What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a very common medical condition that can affect any joint in the body. It most likely affects the joints that carry most of our weight, such as the knees and feet. Joints that we often use in everyday life, such as the joints of the hands, are also frequently affected.
In healthy joints, a layer of hard but smooth and slippery tissue called cartilage covers the surface of the bones and helps the bones move freely against each other. When joints develop osteoarthritis, part of the cartilage thins, and the surface becomes rougher. This means the joint faces issues in moving smoothly as it should.
Osteoarthritis as Per Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, osteoarthritis is a condition that is mainly caused by Vata dosha along with the involvement of Pitta and Kapha doshas. It affects both men and women in the phase of life when Vata is most prominent, which is usually after the age of 50.
Vata is naturally dry and light, and its damage in one joint dries up and depletes the lubricating synovial fluid. As a result, the cartilage wears out through friction, which causes pain and limited joint mobility. Large weight-bearing bones and joints such as the arms, hips, knees, legs, and spine are most affected in this condition.
During the early stages of the disease, a person may experience joint discomfort or joint tears. If left untreated, it can progress to an advanced stage, causing deformity, damage to the joint surface, and even complete loss of function.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis often develop slowly and aggravate over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are-
Loss of flexibility- You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
Stiffness- Joint stiffness can be most noticeable upon waking or after inactivity.
Grating sensation- You may feel an itching sensation when using the joint and you may hear a popping or cracking sound.
Tenderness- Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure on or near it.
Bone spurs- An extra piece of bone, which feels like a hard lump, can form around the affected joint.
Pain- The affected joint may hurt during or after movement.
Swelling- It can be caused by inflammation of the soft tissue around the joint.
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis has no cure, but medications can reduce pain and help you move better.
Medicines that can help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis include-
Paracetamol- People suffering from osteoarthritis uses Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) which has been shown to treat mild to moderate pain. Taking more than the given dose of acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)- Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), taken at recommended doses usually relieve osteoarthritis pain. Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.
Duloxetine (Cymbalta)- This drug is commonly used as an antidepressant and is also approved to treat chronic pain, including osteoarthritis pain.
Physical therapy- A physical therapist can provide you with exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint, increase flexibility, and reduce pain. Moderate, regular exercise that you do on your own, such as swimming or walking, can also be effective.
Occupational therapy- An occupational therapist can help you find ways to complete daily tasks without putting additional stress on your sore joints. For example, a large-handled toothbrush can make brushing easier if you have osteoarthritis in your hands. A bench in your shower can help relieve pain when standing if you have osteoarthritis.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)- It uses a low-voltage electric current to relieve pain. It provides short-term relief for some people with hip and knee osteoarthritis.
Best Way to Treat Osteoarthritis
Panchakarma- In Panchakarma therapy, application of ghee or oil enriched with bitter herbs and astringents is the first step of the procedure. It provides relief in joint pain.
Dhara- Dhara refers to pouring warm herbal decoctions, medicinal liquid, and medicated milk over the affected joint for about 45-50 minutes. The choice of medicinal herbs or liquids to use in the procedure depends on the individual's symptoms. This procedure is very helpful in reducing swelling and pain in just a few hours.
Rasayana therapy- This therapy uses procedures and formulations to restore and rejuvenate the Asthi (bone) Dhatu. The ayurvedic medicine for osteoarthritis used in Rasayana therapy should be continued for a long time. This therapy is also used as part of Panchakarma treatment.
Virechana- Virechana, also called medicated purgation, is an Ayurvedic technique for osteoarthritis that cleanses the body by removing toxins from the lower part of the body. Virechana is done by giving herbal laxatives to the individual, which also helps restore Agni in the body.
Vasthi- This procedure is very effective in cleansing the lower digestive tract as well as the smooth passages throughout the body. Vasthi can help in calming the increase in Vata in humans. Another form of Vasthi is called Brimhana which uses special ingredients and herbs that can help regenerate the affected joints.
Ayurvedic herbs- The ayurvedic treatment of knee or joint pain include the herbs like Guduchi, Sallaki, Vishamushti, Guggul, Shatavari, Triphala, Ginger, Turmeric, etc.
The essence of Ayurveda is to help the body get rid of toxins through ayurvedic procedures and therapies. Oral administration of herbs helps in curing osteoarthritis effectively and balances damaged vital energies.
If you are looking for the best ayurvedic massage oil for osteoarthritis. Try our Sandi Karma Ayurvedic Massage Oil. This oil has beneficial ingredients that work best for arthritic joint pain. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and healing properties to cure the root cause of the problem.
You can also choose the tablet form, ie. Sandi Joint Karma Yog Ayurvedic Arthritis Medicine. This product is effective in treating inflammation or swelling in the joints and relieves the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Ayurveda tablets for joint and knee pain are made from natural herbs and have no side effects.