Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Slip Disc
UNDERSTANDING SLIP DISC
Lounging on a couch with your favourite book could be the perfect way to relax after a hectic day at work. But with a slipped disc, it is not as easy and comfortable as it sounds. A slipped disc is really painful and affects your daily life in a big way. Unable to distinguish it from the regular back pain or neck pain due to overexertion, the common tendency is to wait with some home remedies, hot and cold packs etc. before seeking medical advice. It is usually when this pain does not subside on it own and starts radiating to other body parts that people take it seriously, only to be diagnosed with a slip disc aka disc bulge or disc herniation or disc prolapse or disc rupture and very often associated degeneration and osteoarthritis. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for slip disc is renowned globally for its effectiveness. A course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala that lasts 15 to 28 days could save you from the excruciating pain and agony forever.
What is a slipped disc?
The term ‘slip disc’ can be misleading because intervertebral discs are firmly attached to the vertebral bones and do not actually slip or move. It is the gel-like material inside the disc called nucleus pulposus that slips out due to various causes like an external sudden injury as in a fall, continuous pressure on the spine due to long sitting hours, lifting heavy weights, obesity, age related wear and tear, wrong postures, smoking etc. It may remain symptomless as long as the bulge is minimal, so most patients look for slip disc treatment in Kerala only when the disease has progressed to the stage of compression of adjacent nerves, with symptoms ranging from severe radiating pain, burning sensation and numbness to muscle weakness and sometimes, difficulty in controlling bladder and bowel movements. Intervertebral disc prolapse (IVDP) can happen anywhere on the spine but the intervertebral discs in the neck (cervical region) and lower back (lumbar region) are the most vulnerable.
How does the disc slip?
An intervertebral disc may prolapse suddenly or gradually. A disc may suddenly get squeezed out in an accident or while lifting an excessively heavy weight due to spinal injury or compression.
Slip disc can also be the gradual result of ageing or many things in our daily lives like chronic bad posture, a sedentary lifestyle, improper diet, poor sleep, over exertion etc. that increase the vata dosha in our body (vata dosha is one of the three doshas in our body - vata, pitta and kapha). Vata has a drying quality, so when vata increases, it dehydrates the gel like substance inside the intervertebral discs and thins it out. This thinning out of the discs reduces the space between vertebrae and the disc begins to get squeezed out. Timely ayurveda treatment can once again nourish the discs, stop this dehydration and degeneration process and also save it from further damage. But when this degeneration is not addressed in time, the continuing thinning of the discs leads to less and less space between the vertebrae and causes increasing compression of the disc, squeezing out the material inside it more and more, at times even leading to neurological conditions like sciatica or cervical radiculopathy.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR SLIP DISC
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for slip disc?
Kerala ayurvedic treatment for slip disc has many long lasting benefits:
Relieves inflammation and pain: Any soft tissue inflammatory signs like swelling and tenderness are addressed first with rookshana therapies like podikizhi, dhanyamla dhara etc. and specific internal medicines. Further treatment will be beneficial only when the inflammatory changes are managed well.
Releases spasm in muscles: Ayurvedic therapies will help improve blood circulation to the area, hydrate the muscles affected by vata dosha, relax its stiffness and thus release the muscle spasm.
Relieves nerve related symptoms like radiating pain: Specific therapies like vasti (medicated enema) and njavara kizhi will relieve the neurological manifestations like radiating pain and numbness by its vata pacifying, nourishing and rejuvenating properties.
Provides overall relief by restoring dosha balance: Since vitiated vata dosha is a key underlying factor in disc herniation, various therapies to restore the balance of vata dosha are administered which result in reduced pain, numbness and degenerative changes.
Nourishes the discs and strengthens the spine: Most cases of slip disc present itself with degenerative changes, especially after the age of 40. Various lubricating and nourishing therapies like greeva vasti, kati vasti, pizhichil etc. are done locally with warm medicated oils to nourish the discs thereby arresting the degenerative changes and strengthening the spine as a whole.
Prevents further damage to the discs: Deep application of heat during different localised therapies will expand the space between vertebrae reducing the compression of discs and avoiding further herniation. The vata pacifying nature of the medicines used in these therapies and the lubricating effect of the oils used also reduce the friction between the vertebrae, thus preventing further damage to the discs.
How many days are required for a course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for disc prolapse?
