Kati Basti


Low back pain is a common disease due to modern day food and lifestyle activities, lowering immunity, frequency and mode of travel, many metabolic diseases like obesity etc, rush and push of life. It is a disorder involving the muscles and bones of the back. For low back pain, Kati-basti is the most effective solution from Ayurveda.

‘Kati’ means low back and ‘basti’ means to hold (compartment which holds). Thus Kati-basti 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. Basti is a term used to describe the urinary bladder in Ayurveda. Urinary bladder is a bag which holds urine for a certain amount of period till it is voided. Similarly in Kati-basti a compartment is constructed over the low back area by using flour of black gram and the pain relieving medicated (herbal) oils are pooled in this compartment for a fixed duration of time.

Benefits of Kati-basti:

• Enhances the circulation in the area, as the medicated oil gets deeply absorbed into the skin, which nourishes and reinforces the muscles and nerves.
• Balances Vata, due to which there is relief in pain, soreness, and tension and restoring flexibility.
• Alleviates chronic lower backaches and painful muscle spasms, stiffness, and degenerative disorders.

Indications of Kati-basti:

1. Low back pain (lumbago) –

It is a general disorder of the lower back involving the muscles and bones of the back.

2. Lumbar spondylosis –

It is a type of degenerative osteoarthritis of the joints of vertebrae forming low back.

3. Sciatica –

It is pain affecting the back, hip, thigh and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of sciatic nerve root in the lower back, often due to degeneration of an inter-vertebral disc. The pain along with tingling, numbness and weakness start in the lower back and travel downwards through the back of your thigh and outer side of the leg on the affected side.

4. Sacro-iliac joint dysfunction or pain –

It causes low back and or leg pain.

5. Coccydynia –

It is a pain in coccyx or tail bone pain, usually brought on by sitting too abruptly.
6. Inter-vertebral disc prolapse or lumbar disc disorders or spinal disc herniation –
It causes frequent low back pain. When inter-vertebral disc get bulged, protruded, extruded or sequestered, they press on a nerve root thus leading to pain and other signs in the leg.

7. Spodylolisthesis –

It is a condition in which there is a forward displacement of a vertebra, especially the 5th Lumbar Vertebra. In this, there is general stiffening of the back, low back pain and tightening of hamstring muscles (muscles making the back of thigh), a leaning-forward pose, a waddle while walking (duck type walking) and a shooting pain along the course of sciatic nerve (involving pain in the back of thigh and leg).

8. Spina bifida –

It is a congenital defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. It presents with leg weakness and paralysis, club foot, hip dislocation, bladder and bowel control problems etc.

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