Lumbar spondylosis can be described as all degenerative conditions affecting the discs, vertebral bodies, and associated joints of the lumbar vertebrae. This condition is usually caused by old age, as the spine undergoes changes as people grow older, and many of these changes contribute to degeneration of the vertebrae. Spondylosis is not a clinical diagnosis but instead a descriptive term utilized to designate spinal problems. Within the literature, lumbar spondylosis encompasses numerous associated pathologies including spinal stenosis, degenerative spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis and many others. 

Patients suffering lumbar spondylosis also have neurologic claudication, which includes lower back pain, leg pain, numbness when standing and walking. These symptoms improve in sitting and supine positioning.

Causes of Lumbar Spondylosis

  • Aging
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Injury
  • Overuse
  • Abnormal spinal movement

Signs and Symptoms of Lumbar Spondylosis

  • Pain and stiff back in the morning
  • Sitting for a long time increases pain
  • Pain gets worse with repeated movements, such as lifting and bending
  • Variation in sensation, maybe numbness and tingling sensation
  • Radiating pain from lower back to legs
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (occurs only in very advanced stages)

Ayurveda Management

 The aim of Lumbar spondylosis treatment in Ayurveda is to rehydrate the dehydrated disc, reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasm. The goal is also to strengthen the muscles and nerve roots, so that the problem is eliminated from its base.

Pain, tingling sensation, numbness, stiffness of the spine are major symptoms of Lumbar spondylosis which is predominantly due to vitiated Vatha dosha. According to Ayurveda, Lumbar Spondylosis can be correlated to Kati Vata (one of the Sandhigata Vata) and back pain to Kati shula or Prishta shula or Kati graha or Trika shulaor Trika graha.

Treatment in Ayurveda for Lumbar spondylosis is to bring the vitiated ‘Vata dosha‘ back to the state of equilibrium and thereby to the state of health. This  include Panchakarma & Rejuvenation therapies, internal medications, diet and life style changes.

Therapies like Dhanyamla dhara, Abhyanga, swedna, Elakizhi, Sarvangadhara, Vasti, kati vasti, Navarakizhi are commonly done according to the severity of illness. These  therapies are customized and are done dedicatedly to achieve the maximum success rate. Duration of the treatment may range from 4 – 6 weeks.

Guidelines for Lumbar spondylosis

  • Maintain proper sitting posture while working on computer and laptops.
  • Sleep in a comfortable position, avoiding strain on the lower back.
  • Avoid unnecessary travelling and minimise driving.
  • Regularly do smooth massaging without putting pressure with appropriate medicated oil, under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.
  • Attend physiotherapy classes.
  • Practice Isometric exercises to strengthen the back muscles.
  • Do yoga and pranayama to reduce weight and stress.  But if you are in acute stage of spondylosis, avoid yogasana. After complete recovery from pain, you can gradually start exercise and yoga.

Avoid foods which cause gaseous distension of the abdomen, like potatoes, legumes, bread, pizza and other junk foods.