Ayurvedic Management of Cervical Spondylitis

In cervical spondylitis, due to aging there are changes in the bones, discs and joints of the neck that causes neck pain and stiffness.

Cervical spondylitis is a common degenerative condition of  neck that is most likely caused because of age related changes in the intervertebral discs and vertebrae of neck.
Most often, in people above the age of 40, the cervical bones become more compressible and less elastic. Mineral deposition starts occurring resulting in secondary changes. Majority of individuals demonstrate significant radiological evidence of above changes. Sometimes degenerative changes can be visible on x-ray as early as in 30s  but it does not require any treatment if the patient is not symptomatic.


1.    Chronic or episodic pain that tends to get worse over a period of time.
2.    Stiffness in the neck and shoulder
3.    Radiation of pain from neck to shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, lower part of head and upper back .
4.    Coughing, sneezing and other movements of the neck may worsen the symptoms.
5.    Along with the pain, there may be tingling, numbness, loss of sensation and weakness in affected areas.
6.    Non specific headache in the lower part of back of head.
7.    Sensation of loss of balance.

1.    Hunching over the computers for many hours.
2.    Occupational hazards such as those of a writer, painter.
3.    Lying in the bed with several pillows affects the alignment of cervical column.
4.    Bad postures and lack of exercise.
5.    Lifting heavy weights over heads.
6.    Neck injuries.

A variety of imaging tests can provide details to guide diagnosis and treatment
X-rays show abnormalities such as diminution of disc spaces and formation of osteophytes. CT scan provides much finer details than plain  X-rays particularly of the bones. MRI  can help to pin point the areas where nerves may be getting pinched.
Yogasanas like Dhanurasna, Shalbhasna, Dandasana, Bhujangasna and Tadasna help in improving the symptoms and alleviating the pain. 
Therapies used in panchkarma provide relief to the patients and reduce their intake of allopathic medicine. These are abhyang and grivabasti done with medicated oils like Mahanarayan taila, Vishgarbh taila.
Many ayurvedic medicines act as anti inflammatory and antioxidant which work well in curing cervical spondylitis. Some of these are Ashwgandhadi churna, Rasnaerandadi kashaya, Vrihat vat chintamani ras and Yograj guggul.
In modern science, analgesics and muscles relaxants are advised. In more severe cases, the doctor may suggest cortisone injection near the joints of vertebral bodies.
•    Shortwave diathermy
•    Cervical traction
•    Postural exercises   
•    Use of collars 
•    Physical relaxation
Do’s and Don’ts
1.    Use seat belt in a car.
2.    Practise good posture.
3.    Avoid bad roads while travelling 
4.    Do not lift heavy weight on back or head.
5.    Avoid skipping, running and aerobics of high intensity.
6.    Do not sit for prolonged periods in stressful postures.
7.    Take breaks while working on computers, writing and painting.
It can be concluded that cervical spondylitis is age related most of the time but it can also occur in young age if there is neck injury or wrong posture. So to manage it in conservative way one should opt for herbal medications and yogasanas.

Assistant Professor,
Department of Shalya Tantra,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.
Mob.:  6280127456