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Holistic Ayurvedic Approach to Cervical Spondylosis: Natural Remedies and Treatments


Ayurvedic Approach to Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis / Greevagraham

Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative health concern typically affecting people by their age (old)  and characterized by excruciating pain, stiffness, numbness, and restricted movement of the neck sometimes associated with nerve compression leading to symptoms like tinglingnumbness,  or muscle weakness.

In chronic cases it can lead to cord compression of the spine which can lead to imbalance, bladder incontinence, etc spite of age being one of the main reasons, other factors include excessive strain on the neck during a workout, long work hours, lack of exercise, sleeping in the wrong position and certain underlying health conditions that inhibit calcium absorption in your body. Cervical spondylosis is   also known as cervical osteoarthritis or arthritis of the neck


Below are some signs of cervical spondylosis that you should be aware of:

  • Neck pain ‌spreads to the shoulder and arm, followed by numbness or a tingling sensation, and pain may worsen with movements  

  • frequent headaches.

  • Weakness in your arms and legs, difficult to maintain a balanced gait.

  • Tingling or numbness in the arms, hands, or fingers

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control


Complications of Cervical Spondylosis

It can lead to the following clinical conditions: Cervical myelopathy, cervical radiculopathy, Disc herniation, Muscle weakness, loss of coordination and bowel-bladder dysfunction, Osteophyte formation, etc.

 

·       Cervical myelopathy -is a clinical condition in which the spinal cord becomes compressed or damaged due to cervical spine degenerative changes.This can cause various symptoms like pain, weakness, and imbalance

·       Cervical radiculopathy –is a clinical condition which can be accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected areas.

·       Disc herniation – due to the degeneration of the cervical spines, it can lead to tears or ruptures leading to disc herniation. With a herniated disc,it can led to pressure  over the nerves that exit the spinal cord in that area which can lead to  pain, numbness, and weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. Additional symptoms  include headaches, dizziness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.

·       Muscle Weakness: as the disease progresses, it can pressurize the nerve root leading to muscle weakness 

·       Loss of Coordination and bowel and bladder dysfunction due to severe compression

·       Osteophyte formation –on a progressive degeneration ,it can lead to formation of osteophytes or bony spurs which can affect the movement of the neck 


Why does it happen?

·       Over usage of neck like repetitive movements

·       External injuries

·       Dehydration in discs

·       Osteophytes or bony spurs

·       Irregular postures

·       Stiff ligaments and cartilage responsible for cushioning can also be affected by the depletion due to vata.

·       Genetics

·       Obesity

·       Occupational hazards

·       Medical conditions like spinal stenosis etc

 

Investigation  can be done using

1.    X-ray

2.    MRI  

3.    CT scans

 

How does Ayurveda treat cervical spondylosis?

Each treatment is customized to the individual's age and current condition and can be decided based on the individual's ability to adapt.  

  • Panchakarma treatment for spondylosis: This is a detoxification therapy that aims to eliminate toxins from the body such as

·         Abhyanga (Therapeutic Oil Massage)Abhyanga involves the application of warm herbal oils to the body, mainly on the neck and upper parts of the body. Massage helps to reduce inflammation, and muscle rigidity  

·         Swedana (Sweating or Heat Therapy): Hot fomentation helps to relax muscles, reduce pain, and improve circulation.

·         Greeva Basti: is  a treatment in which medicated oils are poured and pooled for a fixed duration of time in a compartment constructed over the neck (back side of the neck) area using wet flour of black gram, covering the cervical region. It is beneficial for alleviating pain, stiffness, and discomfort associated with cervical spondylosis and helps to lubricate the neck joints, nourish the cervical vertebrae, and provide relief from dryness

·         Kizhi treatment: Kizhi involves the application of heat and herbal poultices to specific parts of the body which helps reduce pain, muscle tension, and stiffness in the neck region. It also helps to improve circulation and  reduce inflammation. Kizhi types include elakizhi, jambeerapinda swedam, navarakizhi, podi kizhi etc., and are often used in cervical spondylosis ayurvedic treatment. 

·         Basti treatment: Basti treatment is useful to treat cervical spondylosis and all vata-related disorders. Basti is effective in reducing Vata dosha by delivering medications directly to the colon, addressing the dryness and degeneration caused by vata.  directly to the colon. Basti can help with cervical spondylosis by reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

·         Siro Dhara 

·         Nasyam

·         Sarvangadhara/pizhichil

          The treatment is said to benefit individuals suffering from various musculoskeletal issues. The massage covers all body parts from head to toe and can promote relaxation and treat aches,          fatigue, and stress. It's done  where a Special linen cloth is dipped in warm, medicated oil and squeezed all over the body, followed by a gentle massage


Single herb remedies for Cervical Spondylosis according to Ayurveda: 

Shallaki (Boswellia serrata), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), and Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), garlic, til seeds, eranda thailam, turmeric, ginger are   commonly used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation

 

Classical Ayurveda preparations for Cervical Spondylosis include 

  • Yogaraj Guggulu

  • Ashwagandha kashyam ,

  • Sahacharadi Kashayam

  • Dhanvantaram kashayam,

  • Dashamoola Kashayam

  • Ksheerabala 101

  • Ashtavarham kashayam

  • Rasnasapthakam kashyam

  • Maharajaprasarini thilam etc


Yoga and Pranayama for Cervical Spondylosis

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), 

Matsyasana (Fish Pose), 

Marjariasana (Cat Pose), as well as 

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spine Pose), 

Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) are equally important that relieve spondylosis of the cervical spine.


