BACKACHE – causes, symptoms and treatments

* Backache is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization in the US today. Almost eighty percent of adults have been affected by backache at some point in their lives.

* There are numerous causes of back pain including poor posture, intervertebral disk damage, muscle strain, sleeping on a soft mattress, kidney, bladder or prostate problems, improper footwear, build up of acid in the muscle tissue, sprains, joint damage, ligament or muscle tears, stress, pregnancy, osteoarthritis and improperly lifting loads.

* Backache symptoms may include localized acute sharp pain, numb tingling feeling in the legs, constant dull aching and stiffness.

Lifestyle symptoms
* Address Obesity Problems – obesity may cause or aggravate backache. It is important to maintain a healthy weight to avoid unnecessary strain on the back.
* Exercise – regular exercise will help to maintain a healthy strong back. Good exercises includes yoga, swimming, cycling and walking. Some sports may be best avoided if you are prone to backache, including baseball, football, golf, tennis, netball, soccer, bowling, martial arts and gymnastics. Gentle exercise prescribed to you by your therapist is important when recovering from backache.
* Relaxation and Stress Management – Stress management may be warranted if you have a backache caused by muscular tension. Techniques such as yoga and meditation may help to relax the mind and body.
* Correct Lifting Techniques – damage to the back in the work place is often caused by incorrect lifting techniques. Try to avoid lifting heavy objects, but if it cannot be avoided, lift the object with bended knees and a straight back, using the legs to lift the load. Always keep the load close to your body. Try to use a backpack to carry loads when walking, shopping, camping, at school etc.
* First Aid – If the back pain is not severe, use ice packs on the affected area for forty-eight hours and heat packs for seventy-two hours after that, if pain persists, consult your therapist. If there are any signs of numbness, pain or loss of bladder or bowel control after sustaining a back injury, stay immobilized and seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
* Do not wear high-heeled shoes.

* Depending on the cause, backache may be treated with therapies such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, chiropractic, physiotherapists, hydrotherapy, cold packs and heat packs, drug therapy and in rare instances, surgery.


VITAMIN A – Assists in healthy tissue and bone growth. Natural sources of vitamin A include leafy green vegetables, alfalfa, fennel seed, lemongrass, peppermint, parsley, rose hip, yellow fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese and butter. 15,000 iu daily in divided doses may help. Doses over 10,000 iu per day may cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Women of childbearing age are advised not to become pregnant during such a course or within one month after ceasing a course.

VITAMIN C – With bioflavonoids. Helps to form collagen, assists in tissue repair and maintaining healthy cartilage and bones. Natural sources of vitamin C include potatoes, berries, citrus fruit, parsley, cabbage, leafy green vegetables, rose hip, radishes, mangos, papaya, alfalfa, fenugreek, peppermint, nettle, kale, and asparagus. 3,000 – 10,000 mg daily in divided doses may help to relieve tension in the back. Do not use more than 5,000 mg daily if pregnant. Use esterified vitamin C if you use aspirin. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, may deplete the body of copper and affect the reliability of oral contraceptives.

VITAMIN E – Antioxidant and cofactor in enzymes that promote growth and healing. Natural sources of vitamin E include wheat germ, alfalfa, dandelion, flaxseed, nettle, soy products, sunflower seeds, whole grains, asparagus, peas, vegetable oils, peanuts, almonds, butter and walnuts. 400 – 800 iu daily in divided doses may help. Take according to label instructions if you suffer from diabetes, overactive thyroid, or are taking anticoagulant medication.

CALCIUM – Needed for healthy bones. Natural sources of calcium include milk, leafy green vegetables, rose hip, peppermint, lemongrass, dandelion greens, figs, kale, prunes, sesame seeds, soy products, yogurt, carob, brewer’s yeast, almonds, blackstrap molasses and kelp. 1,500 – 2,000 mg daily in divided doses in chelate form with magnesium may help. Seek medical advice before taking calcium if you suffer from hyperparathyroidism, kidney disease or sarcoidosis, or if you are taking a calcium channel blocker for heart problems or high blood pressure. Increased calcium intake may require increased magnesium intake.

MANGANESE – Used in bone growth, formation of cartilage and synovial fluid, and for healthy nerves. Natural sources of manganese include seaweed, whole grains, alfalfa, dandelion, chamomile, rose hips, dried peas, pineapple, legumes, peppermint, wild yam and fennel seed. Take 2 – 5 mg daily of manganese gluconate form, separately from calcium.

ZINC – Required for protein synthesis, collagen formation, and healing. Natural sources of zinc include soy lecithin, alfalfa, dandelion, hops, fennel seed, rose hip, parsley, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, legumes, kelp, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms and nettle. 20 – 50 mg daily may help. Excess zinc intake may cause copper deficiency. For prolonged periods of zinc intake, copper is recommended ie: 30 mg zinc with 2 mg of copper. Do not use more than 100 mg daily as excess zinc may depress the immune system.

ALFALFA – Contains many vitamins and minerals. Use extract according to label instructions or eat raw.

GINGER – Essential Oils – a blend of ginger, juniper and lavender, or rosemary, marjoram and peppermint, or peppermint and marjoram will help to relieve tired aching muscle and mild backache. Eucalyptus oil is also a good muscle relaxant.Massage into the affected area using a carrier oil such as jojoba, almond or olive. Essential oil should equal three percent of total oil content. Do not use juniper, peppermint or rosemary if pregnant. Do not use juniper with liver or kidney disorders. Do not use rosemary if epileptic or have high blood pressure.

HORSETAIL, SCOURING RUSH, SHAVE GRASS, BOTTLEBRUSH, SILICA. – Improves calcium absorption, promotes healthy bones and connective tissue, assists in healing inflammation and muscle cramps. Use according to label instructions. Do not take if pregnant.

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