Lower Back Pain and Kati Basti!

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Almost everyone at some point of life might have experienced a low back pain that may travel downward in to the buttocks and in to one or both lower extremities.
What is the cause for low back pain ?
Pain in the low back can be a result of conditions affecting the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
Common causes of low back pain (lumbar backache) include lumbar strain, nerve irritation, lumbar radiculopathy, bony encroachment, and conditions of the bone and joints.
Treatment for Low back pain
The treatment very much depends on the underlying cause.
Ayurveda and Lumbago
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.
The general principles of treatment of vata dosha are adopted in case of katishoola (low back pain).
Ayurveda advises the intake of a wholesome diet to prevent and cure Low back pain.
1. Wheat
2. Red rice
4. Drumstick
5. Brinjal
6. Garlic
7. Ghee
8. Sour and sweet substances
9. Snake gourd
And Ayurveda also advises to avoid the intake of bitter, astringent and pungent substances. Also usage of cold water and other cold articles must be avoided.
Ayurvedic procedure for LBA
Among all the remedies available for low back pain, Kati Vasti (Kati Basti) is the most popular one.

What is Kati Vasti (Kati Basti)?
The term has 2 terms –
Kati – means low back
Vasti – means to hold (compartment which holds)

Thus Kati Vasti means a treatment in which medicated oils are poured and pooled for a fixed duration of time in a compartment or a cabin constructed over the low back area using wet flour of black gram, covering the Lumbo-sacral and Sacro-iliac joints.

Kati Vasti is done in the morning when the Kapha symptoms predominate in the low back (stiffness), in the noon when pitta symptoms predominate (inflammation, burning sensation etc) and in the evening if Vata symptoms predominate (pain). Generally it is done early in the morning if convenience of the patient has to be seen.

The patient is made to lie in prone position. Finely powdered black gram powder is taken, kneaded and made in to a bolus. From this bolus a ring is made. The ring should be having a diameter so as to accommodate and enclose the lumbar vertebrae (low back bones), the sacroiliac joints and coccyx (tailbone) within it.

The height of the ring should be at least 5-6 inches. The junction of the ring and skin is sealed with wet flour. A small amount of oil is now poured in the ring (compartment) of flour and checked for leakage. Kati Vasti should be started after confirming that there is no leakage at the base of the walls of the ring.

Oil is poured into the compartment (space within the constructed ring of wet flour). Care should be taken to maintain the temperature of the oil in the Kati Vasti pool. The temperature should be kept uniform throughout the procedure (until the procedure is completed). Once the procedure is completed (approximately 45min ) the oil is slowly removed from the pool and stored. The same oil can be used for the procedure for 3 more days. On the 4th day the whole oil is replaced. It’s ideal to do 7 procedures in a course.

Article by

Dr Arya Krishna
Dr Arya Krishna
Ayurveda Consultant
About the Author
Dr Arya Krishna graduated in Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from the prestigious Amrita School of Ayurveda, Kerala, India. She brings more than 5 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda and owns Fellowship in Orthopedics Rehabilitation from the prestigious Appolo group of hospitals, Hyderabad. Currently she is serving as Associate Editor of American Journal of Ayurveda. She is a member ofHealthConnect24.com and is a consulting physician and panchakarma expert at House of Ayurveda, Chicago. Specializations include spinal disorders and orthopedics as well as gastroenterological disorders. She is experienced in treating women’s health probelms like menstrual disorders, leucorrhoea and PCOD. She is efficient in administering all panchakarma therapies and has good knowledge of classical Ayurveda. She is efficient in prescribing Ayurvedic diet for lifestyle disorders and possesses knowledge of yoga and pranayama. She works for the promotion and propagation of Ayurveda by offering lectures, webinars and contributing to various journals.



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