A single course of treatment at an ayurveda hospital in Kerala for 2 to 4 weeks (as advised by the ayurvedic physician after a review of your condition) will be sufficient in mild disc bulge. But if there is considerable disc prolapse, one or two courses of follow up treatments may be needed in the coming years for continuing results. Apart from providing relief from specific symptoms like pain, burning sensation etc, the treatment is aimed at arresting the disease process itself, so that the benefits you experience during and immediately after the treatment is sustained and stay lifelong.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
Intervertebral disc prolapse is accelerated by improper diet and lifestyle habits that bring about an imbalance of doshas. At the time that you complete treatment at your ayurvedic centre in Kerala, your doshas will be in a state of balance, but do keep in mind that taking care of what you eat and what daily routine you follow after discharge are very important to continue in that state of balance.
What are the dietary guidelines in the ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for disc bulge?
A diet that does not aggravate vata dosha is what is recommended for those with a disc bulge. Skipping or unduly delaying your meals tend to aggravate vata dosha and hence it should be avoided. Dried vegetables and meat, frozen and canned food, junk food and deep fried items should be strictly avoided. Foods that are fresh, easy to digest and spiced with cumin, ginger, asafoetida and turmeric are very helpful in keeping vata dosha under control. Restrict the use of black gram, dal varieties etc. as much as you can since these aggravate vata. Nourishing vegetable and meat soups are comforting and vata pacifying in nature and beneficial in cases with degeneration. Before your discharge from the ayurveda hospital in Kerala, do sit down with your physician for a discussion on your food habits so that you can make the necessary modifications. By following the dietary recommendations, you may optimise the likelihood of enjoying the results of your ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for a lifetime.
What are the lifestyle recommendations given as part of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for disc herniation?
Since obesity increases the risk of slip disc, maintaining a healthy body weight is very important. However avoid over exercise and incorrect exercise techniques since this could lead to vata aggravation. Watch your posture always when you sit, stand or lie down, to maintain proper alignment of spinal vertebrae. Avoid lifting heavy weights and avoid long drives that demand inactivity of spine for a considerable period of time. Do not suppress natural urges like sneezing, bladder and bowel movements. Avoid exposure to cold air like in an air conditioned room or in extreme cold weather. Follow a healthy sleep schedule and avoid day sleep. Quit smoking as the toxins in cigarettes can hamper the nutrition supply to the discs. Most ayurveda hospitals in Kerala will teach you the correct way to practise certain therapeutic yogasanas like salabhasana, naukasana and bhujangasana that are beneficial for spine and muscle strength. Making these yogasanas a part of your daily life will help you in sustaining the results of your ayurvedic treatment in Kerala.
Intervertebral disc prolapse or slip disc is a very common cause of back pain these days irrespective of age, thanks to an unhealthy lifestyle. Without timely and proper treatment, a mild disc bulge progresses to a completely prolapsed or herniated disc with the pain and associated complaints worsening over a period of time and seriously affecting your work and daily life. While the best ayurvedic treatment in Kerala cannot put a prolapsed disc back in its original position, it is still the choicest treatment option because in most cases ayurvedic treatment is successful in relieving pain completely and in addressing neurological symptoms like radiating pain, burning sensation, weakness etc adequately, with the results lasting for a very long time if the patient follows some lifestyle recommendations. Even in advanced cases of disc rupture where surgery is suggested, ayurvedic treatment in Kerala is sometimes successful in pre-empting surgery or at least postponing it by adequately managing symptoms and disease progression.
Is ayurvedic treatment for slip disc in Kerala effective in cases where surgery is suggested?
If surgery is suggested because there is complete disc prolapse with protrusion of the entire nucleus, causing severe symptoms like foot drop, loss of bowel bladder movements etc., then surgery may be the best option. Although ayurvedic treatment is not an alternative to surgery in such cases, the need for surgery can be prolonged and sometimes surgical intervention can be avoided completely if ayurvedic treatment for IVDP is taken in time when disc protrusion is not so severe.
How beneficial is the slip disc treatment at ayurvedic centres in Kerala?
Ayurveda treatment for slip disc will be most effective when done as an inpatient at an ayurvedic centre in Kerala because ayurvedic centres in Kerala employ the best physicians and the best ayurvedic therapists. Treatment protocols followed in ayurveda hospitals in Kerala and the medicines that are used are of very high quality. Due to various limitations, ayurvedic centres in other parts of the world that claim to be practising Kerala Ayurveda are often unable to provide the same quality of treatment.
Kerala ayurvedic treatment for slip disc is most beneficial when taken at the earliest - that is, as soon as it is diagnosed. Moderate disc prolapse can also be managed very well whereas complete disc prolapse is rather difficult to treat. But in all these cases, the symptoms can be effectively managed and further worsening can be prevented.
Will the prolapsed disc come back to its normal position with ayurveda treatment in Kerala?
No. Once the nucleus inside a disc bulges out, it is not possible to put it back in its original position, but if ayurveda treatment is taken in time, most cases with mild disc bulge can stay asymptomatic life long without any pain and further progression of the disease.