Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is a peculiar condition where your flexible posterior longitudinal ligament has a reduction in its flexibility due to thickening. The posterior longitudinal ligament originates from the second cervical vertebrae spine and it travels all the way down to sacrum. It covers almost the entire length of spine and seen to adjacent to your spinal cord.

OPLL is most prone at the cervical spine (often C4 - C5 region), then to the thoracic spine and has affection to the male gender. It is a kind of multi factorial hyperostosis. The thickening and abnormal ectopic calcification of the longitudinal ligament can result in spinal canal narrowing leading to cervical canal stenosis and spinal cord compression (myelopathy).

The patients can have very mild symptoms to no symptoms at all. The mild symptoms of OPLL include

  • Mild pain
  • Tingling sensation
  • Numbness in the hands
  • Dysesthesia (unpleasant sensation accompanied by touch)

In Severe Condition

  • Difficulty in walking
  • Difficulty with bowel and bladder control
  • Cervical Radiculopathy - symptoms of this include pain, tingling or numbness in the neck, arm, shoulder or hand
  • Myelopathy - changes in balance and fine motor skills (difficulty in buttoning buttons, worsening handwriting)
  • Brisk reflexes as well as clonus may be present in upper limbs and lower limbs
  • Difficult in rapid supination and pronation of hand - in myelopathy

In general, the symptoms can vary from asymptomatic to myelo radiculopathy. In most of cases the symptoms progress slowly but it may get triggered with mild injuries. The exact cause of OPLL still remains unknown. But there are some risk factors involved in this disease. These include

  • Genetic factors - Familial inheritance is being associated with OPLL. HAO1A is the most commonly associated genes with OPLL
  • Hormonal variation
  • Environmental factors

Classification of OPLL

OPLL is classified into 4 subtypes with the help of lateral radiograph. They are

  • Continuous - ossified mass that several spans vertebral bodies and the intervening disk spaces
  • Segmental - ossification behind each vertebral body
  • Mixed - combination of both continuous and segmental type of OPLL
  • Localized or other - ossification is localized to the inter vertebral disc space without the involvement of the vertebral body

The mixed and continuous type of OPLL is more likely to be associated with the progression to myelopathy.
OPLL of the thoracic spine can be further sub grouped into two.

  • Flat type - Continuous or mixed OPLL with a flat shape
  • Beak type - Segmental OPLL with sharp protrusion behind the disk space

Cervical spine OPLL is more common when compared thoracic spine OPLL.

Natural Methods to Get Relief from OPLL

  • Stretching exercises - Flexibility and pain relief can be obtained from practicing from stretching exercises. Spine stretch and lower back rotation stretch can be included in your daily exercise.
  • Heat therapy - Stiffness and pain can be well managed by using a heating pad. A warm bath can be done, followed by your exercise. Discuss with your doctor before starting with warm measures. Warm routine may trigger the disease if you have vascular disease, diabetes, dermatitis or an open wound.
  • Cold therapy - If you have inflammation in your body, you can have some cold ice over it. But not more than 20 minutes
  • Daily massage - This will surely increase your flexibility.

Herbal Remedies for the Management of OPLL

An aggravation in vata will cause you with bone related disorders like OPLL, as bones are the one of the important seats for vata dosha. Planet Ayurveda puts forwards an array of excellent herbal remedies to manage OPLL. The herbal pack for OPLL is often called as ‘healthy and happy joint pack). These are guaranteed to have an immediate effect on disease and with minimal side effects.

1.Bone Support Capsules

Capsule consisting of boswellia serrata (asthishringala), laccifera lacca (laksha), moringa, Arjuna (terminalia arjuna), and pravala pishti. Boswellia is an excellent choice of remedy for osteomyelitis. It is a natural pain killer and reduces inflammation and fights against infection. It helps to inhibit the cartilage loss and helps to fasten the reunion of bones. Laksha is mainly used in joint disorders and to increase the bone density.

Dosage :-1 to 2 capsules twice a day after meals with lukewarm water

2. Guggulu Capsules

It is formulated from the standardized extract of guggulu (commiphora mukul). guggulu is considered to be an efficient lipid regulator.  It can correct the hormonal imbalance and offers a well systematic healthy body.

Dosage:- 1 capsule twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

3. Joint Aid Plus Capsules

As the name suggests it aids your joints. It supports your joint and promotes its health. The main ingredients of joint aid plus capsules are

  • Ashwagandha - withania somnifera
  • Giloy - tinospora cordifolia
  • Guggulu - commiphora mukul
  • Shallaki - boswellia serrata
  • Nirgundi - vitex negundo
  • Dried ginger - zingiber officinale

Dosage:- 2 capsules twice a day after meals with lukewarm water

4. Boswellia Curcumin Capsules

Combination of two drugs shallaki (boswellia serrata) and turmeric (curcuma longa). They are potent anti inflammatory drugs. They help to boost the immune system and also to modulate. They are mainly indicated to enhance the blood circulation in the body. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant. Curcumin is very popular for its antibacterial action. It helps to relieve the pain and inflammation.

Dosage :- 1 capsule twice daily after meals with lukewarm water

5. Ashwagandha Capsules

Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) is a potent Adaptogenic i.e. highly effective in managing stress. Ashwagandha is very popular for its capacity to lower the blood pressure and promoting heart health. It helps to prevent the immunosuppressive activity of the body. It also helps in muscle strengthening and muscle building, especially in children.

Dosage:- 1 to 2 capsules twice daily after meals with lukewarm water

6. Green Essentials

It is a natural blood purifier and a health promoter. It boosts up the immune system. It is rich in antioxidants and can effectively fight against illness. Its antimicrobial activity can remove the fungus infection. Green essentials contain the potent herbs like grape seed, wheat grass, spirulina, green tea and amalaki. The rich vitamin C content in the formulation boosts up the whole immune system.

Dosage :- 1 to 2 capsules twice daily after meals with lukewarm water

Some of the Yoga Postures which may Help you to have a Relief from OPLL Include

  • Basic and simple poses which will never have much strain on your neck like cat or cow pose
  • Bhujangasana (low cobra pose) and shalabhasana (locust pose) - build more muscular strength and support your cervical neck extension
  • Balasana (supported child pose), sputa padaangustasana (reclined cobblers pose) - provide support to the neck for general muscular and fascial relaxation.

Contact my assistant to provide you the costing / ordering and delivery information at - costing.planetayurveda@gmail.com or call at +91-172-5214030

Author's Bio: 

DR. Vikram Chauhan, MD - AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic and Krishna Herbal Company. For more info visit our website: http://www.planetayurveda.com