Healing cervical spondylosis with Ayurveda

In today’s fast paced life, we accumulate toxins, forget to detoxify, relax or rejuvenate the muscular system which in turn leads to many painful conditions. Cervical spondylosis is one common ailment which affects the younger generation. People from the IT industry and those who drive long hours are prone to this problem. Stress, obesity, diabetes, reduced physical activity, improper posture while sleeping, sitting, etc. are the primary contributors for this condition. Simply said, sedentary people are more affected than others.

Cervical spondylosis is an inflammatory arthritic condition which primary affects the vertebrae (neck and back bones) and ligaments. Usually it affects the neck region and lower back region.

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Common symptoms

1. Pain in the neck, back, chest and shoulders
2. Pain, numbness, discomfort in half of the face, neck, shoulder
3. Slightest movements of neck, touch increases pain
4. Giddiness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting in aggravated state

Ayurveda on cervical spondylosis
Ayurveda discusses this condition in detail with causes, pathogenesis, treatment, therapies, prevention etc.

Ayurveda attributes a vitiated or aggravated vata dosha for all painful conditions. This vitiation can be of two reasons: a) Obstruction to the pathway, b) Degenerative changes. Ayurveda terms this condition as “Griva sandi Vata”.
Causes

1. Common in people over 45 years of age. Today due to sedentary habits younger people are suffering
2. Men are more affected than women
3. Dryness and loss of elasticity in the spinal ligaments and discs
4. Injury led
5. Muscular and ligament stiffness
6. Excessive sex

Symptoms

a) Painful stiffness of neck, shoulder
b) Radiating shoulder pain to arms and upper part of the chest
c) Tingling and pricking pain in arms, hands, legs
d) Difficulty in writing, holding minute objects, even holding cell phones
e) Abnormal reflexes
f) Irritability and lack of coordination

Healing cervical spondylosis
Ayurveda treatment protocol is primarily focused on normalizing the vitiated vata dosha and to rejuvenate the affected tissue. Since this condition may also be related to stress, Ayurveda recommends a holistic approach with Ayurveda medicines and therapies, lifestyle modifications and diet, minimal exercise and yoga.

Ayurveda recommends Guggulu, Aloe Vera, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Giloy, Dry Ginger, Shallaki etc for prevention. These herbs are well known muscular and stress relaxants and anti inflammatory without any side effects. It helps prevent and manage this condition. Ayurveda recommends intake of 3 gm of Cow’s ghee as diet for prevention.
Ayurveda therapies for cervical spondylosis
Ayurveda cautions not to use any stronger, vibrant massage therapies for this condition as it may further worsen the condition. Only a gentle application of warm medicated oil is allowed – the oil is selected depending on the condition and Prakriti of the patient, followed by a herbal steam application to improve the condition.
Kati Vasti: A bridge is formed on the back bone with flour and warm medicated oil is filled in it and allowed to stay for the period of 45-60 minutes. This helps the muscles and ligaments relax and heal; improved blood circulation heals the tissues. This treatment is usually advised for 14-28 days depending on the condition.
Ela Kizhi: Warm medicated oil application is followed by a warm herbal bolus on the affected part to improve stiffness and pain. This therapy is recommended for 7-14 days depending on the condition.
Mamsa Navara Kizhi: This is one of the specialized treatments for cervical spondylosis. Red meat, medicated rice, vata normalizing herbs processed with milk are made into a bolus. After gentle application of warm oil, this bolus is applied on the affected part for 30-45 minutes without pressure. This treatment is very effective in healing any type of cervical spondylosis with any degree of pain. This treatment is usually suggested for 21-28 days depending on the condition.

These three treatments are suggested individually or in combination depending on the condition.
Ayurveda recommendations for Cervical Spondylosis

a) Avoid sour, salty foods and drinks, curd, deep fried foods, maida, rawa, pulses and various by-products of pulses
b) Include bitter gourd, drumstick and neem flowers in your diet
c) Wheat is a better option compared to rice
d) Add more fibers and water as constipation may increase the condition
e) Avoid exposure to cold, cold water bath, violent exercises without proper guidance
f) Perform mild physical exercises like walking, surya namaskar, etc.

Yoga for cervical spondylosis

Padmasana (Lotus pose) for keeping the spine erect
Tadasana (palm tree pose), helps rectifying postural defects
Yastikasana (Stick pose), helps to destress
Greeva Sanchalan asana (Neck movement) is the best to cure cervical spondylosis

Conclusion
Prevention is better than cure. Simple changes in lifestyle, proper exercise, guided yoga with regular detoxification and rejuvenation can prevent this condition. Maintaining correct posture while reading, writing or working helps in prevention. A holistic approach with Ayurvedic medicines and treatments, simplified exercise and yoga, personalized diets are beneficial in curing cervical spondylosis

Source: Dr K Gowthaman, Medical Director, rVita (rVita Ayurveda Centers)

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