It is a chronic condition in which cartilage tissues cushioning the ends of the bones lose elasticity.Without these protective tissues, the bones start rubbing each other thus leading to stiffness, lack of movement and inflammation.The joints in knees, hips, spine and hands are commonly affected by OA. People coping with Osteoarthritis have to undergo pain which consequently reduces their ability to work, eat and enjoy life.
Causes of Osteoarthritis according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda treats OA as a Vata disorder related to ageing. Men are more prone to this condition before 45 years of age and women suffer more after 55 years of age. Few factors that may cause this problem include:
- Joint injuries
- Poor nutrition
- Diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle
Changes occurring in Osteoarthritis
1.General wearing of joints related to nutritional deficiency in calcium and protein components. People start feeling stiffness and discomfort.
2.Wear and tear of joint cartilage starts resulting in actual Osteoarthritis. It is also accompanied with reduced joint space and synovial fluid.
3.The earlier stage gets advanced and now diminished synovial fluid and joint space is visible in x-rays.
4.Cartilage finally breaks down and bony spurs come out of bones resulting in the symptoms of severe pain, swelling and limited movements.
Preventive care for OA in Ayurveda
Several measures taken in Ayurveda to reduce the risks of OA are listed below:
- Weight loss
- Proper diet plan
- Avoid exercise repetitive motions
- Protect injured joints from more damage
- Use Ayurvedic herbs
Ayurvedic treatment for Osteoarthritis
Ayurveda says that there are three types of bio-energies or doshas which regulate the functioning of body parts. These are vatha, pitta and kapha. When someone suffers from any disease, it is due to the imbalance in these doshas. So, the Ayurvedic treatments for this disease focusing on balancing the doshas are discussed below:
Vatha: This dosha is seen when excessive vata collects in the joints along with other toxins resulting in pain and stiffness. We offer the treatment which involves taking hot baths or to have an Ayurvedic massage.
Pitta: This dosha is seen when there is swelling or burning sensation in joints. It is treated by taking baths in luke warm or cold water and massage with cool oils like coconut oil.
Kapha: It starts with the build-up in lungs and sinuses resulting in the slowdown of digestion and metabolism. Cool compresses and massage with oils can reduce the symptoms of this dosha.
Some external therapies mentioned in Ayurveda to treat Osteoarthritis are given below:
Abhyangam: In this process, the whole body is massaged for 45 minutes with Ayurvedic medicated oil from top to toe to enhance health and nourishment of the skin. This massage helps to treat obesity, specifically for OA, body aches, etc. Abhyangam can help to nourish the body, rejuvenate the nervous system, relieve stress, build confidence and bestow long life.
Njavarakizhi: With this treatment, the body is allowed to perspire by applying medicinal pudding externally in the form of boluses tied up in cloth bags. It is meant for all types of rheumatism, high blood pressure, joint aches, emaciation of muscles, etc.
Always follow Ayurvedic lifestyle as recommended by our therapists to optimize the benefits from these therapies.