Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cervical Spondylosis & Ayurveda - Manage pain with care

Today, the lifestyle which we lead is full of stress. The rat race of our world is taking us away from our natural habits and pushing us towards a life filled with disorders which is directly related to our way of living. One such example is cervical spondylosis.

Traditionally, cervical spondylosis was considered a medical condition in which the degeneration of the inter-vertebral disks occurred due to old-age. However, today this condition is commonly caused due to regularly ignoring the ergonomics of our bodies, e.g., working for long hours with computers, wrong postures while performing day-to-day life functions, sports/repetitive injuries such as long hours of playing video games, texting etc. Spondylosis could be defined as the degenerative osteoarthritis of the vertebrae.

Based on the area of degeneration Spondylosis can be of various types:

· Cervical Spondylosis: The most common form of spondylosis, because of our stressful living, it includes the region around the neck column and is characterized by severe pain and/or restricted movement in the head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.

· Lumbar Spondylosis: When the vertebrae of the lower back/lumber region are compressed, due to a repetitive injury or poor posture, this results in lumbar spondylosis. This form of spondylosis is characterized by pain in the lower back.

When the space between two joints reduces, it may generate a compression over the corresponding nerve root resulting in Radiculopathy characterized by referring pain, giddiness etc.

In modern sciences, there are two approaches, conservative methods or corrective surgery, through which cervical spondylosis is treated. The conservative approach is most common, involving treatments such as physiotherapy, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, patient awareness in correct postures, exercising, yoga, and/or non-inflammatory medicine. Surgery is recommended for patients who do not show improvement in their symptoms with the former approaches, however, it is still controversial.

The traditional science of Ayurveda approaches the treatment of cervical spondylosis differently. In Ayurveda, a healthy body has an equilibrium of the three doshas Vata (Movement), Pitta (Change) and Kapha (Growth and Stability). Any disease is a direct result of the disturbance in this balance. Cervical Spondylosis is a condition which is predominantly caused due to vitiation in the Vata. It is related to Sandhigata Vata. When increased vata dosha gets localized in the Manya (neck) region, it produces dryness which results in excessive rubbing of two joints resulting in degenerative changes in corresponding joint.

Ayurveda recommends a comprehensive conservative line of treatment for managing cervical Spondylosis. As mentioned for Vata Vyadhi, oleation is the mainstay of the treatment. Internal and external oleation is recommended. For Vata Vyadhi, Basti have been mentioned as a treatment of the choice. It depends upon the understanding of an experienced Physician to plan judicious treatments for the management of degenerative changes of the spine. Hot fomentation using hot herbs helps to release the compression from the spine and restores blood circulation. Increased blood circulation to the area of inflammation promotes the recovery. Combination of physiotherapy along with Panchakarma treatments yields very good results. Physiotherapy also helps to restore the natural posture and decreases the chances of recurrence.

Alternative system of health and world’s most primitive science can create a world of goodness to the mankind if adopted with faith and patience. For further information and queries, feel free to ask your Ayurveda Physician. Adopt a healthy life style, live happily.

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