Low back ache is a very common ailment affecting all age groups and both sexes. It can be very debilitating and can lead to loss of work and income.
- Acute pain can come when pain occurs suddenly
- After straining
- Lifting heavy objects
- Travelling etc.
Before taking medicines like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Muscle relaxants or pain killers
- Home remedies like heat therapy
- Cryotherapy(cold Therapy) and
- Liniments one could try few home remedies
Cold Therapy has been demonstrated to decrease nerve conduction velocity, exerting a local anesthetic effect. Topical cold acts as a counterirritant, increasing small nonmyelinated C-fiber activity that inhibits nociceptive signals within the spinal cord and brain stem. Lowering of muscle temperature reduces muscle spindle sensitivity and overall muscle tone. Cold therapy contrary to heat therapy can cause the blood supply to slow down and inhibit chemicals causing inflammation..
Heat Therapy has a muscle relaxation effect and also improves the blood supply to the area of pain, hence washing away the pain causing chemicals such as substance P in the back. Heating decreases gamma-fiber activity in muscle, reducing the sensitivity of muscle spindle to stretch. Heat may also stimulate areas of the brain, exerting a psychosomatic effect.
Liniments or topical pain relieving gels or oils also cause increased blood supply and reduce pain
Many scientific studies prove the point that, heat therapy and cryo therapy can reduce pain in the low back region. An ordinary hot water bottle can work but the heat given is not sustained. Commercially available heating pads work well. Only precaution would be to make sure the heat is not too much to burn the skin especially in diabetic individuals who may not perceive sensation well. Some devices can create heat and cold alternatively which works very well.
Back belts or lumbar corsets, work by reducing the movements of the spine, and also giving support to the spine reducing muscle strain. It will be useful to wear Lumbosacral belts while travelling and working.
Home remedies are helpful many time they surely or best way to pamper oneself. But if the pain is persistent or increasing, it is advisable to seek medical help.
Dr. SATHISH DEVADOSS
M.B.B.S.,M.S.,(ortho)M.CH.,ortho (UK),FASIF (Aust)
Orthopaedic Surgeon | MEDICAL DIRECTOR
DEVADOSS MULTISPECIALITY HOSPITAL