Arthritis is considered to be a leading cause of disability in the world. The 24% of people who consult doctors suffer either from some kinds of aches or pains. Among this 10-15% have suffered from Arthritis. Arthritis is marked as a “CHRONIC DISEASE”.

Below illustrated is the Ayurvedic approach for Arthritis:

ARTHRITIS

Simply means inflammation of joints, is common problem. It affects all age groups, but more in old age which have the following symptoms:

1. Stiffness, swelling in one or more joints.

2. Deep aching in joints.

3. Any pain associated with movement of a joint.

4. Tenderness, warmth or redness in an affected joints.

5. Fever, weight loss or fatigue that accompanies joint pain, etc.

6. Movement of the joint becomes extremely painful especially in cold, windy and damp weather.

It is notable if this disease is not taken care of properly at the initial stage, the joint becomes immobile and may also become permanently deformed. The common types of Arthritis are-

1. Osteoarthritis (Sandhigata Vata)

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis (Ama Vata)

3. Gout (Vatarakta)

4. Fibromyalgia (CFS)

5. Ankylosing Spondylosis 

6. Sciatica, cervical spondylosis, Lumbar spondylosis etc.

Ayurvedic Approach: According to Ayurveda, mostly pains are caused by Vata (Air) Dosha. The lack of Agni (digestion fire) creates undigested food toxins (Ama) which circulates the whole body and gets collected at joints. The accumulation of ama at joints with simultaneous aggravation of Dosha (Imbalance of Vata/Pitta/Kapha) causes the inflammation at joints, which is known as “Arthritis”.

TREATMENT

The specialty of Ayurveda lies in the concept of disease and concept of complete cure. So it focuses on the root cause of the disease. As described above, Toxin (Ama) and aggravation of Dosha are the main causes of the disease. So, effort can be made by removing toxins from the body, (by adopting various purificatory procedures) stimulate the digestive fire to stop further production of Ama and balancing the Dosha. In order to that, Ayurveda classify the local treatment (upakarmas) such as-

1. Kati Basti (for lower back pain) 

2. Greeva Basti (for cervical problem)

3. Janu Basti (for knee problem) etc.Are providing the nourishment to the joints and relieves the pain.

The main treatment (Pradhana Karmas) such as -

1. Virechana (Purgation Therapy)

2. Basti (Enema Therapy) is an effective and powerful self-healing process, which helps the body to eliminate the toxins and to stop further production of toxins, strengthens our immune system and makes it more resistant to illness, enhances our self-reliance, strength, energy, vitality and mental clarity and bring about deep relaxation and sense of well-being.

Along with these treatments, internal medicines play an importance role in curing this disease. According to Ayurveda, if proper treatment is given, there are fairly good chances to cure.

OSTEOARTHRITIS (SANDHIGATA VATA) 

According to Modern concept: The cartilage loses its elasticity. If the cartilage is stiff it becomes damaged more easily. The cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber, will gradually wear away in some areas. As the cartilage becomes damaged tendons and ligaments become stretched, causing pain. Eventually the bones may rub against each other causing very severe pain. 

What Ayurveda says is, due to improper Ahara and Vihara Vata, one of the bodily humors get vitiated and gets lodged in the joints and causes pain and dryness in the joints, Hence the condition is termed as ‘SANDHIGATA VATA’.