What is Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical spondylosis is the medical term used to define the general wear and tear in the neck area (cervical spine). Wear and tear happens due to aging and so this is a very common issue. Studies show that more than 85% of the people aged above 60 have cervical spondylosis. While many people don't experience any major issues, there are many others who have their daily lives impacted by this issue. For them, cervical spondylosis manifests primarily as severe neck pain, stiff neck and numbness or weakness in limbs.
What causes Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical spine is a series of 7 vertebrae (called C1 to C7) starting from the base of the skull extending down till the thoracic spine. Each of these 7 cervical vertebrae are cylindrical bones covering the spinal cord in the neck area. There are 6 cervical disks which are present between the vertebrae and acts as a shock absorber there preventing the bones from touching against each other.
Age causes wear and tear in the cervical spine causing cervical spondylosis. The manifestations can be due to
Dehydrated disks: Cervical disks begin to dry out and shrink due to age. Most people have this as they pass 40 years of age. This reduces the cushion effect between the cervical bones causing bones to rub against each other resulting in pain.
Herniated disks: Disks themselves crack due to age which causes inner portion of the disk to protrude out. This then starts pressing against the spinal cord
Bone Spurs: Sometimes, degeneration of the bones, body produces more bones to strengthen the spine. These can come into contact with spinal nerves and cause friction.
Apart from age, the other risk factors for Cervical Spondylosis are traumas or neck injuries, smoking, genetic factors and few occupational hazards like construction work.
Cervical Spondylosis Treatment in Ayurveda
Modern medical treatments for Cervical spondylosis include medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, anesthetic etc. In some advance cases, spinal surgery or laminectomy may be required.
Ayurveda views Cervical spondylosis as a Vata dosha aggravated disease. Vata typically increases with age and is further aggravated by factors like unhealthy food habits, stress, lack of sleep etc. The aggravated vata causes degeneration of tissues, impacts digestion and also depletion of Kapha in the body. Digestive fire gets reduced thus creating body toxins known as Ama. Kapha is responsible for lubrication in the cervical disks and any depletion would lead to dryness and shrinkage in the disks and cervical spine area causing neck pain and stiffness.
Cervical spondylosis treatment in Ayurveda includes Oil bath, Bundle massage, Nasal instillation, Sirovasthy (keeping medicated oil over the head for an hour), Siropichu (keeping medicated oil plug over the head for an hour), Local oil plugs, Medicated bandage, Oil and Decoction enemas. Treatment plan would depend on the individual person's body constitution and so the final plan would be decided only after the doctor sees the patient.
Duration and cost of Cervical spondylosis treatment in Ayurveda
Normal course of treatment would require about 21 days in the hospital. Actual duration would depend on the condition of the patient. Cost of Cervical spondylosis Ayurvedic treatment would be between 1200 to 3000 USD and would depend on the treatment duration, type of hospital and type of room chosen for stay in the hospital.
Dos and Don'ts
Take simple food which can be easily digested
Ensure proper sleep time in nights
Avoid physical and mental stress
Practice yoga or other exercise for the spine and neck