Joint Pain Treatment in Ayurveda
Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis are two common degenerative joint diseases caused by thinning of the cartilage. Cartilage is a firm and flexible tissue that fills the interstitial space between bone structures. They prevent bone abrasion and support the smooth joint movement. Nature has designed these cartilages to function well into our adulthood.
However, as age progresses, the cartilage in the vertices of major joints start eroding causing joint pain. Joints that warrant a lot of movements are highly susceptible to wear and tear. Good examples are the joints of back and neck. Also, joints such as the hip, knee, shoulders, spine also fall into this category.
Obesity and excessive strain on the joints are other leading causes of such damage. Furthermore, a higher body weight naturally places more tension on the joints. Also, performing heavy exercises may also be a causative factor.
Other well-documented causes are underdeveloped cartilage tissues at birth, weakening of the muscle tissues around the joints, or a highly demanding lifestyle.
Women over the age of 40 are more vulnerable to sustain damage to the cartilage. Advanced degradation of the cartilage tissues could render the joint completely dysfunctional.
Symptoms of cartilage damage
A primary symptom indicative of loss of cartilage tissue is moderate to severe joint pain. Such joint pains occur when adjoining bones establish contact while moving and there is no protective cushioning by cartilage.
Apart from obvious pain other symptoms such as joint inflammation, stiffness, grinding noises, and limited range of movement could be early signs of internal damage to the cartilage.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Damage to the cartilage at different joints manifests differently. The damage to the cartilage of the knee caps causes discomfort in bending the knee, lifting or lowering the limb and walking briskly. Such a condition in the neck could cause difficulty in glancing sideways or up and down with ease. However, should these symptoms persist for over two weeks, it is highly advisable to consult a physician.
Joint Pain Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurveda has well-documented protocols for treating joint problems. Damage to the cartilage doesn’t happen in a single day. It gradually progresses over the years. Hence, it is not uncommon to find people from different age groups suffering from some adverse form of cartilage damage. It is possible to prevent and arrest the further degeneration of the cartilage and joints with proper treatment in Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic treatment primarily consists of three stages. The first phase involves managing inflammation and pain. Ayurvedic medicines commonly prescribed in this phase are Guggulu tiktam Kashayam and Ghee, Guggulu tablets such as Kaisora Guggulu tablets and Yogaraja Guggulu tablets. Shadharanam Churnam is also useful based on the situation. Apply Sahacharadi and Kottamchukkadi thailam, externally to the affected areas and joints.
The second phase focuses on strengthening the muscles around the joints and reestablishing the proper functioning of the joints. Application of thailam and performing kizhi therapy over the affected area are most beneficial.
Kizhi therapy or poultice is a procedure in which massage is done using warm poultices of medicinal herbs held in a muslin sack. It provides the much-needed relief from pain and stiffness. Ksheeradhara – a herbal decoction in milk – is a more specialised treatment that some experts resort to in stubborn cases of pain and inflammation.
Finally, treatment to arrest the underlying cause. Treatments such as Pizhichil work to restore the flexibility of joints and promote blood flow to the muscles. Njavara kizhi ( a kizhi therapy done with medicated rice and milk decoction) also helps build muscle strength. These treatments are recommended as a path to complete cure.
Oil Retaining Vasti ( Kati Vasti) is yet another Ayurvedic remedy used to relieve joint pain and to strengthen the cartilage. Vasti involves the retention of warm medicated oil over the affected area for about half hour to one hour.
An Ayurvedic diet is essential to support Ayurvedic treatment. At the end of your Ayurvedic consultation, your Ayurvedic practitioner will recommend an Ayurvedic diet. Right kind of food acts as a catalyst to the Ayurvedic treatment.
If you have Gulugulu medications, reduce or avoid fish and meat of any sort. Those suffering from damages to the joints from accidents or physical activity must have an adequate intake of protein for muscle recovery. It is advisable to refrain from foods high in sugar and fats.
Once recovery is complete, and joint pain diminishes, introduce an exercise regime into your daily routine. The most noteworthy point is that exercise helps enhance the flexibility and longevity of the joints. Try to start with simple exercises in the comfort of your home without the aid of costly equipment. See below for a few such exercises:
- Lay on your back, lift your legs with high bent at the knees towards your chest and hold the position for some time. This position mimics the motion of a squat without placing the weight of the body directly on your knees.
- Lay on your back and slightly raise one leg to an incline of 45 degrees and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
- Sit upright on a chair and alternate between raising each leg.
- Roll up a towel into a cushioned ball and place underneath the knees. Slightly squeeze and hold, with your knees for 15 seconds. Perform sets of 20.
Please consider the above discussions as an introduction to Ayurvedic treatment for joint pains. Kindly don’t apply them as medical advice or treatment information. Consequently, please don’t consider Ayurveda as a DIY science. Therefore, in the interest of your health and well-being, please consult an experienced ayurvedic practitioner.
For more information on Ayurwoman’s joint pain treatment options, kindly contact us via phone or email.