Ayurveda describes a Low Back Pain as Katigrahama, meaning a stiff back. Most back pains are associated with two very prominent reasons;
- By an imbalanced metabolism connected with the accumulation of wind in the region of the belly, in the region of the Large Intestine at the back
- Due to bad sitting posture
Let us explore each one briefly…
1. All types of pain in the body are predominantly associated with the involvement of Vata dosha. When Vata finds its movement curtailed and Vata accumulates, it manifests as pain in that area. Largely, as the seat of Vata is the large intestine, pain mostly manifests in the lower back.
Understanding the cause of accumulation is most important. Treatments are available. But are you going to depend on treating yourself or are you going to prevent a back pain??? When undigested food rejected as waste cannot bind stools fully. The stools get accumulated in the large intestines leading to Constipation or irregular or incomplete bowels. Because of this, the movement of Vata is restricted and back pain emerges as a result.
A large number of you may be consuming laxatives on most days to clear your bowels. Do you think this is necessary? Is this normal? Have you realised by now that you are only dealing with the consequence of your action. Consumption of laxatives continuously is harmful. And also, the cause still remains unaddressed.
The cause of low back pain begins with unhealthy eating habits! There are a couple of mistakes you make that lead to a low back pain;
A. Eating in a hurry
B. Standing and eating
C. Eating late at night
D. Sleeping late
For stools to form, the eating process should be right. Chewing food breaks down in the mouth itself, forms a bolus which is then broken down in the small intestine and the necessary nutritive value is absorbed into the blood stream. The rest is then sent down as waste which binds itself and forms stools. We have all studied this in school.
Then what goes wrong? Priorities in life have changed. Food and the eating process are taken for granted. The mind is preoccupied in the next activity that is in the pipeline for the day. Food consumption is considered as a “Necessary” waste of time. So you hurry up to finish it.
Standing and eating is a faulty habit. And the attitude towards food is totally wrong. Moreover, while consuming food in a hurry, you tend to swallow a lot of air. Water is also invariably consumed to push it down the stomach rudely, only to rush to the next activity. Air gets locked up in the intestines leading to bloating of the abdomen. And semi chewed food cannot digest completely. Apana Vayu is reversed. Gas is not passed out completely. This leads to back pain. A little contemplative phase after a meal is important for the digestion process to kick in.
Eating late at night is a bad habit. There is no time given for digestion and if so given, your sleep time will proceed towards midnight. Late eating leads to slow digestion. The long period of rest during sleep is disturbed as you cannot sleep on a full stomach. The body is stressed and Vayu builds up. You get up with a stiff back in the morning. If bowel movement is incomplete, further complications arise.
Do you know that Vata is primarily responsible for degenerative changes like Arthritis, dull lifeless and darkened skin. Wrinkles appear before age too. Hairfall, dry and split hair, mood swings, depression etc are other symptoms.
Another bad habit is sitting on the bed soon after a meal. The posture is one of a semi erect nature, slowly leading to a slouch and then lying down on bed. In a supine posture, digestion stops, Kapha builds up leading to slow absorption of food and toxin build up is high. As a result, Vayu increases in the channels leading to a back ache later on.
The following actions will help in reducing Vayu in the body;
- Eating while sitting down is the healthiest. While you take the morsel of food in your mouth and proceed to consume it, you tend to bend down. Agni builds up, heat develops in the stomach and helps in digesting food.
- While you sit down, the quantity of food is decided by the pressure that forms in the abdomen. You will know when to stop and over eating is prevented
- A pleasant walk for about 300 steps after a meal is very good
- Sit in Vajrasana or at least sit straight if your knees do not fold completely
- Respect food if food is important for you. Do not watch TV or talk while having food. Especially in corporates, the whole concept of a working lunch is so baseless, unhealthy and stressful.
- Avoid cold foods, foods cooked previous night, raw foods like raw salads
A couple of home remedies can help you ease your back pain. But this not a replacement for professional help.
- Make Garlic oil by frying 10 cloves of Garlic in Mustard, Coconut or Sesame oil. Rub it not so vigourously on the back & leave it on for 1/2 an hour. After this, take a warm to hot shower.
- This recipe is to relieve gas in the large intestine. Mix ½ a tsp each of Jeera + Dhania powder + 3 pinches of Jaggery in 200 ml of water till the water becomes 100 ml. take it off the stove, add 1 tsp of freshly extracted Pudina juice to this mixture and consume.
It’s is important to ascertain the extent of damage Vata has done in your body. Do not take your back pain for granted.
A NADI PARIKSHA will reveal the extent of damage. A pathological report does not understand a backache in the true sense nor can it indicate the prognosis correctly.