Ayurvedic treatment for Slipped disc

Slipped disc

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  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
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Slipped disc  Ayurvedic treatment


A slipped disc is the swelling in the cushion between two bones, most commonly the vertebra (individual bones of the spine). This cushion is supposed to provide mobility and flexibility to the spine. This cushion between the vertebra is called a disc and is filled with a gel-like substance that provides the flexibility.1

Slipped disc is the swelling of this disc which causes pain and obstructs mobility of the spine. A swelling in the cushion leads to some of the gel in the disc to protrude out between the bones.1

Ayurveda terms slipped disc as a part of vata vyadhi (diseases of vitiated vata dosha) that presents a pain and immobility of the spine.2


Slipped disc


The most common cause of a slipped disc is ageing – which leads to weakening and wear and tear of the discs.1 People who ride two wheelers often on poor roads may also suffer from a slipped disc due to the jerks on the spine.4


Slipped disc


Many people with a slipped disc may not realize that they suffer from it. Some common symptoms of a slipped disc include: 1

  • Pain in the back or arm or leg
  • A tingling sensation or numbness in the back or arm or leg
  • Inability to stand or carry the weight of the body – leading to severe pain in back


Slipped disc


Your doctor will diagnose your slipped disc by asking you a few questions about the symptoms that you experience and by performing a physical examination. This is usually followed by some additional tests such as:3

  • MRI scan – imaging test to confirm slipped disc
  • Myelogram – to check for nerve conduction through the spinal cord. This reveals abnormalities and helps in detecting slipped disc



Slipped disc


Slipped disc takes approximately 4-6 weeks to heal. Most times, it gradually improves with adequate rest, gentle exercises, and certain medicines. Other treatment options include:3

  • Staying fit and exercising regularly - The movement helps in strengthening the muscles and recovering quickly. Swimming is considered the best option
  • Avoid sedentary activities or activities that lead to physical stress- such as lifting and sitting for long periods of time
  • Physiotherapy – Massages and manipulation exercises help reduce pain and further damage to the back
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Surgery – only in severe cases

As per Ayurveda holistic treatment of Vata vyadhi (diseases due to Vata vitiation)can be beneficial for slipped disc. These include2:

  • Snehana (oleation) – administering ghee, herbal oil, animal fat or bone marrow to expel the imbalanced dosha out of the body
  • Swedana (fomentation) – application of hot, moist substances to heal pain

Additionally, Ayurveda also recommends a combination of healthy diet (ahar) and lifestyle changes (vihar) in order to manage slipped disc effectively. These include:2

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consume healthy foods including nuts, dairy etc in diet
  • Langhanam (dieting) to reduce weight helps in reducing the burden on joints
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, packaged foods and junk food

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Follow a systematic daily way of life (Dincharya)
  • Avoid activities that cause both mental and physical stress
  • Avoid excessive exercise and physical activities
  • Avoid suppressing your urges (vegavidharan) to urinate, defecate, etc


Slipped disc
  1. What is Osteoarthritis? How is it caused?

Osteoarthritis refers to a type of bone and joint problem in which a person suffering from it will have pains in joints. This happens due to the wearing down of the protective cartilage on the bones due to age or other factors. While any joint in the body can have osteoarthritis, usually it happens commonly in the joints of knees, hips, spinal column and hands.

Osteoarthritis is caused due to damage of the cartilages of the ends of the bones. This damage generally occurs due to multiple factors primarily being increasing age. Apart for age, the other factors that cause the damage to cartilage are Obesity, female gender and trauma to the joint.

  1. What is Rheumatoid arthritis? How is it different from osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refers to an auto immune disorder where the body’s defense systems turn against the body and mainly affect the joints but may also severely affect the eyes, skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels. It generally manifests as pain in the joints along with swelling and difficulty in movements.

Unlike osteoarthritis which affects the weight bearing joints, RA affects any and most joints of the body. It generally presents with swelling (hot swollen joints) as a cardinal feature and also shows some systemic manifestations (such as affects the eyes, skin, lungs, heart etc) unlike OA.

  1. What is osteoporosis? How is it recognized?

Osteoporosis refers to the condition where the bone becomes weak. Instead of the strong tissue that support the body structure, bones become brittle from inside and are capable of breaking with a minor jerk or fall. This leads to fractures in the hands, hips and legs with minor falls or injuries.

It can be recognized based on specific signs and symptoms and a BMD test. Symptoms are as follows -

  • Easily having a bone fracture
  • Pain in the back
  • Height becomes lesser than usual
  • A dropping posture
  1. What first aid should I offer to a person with a fracture?

If you witness a person developing fracture, take these actions immediately -

  • Urgently call for medical help or arrange for an ambulance
  • Stop any bleeding if there is an open wound. This can be done by applying pressure with a clean cloth or tight bandaging.
  • Avoid moving the injured area.
  • Apply ice packs to the injured part
  • If the person faints of is short of breath, put their head at a lower side and legs at a higher angle
  1. How does one know if a child has rickets?

The signs and symptoms of rickets are as follows –

  • Crooked or bow shaped legs
  • Thick joints of hands and feet
  • Protruded chest bone
  • A delay in growth milestones
  • Muscular weakness
  1. How does one have a dislocated joint?

Dislocations are usually caused due to a trauma or as a sports injury. Falls associated with contact sports such as football, basketball etc can lead to a dislocation.

Additionally, a fall on the outstretched hand and trauma due to a motor accident, too can cause dislocation.

  1. What is a Tennis elbow? How is it caused?

Tennis elbow refers to the pain in elbow due to swelling of the tendons which may occur due to repetitive movements of the wrists. Unlike the name suggests, the condition affects non-athletes as well.

It is caused due to overuse of the tendons resulting in a muscle strain injury. Any activity that requires repeated motions of the elbow and wrists can cause tiny injuries in the tendons leading to tennis elbow.

  1. What is frozen shoulder and how is it caused?

Frozen shoulder refers to a condition where the shoulder seems to be frozen in its movements. This condition cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder and restricts any kinds of movements. Medically, this condition in also known as adhesive capsulitis.

While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not understood, it is believed to be caused due to a swelling of the joints covering called as capsule. This may happen due to long periods of immobility or trauma to the underlying nerve.

  1. How does a hip get fractured?

Generally hip fractures can be caused because of a trauma due to accident, falls, injuries or rarely violence. Hip fracture is very common in the elderly as it often happens due to a fall from height or sometimes even with twisting of the foot in people with weak bones. Younger people often have hip fracture as an outcome of a motor vehicle accident.

  1. What is meant by slipped disc?

A slipped disc refers to the swelling in the cushion between two bones, most commonly the vertebra (individual bones of the spine). This cushion is supposed to provide mobility and flexibility to the spine. This cushion between the vertebra is called as a disc and is filed with a gel like substance that provides the flexibility.

Slipped disc is the swelling of this disc which causes pain and obstructs mobility of the spine. A swelling in the cushion leads to some of the gel in the disc to protrude out between the bones.


Slipped disc
  1. Mayo Clinic. Herniated disc. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/basics/definition/con-20029957 accessed on Sept 20th 2016
  2. Charaka Institute of Panchkarma. Slip disc / Herniated Disc. Available at http://www.charaka.org/slip-disc-herniated-disc/ accessed Sept 20th 2016.
  3. Slipped disc- treatment. NHS. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Slipped-disc/Pages/Treatment.aspx accessed on Sept 21st 2016
  4. INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS WITH LUMBAR DISC PROTUSION. Available at www.anuradhaclinic.com/pdf/1LUMBAR.pdf accessed Sept 21st 2016

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