CAN AYURVEDA CURE SLIPPED DISC?
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