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In almost 70% spinal MRIs of patients with low back and sciatica – hypertrophy of ligamentum flavum, thickening of ligamentum flavum or atrophy of ligamentum flavum; is mentioned commonly. What exactly is- ligamentum flavum hypertrophy? And before that what is ligamentum flavum? How is it important? What does cause thickening of ligamentum flavum? All these question are important. To understand exact pathology of slip disc or low back ache. And obviously how Ayurvedic treatment for ligamenturm flavum hypertrophy, needs to be clear. This article is about all aspects of the this spinal ligament.
Spine is a “garland”. Vertebral bones are like “beads” in this garland. Certainly we need something which can keep these bones together. Something is required for binding these beads together. Ligamentum flavum is one of these spinal ligaments which is responsible for keeping these bones together. Some ligaments are on outer side and some others are on inner side. Ligamentum flavum is like a sheath on inner side of vertebrae. This ligament attach every upper vertebrae with next lower vertebrae. It ensures proper movement of the vertebrae with some limitation.
In association of with spinal disc, this ligament works essentially as a shock absorber. Movement and shock go together. Thus where ever we have movements, we need something which can absorb shock. Ligamentum flavum does this along with the spinal disc.
Ligaments are like a layer. Collagen makes these ligaments. Each consists of yellow elastic tissue. Arrangement of fibers is perpendicular. These fibers are attached to the anterior surface of the lamina above. Ligaments don’t have much blood supply. These are like dead sheaths. But these are strong structures. So flexibility and strength come together with these ligaments of spine.
As per Ayurveda ligaments are “snayu”. Snayu is a form of “Mamsa dhatu” as per Ayurveda. These are seat of Vayu Dosha which is prime Dosha for Spinal Disc problems. Snayu is of four types: Pratanvahi (Branched), Vrutha (Circular), Sushira (Porus) and Pruthu (Flat). Ligamentum flavum is a flat type of Snayu.
Diseases which occur in the Snayu (Ligaments) and Sandhi (joints) are always painful. In case of Marma (the vital points) there is a category of Snayu Marma and back has these points. Sciatica (Grudhrasi) is also a condition of Marma.
Basically, it becomes important to understand the condition as per Ayurveda. When we want proper treatment through Ayurvedic principles. This deep knowledge with out Vaidyas helps us to ensure best treatment for ligamentum flavum hypertrophy in ayurveda. Yet, it is important to understand all principles according to science- allopathy or ayurveda.
AIS are three causes of ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. These AIS are- Aging, Injury and Strain. As said above, this spinal ligament is responsible for holding the vertebrae together. Besides this, it also ensures movement of spine too. Thus every movement of spine can risk this ligament. But not the natural movements. Unnatural movements, improper postures risks the ligamentum flavum and cause thickening of ligamentum flavum.
Thickening or hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum means- there is something like a scar. When any of the cause- aging, injury or strain is there. Some cells will deposit in the collagen tissue and will make a deposition there. This deposition of the other cells is basically what we can call thickening of ligamentum flavum.
Because this ligament is inside the spinal canal. Thus it impacts the canal immediately.When there is a history of injury and strain- due to bad posture. It is easy to notice this condition in MRI. When this ligament comprises the canal. Because of the narrowing of canal- this causes similar type of pain likewise slip disc. So we can say it mimics the condition with slip disc.
This is not important that thickening of ligamentum flavum occurs with disc bulge alone. Whether disc bulge is there or not, thickening of ligamentum flavum can occur. Thus Ayurvedic treatment for thickening of ligamentum flavum is aimed as per the cause of behind the problem or the problem it is causing.
Ayurveda is more promising, when it comes to treatment of ligmentum flavum hypertrophy. The AIS causes – aging, injury and sprain- all comes under one Dosha only and that is- Vata Dosha only. When we look from another prospective- Snayu treatment is also according to Vata Dosha alone.
Treatment of Vata Dosha is the prime treatment in case of neural problems. So the treatment modalities remain almost same as we follow in Ayurvedic treatment of herniated disc. Even if your ligamentum flavum is thickened or there is hypertrophy of ligamentum flavum- don’t worry. It can be solved easily through Ayurvedic treatment. In a completely non surgical method.