Spondylosis Treatment in Ayurveda
You might think of arthritis as something you get in your hands, knees or hips, but it can happen in your spine as well. It’s called spondylosis, also known as spinal osteoarthritis. “Arthritis” is really an umbrella term for painful joints, and your spine is full of them. They’re known as facet joints, and they’re the place where vertebrae connect with one another.
Spondylosis is a general term for degenerative arthritic changes of the spine, or more simply arthritis. Most degenerative changes of the spine are part of the normal aging process, much like developing grey hair. These degenerative changes most commonly occur at the vertebral body and openings for nerve roots. Spondylosis is a type of arthritis spurred by wear and tear to the spine. It happens when discs and joints degenerate, when bone spurs grow on the vertebrae, or both. These changes can impair the spine’s movement and affect the nerves and other functions.
What are the symptoms of spondylosis ?
The main complicationof spondylosis is low back, mid back, or neck pain. Usually the back and neck pain caused by spondylosis is not serious, but some people develop chronic pain due to their condition. It is unusual for spondylosis to cause serious neurologic dysfunction due to nerve compression. Spondylosis is further categorised depending on the region of the spine that is affected.
Ayurveda the Ancient Science of life deals with physical, mental and spiritual wealth of mankind. It aims to preserve the health of healthy persons and cure the diseases of the patient.
Signs and symptoms mentioned in ayurveda includes;
- Cervical (neck)
- Thoracic (upper, mid back)
- Lumbar (low back)
- Lumbosacral (low back/sacrum
What causes spondylosis ?
The main cause is aging, but the way aging affects your spine can lead to other changes and problems. Spondylosis is a cascade: One anatomical change occurs, which leads to more degeneration and changes in your spine’s structures. These changes combine to cause spondylosis and its symptoms
Spondylosis can affect the spine’s intervertebral discs (degenerative disc disease) and facet joints. As people grow older, normal age-related cellular changes, coupled with the effects of daily wear and tear can cause or contribute to discs losing normal shape, size, and height. These structural alterations may reduce the amount of space (disc space) between vertebral bodies and subsequently affect normal movement of the facet joints. Bone spurs (osteophytes) develop, which can pinch a spinal nerve root and cause inflammation and pain.
Spondylosis is more common in the neck and low back. The neck is susceptible because it supports the weight of the head throughout a wide range of movement. The low back is at risk because it manages and distributes most of the body’s weight and related structural stresses.
- Pain can result from a bulging or herniated disc that impinges (pinches) a spinal nerve. Nerve compressed in the neck may cause neck pain that may radiate downward into the shoulder, arm and hand. Similarly, if the low back is affected, the patient may experience buttock pain and sciatica (leg pain).
- Stiffness can occur after periods of inactivity or rest, such as waking up after a nap.
- Paresthesias (abnormal sensations) may develop, such as numbness or tingling.
As mentioned earlier, spondylosis is often associated with aging. However, a genetic predisposition and/or injury may increase a person’s risk of developing spinal osteoarthritis. Patients typically report their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 50 years, and more than 80% of individuals older than 40 years have radiologic (X-ray) evidence of the condition. Lumbar spondylosis is especially common in people older than 40 years.
What are the ayurvedic treatments for spondylosis ?
In Ayurveda, there are various diseases namely Greevagraham, Viswachi, Grudhrasi, Khalwi, Katigraham etc. which can be correlated to spondylosis of different regions of spine. The symptoms include pain with radiation in certain cases, stiffness, paresthesias, etc. Most of the symptoms can be attributed to vitiated Vata with occasional involvement of Kapha or Pitta, from person to person. The treatment modalities involved are Snehana and Swedana which helps in relieving the inflammation, toning and strengthening of paravertebral muscles. In case of obese people, weight management is another major area which is to be taken care of along with the symptoms of spondylosis.
Along with these treatments paravertebral muscle strengthening exercises and yoga practises are equally important to improve spinal flexibility, build strength and endurance. Postural corrections and certain life style modifications are also incorporated in the management of spondylosis to prevent pain flare ups.
Some of the familiar treatments include;
- Rooksha Swedam
- Choorna Pinda Swedam
- Patra Pinda Swedam/ Ilakizhi
- Kati vasthi
- Merudanda vasthi
- Nirooha vasthi
- Vaithara vasti etc. . . .