Low Back Pain – Ayurveda View Point And Treatment

Article by – Dr. MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD (Ayu). Low back pain is the most common health complaint in the age group of 35-50 years in both the sexes. Above 50 years, it is associated with several other diseases as well, like diabetes or high BP. It is usually characterized by dull or sharp aching pain in lower part of the back (spine). This causes restriction in the activity and work capacity. Thus it ultimately reduces the day to day joy, and life becomes miserable. 

Ayurveda refers this condition as Kati shoola.
Kati refers to ‘low back’ (hip) and shoola refers ‘pain’.
The description of this condition is available in some other conditions like ‘katigraha’, ‘prishtagraha ’etc, which are included under Vata Dosha imbalance disorders.

Causative factors

  1. Intake of dry, light, bitter, pungent and cold food
  2. Less food intake
  3. Fasting or less nutritive food
  4. Intake of mudga (green gram), masura (red lentil), kalaya (peanut) etc
  5. Over-exercise
  6. Long walk
  7. Fall or injury to the back
  8. Injury to the vital points
  9. Weight lifting
  10. Improper lying
  11. Brisk walk
  12. Excess sexual indulgence
  13. Suppression of the urges
  14. Work exhaustion
  15. Stress
  16. Grief
  17. Fear
  18. Dissatisfaction
  19. Emaciation etc.

Clinical features

Low back ache may be a pre-monitory (prodromal) symptom in fistula in ano, sciatica, gouty arthritis, hernia, emaciation disorder etc. Pain is confined to lower part of the spine (back bone) especially lumbar region or lumbo-sacral area (rarely sacro-iliac region also). If it is secondary, earlier history of fall or injury may be associated. Rarely, radiating pain may be complained by the patient towards lower limbs. But it is quite common in low back aches if the defect is in the discs between vertebrae (back bones). Often the movements of lumbo-sacral region like flexion and rotation are hampered either partially or completely.
Low back pain may be found in mild form in case of anemia, sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, hemorrhoids, urinary calculi, uterine disorders etc also.

Line of treatment

The general principles of treatment of vata dosha are adopted in case of katishoola (low back pain). It includes various measures to suit its varied clinical entities, stages and associated complaints.

  1. Snehana (oleation) – by sneha dhara (pouring oil), abhyanga (oil massage), avagaha (tub bath with oil or oleaginous medicaments), kati basti (retaining medicaments on the back) etc.
  2. Swedana (sudation) –avagaha sweda  (sweating treatment with tub bath), pizichil (kayaseka), nadi sweda (sudation through a tubular device – local sudation), panda sweda (sudation through medicated paste or powder) etc.
  3. Mridu Samshodhana -mild purgation
  4. Basti (medicated enema) like eranda basti, vaitarana basti, pippalyadianuvasana basti etc.

Single drug usage

Single drugs indicated in Low back ache:
Lashuna – Garlic
Eranda – Castor root and oil
Chincha – Tamarind fruit and leaves
Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata C. B. Clarke.
Shunti – Ginger
Bala – Sida cordifolia Linn.
Sahachara – Barleria prionitis Linn.
Ajamoda – Trachyspermum roxburghianum (DC.) Sprague
Haritaki – Terminalia chebula Retz.
Masha – Black gram
Prasarini – Sida cordata (Burm. F.) Borss.
Nirgundi – Vitex negundo Linn.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations indicated in Low back ache:

  1. Dashamoola kwatha
  2. Vishwadi kashaya
  3. Shuntyadi kwatha
  4. Rasnasapthakam kashaya
  5. Maharasnadi kashaya
  6. Rasnaerandadi kashaya
  7. Lashunaerandadi kashaya
  8. Sahacharadi kashaya
  9. Gandharvahastadi kashaya
  10. Trayodashanga guggulu
  11. Mahamasha taila
  12. Prasarini taila
  13. Ksheerabala taila
  14. Mahanarayana taila
  15. Dhanwantaram taila etc.

