Slip disc (Disc prolapse)
Intervertebral discs are sponge-like fibro cartilaginous structures. The discs act as a remarkable series of shock absorbers. Surrounding each intervertebral disc, a tough, shock absorbing layer known as annulus, protects the disc vulnerable interior Nucleus purposes. Injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disc to protrude through the outer ring.
Factors that lead to slipped disc include aging with associated degeneration and loss of elasticity of the discs and supporting structures; Poor posture combined with the habitual use of incorrect body mechanics, hard physical labour (delivery), improper lifting, especially if accompanied by twisting or turning; excessive strain, and sudden forceful trauma. Herniated discs are more common in the lower back especially at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels (lumbar disc herniation). Herniated disc develops as a result of repetitive mechanical activities, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, traumatic injury, poor posture etc. Pain resulting from herniation may be combined with a radiculopathy, which means neurological deficit. The deficit may include sensory changes (i.e. tingling, numbness) and/or motor changes (i.e. weakness, reflex loss). These changes are caused by nerve compression created by pressure from interior disc material.
An annular tear occurs when this outer hard layer cracks. Causes of annular tears are the aging process of spine, injury, trauma etc. Biomedicine approaches like Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Narcotic drugs, injections and surgery have proven limitations and adverse effects. According to Ayurveda annular tears can be understood as Abhighata Janya KatigataVata.
1. X-ray: X-rays of the spine are obtained to search for other potential causes of pain, i.e. tumours, infections, fractures, etc.
2. Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan): A diagnostic image created after a computer reads x-rays; can show the shape and size of the spinal canal, its contents, and the structures around it.
3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A diagnostic test that produces three-dimensional images of body structures using powerful magnets and computer technology; can show the spinal cord, nerve roots, and surrounding areas, as well as enlargement, degeneration, and tumours.
Slipped Disc and Annular Tears are categorized as diseases caused by vitiation of Vata (one of the principle doshas in the body, responsible for the movement and functionality of the body). At Arth Ayurveda, these conditions are well managed with Ayurvedic procedures, herbal oral medications and Yoga.
Treatment is aimed at restoring the equilibrium through correction of the underlying functional disequilibrium. Ayurvedic treatments for Slip disc concentrate on bringing back the aggravated Vata to a state of equilibrium and thereby to a state of health. Arth Ayurveda treatment reduces radiating pain, burning sensation and numbness, as well as improves the range of movement.
The treatment comprises Detoxification, Rejuvenation and Restoration. The therapies like Abyanga swedam, Basti (Medicated Enema), Nasyam, Pathra Pinda swedam, Shashtika Shali Pinda Swedana, Choornapinda swedam, Kayaseka/Pizhichil (Warm oil is poured over the body in a rhythmic pattern, a combination of Swedana & Snehana Procedure), Shirodhara, Katibasti, Greevavasthy, Navarakizhi, Vasti etc. are done as per the necessity and condition. These therapies are directed towards relieving the inflammatory changes, releasing the spasms and nerve compressions in the affected area, strengthening the supportive tissues holding the spine, nourishing the joints through improving the circulation.
Some of the important internal medicines are Bruhat Vata Chintamani, Rasnasaptakam Kashaya, Trayodashanga Guggulu, Kaishora Guggulu, Gandharvahastadi Kashayam, Balarista to name a few. Other Oral herbal preparations like decoctions, tablets, powders, tonics etc administered according to the requirement of the patient.
The patient is put through specific Yoga asanas like Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana etc under supervision of a trained instructor to improve the mobility & flexibility. Meditation as well as the modified diet & lifestyle go hand in hand.
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