Ayurvedic Management of Arthritis

Arthritis ( arthro- joint + -itis, inflammation) is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation in one or more joints. Arthritis might seem simple, but it’s really not. . Arthritis can be difficult to recognize because it can start in different ways. It can start slowly and be mild, or it can start suddenly and cause intense pain. It might cause the classic issues of joint pain, swelling and stiffness, or it may first cause health problems that seem unrelated like fatigue or a rash.

Types of Arthritis
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases. The most common types include Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid arthritis(RA), Psoriatic arthritis (PsA), Fibromyalgia and Gout. Also it includes diseases like Ankylosing Spondylitis, Behcet’s Disease, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Sjögren’s Disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and a whole list of other conditions too. All of them can cause pain in different ways.
Ayurvedic Management

All types of arthritis has been explained in Ayurvedic science and in most forms it is a Vata predominant disease.But in certain conditions or stages of the disease, other elements are also involved and the treatment is decided according to the condition and vitiated elements involved.

Most forms of Arthritis can be successfully managed through Ayurveda. In Ayurveda, disease diagnosis and treatment varies according to the condition of the patient. It is difficult to correlate modern medical diagnosis with ayurvedic diagnosis, as both medical science treats patients differently. In Ayurveda, the vitiated elements (doshas) in the body is given prime importance. Treatment can be as simple as taking a few internal medicines or can take upto a few months depending on the severity of the condition.

Ayurvedic management is as follows:

  1. Langhanam (Fasting) It is done by means of restriction of food, or by giving green gram / rice / barley soups, exercise etc.
  2. Shamana chikitsa (Treatment for subsiding the symptoms) It is done by using very effective and time tested Ayurveda formulations like herbal drinks, powders, pills etc.
  3. Sodhana chikitsa (Elimination of vitiated elements from the body) It is done through Panchakarma therapy. Usually treatment is long term and various procedures are done according to the patient condition and presentation.

Therapies like Snehapanam, Podikizhi, Elakkizhi, Abhyanga etc are done to prepare the body for the detoxifying procedure.

Apart from these three, strict diet regimen and life style changes are advocated. For chronic and severe conditions a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks may be needed to provide best results.

Dr Adarsh

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