urhobo; Ibepe in Yoruba)It contains enzymes known as papain, lycopene and anti inflammatory properties.Carica Papaya is very alkalinewhen eaten about 20 minutes before a meal.This help the natural enzymes found in Pawpaw to digest the meal that is eaten after. The properties and enzymes found in Carica Papaya are vital in relieving back ache. Add unripe pawpaw fruit in your diet.
Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute.
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