“I’ve been told my backache is due to a disc prolapse? I want to know if it’s curable through Ayurveda” the wannabe Patient asked.
Some of the most common disease conditions that induces people to seek Ayurveda is back pain/neck pain. And the success ratio in this arena has only progressively allured many more suffering from this painful ailment towards Ayurvedic relief with every passing year.
What is the Spine?
Many people get mixed up with the usage of the words spine and vertebral column. The chain of bones that form what is commonly called the backbone is the vertebral column. On the other hand, what the backbone actually protects or clads is the length of nervous tissue inside called the spine.
Problems of the Spine
These range from simple neck /shoulder ache to spondylitis, spondylosis through swellings, cysts and lumps to back pain and serious disc prolapses. They can cause simple stiffness to severe loss of mobility, pain and serious debility
How Ayurveda views back pain
Pain in Ayurveda is closely associated with the doshaVata. More so, pain related to the bones or compression of nerves.
“What is the cause of this pain, though? I mean, what did I do wrong to get it?” Patient s anguish was obvious.
Causes of back pain
- Bad posture during sitting, walking, and sleeping
- Travelling in a jerky vehicle for long periods
- Eating “gassy” foods like potatoes and certain gravy/heavy grams habitually
- Developing middle fat ie, fat around the midriff that out balances spinal support
- Sleeping on too soft, foamy unsupportive mattresses
- Irregular sleeping and food habits
“Sounds like the last seven years of my life…” he said, drily. “So how does Ayurveda help? What can it do for me that other conventional treatments haven’t been able to do? And why shouldn’t I go in for this corrective surgery that I ‘ve been advised?”
Ayurvedic approach towards the spine
Obviously most back pains are treated targeting the conquering of this Vatadosha, which includes
- Medicated Enemas and
- Internal Medication
These help in easing the friction in joints between the vertebrae, thereby allaying pressure on the nerves.
Coupled with some of the most fruitful external therapies like Kati vasti, or Pichu, among others, a well devised plan of Ayurvedic care for the spine shall yield the most satisfying and restorative of results.
“That’s it?” Patient was incredulous. “No disrespect meant of course, doctor, but I’ve undergone medication, taken injections and had countless sessions of consultations, physiotherapy….what not? And you’re telling me oil massages and heat therapy will help me better?”
The doctor looked at Patient for a few seconds, walked out of the room to the adjoining garden and picked up a dry shriveled twig off the ground.
“If I soak this dead twig here in hot oil for a while, and subject it to heat under the influence of oil, would you believe that I could bend and twist it to whatever shape I want, like in those wooden handcrafted pieces?”
Patient shrugged.” I suppose so.”
The doctor looked deep into the patient’s eyes.“ If a dead, shriveled twig could respond that way to oil and heat, what then, of the live, human body?”
Silence prevailed for a while.
Then, Patient smiled slowly.
The doctor said quickly, “And before you credit me for the great example, let me confess,” he winked, “that story and the punch line were from our ancient text.”