No Woman, No Cry
How many times have you seen females complaining of Back Pain? Quite often!
Girls with lower back problems usually experience pain from a sports injury or an accident. In these cases, lower back pain is due to a pulled muscle or strained ligament. Carrying heavy backpacks is another cause of back pain in young people. Girls reaching puberty and menstruation may also experience back pain due to hormone changes. Being overweight or obese is yet another cause of back pain in girls/women.
Back Pain Conditions That Mainly Affect Women
Female sex hormones play an important role in a variety of degenerative diseases of the muscles and bones and in pain sensitivity. Following are some of the common causes of back pain in women:
- Menstrual cycle- Hormone fluctuations increase pain sensitivity and affect the muscles. Women experience referred pain from the lower abdomen to the lower back during their menstrual cycle.
- Fibromyalgia– a condition with muscle pain and stiffness that can cause widespread back pain.
- Pregnancy – hormonal changes and pressure placed on the lower back area by a growing baby, including the tailbone, are top causes of lower back pain in women.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis – a lower back vertebrae slip forward over the one beneath it, irritating spinal nerve roots.
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction – Sacro iliac joint serves as a cushion between the upper body and pelvis, and dysfunction could be caused by pregnancy, walking pattern, osteoarthritis, injury, etc.
- Post Menopause- Spinal disc degeneration accelerates due to declining estrogen levels post menopause.
- Osteoarthritis in Spine – a degenerative joint disease that leads to a breakdown of the cartilage in facet joints; can lead to a compression fracture anywhere in the spine due to thinning bones.
- Medical disorders – There are a number of disorders that cause frequent back pain in women, i.e., kidney or bladder infections, ovarian disorders, uterine fibroids, pelvic infections, etc.
What Causes Upper Back Pain in Females?
The upper back or thoracic spine is the area that starts at the base of the neck and extends to the bottom of the ribcage. Upper back pain in women is usually due to:
- Poor posture, like slouching or pushing the head forward while sitting or standing, causing misalignment of the spine.
- Muscle overuse or strain, usually due to repetitive motions or lifting items or children incorrectly.
- Injury to discs, muscles and/or ligaments.
- Myofascial pain
Ayurveda for Menstrual Disorder related Backache
In dysmenorrhoea (pain during menstruation), Shatavari (Aspargus racemosus), and jatamansi mixture reduces the pain. Consumption of two tablespoon of castor oil at bedtime with warm water before menstruation starts also relieves backache. However, if there is infection in the pelvis, it must be treated seriously. Usually with the eradication of infection, backache reduces. Medicines like Dashamoolarishta, Ashwagandharishta, Ashokarishta can help to a large extent in this type of backache. Kati basti therapy helps a lot in the management of such back pains.
Diet during Back pain in Women
Since back is the most important balancing part of the body its care must be taken from all possible aspects. Diet is the main source of nourishment of body.
Pure ghee-consumption of 4-5 teaspoons of pure ghee everyday nourishes the body well.
Pulses: enough consumption of pulses gives strength to muscles. Green gram is especially useful in the form of sprouted curry or soup.
Drumstick soup: Cook drumsticks in water, remove the skin park, dilute the pulp again in water and boil for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of ghee, rock salt to taste a bowlful of this soup should be part of daily diet for women.
Godugdha, godhuma, gum: (cow’s milk, wheat and edible gum respectively) these are three”G” which are key words to diet for backache as they have healing properties.
Recipes with 3 G’s
Laddu- wheat flour, deep fried edible gum in cow’s ghee, almonds and sugar, mix all ingredients in lot of ghee and make laddu. Eat one laddu every day and have a glass of milk after half an hour.
Payasam—take 4 teaspoons of yellow moong, cook it, grind it, fry it in a pan with 4 teaspoons of pure cow’s ghee for 3-4 minutes, add milk to it and sugar, stir well.
Sedentary lifestyle and no exercise can also lead to backache gradually. Regular exercise of neck, back, lower back should be performed. Stretching exercises and yogasanas with proper training can help to a large extent to solve backache. Right posture and rhythmic jogging or brisk walk also give good tone to the back muscles. At times, sufficient rest brings down the stress and backache are reduced.
Application of camphor in oil—camphor should be mixed in sesame oil and warmed Application of this mixture on back with gentle massage reduces backache. Most of the pain-relieving ointments have the ingredients such as camphor, eucalyptus and menthol, which relieve pain.
Try gentle stretches: Gentle stretches can actually help women heal more quickly. Try this: While lying down, try bringing up your knees to your chest. Then, put a little pressure on your knees. Stretch, and then relax. Repeat a few times unless you feel pain. If you do, stop.