|Year : 2010 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 218-222
Clinical observation on Greeva Stambha (cervical spondylosis) Chikitsa
Bharti1, Shveta Katyal2, Adarsh Kumar3, Renu Makhija4, Ramesh Babu Devalla3
1 Central Research Institute in Ayurveda (C.R.I.A.), New Delhi, India
2 Physiotherapy Unit, C.R.I.A., New Delhi, India
3 Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Pathology, C.R.I.A., New Delhi, India
|Date of Web Publication||10-Nov-2010|
Central Council for Research in Ayurveda & Siddha No. 61-65, Opp. 'D' Block, Janakpuri, New Delhi - 58
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
| Abstract|| |
Greeva Stambha (A Vataja Disorder) simulates cervical spondylosis, which is a chronic degenerative condition of the cervical spine. Keeping in view the increasing incidence of this problem in modern society with more of desk- workers; an observational study was conducted on 22 patients of Greeva stambha vis-a-vis cervical spondylosis selected from OPD/IPD of CRIA, Punjabi-Bagh, New-Delhi, satisfying the inclusion criteria. The Vatahara treatment viz. Maha Yogaraj Guggulu 500 mg BD, Panchguna tail for local use and Nadi sweda (Local steam with Dashmoola Kwatha) were given for seven days. The results were assessed on the basis of symptomatic improvement using visual analog scale.
Keywords: Cervical spondylosis, Greeva Stambha, Nadi Sweda, Panchguna Tail, Vatahara, visual analog scale, Yogaraj Guggulu
|How to cite this article:|
Bharti, Katyal S, Kumar A, Makhija R, Devalla RB. Clinical observation on Greeva Stambha (cervical spondylosis) Chikitsa. AYU 2010;31:218-22
| Introduction|| |
Cervical spondylosis is a chronic degenerative condition of the cervical spine that affects the vertebral bodies and intervertebral disks of the neck as well as the contents of the spinal canal. It may also include the degenerative changes in the facet joints, longitudinal ligaments, and ligamentum flavum. Spondylosis progresses with age and often develops at multiple interspaces. 
In later stages, spondylotic changes may result in stenosis of the spinal canal, lateral recess, and foramina. Spinal canal stenosis can lead to myelopathy, whereas the latter two may cause radiculopathy. Intervertebral disks lose hydration and elasticity with age, and these losses lead to cracks and fissures. The surrounding ligaments also lose their elastic properties and develop traction spurs. The disk subsequently collapses as a result of biomechanical incompetence, causing the annulus to bulge outward. As the disk space narrows, the annulus bulges, and the facets override.
As disk degeneration occurs, the uncinate process overrides and hypertrophies, compromising the ventrolateral portion of the foramen. Likewise, facet hypertrophy decreases the dorsolateral aspect of the foramen. This change contributes to the radiculopathy that is associated with cervical spondylosis.
According to Ayurveda, cervical spondylosis resembles Greeva Stambha, a disorder of Vata. Vyana Vayu is responsible for the movements of the body. 
The Poorvaroopas of Vata-Vyadhis are Avyakta. When they are manifested, it is their atmaroopa(C.Ci.28/19). Some of the Lakshanas of Kupito anilah (Vayu) are similar to the signs and symptoms of Greevastambha. These are:
The treatment for Vata- Vyadhis
Snehanaand Swedana have been advocated for Vatavyadhis. With Snehana and Swedana, Vakra and stabdha body parts can be namayita (bended softly).The results of Snehana and Swedana are nourishment of dhatus, increase in Agni-bala and increase in strength of the body. 
Age: Cervical spondylosis is a disease observed most commonly in elderly individuals. Among elderly persons above 40 years, degenerative disk disease (DDD) is more common
Trauma: The role of trauma in spondylosis is controversial. Repetitive, subclinical trauma probably influences the onset and rate of progression of spondylosis.
Work activity: Cervical spondylosis is significantly higher in patients who carry loads on their heads and in office workers involving long sitting hours.
Smoking: Smoking contributes to degenerative disk disease, and is therefore a risk factor.
| Aims and Objectives|| |
The objective of the present study was to observe the effect of Nadi sweda along with Maha Yograja Guggulu (orally) and Panchguna Tail (local application) in patients of Greevastambha/ cervical spondylosis.
| Materials and Methods|| |
Twenty-two patients of Greevastambha/cervical spondylosis were randomly selected from OPD/ IPD of Central Research Institute in Ayurveda, New Delhi (CRIA) satisfying the following inclusion criteria:
- Patients of either sex with presenting symptoms of cervical spondylosis.
- Patients above 18 years and less than 70 years age.
- Clinical symptoms with or without radiological changes.
- Stenosis of the spinal canal
- Myofacial pain syndrome.
- Patients suffering from any acute diseases/ any infectious disease/metabolic disease/chronic diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, ankylosing spondylitis).
- Maha Yogaraja Guggulu 500 mg BD orally with water after meal.
- Panchaguna tail for local use.
- Nadi sweda (local steam with Dashmoola Kwatha).
The treatment was given for seven days.
