Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and/bones of the neck (cervical vertebrae) and it is a common cause of chronic neck pain. It is a degenerative condition of the cervical spine affecting the middle and old age group of both sexes leads to pain and stiffness in the neck, radiating pain to the arm, paraesthesia, numbness, headache, giddiness, etc.
In Ayurveda, Cervical spondylosis is caused by a Vata dosha aggravation and it’s mainly a Vata problem. Its clinical presentation is similar to Vishwachi in which degenerative condition of the cervical spine is common. It’s a disease that mainly affects the neck and upper extremities having signs and symptoms similar to that of cervical spondylosis. Vishwachi is a vataja nanatmaja vikara. The involvement of Vata in the clinical manifestation of vishwachi is of prime importance.
When pain and stiffness around the neck occur for long days and found unable to move properly your neck and facing difficulty and pain while bending, along with signs and symptoms that affect your daily routine, then you should consult the doctor.
Risk Factors of Cervical Spondylosis
Age- it’s a normal part of aging, occurs more commonly in old age persons
Occupation- Overhead work put extra stress on your neck
Yoga Therapy: balasana, natarajasana, bitilasana, marjaryasana, viparitakaranai asana, utthita trikonasana, shavasana can help to reduce the effect of cervical spondylosis
Questions & Answers
Q1. Why Cervical Spondylosis occur in old-age people?
Ans. Older age is a risk factor as in addition to age, people often get more likely to experience neck pain. It is the general term for age-related wear & tear affecting the spinal discs in the neck region. Also, it is caused due to disks dehydration and shrinking. In most people age > 50, discs between the vertebrae become less spongy & provide less of a cushion. Bones & ligaments get thicker and encroached the space of the spinal canal.
Q2. If myelopathy occurs with cervical spondylosis, then what will be the symptoms like?
Ans. Symptoms of cervical spondylosis with myelopathy include tingling/numbness/weakness in the arms, hands, legs, feet/lack of coordination & difficulty walking/abnormal reflexes/muscle spasms/loss of control over bladder/bowel incontinence.
Q3. How is Cervical Spondylosis diagnosed properly?
Ans. By taking a medical history with signs and symptoms appearing, it will be followed by a physical exam of the body by focussing on the neck/back/shoulders. The strength of hands and arms/reflexes test/loss of sensation checkups/walk/equilibrium can be tested. Other tests also can be done include x-ray/computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging( MRI), EMV tests, etc.
Q4. According to Ayurveda, which disease is similar to that of cervical spondylosis?
Ans. In Ayurveda, Cervical spondylosis is caused by a Vata dosha aggravation and it’s mainly a Vata problem. Its clinical presentation is similar to Vishwachi in which degenerative condition of the cervical spine is common. It’s a disease that mainly affects the neck and upper extremities having signs and symptoms similar to cervical spondylosis. Vishwachi is a vataja nanatmaja vikara. The involvement of Vata in the clinical manifestation of vishwachi is of prime importance.
Q5. What exactly is the meaning of the term ‘Spondylosis’?
Ans. Spondylosis is basically a painful condition and situation of the spine which results from the degeneration of the intervertebral discs. Often, it is considered a general term for age-related wear & tear of the spinal discs. It affects the vertebral discs and facet joints that gradually develop with age. This condition can narrow the spinal canal that further results in the compression of the spinal cord & nerve roots. Chronic compression can lead to damage to the spinal cord/can cause radicular arm pain further.
Q6. What are the complications of Cervical Spondylosis?
Ans. Complications of cervical spondylosis include: cervical myelopathy/paraplegia/tetraplegia/recurrent chest infection/pressure sores/recurrent urinary tract infection/progressive neurologic deficits/documented compression of the cervical nerve root/or spinal cord/intractable pain.
Q7. What is the role of psychosocial support in the treatment of cervical spondylosis?
Ans. Some patients with significant disabilities often react with fear/anxiety/depression. Postoperative depression is significantly associated with pain intensity/pain interference/pain-related disability. After surgery, results of one study of depression/negative affect among spinal surgery patients suggest postoperative screening for depression and treating depression to improve functional outcomes after spine surgery.
Q8. What are the various exercises and therapies recommended for cervical spondylosis?
Ans. Various exercises recommended to ease the symptoms of cervical spondylosis are neck stretch/neck tilt/side-to-side neck tilt/neck turn with 5 repetitions. In Ayurveda, some yoga therapies are there like, balasana, natarajasana, bitilasana, marjaryasana, viparitakaranai asana, utthita trikonasana, shavasana can help to reduce the effect of cervical spondylosis.
Q9. What is the role of physical therapy in the treatment of cervical spondylosis?
Ans. Usually, immobilization of the cervical spine occurs with severe cervical spondylosis with evidence of myelopathy. It limits the motion of the neck. Soft cervical collars are recommended for daytime use only. Patient’s tolerance and compliance are considered when any braces used. Isometric cervical exercises may help to limit the loss of muscle tone. Molded cervical pillows can better align the spine during sleep & provide symptomatic relief for some patients. Neck & upper back exercises are recommended. Yoga therapies also play an important role to reduce the inflammation and pain in cervical spondylosis.
Q10. How cervical spondylosis is cured through the Ayurveda line of treatment?
Ans. During the acute phase (about a week), usually complete bed rest & use of a thin pillow & hard bed is recommended. After acute phase, some panchakarma procedures like sadyovirechana, greevabasti, abhyanga, patra pinda sveda, nasya should be done.
Podikkizhi, ilakikizhi, greeva pichu, tailadhara, panchatikta & ksheera basti, shalishastic pinda sweda is also recommend. Mainly, all the above procedures done after examine the bala and prakriti of the patients. Along with these procedures, shamana chikitsa with recommend classical formulations should be given to the patient.
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