CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS AND ITS AYURVEDIC TREATMENT
In Ayurveda Cervical spondylosis is discussed as “GRIVA SANDHIGATA VATA”.
Cervcical spondylosis the most common disorder of the cervical spine.
Ayurveda can help you
Image shows cervical spine.
Cervical spondylosis is a term used for age related wear and tear affecting the bones (vertebrae),joints and discs of the neck (cervical spine),usually occurs in men and women older than 40 and progresses with age,men usually develop it in earlier age than women.With the increase of age discs gradually breakdown and become stiffer as a result of which body reacts and develops bony growths (osteophytes) these osteophytes put pressure on the on the spinal nerve roots or spinal cord resulting in pain.
CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS-AYURVEDIC CONCEPT
According to Ayurveda the Vata, the principle of movement is the predominant function with the skeleto-muscular system and the nervous system. Problems relating to these systems are predominantly caused by vitiated Vata. The vitiation of vata is caused by two mechanisms. One of them is obstruction to vata due to malfunctioning of kapha and pitta. The other one is increase of vata independently (the degenerative problems). The sacrum is situated in the Vata area of the body and this disease is caused by aggravated Vata and ama (toxins), which cause stiffness and reduce mobility in this area. Treatment involves detoxification and elimination of ama and also a Vata pacifying diet, lifestyle and herbal preparations.
1.Basic cause of cervical spondylosis is age related wear and tear.
2.Most of the people show age related wear and tear in the age of thirty as evidenced by x-rays but symptoms does not appear until later ages of life.
3.Drying and loss of elasticity in the spinal and cervical disks
4.Bulging and sometimes herniation of disks so that disk material protrudes from between two vertebrae
5.Stiffening of the ligaments connecting neck bones and muscles
Cervical spondylosis is caused by chronic degeneration of the cervical spine, the cushions between the neck vertebrae, and joints between the bones of the cervical spine. A previous neck injury can predispose to a person to cervical spondylosis.
The signs and symptoms of cervical spondylosis are:
A stiff, painful neck
Shoulder, arm or chest pain
Tingling and pinprick sensations in the arms, hands, legs or feet
Numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet
Lack of coordination
Loss of bladder or bowel control, or urinary or bowel retention
INVESTIGATION AND DIAGNOSIS
Your symptoms and history, along with an examination, may suggest that you have cervical spondylosis. You may also have imaging tests. The workup may include:
Neck flexibility assessment.
. Cervical spondylosis limits the range of motion in your neck. To observe this effect, your doctor may have you tilt your head toward each of your shoulders and rotate your neck from side to side.
To find out if there’s pressure on your spinal nerves or spinal cord, your doctor will test your reflexes and make sure you have sensation all along your arms and legs. He or she may watch you walk to see if spinal compression is affecting your gait.
Neck or spinal X-ray.
An X-ray may show abnormalities, such as bone spurs, that indicate cervical spondylosis.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
These tests may help your doctor determine the extent of damage to your cervical spine.
This test involves generating images using X-rays or CT scans after dye is injected into the spinal canal. The dye makes areas of your spine more visible.
The explanation of Cervical Spondylitis may seem weird to modern world people but Ayurveda is an ancient healing science utilizing herbs for centuries. Most of the patients respond very well to Ayurvedic treatment of Cervical Spondylitis as the principles of healing are focussed on balancing the “Vata” - the culprit behind pain due to nerves. So vitiated vata is controlled by herbs like Kaishore Guggul, Aloe vera juice (Kumari Saar), Yograj Guggul and Stress Support, as stress also causes stiffness in neck joints and Ashwagandha is the herb which is beneficial in stress related muscle stiffness. It is also a good natural anti-inflammatory herb without any side effects. Vata- the kinetic energy of the body is regulated by regular massage with Ayurvedic oils, internal consumption of medicated Cow’s ghee. Anti-inflammatory herbal tablets like Sinhnaad Guggul, Swarn Guggul (Guggul with Gold), Kaishore Guggul, Yograj Guggul, Arthriits Support are useful in managing pain and inflammation in Cervical Spondylitis. There are sometimes very painful condition in Cervical Spondylitis, that pain and inflammation needs to be tackled quickly. There are very common herbs for painful joint which work insantly. The herbs are very common like Dry Ginger, Turmeric (curcumin), Fenugreek, Ashwagandha, Sallaki (Boswellia), Guggul, and Giloy (Tinospora). The extracts of these herbs are more effective in reducing the pain and inflammation of all types of arthritis and joint pains.
Constipation must be avoided at all costs in Cervical Spondylitis. Constipation leads to vitiation of Vata and formation of gas, which may increase bouts of increased pain in neck.
