Friday - - Beauty -

Q I’ve been di­ag­nosed with slipped disc. Does Ayurveda have a cure for this?

A Our seden­tary life­syle is one of the main rea­sons for our back prob­lems. Our spinal disc is like a jelly donut, with a soft cen­tre en­cased within a tough coat­ing. Slipped disc oc­curs when the soft jelly pushes out through a crack in the tough case. It can ir­ri­tate neigh­bour­ing nerves and re­sult in pain, numb­ness or weak­ness in arms or legs.

Many peo­ple get bet­ter in a month or two with con­ser­va­tive treat­ment. Imag­ing stud­ies show that the pro­trud­ing por­tion of the disc shrinks over time, cor­re­spond­ing to the im­prove­ment in symp­toms. Mus­cle-strength­en­ing ex­er­cises help sta­bilise and sup­port the spine. Ayurveda con­sider this as a Vata disease, namely Gridhrasi. The ob­jec­tive of the treat­ment is to bal­ance Vata and thereby al­le­vi­ate pain symp­toms and pre­vent fur­ther de­gen­er­a­tion in the discs and ver­te­brae. A qual­i­fied doc­tor should be con­sulted for the treat­ment.

In se­vere cases pan­chakarma ther­a­pies – Vasthy (en­ema with med­i­cated liq­uids), Virechanam (pur­ga­tion ther­apy), Nasyam (med­i­cated oils as nasal drops) are also sug­gested.

Once the acute pain sub­sides, mus­cle strength­en­ing will help to pre­vent re­cur­rences. Don’t bend, twist or lift any­thing heavy. Keep your knees a lit­tle higher than your hips and keep your feet flat on the floor while sit­ting in a chair. Do not sit in the same po­si­tion for long. If you are a nurs­ing mother, don’t strain your back by bend­ing over your in­fant. Prac­tice Yoga pos­tures like Bhu­jan­gasana, Sal­ab­hasana, Pa­vana muk­tasana.

DR VL SHYAM is a Dubai-based Ayurveda prac­ti­tioner

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