What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder wherein the bony, cartilaginous and connective tissues degenerate with a faster pace resulting into:
- Restriction of movement- Difficulty in moving the joint.
- Crepitus- Crackling sound in joint on movement.
- Swelling- Due to inflammation.
What are the causes?
The causes of Osteoarthritis are:
- Previous joint injury
- Jobs of high level of Joint stress- Mechanical stress
- Joint inflammation
- Diminished nutrition
- Paced degeneration.
How is it Diagnosed?
It’s diagnosed on basis of clinical signs and symptoms and radiological investigations.
Clinical Signs and Symptoms:
- Joint sound is felt by the doctor on examination
- Joint is examined for swelling and tenderness
- Movement is restricted
- X-Ray suggested reduced joint space
- Sometimes small bony fragments can be detected called as osteophytes
- Opacity of bones is diminished due to reduced BMD (Bone mineral density)
- Diminished cartilages or absence of cartilages
What is Ayurvedic Perspective?
In Ayurveda it’s known as Sandhivata or Sandhigata Vata where in the joint is dried up i.e synovial fluid is lost due to degeneration. Its due to Vata dosha and the clinical signs and symptoms are:
- Hanti Sandhi: Destruction of the affected joint structure
- Shool- Pain
- Shopha: Swelling
- Atopa- Crepitus
- Vata purna druti sparsha- Feeling of roughness and dryness of joint on examination
- Prasaran aankunchano sa veda- Pain on movements.
What are the causes?
As per Ayurveda it’s caused mainly by 2 pathologies:
- Dhatu Kshaya- Due to loss of bony, cartilaginous and connective tissues i.e paced degeneration.
- Margavrodh- Due to obstructive pathology wherein the nutritive value is ok but joints are deprived of nutrition due to blockages. For example obesity, here whatever is eaten is converted till medo dhatu (adipose tissues) but the further dhatus are not formed due to obstruction in medovaha srotas (channels of adipose tissues).
Ayurveda considers human being as single whole unit and strive to find out the root cause of the disease. Here the root cause is vata dosha derangement either by paced degeneration of by obstruction of the channels. Treatment includes:
- Vata pacification by means of Madhur, amla and lavan ras and sneha (lubricating substances) medications.
- Rasayan (Rejuvinative) medications
- Dahan Karma- Agni karma- It’s pain management therapy wherein a hot pointed rod is very gently touched at specified marma points. It desensitizes the pain perceptive nervous points. It’s highly effective in managing chronic pain.
- Snehan Karma- Lubrication of the joint. This is done by massage of the affected joint by specified medicated oils. It induces lubrication and reduces friction leading to decrease in inflammation and repairing of the joint.
- Swedan- Fomentation of the joint- It’s done by applying heating pads or hot water bottle or hot towels over the affected joints to decrease inflammation and increase joint movements by removing the stiffness.
- Upnaha- Poultice application- It’s very effective therapy, here a paste of certain herbs are made warm and applied over the affected joint. It pacifies the Vata, increases the mobility and reduces the pain and stiffness.
- Panchkarma- Specific panchkarma procedures such as Janu Vasti and Yapan vasti is highly effective in Sandhivata.
- Joint Restorative Physiotherapy exercises- Specific exercises are prescribed to strengthen individual muscles of the joint, thigh compartment and calf compartment for assisting the bypass of weight over the joint. It strengthens the joint connective tissues as well.
- Nutrition Suppliments- Vitamin D3, Calcium, Glucosamine and MSM are prescribed for increasing BMD and repairing of the bony tissues and cartilaginous tissues.
How much time is needed for treatment?
It depends from person to person and on severity of the disease. Generally minimum 3 months are required for assessment of any disorder in Ayurveda. Remember the Disease manifested over a period of time so do the management of the disease. Management becomes easier if patient follows all the advices and treatment as prescribed. Punctuality of medicines intake and following are treatment protocols along with PATIENCE is the key to success. Both Physician and Patient need to be having good patience so as to get sufficient time for recovery.
We at Vaidyalya Ayurveda clinic and store at Chitranjan park near to Kalkaji at South Delhi follow the classical treatment protocols i.e Chikitsa Sutra’s mentioned in ancient texts of Ayurveda. We consider it to be disease of whole body and not to be originated from single organ such as pancreas or physiological malfunctioning such as disorder of metabolism. Ayurvedic medicines and herbal products are prescribed according to the Dosha (morbid factor), Agni (Digestive fire), Bala (both strength of the patient and the disease), Prakruti (physical and psychological constitution), Dhatu (assessment of body tissues), Kala (assessment of time) etc. Type and strength of herbal preparations or medicines are decided after considering all the above mentioned factors. Along with the medications specially tailor made Diet chart or plan is prescribed to achieve the desired goals. Also Yoga and specific daily routine, exercise and pranayam is suggested. You may consult online at http://www.vaidyalya.com/question.php