If you have just recovered from an episode of Chikungunya Fever but have persistent pain in your joints, it could be Chikungunya Arthritis. It is also known as Post Viral Arthropathy. Even though this condition is reversible, it has been giving patients a scare. A small bite of the White Stripped aedes aegypti mosquito has debilitating outcomes and may confine the patient to bed for several weeks. Getting up in the morning, lifting your arms to pick your mobile phone or getting up to pee all seem like Herculean tasks. In this article we are going to discuss about the Joint Pains caused by Chikungunya Virus and its treatment.
After-Effects of Chikungunya fever
1. Pain in Joints (Most Common) - It may persist for several weeks.
2. Feeling of weakness.
3. Lethargy and Fatigue.
Why does this pain occur
The pain in the joints is the result of the counter-attack by the body’s immune system to the viral infection. The immune system of the body is activated when exposed to certain virus or any other disease-causing organism. The immune system somehow recognises the body's own cells as infective agents and therefore it starts attacking some body cells alongwith the Chikungunya Virus. This results in inflammation of tissues and damage to the body cells. When this occurs in muscles and joints, it causes muscle and joint pain. Apart from causing immense pain, it could lead to a locking of the knee joints, elbows or wrists. Antibodies activated by a viral attack often end up striking cartilages at the joints. This leads to swelling in the joints, often restricting movement.
The residual toxins left by the virus could also be the cause. These toxins tend to attack the cartilages and lead to inflammation in the joints. The result could be excruciating pain and frozen joints.
Virus that causes Chikungunya reside at the major joints such as elbow, wrist, knee and ankle. They produce toxins and affect the immune mechanism, leading to muscular and joint pains accompanied by fever. The cartilages also get affected and cause joint inflammation. Typically this occurs a few days or weeks after the infection. By the time arthritis develops, the virus is no longer present in the body.
Most Common joints affected by Chikungunya
- The joints of hands.
- Wrist and elbow.
- The joints of ankle, feet and to some extent hip are also affected.
How long does it take for complete relief from the pain
- Post-Chikungunya Arthritis can last up to three months, in some cases over a year. Medicines are effective in dealing with the pain and reducing the recovery period.
- The healthier the body, lower the debility so persons having healthy dietary habits and healthy lifestyle usually recover faster than others.
How to deal with Chikungunya Arthritis
Chikungunya Arthritis can be very debilitating and the sufferers usually feel like handicapped as they are not able to do their daily work as normal. This condition can be managed by following :
- Pain is increased if the joints are not frequently moved. This is the reason that the pain and stiffness is high in the morning as the joints are moved very less during the night.
- In the morning, move all your joints slowly at least twice.
- Sit on a chair and extend your legs.
- Stand and raise your legs.
- Stand and twist your body in both directions one by one.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights.
- Do not do heavy excercises.
- Wrap a cold ice pack in a cloth/towel and apply it to the inflamed areas. This will provide some pain relief.
- Alternatively you can use hot packs as well.
Pain killer Medicines
- Always consult your doctor before taking any medicine.
- Doctor may prescribe you a suitable painkiller.
- Avoid overuse and long term use of pain killer medicines as they may badly affect your kidneys and liver.
- If the pain continues for more than 3 weeks its better to start taking Ayurvedic treatment.
Chikunungya Arthritis - Ayurveda has Perfect Cure
The terrible joint pains one experiences in Chikungunya, which may get disabling for weeks or months even after the recovery from fever, are very effectively controlled with Ayurvedic medicines.
1. Ayurvedic Medicines
Special treatment is planned as per the age, condition and other factors related to the patient. Medicines are focussed on three things Reducing Joint Pain, Increasing Body Immunity and Reducing weakness. Medicines may include some powder, capsules, tablets and oil (for local application). Treatment package cost varies from Rs 50/- daily to Rs 100/- daily depending on the the individual condition.
2. Panchkarma Therapy
Panchkarma is an Ayurvedic Detoxification Therapy and is very effective in managing Chikungunya Arthritis. It includes massage through specialised medicated oils. It gives quick improvement in joint pains. One session costs approximately 700/- for whole body treatment. At our panchkarma therapy centre, our therapists are well trained to help you recover well from the weakness and joint pains.
Have a better recovery. Wish you lots of health.