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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Painful Joint Conditions (Rheumatoid arthritis, Cervical Spondylitis, Osteoarthritis & Gout) - Ayurvedic Treatment

When two or more bones meet, joints are formed. Most joints including those of the limbs move freely and known as synovial joints. They are lubricated by synovial fluid secreted by the joint lining. The semi-movable joints like in the spine and pelvis are less flexible but more stable. A few joints such as those of the skull are fixed and there is no movement. There are 6 examples of synovial joints which are classified according to their articular surfaces (where bones meet) fit together and the movements each joint permit.

Joints can be damaged by many types of injuries or diseases including:-

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  2. Osteoarthritis
  3. Gout
  4. Cervical Spondylitis

1. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Rheumatoid Arthritis is the king of painful disorders affecting the musculo-skeletal system. It is a long standing auto-immune disorder that primarily affects the joints. The Rheumatoid affected joints are- usually hot, swollen and painful. After a period of rest, pain and stiffness worsen.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • Tender/warm/swollen joints
  • Morning stiffness that may last for hours
  • Inflammation in the joints.
  • Development of the flap in synovium
  • Destruction of cartilage (cushioning between the joints)
  • Firm bumps of tissue under the skin on the arms (nodules)
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

What are the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis are not known but immunity plays a major role in its manifestation. There is a condition known as auto-immunity in which body's immune cells invade its own cells. It is like our soldiers fighting against our own people but Ayurvedic perspective of causes of rheumatoid arthritis is slightly different.

The nomenclature "Amavata" which has been derived from the two words-"Ama" and "Vata" seems to have been evolved around 9th century. The main cause of Amavata is altered state of digestion and metabolism caused by unhealthy food habits when there is diminished digestion power. Ayurvedic treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis involves improving digestion, immune-modulation and prescription of Ayurvedic medicines. The disease has been correlated with Rheumatoid Arthritis in modern terms, the cause of which has not been established by the modern system of medicine. Besides some short acting anti-inflammatory drugs or immune-suppressive drugs with hazardous side effects, there is no medicine for its radical cure.

2. OSTEOARTHRITIS

Due to changes in day to day lifestyle, the superiority of human health is falling. Dreadful changes in lifestyle have led to disorders like—obesity, arthritis, diabetes etc. Among these, osteoarthritis is observed commonly in large population. It is also prevalent in young generation. It is a degenerative disease. Osteoarthritis is a wear and tear disease involving abnormalities resulting in degradation of joint, articular cartilage and sub-chondral bone resulting in inflammation, aggravation of pain during and after movement.

Osteoarthritis

Pathology and Physiology of Osteoarthritis

  • Due to increased age, synovial fluid in joint gets decreased.
  • Due to friction of bony parts, erosion and inflammation of surrounding capsule, breakdown from cartilage is released into joint space.
  • Progressive erosions of articular cartilage and formation of bony overgrowth at joint margins due to calcification (osteophytes) in later stages.
  • Damage due to less protection by cartilage, cartilage becomes thin and soft due to degeneration.
  • Gross deformity and instability of joints.

Etiological Factors

  • Overweight (since it puts more pressure on the joints and can cause cartilage to tear between joints rapidly).
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • Metabolic dysfunction
  • History of trauma which leads to misalignment or deformities.
  • Hereditary—mostly among females (knee and hand osteoarthritis)

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

  • Pain in joints (major symptom), sharp in nature, burning sensation associated with muscles and tendons.
  • Tenderness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle spasm
  • Crackling noise
  • Loss of function or morbidity due to locking of joints.
  • Sometimes joints filled with fluid.

Diagnosis

  • By clinical methods and examination
  • In case of trauma, to rule out pathology, X-ray, CT-Scan and MRI are done.

