Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of degenerative joint disease that results from breakdown of joint cartilage and underlying bone. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting about 237 million people, or 3.3% of the world’s population.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a long-term disease characterized by the deterioration of the cartilage in joints which results in bones rubbing together and creating stiffness, pain, and difficulty in movements.
The disease most commonly affects the joints in the knees, feet, and hips, and is relatively common in the shoulder, hands, and spine. An estimated 10% to 15% of all adults aged over 60 have some degree of osteoarthritis, with prevalence higher among women than men.
The commonest signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis are:
Pain & Stiffness of joints
Decreased range of motion (or flexibility)
Cracking sounds from affected joints
Ayurveda has a lot to offer for such patients. Ayurveda believes in a holistic approach for the cure and prevention of disturbances in physiology. The Ayurvedic approach also focuses on the conservation and improvisation of the functional aspects of the body. In this context, Taila-Dhara, an oleation therapy has very good results in improving the condition of pain, swelling, stiffness, and movements of joints by giving flexibility and strength to the joint. Different kinds of herbal and oil massages also help in reducing pain and improving joint mobility.
Joint pains are one of the commonest problems people suffer from. What sets Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) apart from common joint pains are; its chronic nature, the severity of pain, autoimmune component, the affection of small and large joints which over time may progress to disability. Rheumatoid arthritis not only affects the joints but can also affect internal organs, thus causing permanent disability in many instances.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is variably distributed in various countries worldwide. It affects 1% of the population, and more in women than in men.
The commonest signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
Tender, warm, swollen joints
Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
Fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite
Ayurveda has been dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis for centuries as VATARAKTA.
Vatarakta is explained as a chronic and complex metabolic disorder of the musculoskeletal system characterized by severe pain, tenderness, inflammation, and burning sensation in the affected joints. The classical line of treatment for Vatarakta includes Shodhana(detoxifying the body), Shaman(pacifying the affected doshas/humors), and external therapies like lepa(poultice), oil application, and different kinds of massages.
Inflammatory connective tissue disorders like GOUT, PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS, SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS etc also come in the purview of Vatarakta and have similar management.
Spine-related disorders are among the most frequently encountered problems for the common man. Low back pain (Lumbago) alone affects up to 80% of the population at some point in life making it one of the commonest noninfectious disorders in the world.
A number of problems can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue.
Degenerative and inflammatory conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis, Lumbar spondylosis, Cervical spondylosis, Sciatica, etc
Bone changes that come with age, such as spinal stenosis and slipped discs.
Lumbar spondylosis: As your body ages, the discs between the bones of the spine become stiffer and can break down. The bones also wear down and can grow bone spurs. This can also result from injuries or chronic strain or bad posture. When this condition is in the lower back, it’s called lumbar spondylosis.
Cervical spondylosis: Neck pain can be caused by many things—but is most often related to getting older. Like the rest of the body, the discs and joints in the neck (cervical spine) slowly degenerate as we age. Cervical spondylosis, commonly called arthritis of the neck, is the medical term for these age-related, wear-and-tear changes that occur over time. This can also be caused by chronic bad posture while using computers or a lack of exercise.
Sciatica: If you suddenly start feeling pain in your lower back or hip that radiates to the back of your thigh and into your leg, you may have a protruding (herniated) disc in your spinal column that is pressing on the nerve roots in the lumbar spine. This condition is known as sciatica.
Spinal stenosis: As we age, our spines change. These normal wear-and-tear effects of aging can lead to the narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition is called spinal stenosis.
Slipped disc: A common type of disc injury is a “slipped” or herniated disc. A disc herniates when its jelly-like center (nucleus) pushes against its outer ring (annulus). If the disc is very worn or injured, the nucleus may squeeze all the way through. When the herniated disc bulges out toward the spinal canal, it puts pressure on the sensitive spinal nerves, causing pain.
Ayurveda considers these spinal disorders as various vatavyadhis, as the main presenting symptom is pain which is caused by vitiated Vata. The management includes various Vata pacifying therapies like abhyanga, kadi vasti, pizhichil, kashaya vasti, etc.