Chronic neck pain is usually caused by the degeneration of the bones and cartilage that cushions between the bones of the neck. This condition is more common in middle-aged or elderly people and generally manifests from the wear and tear of the neck joints. The symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, numbness, and reduced movement. neck pain is a disorder where an Ayurvedic protocol has shown promising results in helping to relieve symptoms.
In Ayurveda, there is a condition called Greeva Graham, which is similar to degeneration of the neck joints. The primary symptom of Greeva Graham is a stiff neck and the word greeva means neck and graham means stiffness.
This condition is a primary vata disorder associated with dry and degenerated bone tissue. The dryness and degeneration caused by vata dosa also leads to decreased kapha dosa. This becomes a problem because the lubrication that kapha provides is responsible for cushioning the discs between the joints.
Factors Causing Greeva Graham
Food habits that increase vata dosa
- Intake of dry, light, cold, and frozen foods
- Fasting for extended periods
- Irregular or sporadic meal times
- Processed food, sodas, chips, etc.
- Low intake of water or liquids
- Excess pungent taste, chili, curries, etc.
Lifestyle habits that increase vata dosa
- Staying awake at night
- Sleeping during the day
- Excessive exercise or work
- Suppression of natural urges (sneezing, etc.)
- Too much weight bearing on the spinal column
- Walking for long distances
- Bike riding for long distances
- Symptoms of Greeva Graham
- Chronic neck pain and stiffness
- Loss of movement: rotation, flexion, extension, etc.
- Pain radiating to the shoulder, back, arms or jaw
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness, tingling, weakness in the arms
- Difficulty in walking; lack of coordination
Ayurvedic Management for Greeva Graham
Three therapies that pacify vata dosha
Snehana (oil therapy) - both internal and external
Swedana (steam therapy) - mild to moderate steam therapy
Nitya Virechana (mild purgation) with Gandharvahastadi Kashayam may be administered in dose of 15 – 30 ml before bed to induce mild purgation.
Nasya is good for many disorders pertaining to the head, neck, and senses. Many disorders caused by vata dosa, pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, loss of movement, and paralysis are helped.
Greeva Vasti (retention of medicinal oil) is a retention dam made with black gram to hold the medicinal oil over the neck region. Many Ayurvedic oils like Dhanwantaram Oil and Balashwagandha Oil help support pain, stiffness and loss of movement associated with Cervical Spondylosis.
Oils for Greeva Graham
Products for Greeva Graham
Vata Pacifying Foods
- Red rice
- Warm water
Devices to Help Support the Neck
Cervical collars restrict the movement of the neck which helps reduce pain and heal the ligaments. They also help increase the space between each disc, which helps with prolapse (herniation).
Cervical pillows help keep the neck in a comfortable position while sleeping.
Yoga to Help Support the Neck
- In the early stages, yoga can be utilized to strengthen the neck muscles and ligaments. The following asana may be helpful, Surya Namaskara, Bhujangasana, Makarasana, Ardha Naukasana and Marjariasana. It is vital to seek the guidance of an experienced Yoga Therapist to know the proper alignment for your condition. The benefits of Yoga are enhanced when applying Maha Narayana Oil before practicing yoga.
 Radhika, C., Kumar, G. V., & Mihirjan, K. (2012). A randomized controlled clinical trial to assess the efficacy of Nasya in reducing the signs and symptoms of cervical spondylosis. Ayu, 33(1), 73–77.
 Pandey, Y. K., Shalini, & Sharma, A. K. (2013). Effect of Greeva Vasti in management of Greeva Asthi Sandhi Gata Vāta (Cervical Spondylosis). Ancient science of life, 33(1), 71–75.
Original source: Dr JV Hebbar, EasyAyurveda.com
Kottakkal is committed to offering the highest quality Ayurvedic Healthcare. We offer two ways to have an Ayurvedic consultation. 1. Free 15-minute Consultation with our Ayurvedic practitioner, Julie Wardwell for when you need a product recommendation for a basic health problem. 2. In-depth Consultation with our Ayurvedic doctor, Vaidya Vishwanath Guddadar for when your condition is chronic with multiple symptoms.
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