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The most common type of arthritis that can affect any joint in your body.


Osteoarthritis is a prevalent degenerative joint disease that involves the progressive breakdown of joint tissues over time. It is the most common type of arthritis, with a higher incidence among the elderly population. Individuals with osteoarthritis typically experience joint pain and temporary stiffness, especially after periods of rest or inactivity. 

Osteoarthritis commonly affects various joints in the body, including:

  1. Joints in the hands, particularly the ends of the fingers and the base and ends of the thumbs.
  2. Knees.
  3. Hips.
  4. Neck.
  5. Lower back.

These are the areas most frequently impacted by osteoarthritis, where the breakdown of cartilage and subsequent symptoms tend to occur. However,

Osteoarthritis deteriorates over time, resulting in chronic pain. The severity of joint pain and stiffness all over body can reach a point where it significantly impairs daily activities and tasks.

The persistent pain and functional limitations caused by osteoarthritis can have detrimental effects on mental health, potentially leading to feelings of depression and disruptions in sleep patterns.

Osteoarthritis causes

  • Aging
  • Over weight
  • Joint injury or surgery
  • Repetitive joint movements
  • Joint abnormalities
  • Family history

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis symptoms typically progress gradually and worsen over time. Common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  1. Pain: Joints affected by osteoarthritis may experience pain during or after movement.

  2. Stiffness: Joint stiffness is often more pronounced in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

  3. Tenderness: Applying light pressure to or near the joint may cause tenderness.

  4. Reduced flexibility: The ability to move the joint through its full range of motion may be limited.

  5. Sensation of grating: Some individuals may feel a grating sensation when using the joint, accompanied by popping or crackling sounds.

  6. Bone spurs: Hard lumps known as bone spurs can develop around the affected joint.

  7. Swelling: Soft tissue inflammation around the joint can result in swelling.

Arthritis Differences- Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are prevalent forms of arthritis, each characterized by distinct characteristics and disease processes. Although both conditions result in joint pain and damage, they are fundamentally different diseases

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system malfunctioning and attacking the joints. In contrast, osteoarthritis (OA) is not an autoimmune disease but occurs due to the breakdown of cartilage between joints caused by wear and tear.

While RA involves the immune system perceiving the joints as targets and launching an attack, OA is primarily characterized by the degeneration of cartilage, leading to changes and discomfort in the adjacent bones.

These fundamental distinctions between RA and OA play a pivotal role in medical diagnosis and treatment planning. Nonetheless, there are various other factors that contribute to distinguishing between the two conditions and guiding appropriate management strategies.

Yoga for Osteoarthristis

If you experience stiffness and discomfort in your joints, there are yoga techniques that can help improve your mobility and comfort. It’s important to note that such symptoms may indicate osteoarthritis, a chronic and progressive condition that commonly develops with age.

The encouraging news is that regular yoga practice can enhance joint flexibility and alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis. By incorporating yoga into your routine, you can find relief and improve your overall well-being.

How Yoga Can Help?

Yoga offers various advantages such as enhanced strength, flexibility, stress management, and improved balance. Moreover, it fosters a deeper understanding of one’s body and contributes to overall well-being.

Recent studies and personal accounts have demonstrated the positive impact of yoga on individuals with osteoarthritis. This growing body of evidence suggests that yoga can serve as a valuable adjunct to conventional arthritis treatments, a viewpoint increasingly acknowledged by medical professionals.

When To Call Your Doctor ?

Seeking medical evaluation without delay is necessary if you experience joint symptoms like those associated with osteoarthritis. Consulting your doctor helps prevent long-term joint damage and serious health complications.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to addressing osteoarthritis by considering various factors such as physiological functions, metabolic processes, lifestyle choices, and dietary habits that contribute to the development and progression of the condition.

The Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis focuses on not only symptom management but also preventing disease progression, minimizing disability, improving overall quality of life, and addressing the root causes that lead to the formation of osteoarthritis.

Within Ayurveda, a wide range of treatments is available for osteoarthritis, tailored to the individual’s specific severity and stage of the disease, ranging from mild to severe.

Naturopathy Treatment

Naturopathy and Yoga have emerged as highly effective methods for treating arthritis and maintaining the health of the musculoskeletal system. Naturopathic treatment for arthritis focuses on natural healing modalities, including mud therapy, acupuncture, yoga, hydrotherapy, and other approaches. These treatments have shown remarkable effectiveness in alleviating stress, enhancing overall well-being, and providing relief to individuals with arthritis.

