Spine pain is defined as pain or discomfort felt in the upper, middle and lower back arise from structures in the spine like muscles, nerves, bones, ligament. Lower back pain is the commonest type of back pain that is pain in the lumber spine.
Structure of the spine
Our vertebral column or backbone provides support to our body weight .vertebral column consist of 33 vertebrae, In between vertebras, intervertebral discs are there. Both vertebrae and discs form spinal canal from which, spinal cord passes. Spine also consist blood vessels, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
When all the contents work simultaneously it provides movement to the back.
Classification of spine pain
spine pain can be divided in to acute, sub acute and chronic.
- Acute back pain – This kind of pain usually sudden in onset, short lasting, often for few days, few weeks, usually in lower back.
- Chronic back pain – Long lasting pain which persist for more then 3-4 months, deep, aching dull pain which, may extend to the leg and the pain which persist in-between can be termed as sub acute pain.
Causes of spine pain
- Diseases of vertebral column-like pott’s spine, tumor, disk prolaps, degenerative disk disease, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, spondylosis.
- Infection to the spinal cord can cause back pain.
- Mechanical cause-includes abnormal posture, injury or trauma, extreme obesity, heavy lifting, sleeping on very soft mattresses.
- Referred pain- of renal calculi, renal tumors, renal tuberculosis, pancreas tumor, diseases related to female genital organs.
- Metastasis-cancer may spread to the bones like breast cancer, lung cancer and causes back pain.
Symptoms associated with spine pain
- Compression of nerve may occur due to which the part which receives nerve supply from same nerve can become weak. For example, compression of the lumber nerve restricts the upward movement of the big toe.
- Pain aggravated by movement, prolonged overwork, sitting (but inflammatory pain ameliorated by movement and aggravated by rest).
- Extension of the pain may occur to the other parts of the body especially to the buttocks, back of thigh, calf muscles.
- Sharp pain in the neck and back after lifting heavy objects.
- Difficulty in walking or standing straight due to muscle spasm and stiffness.
- Physical examination - Includes posture, gait, movement, extension of the pain, modalities of the pain, and examination of the related joints like sacroiliac joint.
- Blood test – Culture examination-for osteomylitis, complete blood count, ESR test.
- Bone density examination or densitometry - To detect osteoporosis.
- X-ray spine – To diagnose fracture, decreased bone mass, arthritic changes.
- CT scan-spine, MR I- To detect nerve compression. It can be done in the condition of long continued pain.
- MANTOUX test – To diagnose tuberculosis as it can cause back pain.
- Bone scan – To detect developing malignant diseases.
- Urine culture – To diagnoses urinary track infection.
Treatment of Spine Pain
Rest should be first advised to the patient in the condition of back pain.
Homeopathic treatment of spine pain – Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat spine pain but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for spine pain treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for the treatment of spine pain:
- Rhus Tox. – When pain is relieved by walking and worse at rest or at first motion.
- Bryonia Alba. – When the pain is worse on every movement and better by absolute rest.
- Hypericum – Excellent remedy for nerve pain especially after surgery or injury.
- Colocynthis- Pain in the back is so severe that makes patient unable to walk or stand which finally settles down on the upper part of the thigh and buttock.
- Kali crab. – Pain goes down the back of the legs.
- Nux Vomica - Backache due to chill which aggravate in the morning and better from heat.
- Arnica Mont. – Acute pain after an injury along with sore bruised feeling.
- Actea Racemosa - Pain in the muscles with intense restlessness and sleeplessness.
Allopathic treatment – It includes mainly analgesics, anti inflammatory drugs etc.
Other modes of treatment – Mainly Physiotherapy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy (including Yoga and Meditation), Acupuncture, Acupressure