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Backache

General characteristics

General characteristics

The term backache refers here to a generalised sensation of pain located in the back that is not due to some other problem such as kidney infection, sciatica, slipped disc or other known conditions. Refer to individual ailments for more specific advice on healing those conditions.
Backache can be the symptom of a variety of different problems including muscle strain, inflamed nerves, poor posture, osteoporosis, spinal deformities, prostatitis, arthritis or rheumatism, uterine prolapse, kidney and bladder weakness, constipation etc. The latter two cause can result in metabolic toxins accumulating around the tissues in the areas of these organs and irritate the nerve tissue. In these cases gentle laxatives and diuretic herbs can help.
If none of the remedies suggested help in any way, the backache is not traceable to physical exertion or emotional stress, or pain persists for a week or more it is wise to find the underlying cause of the back pain.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Foods rich in calcium help with muscle and nerve cell repairs and maintenance. A glass of fresh carrot juice daily will provide lots of plant calcium.

Research exercises that are specific to your type of back pain. Resting the back is important but correct exercises are equally necessary.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

External applications of the following rub can bring warmth and relief from backache;
Use 100ml of olive and/or sunflower oil as your base and add 3 drops each of frankincense, rosemary and peppermint essential oils to it. Add a pinch of chilli powder and a pinch of grated ginger. Shake well and rub over the affected area. Use several times a day and keep the area warm and dry.
A tea made from equal parts of black cohosh, white willow bark, nettle, burdock root, alfalfa leaf and mullein leaf may provide relief from backache. Place 4 heaped teaspoons of the mix in a pan, add a pint or so of water, bring to the boil then cover and stand for several hours or overnight. Strain off the liquid and drink over the day. Use for up to a week.
St johns wort is a specific for inflammation of the nerves and muscle and the associated pain. Use the warmed tincture regularly as a compress.
Crampbark can help ease pain caused by muscular tension or spasm.
Warm compresses soaked in strong chamomile and comfrey leaf should also help.
A few drops of the tincture of barberry can be added to an individual dose of any formula for its anti-inflammatory action.
Take 3 cups daily of celery seed tea for its warming, soothing and pain relieving actions.
A straightforward pain relieving tea is made from buchu, valerian and hops in equal parts. Put 4 teaspoons of the herbs in a pan add 3 small cups of water and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and stand for half an hour. Strain and drink 3 small cups during the day. This will make you very relaxed and sleepy so be aware!
Applying chilli oil or ointment can help to releive pains in the back.
Ground ivy is an old remedy for backache.
When the cause of the backache is suspected as stemming from poor elimination via the kidneys or bowel use a mix of tinctures comprising equal parts (50ml of each) of yellow dock, black cohosh, agrimony, marshmallow root, echinacea and uva uri (bearberry) with 5 drops each of juniper and ginger tinctures. Take a teaspoon 3 times daily in water or herb tea.
Gravel root is also good at relieving backache, particularly if you suspect kidney or bladder stones. Boneset, a similar herb to gravel root is good for general aches and pains of bone or muscular origin.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Try soaking a cloth in warm water to which a pinch of chilli powder and/or a pinch of mustard powder has been added then use the cloth as a compress over the afflicted area. This increases blood flow to the area and can bring quite rapid relief from pain of many origins. A pinch of chilli can be added to any of the compresses suggested below and in the herb section and will greatly enhance the effects of any external or internal treatment.
Wheat bags are an excellent and simple way to reduce pain and bring comfort to the back. They are available online and can be microwaved or warmed in the oven. Follow instructions on the pack.
Castor oil packs can bring rapid relief. Warm castor oil in a pan and soak a flannel in it. Place over the painful area and relax. Add a hot water bottle to the compress to keep the warmth.
If back pain is a regular occurrence or lasts for weeks you need to get a correct diagnosis as to the underlying cause of the pain. Consider seeing an osteopath or chiropractor as they have considerable experience of the structure of the body.
Gentle massage with or without herbs or oils will help to improve circulation and relieve pain. The therapeutic powers of touch are well known and have been in use throughout history.
Sleep on a firm mattress on your back and check pillows are not too high or low. Aim to keep the spine straight if possible.

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