Spondylitis (also called spondylosis) is the wearing out of cartilages and bones of the vertebral column. Although these degenerative changes can occur throughout the backbone, they are commonly known to involve the neck (cervical spondylitis/ spondylosis) and the lower back (lumbar spondylosis). Abnormal, bony growths may also form in these areas, leading to nerve compression.
What was earlier viewed as an affliction of the elderly, is a condition that is now common among young people too. Cervical spondylosis patients complain of neck pain that sometimes radiates to the arms or shoulders, neck stiffness and numbness, abnormal sensations, or weakness in the shoulders and arms, rarely in the legs. Occipital headaches or giddiness can occasionally occur. Lumbar spondylosis doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give rise to symptoms unless nerve compression occurs, leading to pain along the sciatic nerve, starting in the hip region and running down the leg.
Homeopathy can help in two ways. Biochemical tissue salts like Calc Fluor, Calc Phos or Silicea can help retard degeneration. Secondly, distressing symptoms can be effectively treated by homeopathic remedies, selected on the basis of the patientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s symptoms as well as personality. Thus, a restless patient who is worse at rest and better at continued movements may require Rhus Tox, whereas another person, obsessed with his business all the time and worse at least motion, could respond well to Bryonia. Neck exercises for cervical spondylosis strengthen the muscles of the area, so as to decrease the load on joints and reduce nerve entrapment. Hot fomentation can help to reduce the pain. Homeopathic treatment focuses on preventing complications whilst ensuring patient comfort.
Article by Dr Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Hindustan Times on 17 October 2009