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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Why are you waking with Neck Pain and what can you do for it

Now- a- days, it is seen that neck pain has become a common spinal problem. Though the degeneration of cervical vertebrae is most commonly seen in elderly people, but its prevalence is increasing in the early age such as below 30 years of age.

Due to continuous sitting posture, working on computers perpetually, lack of exercise, etc. are some of the atrocious components of current lifestyle. Occupation and wrong lifestyle are the major risk factors as neck muscles are strained due to the wrong posture. Osteoarthritis is a common cause of neck pain.


According to the Ayurvedic perspective, neck pain is known as Grivastambha. It is among the 80 types of Vata Vyaadhi which is also characterized by Stambha (stiffness) in the neck region along with pain.

In Ayurveda, it is believed that the main etiological factor for the development of Manyastambha is the vitiated Vata and Kapha dosha.

When Vata dosha gets aggravated, it causes the depletion of the body tissues. Since Vata dosha has cold and drying qualities, it leads to the decrease in the cushioning fluid as well as the connective tissue between the joints that are ruled by the Kapha dosha.

vata qualities, Astang Hridyam Sutrasthanam, Chapter No. 1, Shloka No. 10

Reference: Astang Hridyam Sutrasthanam, Chapter No. 1, Shloka No. 10

Meaning: In this shloka, the qualities of Vata dosha are explained. Vata is dry, light, cold, rough, minute and mobile in nature.


  • Muscle spasm, strain or sprain
  • Cervical Spondylosis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Invertebral disc prolapse or herniation of the disc
  • Arthritis of the cervical spine


  • Pain during the flexion-extension of the joint along with the swelling and coarse crepitations on the joint movement is a typical clinical feature of neck pain which is chronic in nature.
  • Pain may be mild or it could be so severe that it incapacitates you.
  • Neck pain that radiates to the shoulders or arms with headache in the posterior occipital region.
  • Pain that gets worsened by holding the head in one place for longer periods such as when working on the computer or while driving.
  • Decreased ability to move the head.
  • Muscle tightness and spasms.
  • Stiffness in the neck, especially in the morning.


Doctor will take a medical history and check for the tenderness, muscle weakness, numbness as well as how far the patient can move his head forward, backward, side to side etc.

Some imaging tests such as X-rays, CT-Scan or MRI can be done for bone spurs or osteophytes to check for pinching of the nerves or spinal cord by the formation of bone spurs.


Modern medicine prescribes analgesics, muscle relaxants, etc. for pain relief. In addition, certain physical therapies, steroid injections are also prescribed.


There are simple home remedies that can be used easily at home for relieving neck pain. These are:

1. Castor Oil

Take 1 tablespoon of castor oil with lukewarm water or milk before going to bed twice a week. Castor oil helps in relieving constipation and removing ama or toxins from the system. Moreover, Castor Oil helps in balancing Vata dosha. The vitiation of Vata dosha is the main cause of neck pain.

2. Massage

Gentle massage with oil such as sesame oil or Mahanarayan oil is quite effective. Violent massage with deep pressure is not recommended. Gentle massage over the muscles of the neck and shoulder joints should be done.

3. Triphala Powder

At night, medicines that act as purgatives should be taken. Triphala powder is the best medicine for the reduction of neck pain. One teaspoonful of Triphala powder with lukewarm water should be taken at night twice a week.

4. Hot Fomentation

Hot fomentation on the vertebrae of the neck is quite effective in neck pain. For fomentation, take a clean and dry cloth; add about 500 grams of salt in it. Tie the cloth and heat it in a frying pan till it becomes tolerably hot but care should be taken that it should not be too hot. Hot fomentation should be done for half an hour once a day. After fomentation, the affected part should not be exposed to cold wind. Take fomentation at bedtime and the patient should go to sleep by covering the affected part.

5. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is one of the best home remedies for neck pain. It has anti-inflammatory and Vata dosha balancing properties. It is also a potent analgesic in neck pain. For neck pain, use ginger in cooking as it acts as an effective pain killer.

6. Turmeric Milk

Taking warm turmeric milk with 1 teaspoon of desi ghee (clarified butter) is also very effective in reducing pain. Turmeric is a natural anti-biotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory in nature. Desi ghee helps to remove unctuous very easily.


In most cases, neck pain is due to poor posture combined with wear and tear related to age.

  • Keep your head centered over the spine.
  • Taking frequent breaks from long working hours on the computer is also helpful.
  • Quit smoking as there are high chances of developing neck pain.
  • Yoga postures such as Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Matsyasana (Fish Pose) are extremely beneficial for neck pain.
  • The sleeping posture should be in such a way that the neck and head should be aligned with the body. Use of a small pillow under the neck is useful.
  • Regular and gentle body massage with lukewarm sesame oil is also recommended.
  • Avoid the intake of sour, pungent, citrus fruits, highly acidic foods and foods that increase Vata dosha such as aerated drinks etc.
  • Avoid the intake of protein-rich diet because it can interfere with the absorption of calcium.
  • Regular Meditation is also essential as it keeps the stress at bay. Stress is one of the main reasons for the aggravation of Vata dosha.

Ayurvedic treatment of neck pain is based on the cause of neck pain. The simple causes of neck pain such as sprain and strain responds very easily to the Ayurvedic treatment and Ayurveda also offers a very effective alternative to surgery and other invasive procedures like epidural injections.

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