Ayurveda considers vata dosha (air element) to be responsible for aches and pains in the body. All kinds of Joint pains, such as Rheumatoid arthritis( pain, stiffness, swelling and redness of smaller joints) Osteoarthritis( pain and swelling in knees and other bigger joints), Cervical( pain in the neck region radiating to one or both hands) and lumbar spondylitis( Lower back pain and radiating pain to legs), Carpel Tunnel syndrome( pain in the wrist joints), Tennis elbow( pain in elbow joints) etc, fall in the category of Vata Disorders.
Arthritis was once considered disorder of the elderly, but in recent times is commonly seen in people of all age groups. Unhealthy food habits, lack of sleep, improper posture, excessive stress, lack of physical activity and over usage of computers are known triggers of Arthritis. In addition to food and lifestyle, Ayurveda considers that the doshas (vata,pitta, kapha) in the body undergo aggravation based on desha (place) and kaala( time).. In rainy season, vata dosha undergoes aggravation as a natural process leading to increase in pain. Hence foods contributing to increase in the vata dosha is avoided. The colder weather conditions in winter aggravate the same.
In Ayurveda, “arthritis is linked to the gut”: Ayurvedic formulations invariably target joints, gut, and immune systems. The delicate balance between bio-physiological forces (dosha) and constitution (Prakriti) is said to determine health and disease; several other aspects like “mind” and “metabolic fire” (Agni) play important roles. Ayurveda’s principle therapeutics aims to harmoniously restore the balance.
Ayurvedic herbs such as Eranda(Ricinus Communis), Shigru( Moringa oleifera), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Ardhaka( Zingiber Officinale) etc are proven to alleviate pain by pacifying and regularizing the movement of vata dosha through the channels thereby reducing pain.
Ayurveda therapies including Panchakarma therapies( Bio purificatory procedures), Abhyanga( oil application), Oil Pooling therapies for back and knees( Kati Basti and Janu Basti etc), Elakizhi ( Fomentation with medicated leaves boluses), Podikizhi (fomentation using medicated powder) are all recommended to balance Vata. This alleviates joints and muscle stiffness, increases circulation, mobilizes toxins, inflammation and swelling in joints and strengthens the bones, muscles and all surrounding structures to restore their normal function and improve flexibility.
Yoga therapy (customized module for Arthritis) and Acupuncture along with Ayurveda help to manage the condition in a n effective manner speeding up recovery and improving quality of life.
Together they help to alleviate stress, improve joint flexibility, reduce inflammation, slow degeneration and improve quality of life. The integration of Ayurveda, Yoga therapy and Acupuncture therefore proves to be beneficial for better management of the painful conditions.
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