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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

What is the treatment of muscular atrophy in Ayurveda?

Human body has more than 600 muscles that provide the ability for locomotion, respiration, digestion, etc. Muscles are a bundle of fibrous tissues that has the ability to contract, when stimulated produces motion. Muscle cells contain actin and myosin, they are protein filaments and are responsible for contraction. About half of our body weight is because of our muscles. There are three types of muscles - skeletal, cardiac and smooth. These muscles have a unique structure, have a peculiar role that pertains to a particular organ. Muscular atrophy is defined as a condition where muscular mass gets reduced. Person presents with partial or complete wasting of muscle.

muscular atrophy

According to Ayurveda muscles are called as 'Peshi'. They are composed of mamsa dhatu which is the 3rd dhatu in our body, it covers and provides firmness to the entire body and responsible for various functions. This condition is considered as "Mamsa kshaya", and in our classics its symptoms (lakshanas) are mentioned that occur during wasting, they are –

ancient reference, shloka, muscular atrophy

Reference – Charak samhita / Sutra sthana / Kiyante shirsi adyaye / Chapter no. 17 / Shloka no. 65

Meaning – The meaning of this shloka goes as - dryness occurs around waist, neck and abdominal region in muscle wasting.

CAUSES OF MUSCULAR ATROPHY

There are various causes of muscular atrophy, they are -

  • Diet – A diet that lacks in protein is responsible for muscular atrophy
  • A sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical exercise is one of the causes of atrophy.
  • Congenital defects.
  • Hereditary factors.
  • Starvation leads to malnutrition thus automatically it affects muscle mass and leads to muscle wasting and atrophy. Mostly, this is the cause for atrophy in females because of the desire to attain a perfect figure they start starving, finally they end up with conditions like malnutrition, anorexia nervosa, etc.
  • Protein-energy malnutrition like marasmus is one of the causes of muscular atrophy.
  • Neurological atrophy occurs due to damage of the neurons that stimulates the production of muscle mass.
  • Any cause that leads to muscle tissue immobility is responsible for atrophy such as fractures and paralysis.
  • Some diseases where muscular atrophies may occur, they are – Erb’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Becker’s muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s, Sclerosis, Botulism, Cachexia, and various other Myopathies.
  • Any cause or injury that leads to physical destruction of muscle fibers is the cause of muscular atrophy. For example - a sudden accident or burns leads to sudden atrophy.
  • Risk factors – Excessive intake of alcohol, Few medicines like long term use of corticosteroids, Auto-immune disorders and Degenerative changes or disorders.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MUSCULAR ATROPHY

The signs and symptoms of this disease are as follow -

  • Restricted movements
  • Muscle weakness
  • Inability to move
  • Debility
  • Body ache
  • Weakness
  • Dysarthria (Difficulty to speak)
  • Reduced capability of performing tasks.
  • This condition interferes with the functions of other systems like –
    1. If atrophy of skeletal muscles takes place then the person may show with the symptoms like; affected body movements, impaired neurological functions, flawed circulation, etc.
    2. Atrophy of cardiac muscles responsible for an impaired conducting system of the heart. Thus, dysfunction of the conduction system can cause irregular heart rhythm.
    3. Atrophy of smooth muscles produces indigestion, dyspnea, dysuria, impaired peristalsis, refractive errors, erroneous circulation, etc.

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis can be made on clinical basis but to know the exact cause we need to take the help of these investigations:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests - Urea level in urine
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Muscle biopsy

MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

According to Ayurveda, we can manage this condition as follows -

  • Nidana parivarjana – Avoid the root cause of the disease.
  • Srotoshodhana by detoxifying and removing the toxins from the body
  • Bruhana chikitsa or rasayan chikitsa – Internal medicines to increase muscle mass
  • Rehabilitation
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes

TREATMENT ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA

In Ayurvedic classics, two lines of treatments are explained, they are 'Santarpana' and 'Apatarpana'. Here we need to apply santarpana therapy that helps to cure the condition. They include panchakarma therapies as well as internal medications.

1. Panchakarma Therapies

Panchakarma therapies are very helpful to deal with muscular atrophy. These are:

  • Abhyanga – Oils that promote the muscle strength are beneficial in this condition, for example – ksheerbala taila, mahamasha taila, balaashwagandha taila, etc. 
  • Shashtika shali pinda sweda – A special procedure that is really effective in muscle wasting where medicated poultice massaged onto the body by immersing in the medicated milk
  • Basti – Medicated enema, here Ksheer and Oil bastis are helpful. They control the vata dosha in the body and rejuvenate the destructed muscle and nerve fibers.
  • Nasya – Instillation of medicated oils in nostrils are beneficial in this condition such as ksheerbala, mahamasha, etc.

2) Internal Medicines

Planet Ayurveda has contributed a lot in the production of various organic and pure herbal formulations that can be used safely. Among them the formulations which can effectively deal with muscular atrophy, they are -

Herbal Remedies for Muscular atrophy

Herbal remedies for Muscular atrophy

1. Brahmi Capsules

It is an effective brain tonic that stimulates the nerve impulses and hormones to initiate the production of muscle mass. Planet Ayurveda's Brahmi Capsules are prepared using the standardized extract of the herb Bacopa monnieri.

Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice a day with plain water after meals.

2. Musli Strength

This herbal formulation helps to boost immunity. It affects the physical as well as our mental health. They provide strength thus are beneficial in muscle wasting. The ingredients of Planet Ayurveda's Musli Strength Capsules are Safed Musli and Gokshur.

Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice a day with plain water or milk, after meals.

3. Ashwagandha Capsules

A generalized health tonic that helps to increase the muscle strength along with that it also improves the function. Planet Ayurveda's Ashwagandha Capsules contain the standardized extract of the herb Withania somnifera.

Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice a day with plain water, after meals.

4. Green Essentials

A special formulation of Planet Ayurveda that helps to restore the muscular atrophy by increasing the bulk of these muscles. It has highly nutritive properties that are required to manage atrophy. Ingredients of Planet Ayurveda's Green Essential Capsules are: Grape seed (Vitis vinifera), Wheat Grass (Triticulum aestivum), Spirulina (Spirulina platensis), Green tea (Camellia sinensis) and Amla (Emblica officinalis).

Dosage: 1-2 capsules twice a day with plain water, after meals.

5. Medhya Churna

The constituents of this powder are – ashwagandha, ajmoda, krishna and shveta jeerka, vacha, sunthi, maricha, pippali, patha brahmi and shankhapushpi. These herbs help to clear channels, maintain muscular and mental health, rejuvenate the injured muscle fibers.

Dosage: ½ to 1 teaspoon twice a day with plain water, after meals.

Contact my assistant to provide you the costing / ordering and delivery information at - costing.planetayurveda@gmail.com, Call at +91-172-5214030, Whatsapp at (+91) 9915-593-604

3) Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation helps to relieve both stiffness and wasting with the help of physical exercises. Light and fine exercises are really helpful in this condition as they will reverse the atrophy.

RECOMMENDED DIET

Adequate nutrition is required to combat this condition. A protein-rich diet is a great choice which includes – pulses, milk, egg, ghee, almonds, broccoli, lentils, fish, peanuts, etc.

"Regular indulging in exercises, yoga, walk, sports along with a nutritious diet can prevent muscular atrophy"

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