Ayurvedic treatment for Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Know More on Pain

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Neck Pain Ayurvedic treatment

Any pain in the neck region including the muscles, nerves, bones, and the disks between the bones, is called neck pain.1 Even though neck pain is felt in the neck region, it can be caused by numerous other problems, including muscular tightness in the neck and upper back area, pinching of the nerves, and disrupted joints in the neck and upper back areas.

People usually experience acute neck pain which usually recedes within a few days. Your neck pain may be chronic if it lasts longer than three months.2

In Ayurveda, neck pain is described as Manyastambha, which is one of the vatavyadhi (Vata dosha related conditions) caused due to aggravation of vata dosha. When the aggravated vata invades the neck muscles, it causes muscle rigidity, immobility of the neck, and pain in the neck muscles.3

Causes

Neck Pain

Neck pain can have many different causes. These include:2

  • Weak and overused neck muscles: Sitting at a desk for a long time, particularly in awkward positions with slightly tensed muscles, can cause pain and stiffness in the neck or shoulder areas, and sometimes headaches too.
  • Wear and tear of the joints in the neck area of spine: Over the course of time, different signs of wear and tear can arise in the neck area of the spine. Wear and tear is generally a normal part of growing older
  • Spinal disk changes: Spinal disks are also subject to wear and tear. The tissue becomes brittle and less elastic, so it can't absorb pressure as effectively. Sometimes spinal disk tissue then bulges out or a "slipped disk" occurs.

Neck pain may also sometimes accompany inflammatory (swelling) conditions of the spine, jaw joint or severe headaches.

Symptoms

Neck Pain

Some common symptoms of neck pain include:4

  • Stiff neckthat makes turning the head difficult
  • Sharp or stabbing pain in one spot
  • Soreness or tenderness in a general area
  • Pain that spreads down into the shoulders, arms, or fingers, or up into the head

In some cases, neck pain-associated symptoms are problematic. These include:4

  • Tingling, numbness, or weakness that radiates into the shoulder, arms, or fingers
  • Trouble with gripping or lifting objects
  • Problems with walking, balance, or coordination
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Diagnosis

Neck Pain

To diagnose your neck pain, your doctor will begin with taking a complete medical history, followed by a physical examination. Other tests that help diagnose neck pain are as follows:5

  • X-Rays: X-rays can show problems that affect the bones, such as infection, fractures, or tumors of the bones. X-rays are useful in showing how much degeneration and arthritis is affecting the neck.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI is the most commonly used test to evaluate the spine since it can show abnormal areas of the soft tissues around the spine.
  • Computer Assisted Tomography (CAT Scan): CT scan is similar to an MRI scan, except it shows bones of the spine in much better precision and captures clearer pictures of the spinal nerves.

Management

Neck Pain

Ayurveda plays a significant role in managing neck pain through a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime.6,7

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Take lots of fruits, green vegetable salads and sprouts.
  • Good hydration will help retain neck health.
  • Avoid refined foods and junk foods.
  • Milk is an important source of Calcium and can help maintain healthy bones.
  • Vitamin C in citrus fruits will help the healing process.
  • Honey in warm water or herbal teas are good for cleansing the bowels and this will help relieve many backaches that are due to constipation.

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

Pranayama (breathing exercises) is a powerful way to promote relaxation and a pivotal first step towards relieving muscle tension. Slow, deep breathing & relaxation can stimulate a sense of calmness and cause reduction in pain.

Yoga Asanas are also beneficial in maintaining neck and overall health

Image result for Marjaryasana

Image result for bhujangasana Image result for balasana

Balasana Marjaryasana Bhujangasana

FAQS

Neck Pain
  1. Can Ayurveda treat foot pain?

In Ayurveda, foot care is considered very important since it is known to benefit the entire body and nervous system in a holistic manner. There are certain points in our body called marma or vital points, where our vital energies are concentrated. Feet and ankles also have these vital points, which if not taken care of, can cause problems like chronic pain in the ankles, pain and swelling in feet, etc. Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing ankle pain with a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime.

