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Ayurvedic management of Back Pain

Most of us would have suffered from a back pain at some point in our life. Chronic back pain is a debilitating condition which would significantly affect the quality of our life. Back pain can restrict simple routine movements like driving, walking or even sitting.

Back pain can develop due to injuries, diseases affecting the spine, or due to unhealthy lifestyle and posture. According to Ayurveda back pain is considered as a Vata disorder. Dryness, a property of Vata, when in excess can lead to weak disc and spinal joint.

The most common lower back ailment Sciatica, is a typical Vata disorder. The pain originates in the back and spread down the backside of legs. The focus of the treatment must be to control the Vata and to reduce the dryness caused by it. A doctor would employ various external therapies and internal medicine for the same.

Factors aggravate back pain

Lower back region is dominated by Apaana vata, a subtype of Vata. It controls physiological functions like excretory process (defecation, urination, menstruation etc.), movement of the lower back area etc. Factors that increase Vata would increase the back pain.

Diet: Vata increases by taking low quantity of food, cold foods such as energy drinks or aerated drinks. Dry items like chips, crunchy snacks and foods which are spicy and salty would increase Vata. It is better to have milk, ghee, fruits, nuts, and Oils.

Lifestyle: Excess physical activity and sleeplessness are the prime causes of increase in Vata. In order to regulate Vata disorders, proper rest and sleep are necessary.

Treatment

Internal medicines: Ayurvedic treatment for back pain include medicines that are oily and Vatahara (reduces vata). Some of them are – Medicated castor oil, Rasna(Alpinia galanga), Ashwagandha (Withania Sonmifera),  Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) etc. These drugs are anti-inflammatory and nourishing in nature.
Always consult an ayurvedic doctor for the best medicines for you.

External Therapies

Abhyangam, is a process of gentle massage with medicated oil to reduce the muscle stiffness and provide lubrication to the joints. It helps to relieve the pain.

Kati Vasti – It is a treatment procedure where warm medicated oil is filled in a small well made of dough in the lower back region. The oil is replaced as it becomes cold. This procedure provides benefits of the oil for a longer time.

Vasti (therapeutic enema) – Medicated oil or kashaya (decoction) is used for a therapeutic enema to reach the colon. Colon is the seat of Vata and Vasti is the best procedure to pacify Vata.

Lower back pain can be effectively treated by Ayurveda reducing the dependence on painkillers or NSAIDs. Ayurvedic treatments combined with dietary regulations and Yoga can reduce the need for Surgery and spinal injection.

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