Lumbar Disc Herniation (Disc Bulge) Ayurvedic Treatment

When the intervertebral disc (spongy cushion-like part between vertebral bones) at the lumbar region (lower back) bulges out and compresses the nerves or spinal cord it is called herniated disc/ lumbar disc herniation. The most common cause is wear-and-tear due to aging. Other reasons are over physical activity, over-strain on lumbar spine due to prolonged bending/ stretching/ driving etc, being obese and even lack of physical activity. 

Signs and symptoms

 Mild disc herniation may not cause any signs or symptoms, otherwise the person often experiences low back pain, pain spreading to hip/ groin/ thighs/ legs, numbness over hip/ legs, difficulty to walk etc. 

Ayurvedic analysis

 The diseases affecting nerves, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and associated structures are included under ‘vatavyadhi’ in Ayurveda. Signs and symptoms are pain, numbness, difficulty to move etc. Vata is aggravated here, and kapha (sleshaka kapha which is situated in joints) is reduced. Gridhrasi (a kind of vatavyadhi) is the condition characterised by radiating pain from lower back/ hip to legs. 

Causative factors (Ayurveda)

 The common causes are vatavruddhi (aggravation of vata) aging, over exertion, abnormal postures, sedentary habit, trauma etc. Vata is aggravated also by excess intake of bitter/ astringent tastes, skipping of meals, sleep late at night, travelling/ sitting for a long time etc. 

Possible complications

 The most common complications of lumbar disc herniation are severe pain that interferes with daily activities, loss of bowel or bladder control, loss of sensation on the affected area (saddle anaesthesia), etc.

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken

 Consider other conditions like sciatica, arthritis, etc before planning treatments. 


 The management is focused on reducing the symptoms, and strengthening the back muscles. Internal medications along with procedures like rukshana (for drying up of ama if present), snehana (oil massage), swedana (sudation therapy- eg: steam bath), nasya (nasal instillation of medicine), virechana (purgation therapy), vasthi (enema with suitable drugs), lepana (external application of medicines over the affected part), bandage, kati vasthi (retention of medicated oil over the affected part) etc are provided. Supportive treatments such as physiotherapy, yoga, meditation, psychotherapy etc are also given. 


 The diet must contain whole grains, vegetables, nuts, fruits, milk, small fishes, etc. Avoid the consumption of curd, peas, tubers, cold and dry food; skipping of meals etc. 


 Mild exercises can be done as per the instructions of physician. Yoga is also beneficial. 

Preventive aspects

  • Avoid over-exertion.
  • Ensure adequate rest in between works demanding strain on lower back. 
  • Use comfortable bed and pillows for sleeping.
  • Apply suitable oil all over the body and massage well before bath.
  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Avoid stress. 
  • Avoid chances of falls, accidents etc. 

Importance of diet

 Right diet can prevent the disease, reduce the symptoms and provide easy recovery. Follow a diet that will not cause aggravation of vata


  • Take proper rest.
  • Follow a healthy diet.
  • Avoid over-straining the back, prolonged travelling, sitting for a long time etc. 
  • Sleep on a comfortable bed. 
  • Mild exercises can be done.

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Near Civil Station, Jayaprakash Ln, Kudappanakunnu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695043

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