Ingredients of medicines
Panchaguna Taila:  Compositions
[Additional file 1]
Method of preparation
All the ingredients of pharmacopoeial quality were taken and kwatha of ingredient S.No. 1-5 was prepared by reducing it to one fourth. Ingredients S.No. 7-12 were mixed to the prepared kwatha.The mixture was heated and stirred upto the stage kharapaka (oil separates from residue). The oil was then filtered and Karpoora was added to it and oil was cooled upto room temperature. After that S.no. 14-16 were added to it.
It is used externally and indicated in Sandhivata, karnasula, Vranopacara.
Mahayogaraja Guggulu : The composition of the medicine is:
(Sharngadhara Samhita- Madhyama Khanda, Adhyaya-7)
[Additional file 2]
Method of preparation
The fine powder of all the drugs, guggulu and bhasmas are mixed and pounded well with ghrita.
It is indicated in Gulma, Udavarta, Vataroga, Prameha, Bhagandara, Vatarakta and Kushtha.
| Criteria for Assessment of Results|| |
The following symptoms of the disease were observed in the patients:
- Pain in the neck,
- Numbness/Tingling sensation in arm and
- Pain with neck movements
- Weakness of arm
The results were assessed before and after treatment on the basis of visual analog scale for pain in the neck, headache, numbness/tingling sensation in arm and pain with neck movements. For instance, for the symptom of pain, the one end of VAS was marked with 0 which represented "no pain" and the other end marked with 10 representing "worst possible pain".
The symptoms of weakness of arm and dizziness, which were difficult to be assessed by VAS, were assessed according to the severity grades as- mild, moderate and severe.
Mild indicates symptoms while performing an activity but with no hindrance in the work, moderate indicates symptoms that create hindrance in the work and severe indicates inability to perform any work due to symptoms.
| Observations and Results|| |
The distribution of patients as per sex and age is given in [Table 1] and [Table 2] respectively. It has been observed that pain in neck and headache were the most common presenting symptoms in the patients of Greeva Stambha [Table 3].
|Table 3 :Clinical symptomatology as observed in the patients before treatment |
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The [Table 4] and the [Figure 1] shows shift of the severity of the symptoms from higher grade toward lower grade, after treatment as assessed by VAS. The application of Panchaguna Taila is shown in [Figure 2],[Figure 3],[Figure 4].
|Table 4 :Symptomatic improvement in patients after treatment (according to VAS scale) |
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The [Table 5] shows decrease in severity of the symptoms after treatment.
|Table 5 :Symptomatic improvement in patients after treatment as per severity of the symptoms: |
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Note: Specific statistics is not required due to small sample size.
| End Point|| |
There is no clear cut end point mentioned in Ayurvedic classics regarding Bahya-Snehana and swedana; however, it is given according to tolerance of the patients and severity of the disease (Rogi bala and Vyadhi bala).
| Discussion|| |
With change in lifestyle in modern era, more number of people is inclined to desk work and computer usage. Thus, cervical spondylosis is emerging as a widespread problem in the society. Maximum numbers of desk workers are affected by one or the other stage of the disease. Keeping in view the increasing incidence of this problem, an observational study was conducted on 22 patients of Greevastambha vis-a-vis cervical spondylosis from OPD/IPD of CRIA, Punjabi-Bagh, New-Delhi, satisfying the inclusion criteria.
The Vatahara treatment viz. Maha Yogaraj Guggulu 500 mg BD, Panchaguna tail for local use and Nadi sweda (local steam with Dashmoola Kwatha) were given for seven days.
The results were assessed on the basis of symptomatic improvement using VAS.
The commonly observed symptom viz pain in the neck (at rest), headache and pain with neck movements are due to spasm of cervical and sub occipital muscles. Numbness/tingling sensation with or without weakness of arm are due to the compression of cervical nerves passing through the affected structures. Dizziness is also often found to be associated with other symptoms. This occurs due to the compression of the vertebrobasilar artery during its course through the cervical spine.
Guggulu has been indicated in Vatavyadhi Chikitsa by Charaka.
By giving Vatahara oils locally, and Vatahara treatment orally (MahaYogaraj Guggulu) inflammation is reduced. By giving steam, the spasm of the muscles is relieved. This reduction in inflammation and spasm facilitates better blood supply and improved nerve conduction to the affected area leading to symptomatic improvement and ultimately to improved functional status of the patient.
Snehana and Swedana have been advocated for Vatavyadhis. With Snehana and Swedana, Vakra and stabdha body parts can be namayita (bended softly).The results of Snehana and Swedana are: 
Stambha and Shoola (stiffness and pain) are caused by vitiated Vata which incapacitates the patients. Oral treatment with Guggulu preparation and local application of Panchaguna Taila help to correct the Vata vitiation. Moreover, Nadisweda gives Ushna upachara (heat treatment) locally. Snehana Swedana in all forms results in suppression of Vata. The Snigdha and Ushna Gunas of Snehana Swedana are against the Ruksha and Sheeta gunas of Vata.
| Conclusion|| |
In the present study pain in the neck (at rest), headache and pain with neck movements, numbness/tingling sensation with or without weakness of arm and dizziness were the commonly observed symptoms in the patients. Most of the aforesaid symptoms were due to muscle spasm and nerve compression. The results were assessed on the basis of symptomatic improvement using visual analog scale. Improvement was observed in most of the symptoms due to reduction in inflammation and spasm provided by Vatahara treatment and Nadi Sweda (local heat).
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]