What is Lumbago?

What is Lumbago?
Lumbago is the term used to describe general low back pain, the exact cause of which is often unknown. The pain can come on after lifting things, or overuse or it may come on unexpectedly – without previous exercise or training, or perhaps because of a lack of these.

Lumbago is a severe pain in the lumbar region of the spine, the lower back. It can be caused by lifting heavy objects incorrectly or by twisting the spine in an awkward position.

Lumbago is pain of the back, and includes pain at the lumbar, lumbo-sacral, or sacroiliac regions of the back. It may be accompanied by pain radiating to the legs. Lumbago is a common disorder, and is very treatable by Chinese medicine methods.

Symptoms include:
. Pain in the lower back which does not radiate down the legs
. Stiffness in the back especially in the morning
. A poor posture or ‘S’ shape in the spine (scoliosis)

What can you do about it?
. Rest (in bed if it is really severe). The supine position is often the most comfortable position
. Apply heat or have hot baths
. See a sports injury specialist or doctor
. Try to get moving as soon as possible
. Add 3 drops of Rosemary oil or Oregano or Thyme oil to your bath and have a long relaxing soak
. Rest with a large cushion under the knees to rest the back

What can an injury specialist or doctor do?
. Determine the cause and advise you on posture and exercises
. Use ultrasound, TENS or interferential treatment
. Use sports massage techniques
. Prescribe a full rehabilitation and strengthening programme
. Prescribe anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, or muscle relaxing medication
. Apply traction or joint manipulation techniques.

Does it reccur?
Lumbago often goes only to come back again later. If this happens you should consider a full rehabilitation and back education programme.

Massage can be very helpful. Massage oil can be used to massage the lower back – down to the top end of buttocks, but avoiding the anus since the oils may cause irritation to the sensitive membranes.
Massage preparations are often prepared by mixing the following oils together:

3 drops rosemary oil
1-drop eucalyptus oil
2 drops peppermint oil
2 drops chamomile oil
1-drop cardamom oil
10 ml evening primrose oil

Causative factors and Chinese medicine
Generally speaking, the causative factors of lumbago have both external pathogenic factors, and internal pathogenic changes. Its fundamental etiology is the deficiency of kidney (yin or yang), liver and spleen, and those of exogenous factors, injuries, over-working and stressful emotions belong to causative pathogenic factors.

Pain in Chinese Medicine is often seen as disruption to flow of Qi or vital life energy, which in a healthy body can unite all parts into a single integrated whole. While different causative factors are very much emphasised in that they have different treatments, all eventually lead to Qi stagnation, which is perceived as pain.



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