Backache – Scientific approach and Yogic therapy for a neglected yet vital health issue   


There are many people who suffer from Back pain but still they do not give it the due importance it often deserves. The problem aggravates in absence of proper diagnose. Both men and women are affected by it. After menopause in women, a reduction in mass of bones is observed. This results in weakening of bones and a lack of exercise further adds to the problem of fragile bones. However, backache can happen in all age groups due to a number of causes ranging from ones hereditary to body disorders and incorrect postural habits., but the most susceptible age group is 45 to 59. Wrong postures and a hectic fast paced lifestyle are probably the most vital cause behind this ailment taking its toll on a very large population.

Alternative name:-

Common causes:-

Back ache is more prevalent between the age of 35 and 55. The most frequently cause of our back pain are:

Heavy physical work,
Frequent bending, twisting, lifting,
pulling and pushing,
Repetitive work,
Static postures,

Psychosocial risk factors for backache includes stress, distress, anxiety, depression, cognitive dysfunction, pain threshold, job dissatisfaction, and mental stress at work.

Many people mention back pain as the major cause for absence from work. For some people, it becomes a persistent problem that haunts their professional as well as personal life. The majority of the people suffering from this menace complain of its recurrence in their lives.

As a matter of fact, the damages caused to the back muscles and ligaments lead to the occurrence of back pain in human body. This may come from standing or sitting in the incorrect posture for a long period of time. When someone lifts a heavy object and strains the muscles in the process, he may experience back pain. Usually, the obese people fall prey to this menace more than the slim ones.

In some of the instances, a slipped disc in the spine may cause back pain. Even the spine related diseases like arthritis can lead to its occurrence. Unusual curvature of the spine called scoliosis is another culprit that causes back pain.

In most cases the back pain is an immensely painful condition which unless treated properly can result in a medical emergency and complete immobility of a person.


As evident from the name, a back pain is characterized by a sharp pain  in the back area. The buttocks and lower back part of the body are the most affected areas and in fact these are the regions that are characterized by chronic as well as intense pain at times. People may feel difficulty in bending and their back can become stiff due to this ailment.

When back pain gets severe, it may lead to some other disorders like lack of mobility and nausea that can affect one’s health adversely. In some cases, a slipped disc may lead to sciatica. It can be extremely painful for the victim. Back pain, if left untreated, may bring weight loss and digestive problems.

Almost anyone and everyone can be affected by back pain but most commonly the overweight people who sit slouched on their chairs for a long time will be afflicted by this malady.

Yogic cure:-

[1] Shatkarma                               {Purificatory techniques}

{a} Kunjal                               {Volitional  stomach  wash}

{b}Jala-neti                            {Nose wash by water}

{c} Kapal-bhati                     { Lungs & brain wash by breathing }

{d} Sankha- prakshalana { Mouth to anus gut wash}

[2]Yogasanas:-                                     { Posture }

{a} Trikonasana                   {Tringle}

{b} padmasana                     {Lotus}

{c} Matsyasana                     {Fish}

{d} Vajrasana                        {Adamantine}

{e} Gaumukhasana             {Cow-head}

{f}  Ardh-matsyendrasan {Half spine twist}

{g} Salabhasana                  {Locust}

{i}  Ushtrasana                    {Camel}

{j}  Bhujangasana               {Cobra}

{k}  Chakrasana                  {Wheel}

{l}   Supta vajrasana          {Lying adementine}

{m} Uttana-kurmasana    {Stretched  tortoise}

{n}  Tadasana                      {Palmyra}

{o}  konasana                       { Angle}

{p} kati chakrasan              { Lumber wheel

{q] Uttanapadasana

{r} Shavasana                       { Corpse }

[3] Pranayama              {Body- mind energising breathing practices}

{a} Bhastrika             { Bellows  pranayama }

[4] Mudras:-                                     {Finger-posture}

{a} Saptachakra asana

{b} Manipur chakra asana

{c} Shakti chalini mudra

[5] Bandhas:-                                   {Bands}

{a} Uddiyana bandha               {Abdominal lock}

[6] Dhyana                                       {Meditation}

[7]  Diet therapy :-  Foods to eat

  • Green vegetables, such as watercress, parsley, celery, kale, and okra
  • Seaweeds
  • Carrots
  • Spirulina
  • Barley and wheat grass products (anti-inflammatory and detoxifying)
  • Avocados
  • Pecans
  • Potassium broth
  • Soy products
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, millet, oats, wheat, and barley
  • Cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, or herring

Foods to Avoid

Studies have shown that all arthritis symptoms are reduced, even for those with rheumatoid arthritis, after a person adopts a vegetarian diet, free of all animal foods, including-and especially-dairy products.

Calcium Inhibitors

  • Reduce or eliminate red meat, dairy, eggs, and chicken
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Refined sugar and too many sweets
  • Excess salt

Foods High In Oxalic Acid

  • Rhubarb
  • Cranberries
  • Plums
  • Chard
  • Spinach

The Nightshade Family of Foods

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Tobacco

Foods that will Create Wind and Dampness

  • Buckwheat
  • Dairy foods
  • All animal fat
  • Nuts, oil-rich seeds, and nut butters.

