AYURVEDA AND JOINT DISEASES
Ayurveda – India’s contribution to mankind in its quest towards human longevity and well being – has been developed through millennia of medical practice and theory by several generations of physician-saints and practitioners.
Ayurveda envisages daily and seasonal regimens, to be followed in order to maintain normal health. Non-observance of these regimens due to the fast and mechanical lifestyle, many people suffer from ailments due to immune deficiency, allergic reactions and augmented degenerative changes. Even though modern medicine contributes to health in many aspects, it has yet to evolve a satisfactory solution to the above-mentioned condition.
Diseases affecting Joints are a group of pathological disorders with inflammatory changes in joint capsule, muscles , ligaments and tendons . Bone invoved in the joints also will undergo changes in various conditions. Generally it affects the Musculoskeletal system as well as connective tissue of particular region., There are non-infammatory joint diseases like traumatic and degenerative type which cause severe problems in mobility and movements.
Ayurveda describes this type of diseases as sndhigatha vatha, vatharektha,asthigatha vatha , abhighataja vikara etc..Infact Ayurveda focuses the importance of Vatha in all joint diseases.Still depending on the association of Pitha , rektha and kapha the symptomatology varies and treatment also become very particular with various therapies.Ayurveda has established very effective proven remedies for joint diseases esp for the Arthritis, Rheumatic conditions, degenerative bone conditions and also spine disorders. Many immune related conditions have been effectively managed in Ayurveda.
ARTHRITIS(Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteo arthritis)
Arthritis is the most common disease in the world. According to Ayurveda arthritis is considered a disease complex with the combination of vatha, rektha and pitha affecting all the joints .Arthritis is considered the most common cause of long term pain in joints affecting people around the world. This illness comes under the category of musculo skeletal disorders which are characterized by pain, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, morning stiffness, limitation of motion, disability, degeneration of joint structures, cartilage and bone erosion. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis are the most prevalent among this group of disease depending on the various pathological situations.
Causes of this diseases are identified as multifactorial like food habit, genetic predisposition etc. Despite the active management to tackle this menace this is becoming much popular than before in the society. This might be due to changing life styles to which the people are very much attached against obeying the natural rules as mentioned in Ayurveda. This type of disorders are the single most common cause of disease in elderly and it is estimated that 40% of those aged over 65% have a significant joint problem.
Conditions like gout, fibromyalgia, SLE also present similar symptomatologies. Most musculoskeletal disorders are found to dominate in women and show strong association with ageing. Anyhow immunological factors are also found to be related to this type of disorders.
According to Ayurveda symptomatology of the above illness could be analogous with Vatha Raktha- primarily a Vatha related problem and the causes ,presentations,and treatments are elaborated in the classical texts of Ayurveda. Multiple factors like altered and incompatible food habits ,sedentary life styles, lack of purity of systems, accumulation of metabolic wastes are found to be the causes for this ilness. Moreover the people with tender health and those indulge in excessive physical exertion and too much traveling get aggravation of the symptoms frequently. According to Ayurveda lack of Vyadikshamathwa (immunity) also lead to susceptibility towards such ailments.
In Ayurveda management of these diseases consist of primarily bringing back the normalcy of the systems by eliminating the accumulated impurities. The treatments are basically of curative and purification therapies consisting of internal and external medicaments of herbal origin . The curative measures includes internal use of medicines like herbal decoctions , powders, pills etc The external therapies like medicated oil massage, application of herbal paste over joints, special diet regimen etc will help reduce the disease process. The purgation and medicated enema therapies are the prime treatments in this disease which help eliminate toxins from the body. More over the medicated enema therapy will strengthen the tissue principles and correct the functions of vatha. Blood letting is also prescribed in certain conditions to relieve inflammation and pain in joints. In short the management of arthritis is curative, purification and rejuvenative in nature , ultimately to improve the immune system. The medicinal herbs used in this disease are highly antioxidant and help repair the systems.It has been proved that the rate of cure of Arthritis by Ayurveda has been recorded high comparing to other systems of medicines in the world.
The rejuvenation (Rasayana) therapy administered towards the end of treatments in this disease brings the complete relief of the illness ,rejuvenate the systems and prevent further occurrence of this disease.This builds up the immune mechanisms to fight against the invasion of illness. There are number of herbal formulations which possess rasayana properties triphala, chyavanaprasa,etc..
The panchakarma therapies (five therapeutic procedures) are the ultimate cleansing procedures which are highlighted in Ayurveda. These therapies are highly effective in various musculoskeletal disorders especially in arthritis , not only to cure but to prevent the occurrence of such pathogenesis. Ayurveda befittingly known as the science of life can enhance the quality of life and can prolong the life span of arthritic patients by providing care and cure to the illness . Ayurveda treats arthritis holistically
Non Inflammatory joint diseases
These are the group of diseases due to injury and degenerative pathological conditions. Osteo arthritis , spondylitis , chondromalacia, degeneration of the intervertibral discs etc are analogous to this conditions.
Osteo arthritis is the most common degenerative disease. The most common joints affected are hand, knees , hip and spine. Pain, stiffness of joint and loss of flexibility are the main symptoms of Osteo arthritis. Unlike other arthritis, it does not affect other organs of the body.
In Ayurveda Osteoarthritis could be analogous with sandhigatha vatha affecting the bone tissue .In this condition, Vatha dosha is aggravated due to improper diet, lifestyle, exertion, injury etc. Vatha becomes dominant due to reduction of soft properties in the tissues of the joints, it dries up the synovial fluid in the joints and causes degeneration.
Ayurveda provides very effective proven remedy for all type of degenerative diseases affecting the joints. Treatment of Sandhigata vatha include Sodhana and Samana chikitsa. Sodhana chikitsa include Panchakarmas and Samana chikitsa include internal administration of ayurvedic preparations and external applications. Through Ayurveda we assure relief of pain, improvement in range of movement and through that a better quality of life.It has been noticed that regeneration of tissues to certain extent has been achieved by the proper management in Ayurveda.
These are the group of diseases affecting the collagen containing connective tissues and are systemic in pathology and accompany the joint afflictions. Rheumatic fever , SLE, Ankylosing spondylitis, poly mayalgia etc comes under this group. Ayurveda has effective remedies for these group of diseases through the various therapies and herbal medications. Traditional herbal combinations has been foud immensely helpful in alleviating the diseases. Apart from these oral medications, the Panchakarma treatments , age old therapeutic measures –cleansing the human systems , thereafter the Rasayana therapies –the rejuvenation , have been a boon to humanity suffering from such chronic ailments.
This is a severe degenerative disease related to the nerve lesions resulting in loss of sensory mechanisms of the joints to great extent.This is often associated with Diabetes , Syringomyelia, pernicious anaemia etc..Ayurvedic therapies can rebuild complications of nerve lesions and the complications of Diabetes could reversed to large extent.The traditional therapy procedures are found to be much effective in this regards.
Deepana, Pachana —-Herbal decoctions
Poorva karma(Preparatory phase)—Snehana —Medicated Ghee, oil externally
Swedana –Sudation –Ruksha&Snigdha
Sodhana karma(Purification)—Vamana-Virechana-Vasthi-Rektha moksha ..
Paschaath karma(post purification )—Dietary regimens –Rasayana therapy..
NB : We follow the textual and familial tradition in all the treatment procedures in order to bring out the maximum therapeutic result.