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Suffering from joint pain? Get relief from Osteo arthritis through Ayurveda

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, often resulting in chronic pain. Joint pain and stiffness can become severe enough to make daily tasks difficult. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.

Osteoarthritis has often been referred to as a “wear and tear” disease. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone. As the cartilage wears away, tendons and ligaments stretch, causing pain. But besides the breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bone and deterioration of the connective tissues that hold the joint together and attach muscle to bone. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.

Common symptoms

  • Pain – Affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness – Joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
  • Swelling
  • Loss of flexibility. 
  • Bone spurs – These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joint

4 Stages of Osteoarthritis

  • Stage 0 – Normal. When the knee shows no signs of osteoarthritis, it is classified as Stage 0, which is normal knee health, with no known impairment or signs of joint damage.
  • Stage 1 – Minor.
  • Stage 2 – Mild.
  • Stage 3 – Moderate.
  • Stage 4 – Severe

Osteoarthritis treatment therapies with current conventional medicine typically focuses on symptomatic relief like pain reduction and control of inflammation; however, these approaches have no effect on the natural course of the disease. Hence patients are seeking out alternative therapies and Ayurveda is one of the best options.

At a recent meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, a study was presented that showed an herbal Ayurvedic therapy to be as effective in treating knee osteoarthritis as a commonly prescribed medication with fewer side effects.

Ayurvedic approach

Physiological functions of the body are governed by three Doshas, that is, VataPitta, and Kapha. Vitiation of these Doshas leads to disease manifestation. In old age there is progressive decaying in the body structures resulting in various degenerative disorders due to the predominance of Vata. The degenerative conditions related to joints are included under Sandhigatavata in Ayurveda. Osteoarthritis (OA) of modern medical science is considered to be its close equivalent.

Ayurvedic treatment

Ayurvedic treatment modalities includes herbal medication internally and also external treatment which will keep vata dosha under control. After giving symptomatic relief, Ayurveda looks at rejuvenation as well which will prevent further worsening of the condition.

People with Osteoarthritis are recommended to use oil, both in massage and diet as well. Ayurvedic panchakarma treatments have shown good results. Snehana (abhyanga or massage therapies, and internal medicines), Swedana or fomentation therapies (Elakizhi, podikizhi, njavara kizhi etc) are the first set of treatments. In severe cases more treatments like Januvasti or kadivasti, matravasti, Vasti (medicated enema), virechana (medicated purgation) are also recommended.

Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments makes surrounding tissues strong. That is muscles, ligaments and tendons that are responsible for the joint stability. Recuperation of surrounding tissue of the joint helps to prevent or heal the Osteoarthritis.

Supporting treatments

Patient experience and studies shows that Arthritic pain increases during winter. Ayurveda supports the same as cold increases vata dosha. Hence keep the body warm during winter season. Use sandals and socks to keep the foot warm. To manage arthritic conditions during the cooler months, individuals need to plan physical activities that are easy to do during winter. Exercise eases arthritis pain. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Many yoga postures will help to keep the joint health in a good way. Triangle Pose: Trikonasana, Modified Triangle: 5-Pointed Star, Eagle Pose: Garudasana, Warrior 2: Virabhadrasana are a few examples.

Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can’t be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and Ayurvedic treatments will slow progression of the disease and help improve pain and joint function.

Don’t wait, treat at the earliest!

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