Diet and lifestyle modifications for Alleviating Cervical Spondylosis

Consuming warm, nourishing foods  and avoiding excessive intake of spicy, oily, and processed foods can help reduce inflammation.

  • Avoid Dry, Fried, Cold, Junk, and Chilled Food.

  • Drinking warm water throughout the day to aid in digestion and detoxification.

  • Avoid high-protein foods because High-protein foods can interfere with calcium absorption in the body. Low calcium absorption is one of the main reasons behind cervical spondylosis.

  •  Avoid carbonated drinks which have high salt and phosphorus.

  • Avoid overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol which can impede your body's ability to absorb calcium.


Lifestyle Modifications and Prevention in Cervical Spondylosis:

·       Proper Posture When Sitting, Walking, and Sleeping Change your seat or bed as per your comfort.

·       Regular exercise to strengthen the neck and back muscles.

·       Avoiding excessive bending, lifting heavy weights, or repetitive neck movements.

·       Avoid Exposure to Cool Breezes, Air Conditioning, and Fan

·       Avoid Sleep during the day and sleep early at night.

·       Avoid lifting heavy weights and works that rather pressurize the neck.

·       take breaks in between work for 10 minutes for every hour

·       Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

·       Practice relaxation techniques: Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of cervical spondylosis. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help reduce stress and tension

·       Use supportive pillows: A supportive pillow can help keep the neck comfortable while sleeping, alleviating pressure on the cervical spine.

·       Avoid cold baths and strenuous exercises that involve movements of the neck muscles

·       Carrying heavy bags, can cause strain on the neck and exacerbate symptoms.


Q: What is cervical spondylosis?

A: Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition of the cervical spine, involving the bones, discs, and joints.


Q: How does ayurvedic treatment approach cervical spondylosis?

A: Ayurvedic treatment focuses on balancing the vata and kapha doshas, addressing disc degeneration, stiffness, and pain in the cervical spine.


Q: What are the common symptoms of cervical spondylosis?

A: Common symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, degenerative changes in the bones, and sometimes radiating pain to the arms.


Q: How do ayurvedic medicines help in treating cervical spondylosis?

A: Ayurvedic medicines work by reducing vata dosha, nourishing body tissues, improving joint health, and providing relief from pain and inflammation.


Q: What is greevabasti in the context of ayurvedic treatment for cervical spondylosis?

A: Greevabasti is a specialized ayurvedic therapy involving the application of medicated oil to the neck region to alleviate pain, and stiffness, and improve mobility.


Q: What is the role of panchakarma in the treatment of cervical spondylosis?

A: Panchakarma therapies like Shirodhara and basti play a crucial role in detoxifying the body, balancing doshas, and promoting overall healing in cervical spondylosis.


Q: How can ayurvedic doctors determine the severity of cervical spondylosis?

A: Ayurvedic doctors assess the severity based on symptoms, dosha imbalances, degenerative changes, and the overall impact of the disease on the patient's quality of life.


Q: Can ayurvedic treatment help in preventing the progression of cervical spondylosis?

A: Yes, ayurvedic treatment aims not only to relieve symptoms but also to address the root cause of the condition, potentially slowing down or preventing further degeneration of the cervical spine.

 

What is effective treatment for cervical spondylosis?

Greeva Pichu can prove effective in the treatment of cervical spondylosis 


How do you permanently treat cervical spondylosis?

By following lifestyle changes and following strict diet you can permanently cure CS


What is the root cause of cervical spondylosis?

The chronic wear and tear of cervical spines


Can you live a normal life with cervical spondylosis?

Yes, you can. but you have to avoid taking overstrain to cervical spines 


What is the first-line treatment for cervical spondylosis?

You can apply a hot compress. The Ayurveda helpline is applying Pichu, a treatment for spondylosis.


Which guggulu is best for cervical spondylosis?

You can use yogarajaguggulu on any inflammatory changes


Cervical Spondylosis - How Physiotherapy Can Help Treat it?

It can help in relaxing the tension of the muscles and preventive care


How to Boost Your Immune System with Ayurveda?

Ayurveda offers various herbs and spices like amla, ginger and herbal preparations like chyavanaprash  to boost up your immunity


What are the Ayurvedic treatment measures for cervical spondylosis?

You can undergo panchakarma procedures, abhyanga, swedanam, nasyam, pizhichil, Dhara etc 


What causes Greeva Graham?

The most common cause is cumulative joint stress due to older age.

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