Ranjith (name changed) had no idea that in just a few weeks his life would change so much. He had a sharp pain in his lower back as he was lifting a gas cylinder on his shoulder, and it made it hard for him to move. Ranjith tried every home remedy he could think of, assuming he had sprained his back. However, there were no signs that the pain would ease. In a few weeks, the pain was radiating toward his legs, which seemed to be getting worse.
According to Dr. Kiran, “this kind of pain that patients like Ranjith suffer from falls under the category of lumbar spondylosis.” Dr. Kiran B Nair, who is also the chief physician and CEO of Sreeragam Ayurveda in Kochi, sees a lot of cases that are similar to Ranjith’s.
Inadequate stretching of the paraspinal muscles that line the spinal cord prior to engaging in strenuous activities is the most common cause of this problem. When the muscles are not used for a long time, they tend to become tight. Therefore, it cannot fully extend when suddenly stretched during activities like lifting or bending. This causes a posture-altering injury, which in turn causes spondylosis symptoms due to the growth of bone spurs or disc bulging.
Laminectomy is typically the first course of treatment for lumbar spondylosis. It is a surgical procedure in which portions of the spinal cord (the lamina) are removed to relieve pressure on the spine and alleviate pain. However, given that many individuals experience a recurrence of pain after a few years, this may not be an effective treatment. Dr. Kiran states, “The only option left for these patients is a discectomy because laminectomy is not possible the second time around.” A discectomy replaces a bulging disc with a steel or platinum rod.
According to Dr. Kiran, “Getting a discectomy is often the end of the road due to the numerous side effects that affect one’s quality of life”. Foot drop and bowel/bladder incontinence are the most common side effects of a discectomy. A neurological condition known as foot drop or drop foot prevents a person from lifting their front foot. The person’s foot drags as they walk as a result of this. When Ranjith experienced foot drop following a discectomy, he decided to go to Sreeragam Ayurveda.
“After spinal surgery, there is no guarantee of complete recovery. However, 60-70% of these conditions can be improved with a combination of Ayurvedic therapies and acupuncture,” asserts Dr. Kiran.
According to Dr. Kiran, the best way to prevent lumbar spondylosis is to perform stretching exercises because prevention is better than cure. Daily stretching improves the diaphragm’s movement and strengthens the paraspinal muscles. As a result, we can breathe more deeply and take in more oxygen, which better oxygenates our cells. The mitochondria produce more ATP, or energy when there is more oxygen in the cell. More energy in our body assists us with becoming dynamic and remaining healthy. “Simply put, stretching every day will improve your mental and physical health and prevent the occurrence of lumbar spondylosis,” asserts Dr. Kiran.