Modern Treatment

  • Use of analgesics and steroids
  • Exercise
  • Weight control
  • Physiotherapy
  • Surgery

Osteoarthritis According To Ayurveda

Master Charak mentioned the concept of "Sandhigat Vata". According to Charak, by touching the swollen joints, it felt like as a leather sac is filled with air resulting in inability to extend and flex the limbs due to pain. Sandhi (joint) is a site of Shleshaka Kapha. As age increases, Vata dosha in the body increases and Kapha especially Shleshaka Kapha decreases, hence joints become less functional as vitiated Vata gets lodged in Sandhi (joints). Joint is considered as one of the Marma (vital point of the body), knee joint is also one of them. Joint is also among Vranasthana (site of inflammation). According to Ayurvedic treatment point of view, inflammatory changes are most important while considering Sandhi as "Vranasthana". In case of degenerative changes, treatment is given for improving nutrition, in case of obstructed pathology, vitiated Kapha is treated, then Meda (body fat) is corrected, then Vata dosha is treated. In this case, Snehana (intake of oil) or Abhyanga (application of oil) are contradicted in the initial stage.

Differentiating features of Osteoarthritis from Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. Symptoms of osteoarthritis aggravated by humid and cold weather environment.
  2. Stiffness generally relieved by movement.
  3. Patient feels better with moderate use of joint but intensity of pain increases after prolonged use.

3. Gout

There are many joint related disorders explained in Ayurvedic texts of which grossly Vaatrakt signs and symptoms can be co-related with gout. Gout is known as "Vaatrakt" in Ayurveda. It usually affects greater toe. It is caused due to vitiation of Vata dosha along with blood vitiation. It is the most common cause of inflammatory joint disease in men over 40 years.

What are the symptoms of gout?

The great toe- metatarsophalangeal joint is the site of first acute gout attack in 70% cases. It can also affect ankle, knee, small joints of hand and feet. Sometimes the onset is very sudden waking the person from sleep. The affected joint is red, hot, swollen with prominent veins with severe pain.

Recurrent gout attacks lead to chronic gout. It leads to erosion of cartilage and bones. Severe joint deformities are also seen.

What are the causes of gout?

Uric acid concentration in the body fluids depends upon the balance between purine synthesis and uric acid elimination.
Factors which influence gout and increased uric acid levels in the blood are - renal failure, drugs like - diuretics, lactic acidosis by alcohol, starvation, vomiting, exercise etc.

Purine rich foods like - beer, alcoholic beverages, legumes, non-vegetarian foods must be avoided.

4. Cervical Spondylitis

It is a wear and tear disease which is caused by degeneration of bones, discs- cartilage cushion between the neck bones and joints of the neck. This condition is becoming common in young population also. With aging, the bones and the cushioning cartilage disc start to lose strength. This makes the soft cartilage to expand, thin, slip (known as herniation of disc), touch and irritate the nerves. The degenerating discs also become flat with bridge edge causing nerve irritation. Nerve irritation leads to symptoms like - pain, numbness etc. The stiffness arises because of lack of cushioning between the bones causing a friction whenever neck is moved. This condition is also known as - Cervical osteoarthritis, when the patient has active inflammation causing redness, swelling, increase in temperature etc.

Cervical Spondylitis

In Ayurveda, a condition known as Greeva graham is explained. It is explained as a Vata condition. Increase in Vata leads to depletion of body tissues. The dryness and degeneration caused by Vata leads to decrease of Kapha dosha. Kapha, mainly Sleshaka Kapha is responsible for cushioning between the joints. Hence, disc degeneration sets in leading to spondylosis.

What are the symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis?

  • Pain in the neck
  • Muscle spasm
  • Difficulty in the usual functions of the neck like—rotation, flexion, extension etc.
  • Radiating pain to the shoulder/forearm/arm
  • Numbness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Lack of co-ordination/difficulty in walking
  • Headache
  • Tingling sensation

Healthy Joints Pack by Planet Ayurveda

Planet Ayurveda offers a very effective treatment of painful joints. Healthy Joints Pack by Planet Ayurveda consists of:-

Healthy Joints Pack

1. Bone Support

Bone support capsules of Planet Ayurveda are a blend of amazing herbs with therapeutic benefits. It relieves bone loss and related conditions. These capsules provide natural calcium to bones, thus helpful in low bone density, useful in all kinds of fractures and other bone related disorders.

