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    • 17 SEP 16

    Back Pain

    This is one of the most common conditions reported to practitioners, and probably a leading reason for sick leave, in the working world.

    Health and Safety guidance advises on safe workplace environments, but injuries can still occur due to body posture at work stations, or even quite innocuously from domestic tasks at home.

    Lower back injuries can be described as: soreness; stiffness; muscle strain; herniated disc damage; sciatica, with pain shooting down the hamstring muscle into the calf muscle.

    Medical professionals will always take lower back injuries seriously, especially if accompanied by any of the following: significant weight loss; loss of bladder control; leg weakness. These are usually indicators of a more serious condition.

    For the above reasons, an accurate diagnosis, rest, appropriate treatment, rehabilitation exercises should be pursued and not delayed. Your age, bodyweight and seriousness of injury must be considered as part the therapeutic process, which in elderly patients may mean coping with effects of osteoarthritis.

    As long as pain levels are tolerable, suitable exercises should be pursued under the instruction of a qualified practitioner to slowly rehabilitate. The word ‘slowly’ is emphasised for those intense sporting enthusiasts who may find basic exercise stretches and yoga, boring, and then re-injure themselves by returning too early to their normal training regimes. The resultant inflammation and more than likely low mood due to being incapacitated, can lead to injuries lingering.

    In medical herbalism, lower back pain can also be an indicator of adrenal fatigue. This is the weakening of the body’s resistance to stress from physical stress or emotional stress. Those in high powered, pressurised work environments or experiencing tough times in their personal live should be aware of adrenal fatigue. It is treated with adaptogen herbs such as Eleutherococcus senticosus. Adrenal fatigue can also be linked to endocrine system problems such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.