Yoga Therapy

Yoga, in its essence, offers therapeutic benefits by combining physical exercise with meditative practices that positively impact the mind. Therapeutic yoga adopts a gentle approach, emphasizing supportive postures, breathing exercises, and guided meditation. This approach proves beneficial for individuals dealing with specific illnesses or injuries. Therapeutic yoga classes can be tailored to individual needs, delivered in small groups, and designed to enhance relaxation and facilitate healing during the sessions.

Case Study

Patient Profile: The patient, a 60-year-old male named Mr. Patel, presented with a long-standing history of osteoarthritis primarily affecting his knees. He had been experiencing persistent pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, significantly impacting his daily activities and overall quality of life.

Treatment Approach: At our Ayurveda, Naturopathy, and Yoga center, a comprehensive treatment plan was devised for Mr. Patel, incorporating the principles and techniques of all three disciplines.

  1. Ayurveda:

    • Initial assessment: A detailed Ayurvedic examination was conducted, considering the patient’s dosha (body constitution) and identifying the root causes of his osteoarthritis.
    • Herbal remedies: Tailored herbal formulations were prescribed to reduce inflammation, improve joint lubrication, and strengthen the musculoskeletal system.
    • Panchakarma therapy: Mr. Patel underwent specialized detoxification procedures such as Abhyanga (therapeutic massage), Swedana (herbal steam therapy), and Janu Basti (local oil pooling therapy) to alleviate pain and restore joint function.
  2. Naturopathy:

    • Mud therapy: Localized mud packs were applied to the affected knee joints to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
    • Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy sessions, including warm water immersion and hydro-massage, were employed to enhance blood circulation, relieve pain, and improve joint mobility.
    • Acupuncture: Regular acupuncture sessions were administered to stimulate specific points, promoting pain relief and restoring energy flow in the body.
  3. Yoga:

    • Therapeutic yoga: Mr. Patel participated in personalized yoga sessions focusing on gentle and supportive postures to improve joint flexibility, strengthen surrounding muscles, and enhance overall well-being.
    • Breathing exercises: Pranayama techniques were incorporated to improve lung capacity, promote relaxation, and alleviate stress associated with chronic pain.
    • Meditation: Guided meditation practices were employed to calm the mind, enhance mental resilience, and foster a positive outlook towards managing his condition.

Outcome: After several weeks of consistent treatment at our center, Mr. Patel experienced significant improvements in his osteoarthritis symptoms. The pain and stiffness in his knees were noticeably reduced, allowing him to engage in daily activities with greater ease. His joint mobility improved, and he reported an enhanced overall sense of well-being and reduced stress levels.

Conclusion: This case study exemplifies the holistic approach of Ayurveda, Naturopathy, and Yoga in the management of osteoarthritis. By addressing the underlying causes, providing targeted treatments, and promoting overall wellness, our center aims to improve the quality of life for individuals like Mr. Patel, enabling them to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives despite the challenges of osteoarthritis.

Case study

Patient Profile: Ms. Chaavi, a 55-year-old female, presented with a history of osteoarthritis joint disease affecting multiple joints, including knee swelling. She had been experiencing chronic pain, joint stiffness, and reduced mobility, significantly impacting her daily activities and overall quality of life.

Treatment Approach: Acupuncture was utilized as a primary treatment modality to alleviate her osteoarthritis symptoms and provide relief.

Initial Assessment:

    • Detailed consultation: A thorough discussion was conducted to understand the specific areas of pain, severity, and duration of symptoms.
    • Diagnostic evaluation: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnostic techniques, including pulse and tongue examination, were employed to assess the underlying imbalances contributing to her condition. 

Acupuncture Treatment:

    • Needle placement: Fine, sterile needles were inserted into specific acupuncture points targeting the affected joints and related meridians.
    • Individualized approach: The treatment plan was tailored to Ms. Chaavi,s unique symptoms, focusing on pain reduction, improving joint function, and promoting overall well-being.
    • Electroacupuncture: In some sessions, low-frequency electrical stimulation was applied to enhance the therapeutic effects of acupuncture.

Follow-up and Progress: Acupuncture sessions on a weekly basis led to reduced pain levels and improved mobility for Ms. Chaavi with osteoarthritis. She experienced increased joint flexibility and enhanced overall well-being, including reduced stress and improved quality of life.

Outcome- She experienced substantial relief from osteoarthritis symptoms through acupuncture. Her pain frequency and intensity decreased, leading to improved mobility, reduced stiffness, and enhanced overall well-being.



By Dr.Shraddha Surathkal | May 09, 2022


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is a degenerative joint disease. It is more likely to affect weight bearing joints like knee joints. A joint is where two bones come together. Cartilage is the protective tissue that covers the ends of the bones. With OA, this cartilage breaks down, causing the bones within the joint to rub together.

