Ayurvedic Treatment of Cauda Equina Syndrome

“Cauda equina” (literally ‘horse’s tail’) is an anatomical term. This stands for a bundle of nerves in the lower part of the spinal column. It arises from nerve roots that emerge at or below L1 to S4. This bundle contains many nerve fibers responsible for sensation and voluntary control of muscles. Here we will discuss the Ayurvedic treatment of Cauda Equina along with the problem in detail.

Lumbosacral nerve roots emerging from the spinal cord below L1 to S4 make “The cauda equina” (Latin for “horse’s tail”). The nerves are named according to their segmental levels. The lowest being first caudal and then continuing numerically up through second, third, fourth, and fifth until sacral.

What is Cauda Equina Syndrome

“Cauda equina syndrome — a disorder caused by compression of the nerve roots in this region. This can cause permanent loss of bladder and bowel control if not treated within time.”

The main symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include an inability to walk (paralysis), tingling or painful sensations around your anus or groin area, pain in your backside or lower extremities, incontinence, and loss of bowel function. Other symptoms include abnormal high-tone bladder reflexes which result in increased frequency of urination, impulse incontinence (leakage without warning).

Cauda Equina Syndrome: trapped caudal nerves

The most commonly described signs and symptoms associated with a lumbar disc herniation are radiating leg pain. These appear along with sensory changes like pins and needles before numbness, weakness or paralysis. The area of the body that’s affected depends on the location of your nerve roots below L1 to S4. A common example is sciatica- where pressure on the nerve root exiting via L5-S1. This causes pain and/or loss of sensation in the back of your leg with tingling down to the big toe.

cauda equina syndrome ayurvedic treatment

There are many different nerves that exit from the cauda equina. Ranging from those responsible for our sense of feeling all the way up to motor control over muscles. The three major nerve roots exiting below L1 to S4 are as follows:

The first caudal nerve (C1) exits below L1 to innervate the skin and muscles of your lower abdomen.14,15 The second leg (C2-4) exits below L2 to 4 and innervates your pelvic organs/bladder and the corresponding muscles. The third sacral nerve (S1-3) exits below S1 to 3 and innervates the structures in the lower spine, pelvis, bladder, and rectum along with their associated musculature.

Like all other nerves, damage can occur when a herniated disc presses on these nerves. This causes symptoms like pain or loss of sensation that are commonly misdiagnosed as piriformis syndrome.

What are the major complications of cauda equina?

The conditions that can arise from a cauda equina syndrome include permanent loss of bladder and bowel control, stroke, even paraplegia (paralysis to both legs). The risks multiply when you have multiple sclerosis or diabetes.

“Although symptoms may not be apparent initially, the slightest movement can worsen the pain of herniated discs.”

If left untreated for too long. The pressure will continue increasing around the nerves in your back until nerve function permanently impairs. This is why it’s important to get an MRI scan immediately after your first symptoms appear and then seek therapy as soon as possible.

Know more about – 10 mistakes which you should not make with herniated disc

What causes cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome can occur when the following things happen:

A disc in your lower back degenerates, causing a herniation of its nucleus pulposus (i.e. its inner contents) into the spinal canal around it; A ruptured disc, or tears to the outer annulus fibrosis and ligaments holding an intervertebral disc in place – this causes a herniation through the outer layer; Infection spreading from your spine – osteomyelitis is one form of infection that commonly affects hips and backs but can spread to other levels and structures; and The muscles surrounding your spine stiffen due to injury or overuse leading to tension placed upon the nerves within them.

“The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are due to compression of the nerve roots in this region.”

Common causes include:

A herniated disc compressing your lumbar or sacral spinal nerves; Ligaments tears around your spine causing the underlying bones to move out of alignment and compress your nearby nerves; Spinal stenosis (narrowing) closing off the space that surrounds and protects your spinal cord. A fracture on the vertebral body from an accident like a car crash; Osteoarthritis affecting different joints in the spine. 9 The thickening and weakening of ligaments surrounding your spine causing increased tension placed upon them. Herniated discs within other intervertebral levels (usually C3 to L5) can also cause symptoms in your legs.

“Your cauda equina is a group of nerves at the end of your spinal cord. The main nerve roots come from the lumbar and sacral regions (the middle part of your spine).”

How does a herniated disc cause cauda equina?

A herniated disc can cause sciatica as it presses on the exiting nerves located below L1 to S4 and causes them to stop functioning properly. This also increases pressure upon other structures like the spinal cord which may result in quadriplegia (paralysis to all four limbs). Such severe symptoms are extremely rare but they do happen – for example in 2004 a 50-year-old woman suffered neurological damage which forced her to use a wheelchair following surgery.

The exact cause of cauda equina syndrome is debatable by researchers. However, one theory is that pressure from the disc itself or nearby structures can block the exiting spinal nerves and prevent them from reaching their target destinations. Some studies have also suggested that disc tears within different areas of your spine can contribute to cauda equina.

Is surgery only solution for Cauda Equina?

“Treating cauda equina shouldn’t wait until the symptoms grow to dangerous levels.”

Surgical treatments for cauda equina syndrome may involve removing herniated discs and fusing vertebrae. This is a serious process that can lead to permanent disability if not carried out with extreme care. Fortunately, other more comprehensive therapies exist that have proven to be an effective method of treating this condition at its earliest stages.

Know more about Risks Associated with Herniated disc surgery

How does Ayurveda treat cauda equina syndrome?

“Ayurveda is a science which battles to heal all the three doshas.”

For Ayurvedic treatment, you should undergo a detailed examination including pulse and a general check-up. Part of this process involves reviewing your medical history. So that the marking of the exact cause of the condition, is possible.

The next phase of Ayurvedic treatment is panchakarma – which means “five actions.” This sophisticated therapy includes massage, steam baths, herbal cleansing, enemas, rejuvenation therapies such as yoga and pranayama as well as special diets or supplements based upon your specific diagnosis.

A combination of these treatments will also address any other health issues you may have or are at risk for developing in the future. This helps prevent more serious conditions like diabetes or stroke from occurring which further intensify your symptoms.

Ayurvedic treatments have been constantly refined for thousands of years and their efficacy has been proven time and again on millions of patients around the world. The bottom line is that Ayurveda treats Cauda Equina by working to strengthen the nerves exiting from your spine, therefore relieving pressure placed upon them, preventing their dysfunction as well as reducing any inflammation caused to nearby tissues (relieving sciatic pain). This also allows for natural healing of damaged discs – returning normal structure and function to its place in your spine.