Drugs prescribed to relieve pain or relax muscles in cervical spondylosis do not cure the disease.
These can become habit forming and may actually perpetuate the condition in case of excessive intake.
Certain safety measures, especially for people in sedentary occupations, are necessary to relieve and prevent spondylosis. The most important of these is exercise which improves the supply of nutrients to spinal discs, thereby delaying the process of deterioration that comes with age and eventually affects everybody. Safe exercises include walking, swimming and bicycling. The latter should be done keeping the back upright.
Other exercises found beneficial in the treatment of cervical spondylosis are joint movements like folding and unfolding of fingers, moving the wrists up and down, rotating them in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction, folding and unfolding of the forearms and rotating the shoulder clockwise and anti-clockwise;. head and neck exercises like moving the neck up and down, moving to the sides, rotating the neck clockwise and anticlockwise and nodding the neck from one shoulder to another; and shoulder exercises like lifting the shoulders up and down, moving the shoulder in clockwise and in anticlockwise directions. All these exercises should be undertaken three times daily.
Those with sedentary occupations should take a break to stand up every hour. Soft-cushioned seats should be avoided and position should be changed as often as possible. Elderly persons with spondylosis should sleep on a firm mattress on their sides with knees bent at right angles to the torso. They should use thin pillows or avoid it altogether, if possible. They should take care never to bend from the waist down to lift any object, but instead should squat close to the object, bending the knees but keeping the back straight and then stand up slowly.
The diet of elderly persons suffering from spondylosis should consist of salad of raw vegetables such as tomato, carrot, cabbage, cucumber, radish, lettuce and at least two steamed or lightly-cooked vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, spinach and plenty of fruits. The patients should have four meals daily.
The patient should avoid fatty, spicy and fried foods, sour curd, sweets, sugar, condiments as well as tea and coffee. Those who smoke and take tobacco in any form should give up completely.
Proteins and Vitamin C are necessary for the development of a healthy bone metrix. Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous and the essential trace minerals are essential for healthy bones. Foods that have been processed for storage to avoid spoiling have few nutrients and should be eliminated from the diet.
Certain food remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of spondylosis. The most important of these is the use of garlic. Two or three capsules of this vegetable should be taken daily in the morning. It will give good results. An oil prepared from garlic and rubbed on the affected part will give great relief. This oil is prepared by frying 10 cloves of garlic in 60 grams of oil in a frying pan. They should be fried slowly till they are brown. After it is cooled, it should be applied vigorously on the affected part and allowed to remain there for three hours. The patient may thereafter have a warm bath. This treatment should be continued for at least 15 days.
Relief from pain can be obtained by taking lemon juice mixed with common salt twice or thrice daily. A piece of the chebulic myrobalan taken after principal meals also gives quick relief.
Other measures found valuable in cervical spondylosis are mild oil massage to the neck, shoulders and hands, hot fomentation for five to 10 minutes twice a day or five to 10 minutes of exposure to the Infra red rays.
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