In Cervical Spondylosis, Any external massage is not of much use. Violent massage with deep pressure is very harmful for the spondylosis patient. Only gentle massage over the muscles of the neck and shoulder joints should be applied and for this purpose Mahanarayan taila is best suited. This gentle massage can be given 2-3 times a day .In winter season; this medicated oil should be gently warmed before application. Guggulu, gum resin extracted from the plant is the best medicine for the treatment of cervical spondylosis. Ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of this condition popularly use a compound preparation named as simhanada guggulu. It is given in a dose of 2-4 tablets, 4 times a day. Usually hot water or hot milk id given to the patient after the administration of this medicines. This medicine has slightly laxative effects. For the patient to recover from cervical ailments, it is necessary that this bowel should move clearly and regularly. This medicine is very much helpful for this purpose. For patients having clear motions, this medicines should be given in a dose of 2 tablets and constipated patients the dose should be 4 tablets. If the constipation is not relieved even by taking 4 tablets the dose can be further increased to 6 tablets. At night some medicines should be given to the patients, which will act as a purgative. Triphala powder is the best medicine for spondylosis. One teaspoonful of triphala should be given to the patient, mixed with a cup of warm milk and one spoon of sugar. In the motions become regular by the intake of simbanada guggulu, then triphala powder should be given only twice a week otherwise it can be given every day.Hot fomentation on the vertebrae of the is very useful for cervical pains. In a big handkerchief about 500gms of salt should be kept over a frying pan till it becomes tolerably hot. Then this should be applied over the neck. Care should be taken to see that it should not be too hot. In that case, it may cause burns. Sometimes patients suffering from cervical Spondylosis develop some anesthetic patches in the back, neck, shoulders and arms because of the pressure from nervous systems .The patient is therefore not able to feel the quantum of heat applied during fomentation. It should therefore be the responsibility of the attendant to examine th e heat of the bolus before applying it on the affected parts .This fomentation should be continued about ½ an hour every day. After fomentation the affected part should not be exposed to cold wind. In winter season therefore immediately after fomentation, the affected part should be covered with some wool engarment. In other seasons also the affected part should be kept covered with some cotton garments after fomentation. It is very convenient to take the fomentation before bedtime. After the fomentation the patient should go to sleep so that he does not run the risk of exposure. DietSour things particularly curd, are strictly prohibited. Fried things, pulses and various preparations of pulses are also contra- indicated in this condition. Bitter vegetables like bitter variety of drumstick, neem flowers and bitter gourd are very useful. Wheat is better than rice for the patient. He should however, avoid taking refined wheat which is known as maida (flour) and suji (semolina). To some extent they are constipated and do not help the patient in the recovery.
Lifestyle Exposure to cold, cold bath and any violent exercise of the muscles, including pressure, are very bad for the patients of Cervical spondulosis. Under the impression that this pain is being caused by some defects in the muscles, people undertake different types of neck exercises .While reading and writing ,one should maintain a comfortable posture. Morning walk gives some relief to the patient, but if it is cold outside the patient should always use a woolen scarf around his neck while going out of the house.
Home Remedies For Cervical Spondylitis
Use Cow’s ghee in your food. It is a best natural “Vata” reliever and gives nourishment to the nerves and other body parts.
1 tablespoonful of Turmeric should be consumed once everyday, after boiling it in milk for half an hour. It is a very useful herbal treatment for cervical spondylitis.
Constipation must be avoided at all costs. Constipation may increase pain in Cervical Spondylitis.
Herbs have divine healing powers and they have the ability to cure any disease from the root. They were gifted to us by God when he created life. So believe in God if you want to get rid of your problems !
Ayurvedic herbs are unique natural remedies for Cervical Spondylitis. Ayurvedic principles are different in many ways from modern medicine for example - Drinking water from a copper pan after keeping it overnight is also very useful in Rheumatoid arthritis and Cervical Spondylitis.
Consuming castor oil at night with milk or alone is a very useful herbal remedy for arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis and Cervical Spondylitis.
Improve your nutrition as first step.It plays important role to fight diseases. When nothing works, nutrition works a lot !
Use herbal juices like Aloe vera juice (Kumari Saar) and Amla Juice ( Amla Saar) in routine. Amla is the richest source of natural Vitamin C. Vitamin C improves the natural immunity of the body. 100 gm of Amla juice contains 30 times more vitamin C than 100 gm of oranges.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
Diet Sour things particularly curd, are strictly prohibited. Fried things, pulses and various preparations of pulses are also contra- indicated in this condition. Bitter vegetables like bitter variety of drumstick, neem flowers and bitter gourd are very useful. Wheat is better than rice for the patient.
Exposure to cold ,cold bath and any violent exercise of the neck muscles, including pressure, are very bad for the patients. Under the impression that this pain is being caused by some defects in the muscles, people undertake different types of neck exercises.
While reading and writing, one should maintain a comfortable posture.
Morning walk gives some relief to the patient, but if it is cold outside the patient should always use a woolen scarf around his neck while going out of the house.
SELF CARE TIPS
For mild neck pain or stiffness:
Take a long, hot shower every day
Wear a cervical collar (which you can buy in a drugstore) during the day