[8] Fasting:-

Home remedies:

  • Apply a cold pack (bag of ice) to the painful area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Apply at least three times a day.
  • Take two or three cloves of garlic every morning.
  • Apply a paste made of ginger powder mixed with sufficient water to the affected area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, wash it off, and then rub the back with some eucalyptus (Nilgiri) oil.
  • Rubbing the painful area of the back with garlic oil is also effective for relieving the pain. The oil is prepared by frying 10 cloves of garlic in 60 ml of mustard oil or sesame oil on a slow fire till the garlic turn brown. Then, the cooled oil should be applied vigorously on the back, and allowed to remain there for 2 or 3 hours. Take a warm bath afterwards. It should be done for atleast 15 days.
  • Apply a paste of ginger and eucalyptus oil to the affected area.
  • Take the juice of one lemon mixed with little common salt twice a day.
  • Application of raw potato in the form of a poultice is very effective, especially in a low backache.

Scientific explanation:

Yoga is believed to reduce pain by helping the brain’s pain center regulate the gate-controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and the secretion of natural painkillers in the body. Breathing exercises used in yoga can also reduce pain. Because muscles tend to relax when you exhale, lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension. Awareness of breathing helps to achieve calmer, slower respiration and aid in relaxation and pain management.

Yoga’s inclusion of relaxation techniques and meditation can also help reduce pain. Part of the effectiveness of yoga in reducing pain is due to its focus on self-awareness. This self-awareness can have a protective effect and allow for early preventive action.

Scientific appraisal in favour of yoga:-

Low back pain is a significant public health problem and one of the most commonly reported reasons for the use of Complementary Alternative Medicine. A randomized control trial was conducted in subjects with non-specific chronic low back pain comparing hatha yoga therapy to an educational control group. Both programs were 16 weeks long. Subjects were primarily self-referred and screened by primary care physicians for study of inclusion/exclusion criteria. The primary outcome for the study was functional disability. Secondary outcomes including present pain intensity, pain medication usage, pain-related attitudes and behaviors, and spinal range of motion were measured before and after the interventions. Subjects had low back pain for 11.2+/-1.54 years and 48% used pain medication. Overall, subjects presented with less pain and lower functional disability than subjects in other published intervention studies for chronic low back pain. Of the 60 subjects enrolled, 42 (70%) completed the study. Multivariate analyses of outcomes in the categories of medical, functional, psychological and behavioral factors indicated that significant differences between groups existed in functional and medical outcomes but not for the psychological or behavioral outcomes. Univariate analyses of medical and functional outcomes revealed significant reductions in pain intensity (64%), functional disability (77%) and pain medication usage (88%) in the yoga group at the post and 3-month follow-up assessments. These preliminary data indicate that the majority of self-referred persons with mild chronic low back pain will comply to and report improvement on medical and functional pain-related outcomes from Hath yoga therapy.

Home Remedies For Backache:-

Most back pain can be effectively treated with these home remedies, but a ruptured or slipped disk often requires intensive medical care.

  • Bend and stretch every night and when you hurt, to releive back pain.
  • Lemon is another useful remedy for bachache. The juice of one lemon should be mixed with common salt and taken by the patient twice daily. It will give relief.
  • Boil ten tulsi leaves in one cup of water until the syrup is reduced to half a cup. Add salt to it after cooling. Take this mixture daily. For severe backache, take it twice a day.
  • Musta is an herb that is a muscle pain killer. Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon 2 or 3 times a day with warm water.
  • Apply a paste made of ginger powder mixed with sufficient water to the affected area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, wash it off, and then rub the back with some eucalyptus oil.
  • Apply St. john’s wart directly to the back area.


  •  Padahasttasana, Paschimottasana, Sarvangasana and  Halasana should be avoided.
  •  Do not suntan, this oil makes your skin very sensitive to the sun.
  • Raw potato is an ancient home remedy for backache, characterised by incapacitating pain in the lumbar region, especially in the lower part of the back. Application of raw potato in the form of a poultice has been found very effective in this condition.
  • Avoid exposure to cold weather or cold winds.
  • Avoid sleeping face down.
  • Smoking or taking tobacco in any from should be given up completely.
  • Minimize sexual activity when you have back pain
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects in the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy.

Further suggestion:-

In cases of backaches, one should take complete rest by sleeping on a hard bed and keeping the spinal column completely straight.

ordinary backache can also be treated by massage, hot water bag on the back, ultraviolet heat and necessary exercise.

if pain is a result of chronic dysentery, chronic colitis, chronic constipation, consult your physician get general medical examination as well as get the stools examined, if needed go for X-Ray too (as per direction of the physician).

Practice of Shalabhasana at the end of Bhujang­asana and practice of Dhanurasana on completion of Ushtrasana are found very advantageous in the pain in the waist. Therefore, without any type of hurry, with perfect quiet attitude, composed, and with patience, practise Asanas and Bhramari as well as Omkar Pranayamas.

The Yogic method of treatment implies taking the correct diet, sleeping on not too soft bed and practicing some selected asana.

Yogi Yoganand