Backache & Rheumatic ailments
Backache is one of the commonest ailments affecting most people after their thirties. Although numerous inherited and acquired conditions can be pointed out as the causes of backache, often the culprits are our lifestyle, stress of over work, postures, trauma Lack of exercise, Excess weight, Psychological conditions etc. Back pain can originate from the muscles, nerves, bones, joints or other structures in the spine. Back pain can be a sign of a serious medical problem, although this is not most frequently the underlying cause:
- Typical warning signs of a potentially life-threatening problem are bowel and bladder incontinence or progressive weakness in the legs.
- Severe back pain that occurs with other signs of severe illness (e.g. fever, unexplained weight loss) may also indicate a serious underlying medical condition.
- Back pain that occurs after a trauma, such as a car accident or fall, may indicate a bone fracture or other injury.
- Back pain in individuals with medical conditions that put them at high risk for a spinal fracture, such as osteoporosis or multiple myeloma, also warrants prompt medical attention.
- Back pain in individuals with a history of cancer (especially cancers known to spread to the spine like breast, lung and prostate cancer) should be evaluated to rule out metastatic disease of the spine.
The lower back, which starts below the ribcage, is called the lumbar region. Symptoms range from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting sensation. The pain may make it hard to move or stand up straight. Acute back pain comes on suddenly, often after an injury from sports or heavy lifting. Pain that lasts more than three months is considered chronic.
Sciatica: --a bulging or ruptured disc of spine presses on the sciatic nerve, pain may run from the buttock down one leg. This is called sciatica. Several chronic conditions can lead to low back pain.
- Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, which can put pressure on the spinal nerves
- Spondylitis refers to chronic back pain and stiffness due to severe inflammation of the spinal joints.
- Spondylosis of spine: - Spondylosis refers to degeneration of the spine. The term can be used to describe degeneration in the:
- Neck – called cervical spondylosis
- Lower back – called lumbar spondylosis
- Middle back – called thoracic spondylosis
- The term spondylosis is used to describe osteoarthritis of the spine, but it is also commonly used to describe any manner of spinal degeneration
- Fibromyalgia causes widespread muscle aches, including back pain. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to pressure. Symptoms other than pain may occur, leading to the use of the term fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Other symptoms include feeling tired to a degree that normal activities are affected, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness
- IVDP-intervertebral disc prolapse. [Bulging or ruptured discs]. Disks act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve. However, you can have a bulging or ruptured disc without back pain.
- Osteoporosis. Your spine's vertebrae can develop compression fractures if your bones become porous and brittle.
- Tests for diagnosis and treatment:------ X-ray, MRI or CT scans, Blood tests, Bone scan, Nerve studies (electromyography, or EMG)
Arthritis is generally inflammation of joints which can be of a single joint or multiple joints .There is over 100 different types of arthritis .only a few important types are described here.
Osteoarthritis:- Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include joint pain and progressive stiffness that develops gradually.
Rheumatoid arthritis – affects multiple joints and is associated with development of deformities if left untreated.
Gout- it is a metabolic disease with blood level of high uric acid, painful and swollen big toe with deposition of tophi in joints.
- General measures
- Medications ----rhus tox, hypericum, phosphorus, calcarea phos, colocynth, kali carb, nux vom, nat Mur, sulphur, Benz. ac, ledum, kalmia etc.