Cervical Spondylosis

Spondylosis is spinal degeneration and deformity of a joint(s) of two or more vertebrae that commonly occurs with aging. Often there is herniation of the nucleus pulposus of one or more intervertebral discs and/or formation of osteophytes.


When the space between two adjacent vertebrae narrows, compression of a nerve root emerging from the spinal cord may result in sensory system and motor system disturbances, such as severe pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, back, and/or leg, accompanied by muscular weakness. Less commonly, direct pressure on the spinal cord may result in global weakness, gait dysfunction, loss of balance, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control. If vertebrae of the neck are involved it is labeled Cervical Spondylosis. Lower back spondylosis is labeled Lumbar Spondylosis.

A specific form of arthritis, which attacks vertebrae and connecting bony, and ligament structures, is known as Spondylosis. Frequently it occurs in the cervical vertebrae. The spines of majority of people above the age of 50 have certain degree of osteo arthritic changes. But they seldom cause acute symptoms. Certain precipitating factors like trauma, incorrect posture of the body, pressure while sleeping and excessive intake of sour food usually precipitate these attacks.
Pain in the back of neck, shoulder and arms, stiffness of the neck and even paraplegia occur due to this condition. The movement of the spine generally aggravates the pain of the neck. It is often associated with loss of memory and sleeplessness.

Neck pain can be relieved by wearing a hard collar around the neck which keeps the affected vertebrae slightly apart, and hence the pressure on the nerves is released. However, the use of a collar is not usually recommended as it can weaken the muscles supporting the vertebrae and hence exacerbate the problem in the long term.

Physiotherapy: Where the neck is exercised, is now generally used as the preferred treatment.

Chiropractic treatment
: In mild cases of the disease is not the preferred method of treatment by conventional medicine.

Acupuncture: While often effective when neuropathy results from muscle dysfunction or inflammation, symptoms resulting from bony deformities are unlikely to get better.

Injections of the spinal joints can be useful for relief of acute pain for otherwise intractable discomfort. Naturally, any spine injection should be performed by a physician with training in spine injection techniques. These injections should be done with xray assistance (flouroscopy) to ensure accuracy.

Evidentiary support for mobility (physiotherapy) or manipulative (chiropractic) therapies has shown an observed improvement in perceived pain and immobility in mechanical neck disorders. However such therapies are not supported as being of greater use in relieving pain and inflammation than conventional medicine and neither was identified as being superior to the other.

There are many different surgical procedures to correct spinal deformity. The vertebra can be approached by the surgeon from the front, side, or rear. Portions of a disc may be removed. To prevent further dislocation, fusion of two vertebrae may be done by taking pieces of bone from the patient’s hip and inserting them between the two vertebrae which are fused together and secured by screws.

Any external massage is not of much use. Violent massage with deep pressure is very harmful for the patient. Only gentle massage over the muscles of the neck and shoulder joints should be applied and for this purpose Mahanarayan taila is best suited. This gentle massage can be given 2-3 times a day .In winter season; this medicated oil should be gently warmed before application.

Guggulu, gum resin extracted from the plant is the best medicine for the treatment of this condition. Ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of this condition popularly use a compound preparation named as simhanada guggulu. It is given in a dose of 2-4 tablets, 4 times a day. Usually hot water or hot milk id given to the patient after the administration of this medicines. This medicine has slightly laxative effects. For the patient to recover from this ailment, it is necessary that this bowel should move clearly and regularly. This medicine is very much helpful for this purpose. For patients having clear motions, this medicines should be given in a dose of 2 tablets and constipated patients the dose should be 4 tablets. If the constipation is not relieved even by taking 4 tablets the dose can be further increased to 6 tablets.

At night some medicines should be given to the patients, which will act as a purgative. Triphala powder is the best medicine for this purpose. One teaspoonful of triphala should be given to the patient, mixed with a cup of warm milk and one spoon of sugar. In the motions become regular by the intake of simbanada guggulu, then triphala powder should be given only twice a week otherwise it can be given every day.

Hot fomentation on the vertebrae of the neck is very useful for this condition. In a big handkerchief about 500gms of salt should be kept over a frying pan till it becomes tolerably hot. Then this should be applied over the neck. Care should be taken to see that it not too hot. In that case, it may cause burns. Sometime patients suffering from cervical Spondylosis develop some anesthetic patches in the back, neck, shoulders and arms because of the pressure from nervous systems .the patient is therefore not able to feel the quantum of heat applied during fomentation. It should therefore be the responsibility of the attendant to examine the heat of the bolus before applying it it on the affected parts. This fomentation should be continued about ½ an hour every day .After fomentation the affected part should not be exposed to cold wind. In winter season therefore immediately after fomentation, the affected part should be covered with some woolen garment. In other seasons also the affected part should be kept covered with some cotton garments after fomentation. It is very convenient to take the fomentation before bedtime. After the fomentation the patient should go to sleep so that he does not run the risk of exposure.

DIET : Sour things particularly curd, are strictly prohibited. Fried things, pulses and various preparations of pulses are also contra- indicated in this condition. Bitter vegetables like bitter variety of drumstick, neem flowers and bitter gourd are very useful. Wheat is better than rice for the patient. He should however, avoid taking refined wheat which is known as maida (flour) and suji (semolina). To some extent they are constipated and do not help the patient in the recovery.

LIFESTYLE: Exposure to cold ,cold bath and any violent exercise of the neck muscles, including pressure, are very bad for the patients. Under the impression that this pain is being caused by some defects in the muscles, people undertake different types of neck exercises .While reading and writing ,one should maintain a comfortable posture. Morning walk gives some relief to the patient, but if it is cold outside the patient should always use a woolen scarf around his neck while going out of the house.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Help taken from:en.wikipedia.org and Allayurveda.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *