Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment in Ayurveda
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. The disease usually begins with fatigue, morning stiffness, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and weakness, followed by joint pain, Joint pain may affect the wrist, knees, elbows, fingers, toes, ankle or neck. In some patients with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation leads to the destruction of cartilage, bone, and ligaments, causing deformity of the joints. According to Ayurveda, Rheumatoid arthritis is known as “Ama vata“.
In Ayurveda following are the lines of treatment for Amavata (Rheumatoid arthritis):
Sodhana chikitsa (Purification of the body)
Shamana chikitsa (Treatment for subsiding the symptoms)
Therapies for treatment
Fasting by means of complete absence of food, or by giving green gram / rice / barley soups.
Long term treatment through therapies like Snehapanam, Vamanam, Manal kizhi, Virechanam & more.
Kashaya, asavarista, vati, taila, Rasoushadi etc are used. Strict diet & lifestyle changes are also recommended.
Ayurvedic View : Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder, which commonly affects the knee joint. It is caused by damage to the joint's cartilage. It can range from mild to severe, and most commonly affects middle-aged and older people. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back.
Osteoarthritis affects the entire joint, Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. Small deposits of bone may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space. This causes more pain and damage.
A similar condition to Osteoarthritis that has been described in Ayurveda is Sandhigatavata, in which the vitiated Vata afflicts the joints and causes degeneration and destruction of the cartilages and reduction in the Synovial Fluid inside the joint capsule, leading to swelling which results into painful movement. Vata is the governing factor in the maintenance of equilibrium in the body. As age advances, the influence of Vata Dosha progresses, resulting in the process of gradual degeneration of the body. Sandhigatavata (osteoarthritis) is one of the consequences of this process, which is common in the elderly people. This is one of the major causes of chronic disability, affecting the quality of life.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
Loss of flexibility
Age related osteopathic changes because of degeneration of bones and cartilage
Consumption of dry, cold or stale food,
Irregular sleeping habits,
Suppression of natural urges, and
Exposure to severe cold, and dry weather
Non consumption of Ghee, which is very common now a days.
Over fasting - nowadays people go for crash dieting to reduce weight which leads to vata aggravation.
Over exercise also leads to vata aggravation
Staying awake at night.
Stress, depression, too much of worry etc.
Excessive strain on the joint or overuse of the joins like people who have long hours at a standing job.
Any kind of injury to the joint, are the frequent causes of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the knees is often associated with excess upper body weight, with obesity, or a history of repeated injury and/or joint surgery.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoarthritis
As per the involved Dosha, progression of disease and after detailed clinical examination, different treatments are advised by Experienced Ayurvedic Consultant Dr. Tarun Gupta at SKK Ayurveda and Panchakarma. Ayurvedic treatment of Osteoarthritis prevents further deterioration in the joints and rejuvenates damaged cartilages. Vata-alleviating treatments through specific herbs and panchakarma therapies are suggested for lubrication and strengthening of joints.
Panchkarma is very important in the management of osteoarthritis. A number of procedures are planned as per the chronicity and grade of he osteoarthritis. Duration of treatment may vary from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. In grade 4 the treatment is repeated every year for 3 to 4 times.
Osteoarthritis Treatment Therapies
Application of medicated paste over the joint and wrapped with bandage. It reduces joint stiffness, pain, tenderness and relaxes joint muscles.
Massage over the affected joints with medicated oils.
It improves circulation, pacifies vata, reduces pain & strengthens the joints.
This therapy is offered in conditions where there is excessive tenderness and swelling. It helps relieve the discomfort and pain.
Ksheera basti - milk is the main ingredient. Anuvasana basti - medicated oil.These nutrients are absorbed through the gut wall to nourish the joints.
This is fomentation by nadi sweda The effect of sveda is similar to that of lepa.
Medical Cauterization is performed under the supervision of a senior panchakarma specialist to manage pain.
Medicated lukewarm oil is made to stay over the affected joint, inside around circle made with masha pisti. This increases mobility & blood circulation.
Patra Pind Sweda
Medicated oil massage with heat packs. The oil and heat help relieve swollen, tender joints and relax the muscles.
Blood letting therapy through leeches or cupping. In cases where there is pitta aggravation in joints, this therapy is often used.