Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

Back Pain

Socrates, the Greek Philosopher is quoted as saying “If you would seek health, look first to the spine” and it is true that the health of our spine is important for overall health. Back pain is something we need to deal with for ongoing good health.

Metaphysically back problems are rooted in a lack of support. Louise Hay breaks this down even further, to the upper back which is a lack of emotional support, holding back love, and feeling unloved, the middle back for feelings of guilt, or “get off my back”, and the lower back for a lack of financial support.

For physical ailments involving the structure of the human body, a hands on modality will make a big difference. Whether you choose chiropractic, osteopathic or Bowen therapy care, massage, physiotherapy or something else, the hands on nature and the relationship between you and your therapist is important. Working on posture and core stability through something like Pilates, Alexander technique, Yoga, or Tai Chi will also support your back and reduce recurrent injury. Homeopathy however is well placed to support the body and deal with the underlying cause if it is indeed emotional.

As always, if there is something wrong then see a Doctor or Health professional for diagnosis and assessment. Ongoing problems need to be assessed by your Doctor, and in terms of homeopathic treatment you may need to see a Homeopath for an individual prescription.

Let’s start with some anatomy. The spine is made up of vertebrae (bones) with discs in between which have a hard cartilage exterior and a soft gel like interior. Running through the vertebrae is the spinal cord, and there are facet joints, supported by ligaments, that allow the spine to move and flex. There are 5 separate sections- the cervical vertebrae are the seven at the top of the spine including the neck, then the thoracic vertebrae (sometimes called the dorsal vertebrae, or may be divided into thoracic upper and dorsal lower thoracic vertebrae) which are twelve in the middle of the back, the lumbar spine in the lower back has 5 vertebrae, and then the sacrum and coccyx- which originally were made up of separate vertebrae but that fuse by adulthood. With so many individual pieces making up your backbone it is important to take care of it, and any severe or ongoing pain should be investigated.

Let’s look at some homeopathic remedies that can be useful in acute back pain situations.

Rhus Toxicodendron is for a strained lower back from over lifting, that comes with stiffness. Also can be used for sciatica. They are worse on first movement, then feel better for continued motion until they over do it. They are worse in bed, and will be restless because they cannot find a comfortable place to lie. Lying on something hard may help, and the application of heat.

Bambusa is for neck and upper back pain, or even shoulders, particularly when there is stiffness at the nape of the neck or difficulty turning the head. Pain may also come like a wave of burning heat along the spine. Bambusa is particularly indicated when there is a lack of support and they are under a lot of stress with work, family or finances.

Calc Fluor also has problems from over lifting with a fullness or burning pain in the lumbar spine. Like Rhus Tox the pain is worse initially but is relieved by continued movement, and Calc Fluor can work if Rhus Tox fails to act. It may also be useful as a tissue salt for support.

Nux Vomica is a remedy for bruised or drawing pain in the lumbar region. They may have sudden stitches in their back and need to sit up in bed to turn over. It is worse lying in bed, and even lying in in the morning will make it worse. They can also have a stiff neck or torticollis. Opposite to Rhus Tox and Calc Fluor, they are worse for movement.

Sepia has weakness in the small of the back. Pain feels like being struck by a hammer, better pressing back on something hard. This is a good remedy if it is related to their menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

Bryonia has back pain worse for the least movement- they will want to lie down and stay perfectly still, any movement will make them feel worse. They even find their muscles are sensitive to touch, and there can be a bruised feeling while lying on their back.

Aesculus is useful for sacral pain that is worse when walking. There will be continual aching pain, which can be quite severe and affects the sacrum and hips. They may also feel like their back gives out when walking. Aesculus is particularly indicated if they also have haemorrhoids.

There are many many other remedies for backache, and if none of these resonate with you it may be a different remedy that is required. If you are having recurring or ongoing back pain, or an acute episode that the above remedies are not helping with, please message me and we can make an appointment.

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