“Wealth, a friend, a wife, and a kingdom may be regained; but this body when lost may never be acquired again.”
Spondylosis refers to a degenerative process in the vertebral disc. When the degeneration happens in cervical discs (which are present in the neck region), it is called cervical spondylosis. Usually, this is observed in old age, but nowadays in young adults too.
Let’s look into how we could identify the condition. Initially, it will be asymptomatic (Without many symptoms ) and in later stages, it will show moderate to severe symptoms
- Shooting pain in the neck which radiates to hands
- Frequent Headaches
- Numbness and tingling sensation in arms
- Loss of bladder control etc
Mostly the condition is caused by
- Dehydrated disks
- Bulging of disks
- Stiff ligaments
- Neck Injuries
- Injuries in vital part of body
We will see what contributes to the above-mentioned conditions in a while
Allopathic treatment prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and anti-seizure medication in moderate cases. In severe cases, surgery will be recommended and risks involved will be continuous pain, nerve root damage, infection, etc.
Now let’s look at this through the eyes of an Vaidya (Ayurvedic Practitioner)
In Ayurveda, this dis-ease is classified under Vata Vyadhi. It is a broad topic and discusses the imbalance of Vata and its ill effects. Cervical Spondylosis is one among them. Vata increases due to aging or over/improper physical exertion or injuries. Which eventually results in Dhatu Kshaya. (Depletion of Sthanika Kapha). For a smoother function of cervical vertebrae, lubrication is needed and it is given by Sthanika Kapha. Lack of which results in dehydrated discs.
Apabahukam, Bahusosham, Viswachi can be correlated with spondylitis or maybe we can consider it as different stages of spondylosis. Which relates to stiff joints, weak muscles, and nerve issues. From all this, it is clear that the culprit is the imbalanced Vata. Let’s dive into the causes of vitiated Vata.
- Foods that are dry and cold by nature
- Intense fasting
- Excessive sexual activity
- Avoiding sleep at night and excessive sleep at daytime
- Improper sleeping mattress
- Excessive and straining exercises, excessive walking, carrying excessive weight, etc.
- Emaciation due to other diseases
- Intense mental emotions like sorrow, anxiety, anger, and fear
- Forcefully holding motion, urine, flatulence, etc.
- Injuries & Falling from a height
- Bad posture (due to occupation, prolonged and continuous use of mobile phones),
How can we prevent it?
- Try to Avoid the above-said causes
- Doing Nasyam(nasal drop) with Anu Thailam, Ghee or Sesame oil
- Applying oil over the crown as a daily routine
- Having a proper diet.
- Never keep your neck immobile for long durations looking at screens and mobile, take short breaks and stretches.
- Sleep in the supine position, use a small pillow.
- Avoid supporting head with your hand while sleeping
- Regular Exercise and stretching routines. Taking walks daily helps.
Here are a few easy postures and movements you could try
Flexion – these are moments where we try to decrease the angle between two body parts from their natural state. Bring neck and head downward
Lateral Flexion – Right ear to the right shoulder, left ear to left shoulder
Rotation – Turn head toward the right as much as possible, Chin should come over shoulders. Do not bring the shoulder up. Hold the posture for 5 seconds. Do the same on the left side
Extension – (These are movements where we try to increase the angle between two body parts) bend the neck and head toward the back – looking up the ceiling
Isometric exercises (Strengthen neck muscles) – Push your palm against the forehead and head towards down resisting palm (5-second hold of posture and repeat 3 times)
Place your hand against the side of your head, now try to bring your ear towards your shoulder resisting the push of the palm. Do the same for both sides.
What are the solutions?
Pain management: Hot dry fomentation is good to reduce swelling and pain. Fill a small cotton pouch with crystal salt or sand or charcoal grains. Heat the punch by keeping it over a hot pan. Apply heat on the affected area using the pouch.
One should not apply oil if swelling is present. Once you get relieved from pain and swelling, you could start practicing the exercises mentioned above, without stressing your body.
There are very effective remedies for Cervical Spondylosis in Ayurveda. Proper diet and with help of medication, we could cure the condition. Moreover, proper Ayurvedic treatment can help you avoid surgery and related risks.
Image courtesy https://www.rickysinghmd.com/neck-strain/