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Slip disc

Ayurveda About Slip Disc

Ayurveda does not specifically mention Slip disc as an ailment in itself. It mentions slipped discs which are not natural conditions but result from external forces like accidents etc. Ayurvedic treatment aims at correcting structural imbalance in any area of the body through proper lifestyle and diet. It also emphasizes on avoiding such accidents, which leads to slipped disc related problems.

For immediate relief from pain you can visit a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) or consult the Ayurvedic book Bheekari Sarvasva for more details. Long-term treatment aims at detoxification of the body along with proper lifestyle changes as per the individual constitution, according to Ayurveda. As our founding father Charaka mentioned in his sutras " विषय । – Visaya" i.e., all ailments are due to external disturbances into the three doshas that govern every aspect of life and if not corrected will lead to an imbalance in these doshas. Ayurveda explains that there are many causes for the slipped disc as well. The first cause is an imbalance in the body when the bones (marmas) of the spine do not support each other correctly due to excessive strain, incorrect posture, whiplash, and trauma, in general, can result in a slipped disc. The second cause is obstruction of the flow of prana into the spinal cord due to clogging up of nerve channels and the third one is toxins which are stored anywhere in the body causing disturbance to the nervous system leading to slip disc symptoms. The fourth reason could be due to weakness or inherent flaws during the development stage or at birth itself with respect to the individual constitution – if a Vata dosha dominant person has got slipped discs then it would just indicate his predisposition to weak bones. In Ayurveda, treatment at this stage of slipped disc is aimed at correcting the dosha imbalance whereas conventional medicines focus on pain killing and anti-inflammatory drugs, etc which in long term are likely to make matters worse.

What is the treatment of Slip disc in Ayurveda?

Ayurvedic treatment involves a combination of Asanas, Pitha and herbal medication to balance the dosha and correct any structural imbalance which has led to slipped disc. Specific exercises like Yoga, Pranayama should be taken up as per the individual constitution in accordance with Charak (the author of Ayurveda). Panchakarma for detoxification also smoothens the nerves to alleviate symptoms.

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Slip disc is a condition where one of the intervertebral discs that act as a cushion between the vertebrae slips out of position, due to which there is leakage of spinal fluid. It creates pressure on nerves and can lead to severe back pain.

What causes slip disc?

In the majority of cases, no particular cause can be ascertained for back pain. Slip disc too has no defined cause but a few lifestyle factors are known to contribute and they include:

Bad postures while lifting heavy weights or doing strenuous jobs, which puts pressure on your spine. Both weight-lifting and most desk jobs entail poor postural practices most of the time. Then if you add more than the required strain by making mistakes such as bending forward with rounded shoulders at work or just picking up an object from the floor with stooped back at home, it could affect your discs adversely.

Another common reason behind slipping of discs is an injury to your back muscles during any sports activity that

What are symptoms of slip disc?

The most common symptoms of disc slip are pain in the lower back and down your leg. You might also feel weakness or tingling sensation in either of these areas. There can be other symptoms too, such as:

  • Pain that varies from mild to severe intensity, which is always dull but may at times ache or throb a little as well
  • Tenderness on applying pressure on the affected area
  • Sensation of 'grinding' at certain points during body movement (if you have slipped one disc)
  • Weakness/numbness in legs below the level of injury (for example, if you have injured your L4-L5 discs, you will find it difficult to lift your foot when asked to do so)

The above symptoms may be felt on one or both sides of your lower back/leg. If you have slipped a disc in the lumbar region (lower back), the pain would radiate to the buttocks and down your leg while with a slip disc at the cervical spine (neck), pain could go as low as the shoulder and upper arm.

What are different types of slip discs?

Slip disc can occur anywhere in your spinal column but is most common in areas where there are inter-vertebral joints (where two vertebrae meet). There are various types depending on which part(s) of the spine get impacted:

Slipping upper segmental (cervical) disc – This occurs if a disc slips from between the cervical vertebrae (the neck area)

Slipping mid-segmental disc – This happens when a disc between two thoracic vertebrae (mid chest level) slips

Slipping lower segmental (lumbar) disc – The lumbar region refers to your lower back and slipping of this type of discs occurs here. It often results in severe pain because even though there is one less inter-vertebral joint at this place, mobility is present at all other joints so any trauma will be felt more intensely.

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