  1. What kind of diet and exercises will be helpful in reducing neck pain?

To reduce neck pain, Ayurveda suggests following diet and exercises:

  • Take lots of fruits, green vegetable salads and sprouts.
  • Good hydration will help retain neck health.
  • Avoid refined foods and junk foods.
  • Milk is an important source of Calcium and can help maintain healthy bones.
  • Vitamin C in citrus fruits will help the healing process.
  • Honey in warm water or herbal teas are good for cleansing the bowels and this will help relieve many backaches that are due to constipation.

Pranayama (breathing exercises) is a powerful way to promote relaxation and a pivotal first step towards relieving muscle tension. Slow, deep breathing & relaxation can stimulate a sense of calmness and cause reduction in pain.

Yoga Asanas are also beneficial in maintaining neck and overall health

Balasana                                       Marjaryasana                                 Bhujangasana              

  1. I have knee pain. What could be the reasons for it?

Knee pain can have different causes. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for knee problems. Overusing your knee can trigger knee problems that cause pain. If you have a history of arthritis (swelling of knee joint), it could also cause knee pain.

Medical conditions that can cause knee pain are

  • Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout
  • Infection in the knees / knee joint
  • Injuries – fracture, dislocation, sprained knees etc.
  • Cancer
  1. What can I do to reduce my knee pain?

Ayurveda suggests following diet and lifestyle changes to help reduce knee pain.

Include more foods containing

  • Pulses: Black gram, green gram
  • Vegetables & spices: Onion, garlic, sesame seeds, ginger, radish, ladies finger, pumpkin
  • Fruits: pomegranate, mango, grapes
  • Oils: Ghee

Ayurveda recommends regular, slow and gentle exercises with adequate rest to knee joints. Regular Pranayama and Yoga Nidra is also recommended.

  • Avoid prolonged walking, standing, kneeling and squatting and crossed leg sitting.
  • Yoga asanas: Makarasana, Pavanamuktasana, Dhanurasana, Vakrasana
  1. I have tingling pain in the legs. Is it sciatica?

Sciatic pain most often occurs on one side of leg or hip. Symptoms of sciatica pain can vary widely as mentioned below:

  • Mild tingling
  • Dull aching that radiates from buttock to back of whole leg
  • Burning sensation
  • Inability to move leg when pain becomes severe

The pain often starts slowly and may get worse:

  • After standing or sitting
  • At night
  • When sneezing, coughing, or laughing
  1. What diet is effective in reducing the sciatica pain?

A healthy diet for controlling sciatica pain is for balancing Vata dosha and includes:

  • Grains: Rice, cooked oatmeal, whole wheat and whole grain breads (toasted)
  • Pulses: Yellow split mung beans (green skin removed), whole mung beans, red lentils and tofu
  • Vegetables: : Zucchini, asparagus, carrot, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumber, lady finger, parsley, green peas, fennel, spinach in small amounts and cooked coconut. All should be cooked well so they are soft.
  • Spices: Cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, ajwain, celery seeds, fenugreek, coriander, bay leaves, basil, saffron, hing (asafoetida), cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise, fennel, black pepper (in small amounts)
  • Fruits: All ripe, sweet, and juicy fruits. Sweet grapes, banana, melons, plums, cherries, mango, papaya, pomegranate, sweet pineapples, raisins, sweet oranges, dates and figs, avocado, apples and pears.
  • Oils: Ghee or organic olive oil
  • Sweeteners: Honey, jaggery, date sugar
  1. I frequently get gas pain. What food types are good for me?

Following foods are good to help relieve gas pain:

  • Grains: Whole wheat thick flat bread or chapati, millet & sorghum bhakri, unpolished rice
  • Pulses: Chickpea, Tur dal, Masoor Moong
  • Vegetables: Carrots, Radish, Lauki, potatoes, white gourd, spiny gourd, , cucumber, ajwain, guar bean, eggplant, amaranth, cabbage, spinach, coriander seeds and leaves, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green chillies, lady finger
  • Fruits: , pears, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, oranges, unripe bananas, water chestnut, dry fruits – almonds, walnuts, peanuts, dry dates, apples, grapes etc.
  • Oils: Ghee, coconut oil in small quantities
  • Ginger, cumin, coriander should be preffered in spices.
  1. What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal nerve (TN) pain is a nerve condition that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face.

