Cervical stenosis is a condition where the volume of the spinal column at the level of cervical vertebra reduces such that it puts a pressure on the spinal cord passing through it and pinches the nerves arising out it. This sends strong impulses to the nerves supplying to the area of the neck, shoulders, chest , arm and back region resulting in intense pain.
The same pathology occurs with the lumbar spine causing lumbar stenosis causing intense pain in the lower limbs, sciatica, foot drop, loss of bladder control.
In Ayurveda the condition may be correlated to Greevashoola, kati shoola, Kati graha, Grudrasi or Greeva Stambha in the vata vyadhi spectrum. The pathology occurs when the normal flow of vata is obstructed by any other dosha like pitta or kapha.
Some of the known factors are:
- Overgrowth of a bone in the vertebra: Some conditions like paget’s disease in adults contributes to the extra bone growth in the vertebra. Osteoarthritis of the spine may contribute to the growth of spurs that may pinch the nerves or narrows down the spinal column.
- Trauma: Trauma to the spinal column may cause fractures and dislocations leading to osteophyte (new bone cells) formation that might also narrows down the spinal column or pinches the nerves arising out of it.
- Tumors: Any extra growth benign or malignant inside the spinal column causes narrowing of the spinal column thus causing stenosis
- Herniated disc: Any Intervertebral disc slipped or bulged out of its space due to trauma or ageing might protrude into the spinal column causing stenosis
- Congenital abnormalities of the spine such as scoliosis also might reduce the volume of the spinal column leading to stenosis.
Cervical stenosis causes intensive pain and stiffness that occur in the neck , shoulders, back and may or may not radiate to the arms and headache.
Lumbar stenosis causes pain and stiffness in the lowerback region, postural imbalance, pain radiating to the thighs and feet and loss of bladder control.
Apart from clinical features, it will be confirmed with the following investigations:
X ray: shows the abnormality in the vertebrae
MRI: shows the abnormality in the ligaments and intervertebral discs
CT scan report: shows the abnormality in the soft structures or growth any tumours.
Allopathic medicine advocated the use of corticosteroids, NSAID’s and Anaesthetics.
Other systems of medicines like the Accupunture, Physiotherapy also helps.
Ayurveda advices vatahara treatments for spinal stenosis. The panchakarma therapies include Abhyanga, swedanam, pottali swedanam, pizhichil and vasti.
- For internal use, Capsule Cervilon and Capsule Lumbaton gives a very good relief as it contains a perfect mixture of vatahara dravyas.
- Perfect herbal decoctions suitable for your body constitution and the dosha involved will treat the disease at its root and give relief from the symptoms.
- Nasyam with Karpasasthyadi tailam gives relief in cases of cervical stenosis.
- Medicines like kaisora guggulu and maha yogaraja guggulu gives relief from pain.
- External application of medicated oils and massage also helps to a great extent.
- Ananda balasana