This can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. Approximately 80% of older adults, ages 55 years and older, have evidence of osteoarthritis. Of these, an estimated 60% experience symptoms. It is estimated that 240 million adults worldwide have symptomatic osteoarthritis. Post-menopausal women have an increased incidence of knee osteoarthritis compared to men due to loss of oestrogen during menopause.

Osteoarthritis as per Ayurveda

Osteoarthritis is called Sandhigata vata in Ayurveda.It comes under vata vyadi mentioned in Ayurvedic classical texts. This disease mainly gets aggravated in old age as all dhatu undergo kshaya (degeneration) and this leads to the aggravation of vata. Vata is dry and light in nature and its variation in any of the joints dry up the lubricating synovial fluid and depletes it. As a result, the cartilage wears away due to the friction leading to pain and limited joint mobility.

In this condition, the large weight bearing bones and joints such as knee, ankle, and spine are the most affected. During early stages of the disease, one can experience joint discomfort cracking of the joints. If left untreated, it could progress to advanced stages leading to deformity, destruction of the articular surface.

Signs and symptoms of Osteoarthritis
  • Pain during the movement of joints.
  • Stiffness of joints following a period of inactivity.
  • Crackling with pain during movement.
  • Muscle weakness around the joints, especially in the knee.
  • Limited Range of motion.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Management of Osteoarthritis

Available treatment options include use of NSAIDs, Calcium supplementation and ultimately joint replacement. Being safe, devoid of adverse effects, Ayurvedic management is a better option to avoid painful intervals, advancement of the disease and repeated use of painkillers (NSAIDs).

According to Ayurveda, Snehana (oleation), Svedana (fomentation), Dahana (Agnikarma or heat therapy) and Upanaha (poultice) are the prime modalities of treatment in the management of Sandhigata vata or Arthritis.

Shenaha Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Janu Basti:

Janubasti is one of the modalities of treatment commonly adopted in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee. Research has shown that Janubasti with Taila like Murivenna or Balashwagandhadhi taila gives encouraging results in relieving the signs and symptoms. Delaying surgical interventions by a few years by external therapies like Janu basti offers the additional advantage of reducing systemic exposure due to oral use of medications.

Janubasti Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Janubasti is oiling pooling therapy on knee joints. Janu means Knee and basti is retention. Here a ring is made of back gram flour and stuck with black gram paste on the knee. Once it’s checked for non-leakage, tolerably oil is poured into the ring. It’s allowed to retain until warm. Then a portion of oil is squeezed out and hot oil is once again added. This procedure is continued for 40 minutes. After it is completed, the ring is removed and the area cleaned. A gentle massage is done for 5-10 minutes followed by steam or elakizhi (patrapotala sweda).

Kizhi (Fomentation) rejuvenates the knee by controlling vata. It includes: Elakizhi (Fomentation with Medicated herbs), Navarakizhi (Fomentation with navara rice), Podikizhi (Fomentation with medicated powders).


  • Strengthens the knee Joint and muscles around the joint.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Relieves stiffness.
  • Reduces degeneration of the knee.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most popular systems of treatment widely utilized for pain. Lots of studies show the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of pain. Acupuncture is based on the concept of “Qi” which is a vital motivating force. If there is imbalance in the Qi Diseases arise in the physical body. As per Acupuncture theory when acupoints are stimulated by pricking the point with needles the body will release pain relieving chemicals, which naturally occur in the body and which have similar properties like opioid pain relievers.

Also Acupuncture helps to release Neurotransmitters which help in reducing the pain. Based on the condition of the person, an electrical Stimulator may be used as it further helps in stimulation and releases the stiffness in muscle.

Accupuncture for Osteoarthritis

Yoga Therapy:

Yoga Therapy has shown significant reduction in pain, improved strength, balance and gait. Psychological components such as anxiety are important aspects to be addressed in pain management and yoga enhances the management.

Typical yoga practices consist of

  • Yogic Sukshma Vyayama: These are safe repetitive stretching movements synchronized with breathing which mobilize and strengthen particular muscles and joints.
  • Asana: Asana are featured by effortless maintenance in the final posture. Asana is selected suitable for patients which relax and strengthen the knee joints.
  • Relaxation Techniques: To relax whole body.
  • Pranayama: The practice of voluntary regulated breathing (Nadi shuddhi pranayama) while the mind is directed to the flow of breath to balance the autonomic system.
Do it Yourself kit:

DIY kit for knee pain is meant to manage pain in one or both knees .It includes 6 pads for oil padding and 4 Potli for fomentation and a bottle of medicated oil. Based on instructions provided this treatment can be carried out by you from the comfort of your home.


Article By :
Dr. Shraddha Surathkal