Neck pain is something we’ve probably all experienced it at some point. Most commonly its is caused by strained muscles stemming from poor posture or awkward sleeping positions.
While your average neck pain will resolve itself in a few days, when it becomes chronic it's often caused by degeneration of the bones, discs, and cartilage. The cartilage that cushions the area between each bone and joint degenerates and there is loss of motion, stiffness, shooting pain, numbness and even headaches. Degeneration of the cartilage is caused by wear and tear, and mostly affects people over 50 years old.
Aging causes the cartilage to lose strength and degenerate to a point where the discs become flat, thin, expand and even slip out of place (herniated disc).
These disorders can be diagnosed as cervical osteoarthritis (degeneration) or cervical spondylitis (inflammation). Ayurveda has a similar disorder called greeva graham, which is described as neck stiffness, inflammation and pain.
Greeva (neck) and graha (stiffness) is caused by increased vata dosa, which leads to the depletion of body tissues. The dryness caused by vata also leads to depletion of kapha dosa.
The first approach to resolving neck pain requires identifying what is causing excess vata. Read related article
If you’re experiencing chronic neck pain, make sure to eat nourishing foods that are good for digestion. Vata-balancing and nourishing foods include wheat, milk, ghee and butter. Sipping warm water also helps digestion.
Favor foods that are sweet, salty, and sour to pacify vata dosa. Warm soups, stews and kichadi are a good place to start. Avoid cold or iced drinks, raw food and dry food like chips, popcorn, and crackers. These types of food have the same qualities as vata and will further increase the aggravated vata dosa.
One of the most enjoyable ways to relieve neck pain is warm oil massage.
Dhanwantaram Oil balances and nourishes vata dosha, supports vata related disorders of the muscles, bones, nerves, and joints.
Prasarani Oil balances both vata and kapha dosha, the main herb is prasarni, supports and nourishes the neck and shoulder joints, helps strengthen neck muscles.
Maha Narayana Oil balances vata dosha, the main herbs are dasamula and shatavari juice. This is an extremely popular oil and is useful for vata related disorders relating to all types of weakness.
Rasnairandadi Kwatham balances vata dosha. The main herb is rasna, which help support muscle and nerve pain, and is especially recommended for neck or back pain.
Yogaraja Guggulu Vatika balances both vata and kapha dosha. The main herb is guggulu which helps improve appetite and digestion, removes ama from the joints, and helps lower swelling and inflammation from the joints.
Yoga strengthens the neck muscles and ligaments; especially poses like Surya Namaskara, Bhujangasana, Makarasana, Ardha Naukasana and Marjariasana. If you are not familiar with yoga, please seek guidance from a qualified teacher to learn the proper technique. The benefits of yoga are greater if you lightly apply a pain-relieving oil such as Maha Narayana Oil ten minutes before practicing Asanas.
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.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and information are not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the advice of a trained Ayurvedic professional, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at email@example.com. We will provide you with information to consult with Ayurvedic professionals. Always check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.