Common Illnesses Symptoms and Remedies Backache

About the symptoms and treatments or remedies for backaches and muscle pain.



Tension in shoulders and back, sometimes developing into pain.

M.D.: Muscles in the shoulders, back, and pelvic girdle areas manifest tension because of poor posture, lack of exercise, emotional stress, or work-related factors such as maintaining an uncomfortable position for long periods of time. The cause may be any one or any combination of these.

Robbed of normal blood circulation, the muscles fail to relax and so exert pressure against vertebrae and spinal disks. This can irritate nerves and result in the characteristic pain of backache.

Treatment consists of prescribing hypnotic drugs or other relaxants. These cause muscles to relax so that irritated areas can heal. Many medical authorities believe that heat applied to sore areas does just as well, by opening capillaries and thus helping muscles to relax.

Osteopaths and chiropractors (who are not M.D.'s) often work with the person suffering from backache to correct spinal alignment, and teach the person exercises to prevent recurrence of symptoms. Massage and manipulation of the back by the physician may or may not be included in this treatment.

Nutritionist: Many nutritionists believe that backache should be treated like any other stress-caused disease. A high-protein diet, with the B-complex vitamins included, is a first line of defense. Several studies show that 400-500 milligrams of vitamin C, together with plenty of fluids, help reduce muscular stiffness after vigorous physical exertion. Some physicians, guided by nutritionists, prescribe similar doses both as muscle relaxants and for possible benefits in restoring damaged blood vessels.

Psychiatrist: Backache often has psychogenic roots. Holding in your feelings, sexual frustration, and prolonged emotional conflict can cause permanent tension in the so-called "fight and flight" muscles. Resolution of these anxieties can bring permanent relief from the physical discomfort.

Acupuncturist: Both massage and acupuncture bring fast relief from ordinary back pain. Pressure applied firmly with thumbs or forefingers on each side of your spine 3 or 4 in. both above and below your beltline, then outward along the buttocks, can also bring relief.

Herbalist: A strong chamomile tea will help relax you internally. Oil of wintergreen or eucalyptus seems to bring relief when massaged on sore areas.

Other: Regular vigorous exercise, such as jogging, swimming, or basketball, keeps muscles toned and loose. Learn to recognize first signs of stiffness in your back; when they occur, lie on a hard surface such as a carpeted floor for 10 or 15 minutes. Completely relax your body. This quickly restores normal blood flow.

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