Wholesome diet

Wholesome diet and habits indicated in Low back ache:

  1. Godhuma(wheat)
  2. Rakta shali(red rice)
  3. Masha(black gram)
  4. Shigru(drum stick)
  5. Vartaki(small brinjal)
  6. Lashuna(garlic)
  7. Ghrita(ghee)
  8. Amla dravya(sour substances)
  9. Madhura ahara(sweet food)
  10. Patola(snake gourd) etc.

Unwholesome diet

Unwholesome diet and habits referred in Low back ache:

  1. Bitter, astringent and pungent food
  2. Jambu(blue berry)
  3. Cold water
  4. Fear
  5. Exhaustion
  6. Standing
  7. Driving
  8. Cold food and beverages etc.

Last drop:
Being with the typical characteristic feature of pain, tenderness, and restricted movements in low back, katishoola (low back pain) is an irritant illness which often disturbs the routine activities of the individuals. Even though role of stress and strain is also significantly found in this complaint, rest to the lower part of the back gives much comfort. Good dietary supplements to fulfill the need of nutrients will help to get better benefit in this illness. The work which gives exertion to the back (like riding two wheelers, horse riding, weight lifting etc.) will undoubtedly worsen the condition. So, one should avoid these worsening factors, after becoming the victim of back ache.

14 thoughts on “Low Back Pain – Ayurveda View Point And Treatment”

  1. Are bad posture when sitting/standing/lifting, constipation, lack of exercise, also some of the causative factors for lower back ache? Also heard that problems in the kidney can cause lower back ache, true?

    W.r.t. the section on “Wholesome diets/habits for lower back ache”, it may help to have some pointers other than just ‘dietary’ items.

    Could you please clarify the meaning of ‘secondary’ pain?

    Reply
    • First, you have to imagine that – the back muscles and abdominal muscles along with backbones form a bucket in which internal organs like intestines, kidney, bladder, etc are situated.

      Primary back pain means, back pain arising directly due to nerve / muscle / bone / ligament / tendon damage related to back. Best example is back pain followed by injury to lower back. For this section, bad posture while sitting standing etc apply.

      Secondary back pain means, back pain arising from internal organs. Suppose, in kidney stones, because of stones in Kidney / ureter – the pain gets radiated into the back, constipation leading to irritation of nearby nerves that also supply to lower back, leading to back pain etc. Here, the back pain is caused indirectly due to problem with internal organs.
      This pain may arise from
      a. nerves that supply both back muscles and the internal organs.
      b. due to pressure of internal organ pathology (disease process). This pressure falls on the lower back muscles (physically), leading to back pain.

      Reply
  2. Hi doctor your articles are quite informative,thank you for that.
    In my practice many patients who came with the complaints of Osteo Arthritis are wantsthe medicine which will replace the synovial fluid as they were guided by the some oyher practitioners.
    Hence one thing i want to know is: Is there any medicine is like that or not?
    If it is there how it will influence the above?

    Reply
    • Dear Dr Udaya Keerthi,
      a. Rasayana treatment (Rejuvenation treatment), followed by Panchakarma, with anti ageing medicines like Chyawanprash
      b. Anti inflammatory medicines like Yogaraja Guggulu
      c. Oral oil medication like Ksheerabala taila

      the above line of treatment helps in regeneration of bone tissue, and also in restoration of synovial fluid.

      Reply
  3. Swami Ramdevji indicates that production of the synovial fluid will commence again when one regularly does kalpa bhati panayam.

    Reply
  4. doctor my father had a hernia operation 10 years ago and he has low back ache nowdays due to intensive work load in his shop. will lumbastone soft gel capsule be helpful for him.

    Reply
  5. Hi doctor I get patient with pcod and irregular memstruation some patoent are quickly responding to kanchara guggulu varunaddi kashayam but few patient are not responding to medicine kindly suggest some medication for continuation of periods and pre menstrual spotting

    Reply
    • Hi Dr Tejaswini, if the patient has shortened periods, consider adding ashokarishta.
      If the periods are delayed, consider adding raja pravartini tablet.

      Reply

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