Many people begin to look toward Ayurvedic treatment for back pain because the Western modality of treating pain is to simply mask it. The approach of Ayurveda is focused on relieving the symptom (back pain), while discovering the cause and helping the person to make changes to their lifestyle that will provide long term relief.
Ayurveda has been in use for centuries, and more and more studies are being released that show it has a dramatic effect on health and wellness. When used in conjunction with western and other complementary treatments, it can be an important part of your complete recovery – and freedom from back pain. Back pain is one of the most difficult problems to treat because it is not well understood.
Understanding back pain
Back pain is one of the most difficult chronic pains to diagnose and to treat. Much of the stressors on the back, unless it is stemming from an issue with a disc in the spine, are not detectable by any modern medicine test. Physicians must rely on the patient reporting of their pain and discomfort level. The problem with that is for many people, the pain they are in can be so pervasive they may not even initially identify it as back pain until the problem has become very complicated. What also can be a problem is that as chronic back pain sets in, anticipatory anxiety and fear of the pain can raise perception as well and cause a person to avoid making some healthy choices to decrease back pain that they know will help, but are avoided from fear of pain too. While muscle relaxants and narcotic pain medications are typically used to help back pain, they come with their own problems and don’t do anything to resolve the issue causing the pain too.
How can Ayurvedic medicine help?
Ayurvedic medicine isn’t just an approach that uses natural herbs and compounds to treat back pain; it is a systemic treatment of the whole person to alleviate all of the causes of the back pain too. It comes from India, where it has been used as a method of healthcare for centuries, and it also had an influence on Traditional Chines Medicine (TCM). This is why you may recognize many of the herbs and medicines if you are familiar with alternative medicine. Ayurvedic practice also incorporates yoga practices and postures, breathing practices, massage, acupressure and other body treatments.
What is the basis of Ayurvedic medicine?
Ayurvedic medicine works on the principle that the body is influences by three kinds of energy – that of digestion, movement and immune strength. They are called Vata, Pitta and Kalpha. Each person is born more imbued with one energy than another and they have to adapt their life to keep their energies in balance to avoid being unwell. When chronic pain, back pain or illness occurs – it is because one of the energies has weakened (or strengthened) and put the triad out of balance. Ayurvedic medicine is the practice of balancing energies through diet, herbs, natural medicines, relaxation and movement practices.
Working with the Dosha
Back pain is associated with the Kalpha Dosha, which is the energy state the affects strength and flexibility. People with a natural Kalpha state will tend to be more muscular and fit. When that energy becomes unbalanced, back pain can occur. It could mean that you have too strong a Kalpha, or too weak. Depending on what type your native state of energy, problems can arise in your back.
Ayurvedic treatment for back pain
The traditional Ayurvedic treatment for back pain is going to feature one or more of the following herbs:
Each of these herbs has proven effects on the central nervous system and circulation system. They work to help relieve back pain as they improve the body’s ability to remove toxins and to deliver nutrients to the muscles in the back. Very often, chronic back pain will have the result of making your muscles constantly tense. Getting them to relax enough to rejuvenate themselves is one of the tasks of treatment. The other main focus of Ayurvedic treatment for back pain is to work with deep tissue massage, spine alignment, posture and breathing. This is done through beginning to practice specific yoga postures and receiving hands on treatment and massage. The goal of the movement and massage aspects of the treatment is to help you to learn new ways to keep your back in good condition, while dietary changes and herbs are used to increase the body’s ability to take care of itself.
Does it work?
Ayurvedic treatment for back pain is considered to be very effective in helping to relieve back pain. No matter what your Western trained doctor may believe about Ayurvedic beliefs, they cannot deny that all medical and healthcare communities know that movement and diet are a part of relieving chronic back pain. It is very helpful to use the Ayurvedic methods as a complement to Western methods, but to make sure that each professional that is overseeing your treatment is aware that you are doing this. This will allow you to slowly decrease medications as there is improvement in your back pain; and to allow the Ayurvedic practitioner to make sure that any herbs or prescribed postures won’t interact with any medications or limitations you may be one.
How do you find out what to do?
The best way to approach starting Ayurvedic treatment for back pain is to find a reputable local practitioner you can work with. You may be surprised to find that many chiropractors and osteopaths will know of Ayurvedic practitioners in your local area. You can also find information online and get in contact with professionals if there is no one in your area who can help you determine what you should be doing. There are also many online suppliers of Ayurvedic medicines that you can get your herbal and compound supplies from that are reliable and provide quality products.