The causes of lumbago are various. The lumbago dis-cussed in the following is mainly caused by chronic sprain of the lumbar muscles and protrusion of lumbar interver-tebral disc. Lumbago can be caused by damage of the lum-bar muscles, adhesion of muscles and ligaments or joints; or by retrograde pathological changes of the spinal vertebrae complicated by lumbar impairment, rupture of the fibrous ring of the lumbar vertebrae and protrusion of pulpiform nucleus that press on the nerves, periost and ligaments. TCM holds that lumbago is mainly caused by retention of pathological wind, cold and dampness in the meridians; or by malnutrition of the meridians and ten-dons due to kidney asthenia; or by inhibited flow of qi and blood in the meridians due to over strain and impairment.


Syndrome differentiation

1. Obstruction by pathogenic cold and dampness

Cold pain and heaviness sensation in the loins, or pain involving the buttocks and legs, inflexibility, aggra-vation with cold and rain, thin and white tongue fur and deep or slow pulse.

2. Stagnation of qi and blood

Pricking and fixed pain, stiffness of the waist, inflexi-bility, purplish tongue or with ecchymoses, taut or un-smooth pulse.

3. Deficiency of kidney essence 

Slow onset, vague aching and lingering pain in the loins, aggravation with overstrain, weakness of loins and knees; pale complexion, dizziness, tinnitus, spiritual las-situde, cold limbs, frequent and clear urine, pale tongue, deep and thin pulse in the case of yang asthenia; flushed cheeks, dysphoria, insomnia, dry mouth and throat, fe-verish sensation over palms and soles, yellow urine and dry feces, red tongue, thin and rapid pulse in the case of yin asthenia.

Lumbago 1