Cervical Spondylosis is a degenerative disorder of the cervical region and is more common in females. It results from the degeneration of the inter-vertebral disc and the consequent pressure on cervical nerve roots or cervical spinal cord. It is an arthritic process that very often involves the vertebra, and is associated with other bones too.
The spine plays a vital role in maintaining body posture. The bones of the spine are known as vertebraes. Sandwiched between the vertebraes is a cushion of cartilage which acts as a shock absorber. Mobility is impossible without the normal functioning of these cushions. Cervical spondylosis occurs because of the reduction in the gap between 2 cervical vertebrae resulting in the compression of the nerves.
A nagging and severe pain in the neck, radiating to either shoulders. In severe cases it may radiate till the hands and fingers too.
Another important symptom is neck stiffness which restricts the neck’s movements. There can be a numbness and tingling sensation or complete loss of sensation on the affected side. This is associated with headaches and giddiness.
Diagnosis is confirmed by an x-ray of the spine.
An injury to the spine, faulty posture, psychological strain, over doing of neck exercises, faulty diet, emotional stress, sleeping on an extremely soft mattress and lack of exercise are the main causes of cervical spondylosis.
Drugs used for cervical spondylosis are peripheral muscle relaxants and form as a habit; and actually perpetuates the condition in case of excessive intake.
Proper nutrition to the spinal disc delays the deterioration that comes with age, eventually affecting the body.
The diet should consist of a salad of raw vegetables, fruits and milk. Patients should avoid curd, sweets, sugar, condiments, as well as tobacco, tea and coffee.
Proteins and Vitamin C are necessary for the development of a healthy bone matrix. Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and essential trace elements are useful in this disease.
Foods that have been processed and stored have fewer nutrients and therefore should be avoided.
Garlic is helpful in treating this condition. Two or three capsules of garlic in the morning will show good results. Oil prepared from garlic is also beneficial. This oil when rubbed over the affected area will produce very good results as garlic is the best anti-inflammatory. This oil is prepared by frying 10 cloves of garlic in 60 grams of oil in a frying pan. They should be fried on a low flame till they turn brown. After it is cooled it should be applied vigorously on the affected area and be allowed to remain for 3 hours. This should be followed by a hot bath. This should be continued for atleast 15 days.
Relief from pain can also be obtained by taking lemon juice mixed with common salt twice a day. A piece of chebulic myrobalan (harad or
haritaki) taken after main meals gives faster relief.
Asanas like bhujangasana, shalabhasana, vakrasana, uttanpadasana and shavasana are very useful yogic postures for cervical spondylosis.
By – Dr. Hiren Parekh