Dosage: 1 capsule twice daily with water after meals.

2. Guggul Capsules

Joint disorders are due to increased Kapha dosha in the body. Guggul capsules of Planet Ayurveda is an effective weight loss supplement which helps in lowering down over weight without causing any side effects. Planet Ayurveda's Guggul capsules are 100% pure and vegetarian natural supplement.

Dosage: 1 capsule twice daily with plain water after meals.

3. Joint Aid Plus

Joint Aid Plus Capsules of Planet Ayurveda is the best remedy for treating all types of Arthritis. These capsules can be used for pain and inflammations, very effective for spondylitis, effective analgesic for painful joints.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

4. Boswellia-Curcumin Capsules

Boswellia-Curcumin Capsules offered by Planet Ayurveda are one of the most effective combinations of anti-inflammatory herbs. This makes Boswellia-Curcumin Capsules as most effective arthritis supplement. The joint pain relief can be seen after using these capsules within 1 day.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals.

Healthy and Happy Joints Pack (Advanced Stages)

Planet Ayurveda offers healthy and happy joints pack for the advanced stages of all painful conditions of joint problems. This pack is specially designed by the expert team of Planet Ayurveda to provide relief from the painful joint conditions like - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cervical spondylosis, osteoporosis etc. Healthy and Happy Joints Pack consists of-

Healthy and Happy Joints Pack (Advanced Stages)

1. Bone Support

Bone Support Capsules of Planet Ayurveda are prepared from herbs like—Shudh Laksha, Suhanjana Beej, Hadjod, Arjun, Praval Pishti, Mukta. These are the valuable herbs described in Ayurveda for strengthening and supporting of bones and also improve calcium metabolism.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water.

2. Guggul Capsules

Planet Ayurveda offers guggul capsules for pain management and to maintain healthy bones and joints.

Dosage: 1 capsule twice daily.

3. Joint-Aid Plus

Joint Aid Plus capsules of Planet Ayurveda is a herbal formulation prepared from the herbs like—Ashwagandha, Giloy, Guggul, Shallaki, Nirgundi and Saunth. It is a blend of the best ayurvedic herbs that act against inflammations.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily

4. Boswellia-Curcumin Capsules

Planet Ayurveda offers Boswellia-Curcumin Capsules for healthy joints. The results are long lasting and the anti-inflammatory effects are permanent. They are useful in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cervical spondylosis, ankylosing spondylosis.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily.

5. Green Essentials

Green Essentials capsules of Planet Ayurveda are suitable in the treatment of advanced stages of joint problems as they are prepared from chloroplast - green pigment found in the plants which helps to nourish the cells and fight against health ailments. They are known to clear heavy metals.

Dosage: 1 capsule twice daily.

6. Ashwagandha Capsules

Ashwagandha Capsules of Planet Ayurveda are 100% vegetarian. These capsules are useful in debilitating conditions, brings the strength back to the muscles, neck stiffness, joint pains, arthritis of all types.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily.

Diet and Lifestyle Management

Diet plays a crucial role in improving joint health and to keep swelling and pain in control. Since Ayurveda believes that the root cause of joint problems lies in impaired digestion and metabolism, so the diet is targeted to improve the same. Include ginger, garlic, long pepper, pepper, buttermilk, hot water, turmeric in your diet. Avoid worsening of joint pain, stiffness and swelling. Avoid worsening of gastro-intestinal health, avoid ama formation (a state of impaired digestion and metabolism), avoid imbalance of Kapha and Vata, which worsen the stiffening, pain and inflammation. Anything that is heavy to digest, takes long time to digest is to be avoided. Avoid curd, frozen foods, spinach, non-vegetarian food. Long term diet restriction is needed. Avoiding natural urges causes increase in Vata which is not good for painful joint conditions. Avoid Oil massage.

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