Slip disc or herniated disc is a condition affecting the intervertebral discs of the spine. It is one among the most common conditions affecting the spinal column, the others being degeneration, bulge and thinning of the disc. Also called as slipped disc, the problem presents with one disc sliding mildly out of its original position and applies pressure on the nerves arising out of the vertebral column. The pain associated with slip disc is due to the nerve root compression.
Factors that lead to slip disc include trauma to the vertebral column which is caused by accidents or physical injury, strenuous jobs, hard physical labour, obesity, excessive strain and aging characterized by degeneration and loss of elasticity of the discs. Disc herniation can develop both suddenly and gradually over weeks or months.
Symptoms associated with slip disc varies depending on the location of the herniation and according to the type of soft tissues involved.
Symptoms of slip disc in the neck include,
- Pain in the neck, shoulders and arms
- Radiating pain that begins from the neck and reaches the fingers over a period of time
- Muscular weakness in hands
- Burning sensation in affected area
Symptoms of slip disc in the back include,
- Pain and numbness in the back
- Pain that arises from the back and radiates to the legs
- Sharp pain when sitting or standing
- Muscle weakness in the back and legs
- Burning sensation
Ayurvedic management of slip disc
Ayurveda regards slips disc under the diseases caused by the vitiation of Vata dosha. Ayurvedic management of slip disc focuses on bringing back the aggravated Vata to balance and maintaining equilibrium in the body.
Ayurvedic healing therapies for slip disc are beneficial for,
- Strengthening the supportive tissues that hold the spine
- Releasing muscular spasm and nerve compression
- Nourishing the joints by enhancing circulation and relieving pain.
Following are the Ayurvedic therapies recommended for disc herniation.
Kati Vasti – Process wherein warm medicated oils are made to retain in the lower back to treat conditions associated with the spine and lower back.
Abhyanga – Ayurvedic massage using warm medicated oil with slow and rhythmic movements throughout the body to nourish the bones, tissues and ligaments. The massage is also beneficial to help reduce pain and fatigue in the body.
Kizhi – Poultices made with therapeutic herbs and medicated oils are warmed and applied on the body with gentle massages. The therapy helps the body tissue to absorb the oil and also improves the blood circulation. It helps remove muscular fatigue while also effectively treating other joint ailments and injuries.
Dhanyamla Dhara – It is the procedure of pouring medicated oils rhythmically throughout the different parts of the body to help relieve body ache and muscular spasms. It also boosts blood circulation and enhances the immune system.
Other therapies directed towards relieving the inflammation, releasing muscular spasms and nerve compressions include Patrapotala Sweda, Choornapinda Sweda, Shirodhara, Njavarakizhi, etc.