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Lumbago

General characteristics

General characteristics

Lumbago is an umbrella term used to describe pain in the lower (lumbar) region of the back. Symptoms of lumbago include pain and stiffness in the lower back, buttocks or thighs and reduced movement. It can be either acute (sudden onset) or chronic (longer lasting with more gradual onset). It is one of the commonest reasons for taking time off work.

Lumbago can have a large number of causes including abdominal or pelvic organ prolapse or infection, displaced discs, muscle tears, kidney stones, rheumatism or arthritis, prostate enlargement, hormonal changes (i.e. pregnancy or menstruation), physical trauma due to overexertion, osteoporosis, distortion of the spine, tumours, chronic constipation, poor posture, a bad mattress and a sedentary lifestyle.

The location, pattern and intensity of the pain, coupled with the range of movement and any accompanying symptoms often provides clues as to the origin and cause of the pain. Identifying the cause is important for effective treatment, especially if it stems from a cause other than the nervous, muscular or skeletal systems.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat foods rich in magnesium, a vitally important mineral for nerve, muscle, blood vessel and bone health. Good sources include nuts and seeds, all green leaves, apples, avocados, seafoods, whole grains and black grapes.

Eat foods rich in calcium for its beneficial effects on structural integrity, smooth functioning of muscular contraction and joint and nerve health. Good sources include carrots and fresh carrot juice, dark green leaves, sesame seeds and tahini, nuts and seeds and oily and bony fish like sardines.

Eat foods rich in B vitamins such as whole grains and sprouted grains and beans and legumes, will help the body utilise the nutrition provided to it and help feed and strengthen the nerves and muscles.

Fresh celery juice, a small glass 3 times daily is an old, but effective, gypsy remedy for lumbago.

Eat a small amount of watercress in a salad daily.

Eat some onions, raw in a salad if possible every day.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

If the lumbago is due to inflammation of the tissues, bones, joints or from muscle strain, then take a formula that contains the tinctures of herbs such as wild yam, black cohosh, white willow, devils claw, valerian, barberry, yellow dock, uva ursi and buchu. Combine in equal parts and take a teaspoon in water 3 times daily.
Make a rubbing oil using the dried herbs of wormwood, st johns wort, prickly ash, chilli, ginger and castor oil. Warm the castor oil and add a heaped tablespoon of each herb, except for a teaspoon of prickly ash and a small pinch of chilli and ginger powders. Warm in a pan over a very low heat for 20 -30 minutes or so but do not allow to boil or simmer. Stand overnight with a lid on. Next day strain off the herbs and use the liquid as a rub or whizz the whole mix up, herbs and all, in a blender and apply as a poultice.
Add a generous pinch of chilli/cayenne to external treatments to help with pain relief.
Celery seed tea can also help relieve pain and inflammation and warm and soothe the area.
Make a rub from equal parts of rue and arnica tinctures and apply to the back 3 times daily.
A daily tea of 2 parts nettle, alfalfa leaf, plantain leaf and raspberry leaf and 1 part oatstraw and horsetail will provide a wealth of nutrients that will feed and strengthen both the musculo-skeletal and nervous systems and provide a host of tonic and nourishing effects to the whole body.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Take a teaspoon of cider vinegar in water 3 times daily.
Have a half teaspoon of cold pressed (edible) coconut oil twice daily and rub it into the back.
Some people use warm potato skins as a poultice to bring quick pain relief.

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