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Ayurveda For Osteoarthritis

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Pradnya Aptikar 90% (197 ratings)
B.A. Sanskrit, BAMS, M.A. Sanskrit, MS -Gynaecology Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Thane  •  24 years experience
Ayurveda For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common disorder that affects the joints in the body. It is characterized by wear and tear of the cartilage present in the bones which lead to pain and mobility issues. The disorder mostly affects the joints in the hips, spine, knees and the hands. This disorder can’t be cured; the symptoms, however, can be managed.

Symptoms

The symptoms of osteoarthritis are progressive in nature and tend to worsen with time. You will experience pain in the affected joint, leading to limited mobility. Joint stiffness occurs when you wake up in the morning or when you have been inactive for a long period. You will also experience a grating-like sensation when the respective joint is being used.  

Causes

This condition occurs when the protective cartilage around the bones tend to deteriorate. The function of the cartilage is to allow the joints to move without friction. In this disorder, the surface of the affected cartilage turns rough, ultimately resulting in complete damage. This leads to loss of the protective cushion of the bone, making the bone rub on other bones. There are certain factors that make you prone to osteoarthritis, some of them are:

  1. Aging increases the risks of this disorder.

  2. Women are more prone to this disorder as compared to men.

  3. Obesity puts added stress on the joints.

  4. It might be hereditary as well.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that balances the different energies in the body to keep you healthy. Ayurveda believes in the fact that a disorder in the body occurs when there is an imbalance in the respective doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The idea is to get the doshas in order in order to get relief from the symptoms of this disorder. Osteoarthritis, or for that matter any disorder occurs due to the imbalance of the ‘Vata dosha’. The Ayurvedic treatments for this condition is Pachkarma therapy.

Panchakarma is the elimination of doshas from the body. It is one of the peculiarities of Ayurveda. Since according to Ayurveda, disease is the result of imbalance of doshas, when the increase of dosha is in a large quantity the best way to get cured faster is expelling the doshas out. These procedures (Karmas) are five (Pancha) and hence they are described as Panchakarma i.e. five procedures. These are to be performed not only by the patient for getting them cured but even by healthy persons for maintaining the health. 

  1. Vamana: This is the elimination of doshas by the process of emesis. This is particularly useful for diseases arising from kapha and also from pitta. Diseases like chr. bronchitis, asthma, skin diseases, allergies, herpes, diabetes, sinusitis, osteoarthritis, hyperacidity are best dealt with this procedure. The best season for doing this procedure is ‘ Spring’ or even ‘Autumn’.
  2. Virechana: In this procedure, loose motions are produced to eliminate the doshas. This is very useful in diseases caused by pitta dosha e.g. Hyperacidity, herpes, gulma (Type of tumor) jaundice, osteoarthritis, anemia, skin diseases etc. The best season for this procedure is ‘autumn’.
  3. Basti: The procedure is important for the Vata dosha mainly, but can be used for Kapha and pitta and for all sorts of diseases also. In this procedure enema with herbal decoction, oil, honey and salt is given. Since it has a direct action over the large intestine, which is the main site of Vata dosha, it acts instantaneously. The procedure is especially useful for all kinds of diseases caused by Vata Dosha e.g. back ache, arthritis, osteoarthritis, dystrophies, multiple scherosis, muscle waisting etc. The best season for this procedure is the rainy season. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ayurveda and ask a free question.
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