It usually affects one side of the face. Any vibration on your face, even from talking, brushing etc. can set it off. The condition may come and go, disappearing for days or even months. But the longer you have it, the less often it goes away. TN pain usually affects women and people above 50 years of age.

Ayurveda describes 11 types of shiro rogas (headaches), among which trigeminal nerve type of pain is called ‘Ardhavabhedaka’. It happens when aggravated doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) press on the neck and throat producing a powerful burning sensation, out of which comes excruciating pain. This pain ultimately affects the eyes, eyebrows and temples.

  1. How can Ayurveda help in relieving stomach pain?

Ayurveda describes a comprehensive approach towards managing stomach pain- the most commonly diagnosed conditions being constipation (Vibandha) and indigestion (Ajirna)

Constipation is used to indicate fewer bowel movements, hard stools, painful defection and feeling of bloating, abdominal pain or incomplete elimination.

Indigestion, on the other hand, is an abnormality that occurs in digesting food or lack of proper digestion resulting in stomach pain, burping or flatulance (abdominal gas).

Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing & preventing different stomach pains by practising a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime

Corrective Ahar for both constipation & indigestion includes:

Grains: Wheat, unpolished rice, barley

  • Pulses: Green gram, chickpeas, course corn, Toor dal, moong, masura lentils, Vegetables/Spices: Garlic, Asafetida, long pepper, sunthi (dry ginger), green leafy vegetables, cucumber, bitter gourd, pointed gourd, cabbage, dates, betel nut, turmeric
  • Fruits: High fibre fruits such as apples, pears, papaya, grapes, amala, haritaki
  • Oils: Ghee

Exercise: Regular exercise, meditation and practice of asanas purifies the blood, improves the appetite, increases the will power and makes the patient physically active. The whole alimentary canal improves and becomes regular.

Yoga Asanas: Vajrasana (after every meal), Kurmasana, Vakrasana, Katichakrasana

Pranayama: Surya anulom viloma, deep relaxation technique

  1. What is myofasial pain?

Myofascial pain disorder (MPS) refers to pain and swelling in the body's soft tissues or muscles. Myofascial pain is a long-term, painful condition that affects the connective tissue that cover the muscles. It is considered as a type of muscular pain (fibromyalgia) which happens at specific areas on the body.

Myofascial pain might involve either a single muscle or an entire muscle group. In some cases, the area where you experience the pain might not be where the myofascial pain is generated. The actual location of the injury leads to the development of a trigger point, which in turn causes pain in other areas. This is known as referred pain

References

Neck Pain

1.Neck Pain. MedLine Plus 2015. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 29]. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003025.htm

2. Neck Pain. PubMed Health. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 29]. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0027055/

3. Bali Yogitha. NECK PAIN: AN ANCIENT VIEW. IRJP 2012, 3 (4). 21-22.

4. Shim JH. Chronic Neck Pain: What Condition Is Causing My Neck Pain? Spine-Health. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 29]. Available at: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/chronic-neck-pain-what-condition-causing-my-neck-pain

5. Neck Pain Overview. A Patient's Guide to Neck Pain (Overview). [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 29]. Available at: http://umm.edu/programs/spine/health/guides/neck-pain-overview

6. Bhavanani Ananda Balayogi. Yoga & Cervical Spondylosis. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 29]. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237078954_YOGA_AND_CERVICAL_SPONDYLOSIS

7. Plastaras C et al. Yoga Therapy for Management of Neck and Low Back Pain. J Yoga Phys Ther 2015, 5:4.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or ayurvedic treatment of pain and/or neck pain without consulting the doctor. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. "While we have products /ayurvedic medicines for pain and/or neck pain, you must consult an authorized physician before taking any of the products. For more information on products, visit www.dabur.com or call 1800-103-1644"