HERBS

OSTEOARTHRITIS

ABOUT THE DISEASE

Osteoarthritis also called as degenerative joint disease is a chronic knee joint disorder associated with degeneration of the joint. It is one of the most common joint related to disease. It is characterized by degradation of the cartilage in between the joints.

Cartilage provides a cushioning between the joints which is responsible for-

1. Friction free movements of the joints.

2. Spreading the load across the joint, thus helpful in absorbing shock and weight on the bones.

Normally, the cartilage undergoes turnover in which the old worn out cartilage cells are replaced with new one. In Osteoarthritis, this turnover process is disturbed, leading to increased cartilage damage, Bony erosions, Osteophyte formation, and Subchondral cyst formation.

It occurs more commonly in middle aged and old aged persons. Incidence rate in Females is generally more than males.

Osteoarthritis commonly first affects the weight bearing joints such as hips and knees. It also affects the wrists, hands, spine and ankle joints.

CLINICAL FEATURES

  • Initially mild pain, gradually the pain increases with more disability of joint.
  • Stiffness in the joint, specially in the morning.
  • Decreased movement of the joint.
  • Bony nodes at the margins of finger joints (Heberden’s nodes).
  • Swelling of the joint with crackling sound production (Crepitus).

AYURVEDIC VIEW

In Ayurveda, same disease has been mentioned as “Sandhivata”. It occurs due to aggravated Vata Dosha. Vata Dosha, due to its dry nature absorbs the fluidity (synovial fluid) in between the joints. It also erodes the cartilage inside the joint capsule leading to pain and decreased mobility of the joint.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Heaviness in joints.
  • Swelling in joints.
  • Inflamed joints.
  • Pain during movement of the joints.
  • Grating sensation in joints during movement (Crepts).

PRINCIPLE OF TREATMENT

Sandhivata is a Vata predominant disorder; therefore the line of treatment should be to pacify the vitiated Vata which includes Snehana (Therapeutic oleation), Swedana (Therapeutic fomentation), Upnaha (Therapeutic Bandaging) procedures.

Vata shamak drugs which act as natural painkillers should also be given. In Sandhivata, the degradation of Asthi Dhatu occurs, therefore treatment providing nourishment to degraded bones and cartilages should also be done.

Panchkarma procedures like Niruha Basti, Anuvasana Basti are also beneficial in pacifying Vata Dosha. It also slows down the ongoing inflammation process in the joints thus manages pain and swelling in the joint.

MEDICINES

1. Single herbs – Mulethi, Ashwagandha, Ajmoda, Nirgundi, Guggulu, Eranda, Shunthi, Rasna, Punarnava, Rasona, Giloy, Bhallatak, Hingu, Shatavari, Dhatura.

2. Powders – Panchkola churna, Narsingh churna, Nagaradi churna, Ajmodadi churna, Alambushadi churna, Shaddharana churna.

3. Tablets – Yograj guggulu, Mahayograj guggulu, Lakshadi guggulu, Sinhnaad guggulu, Tryodashang guggulu, Aignitundi vat.

4. Herbo mineral preparations – Vatagajankush Rasa, Vatwidhwansak Rasa, Yogendra Rasa, Prawal panchamrit rasa.

5. Kwath (herbal decoctions) – Dashmoola Kwath, Maharasnadi Kwath, Rasnasaptak Kwath.

6. Oil for massage – Narayana taila, Prasarini taila, Nakul Taila, Mahamash Taila, Vishgarbha Taila, Saindhavadi taila.

HOME REMEDIES

1. Massage your joints daily with luke warm sesame oil. This will help in improving blood circulation to the joints and relaxing the muscles attached to the joints. This helps in relieving of pain associated with the joints. If suffering from pain and stiffness in joints then add few garlic cloves and half ginger in 1 cup of sesame oil and apply heat. Apply this luke warm oil in the joints daily.

2. Practice knee exercises regularly which are advised by your doctor as this helps in improving mobility of the joints and also helps in strengthening of the muscles and the ligaments which are providing support to the joint.

3. Maintain your body weight. Being overweight puts extra pressure on especially weight bearing joints leading to their wear and tear, being underweight leads to nutritional deficiency and weakening of joints and muscles.

4. Daily intake of Half teaspoon of flaxseeds powder helps in improving pain and stiffness in joints. Studies have shown that flaxseeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids which show anti-inflammatory action. It also helps in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

5. Avoid dry, cold, preserved food items. Eat freshly prepared food that are easy to digest.

6. Calcium rich diet like Almonds, walnuts, Foxnuts, Milk and Milk products, Beans, Soya products, Orange, Guava, Spinach, Berries, Egg, Chicken, Seafood etc. helps in rejuvenation of degenerated bones.

7. Daily sun exposure for 10-20 min in the morning helps in synthesis of vitamin D which helps in absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the bones. Also it helps in development of immune system.

8. Include cow’s ghee in your diet because it helps in absorption of Vitamin D in body.

Disclaimer

The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.