Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition of the vertebral column. It is also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis. This is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in the neck. This is caused by the extensive damages to the cartilage and bones in the cervical spine, which happens as one age.
Cervical spondylosis can be caused by a variety of reasons other than old age. It can be overgrowths of the vertebral bones, dehydration or Herniation of intervertebral discs, the external trauma of intervertebral discs, stress, overweight or even inactivity of the body part leading to its degeneration.
The common symptoms of cervical spondylosis are the pain, which may increase while standing, sneezing or during excessive physical straining, muscle weakness, headache, altered sensation, bladder or bowel disturbances and tingling sensation, weakness of the legs and foot drop. There is no known cure for cervical spondylosis in allopathy. Treatment is focussed pain alleviation and improving the mobility of the patient.
Ayurveda treatment for Cervical Spondylosis
Ayurveda calls cervical spondylosis as ‘Apabaahuka’, or weakness or inability to use limbs. This is caused when the vata is disturbed. The condition of pain transmitting from neck down to hands is known as ‘vishwaachi’. Ayurveda has got a clear treatment protocol to deal with these two situations.
Ayurveda texts mention about treatment for cervical spondylosis using herbal medicines and therapies to relax muscles, bring down inflammation of nerves and neighbouring tissues, arresting damage of the nerves and thus strengthening both muscles and nerves.
The most commonly used therapies to this effect are Podikkizhi (herbal powder poultice massage), Ilakkizhi (fresh herbal poultice massage) for relieving inflammation and relaxing the muscles, Greevavasthi (pooling of medicated oil on the back), Greeva pichu(soaking oil on the neck by placing a cloth soaked in medicated oil), Tailadhara (pouring of medicated oils over the affected part of the body) and Njavarakkizhi (for healing the nerves and strengthening the muscles and nerves). Another important component of the treatment is Nasya or instilling medicated oil into the nostrils.