George was 59 and was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis. It began as neck pain that radiated to the shoulders with a loss of sensations in arms. Slowly, he began to have stiff hands rendering him unable to write as before. The doctors informed George that it was probably the consequence of a past neck injury that George had sustained during a road accident.

Spondylosis is a medical condition that apparently offers no scope for improvement. The symptoms appear slowly as in the form of neck pain, headache, stiff neck, weakness of the arms and/or legs,progressive loss of muscle function or feeling, abnormal sensations and more. These occur when the body starts to have degenerative signs of ageing especially in the cervical spine. A past spine surgery, arthritis or any previous injuries may also contribute to this painful conditions other than ageing.

Often men fall victim to cervical spondylosis much earlier than women. Some men show signs as early as the age of 40 while it is common problem for many by the age of 60. And as they age, it gets worse affecting their spinal cord lading to myelopathy or sick spinal cord. Bone spurs (osteophytes) are smooth bones formed on normal bones as a result of this condition. These bone spurs press against other bones, nerves or soft ligaments causing extreme pain and discomfort.

Many people with spondylosis are permanently stuck with medicines like muscle relaxants, non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), the unpleasantness of physiotherapy, painful injections, cervical collars and so on. Herbs like Yava, Dashamoolam, Devadaru and Sarala work wonders in pain management in Alternative Medicine. They have been used for centuries without any side effects.

Herbal Remedies

  •  The phenols in Yava (Hordeum vulgare) help to reduce the ageing process thereby deterring the progress of spondylosis.
  • Dashamoolam, a potent combination of 10 herbs can treat the causes of degenerative disease including bone and cartilage loss and nerve damage without any side effects.
  • Devadaru (Cedrus Deodora) and Sarala (Pinus Longifolia), found in most herbal massage oils can be help with the local pain and increase the resistance power.
  • Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) is a great remedy for nervous debility, insomnia, fatigue, low energy level and memory loss.
  • Sesame or gingelly oil is an edible vegetable oil also used as a medicine for local pain (topical application as well as ingestion), stress related symptoms, nerve and bone disorders, joint pains, poor blood circulation, low immunity and bowel problems.
  •  Bala (Sida cordifolia- Malvaceae) is another herb that comes to the aid of Spondylosis patients. It can help by increasing the strength of the body, alleviate the symptoms of nervous system disorders which are considered to be of Vata origin and help with fecal incontinence that the patient may suffer from.
  • Amrutha or Giloy is indeed an elixir, a rejuvenator that detoxifies the body, fortifies the muscles and the joints and strengthens the nervous system.

Recommended Lifestyle Changes

  1. Sleep on a firm mattress preferably without a pillow. The pillow should not bend your head for more than 15 degrees.
  2.  Take proper ergonomic care.
  3. Avoid repetitive strain injury by making positive lifestyle changes. For example, to make activities less strenuous stop using a blunt knife in the kitchen.
  4. Learn and practise isometric exercises.
  5. Practise yoga regularly.
  6. Avoid smoking and the use of tobacco.
  7. Avoid tea and coffee.
  8.  Avoid salty, oily ,sweets, sugary and sour foods. Instead eat diet rich of fresh fruits and vegetables like tomato, cucumber, cabbage, radish, lettuce etc.
  9. Take regular body massages with sesame oil. Though sesame oil does not smell nice it has proven therapeutic uses.

-AparnA K. V.


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