Osteoarthritis, sometimes called degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in your joints wears down over time. Among the over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting over 20 million people in the United States. Osteoarthritis occurs more frequently as we age. Before age 45, osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in males. After age 55 years, it occurs more frequently in females.
While osteoarthritis can affect any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your:
• Lower back
Osteoarthritis in Ayurveda :
Osteoarthritis is known as Sandhigatvata in Ayurveda. In word Sandhigatavata, Sandhi means the joint and Vata stands for the Vata Dosha. Vata is dry in nature so it absorbs the fluidity, from any part of the body and it is also destructive or catabolic in nature, due to these two reasons Vata cause destruction of the cartiages and reduction in the Synovial fluid inside the joint capsule.
Individuals with the Vata Prakruti are more prone for the Osteoarthritis, as their main Dosha is Vata.
Causes of OA:
With aging, the water content of the cartilage increases, and the protein makeup of cartilage degenerates. Eventually, cartilage begins to degenerate by flaking or forming tiny crevasses. In advanced cases, there is a total loss of cartilage cushion between the bones of the joints. Repetitive use of the worn joints over the years can irritate and inflame the cartilage, causing joint pain and swelling. Loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between the bones, leading to pain and limitation of joint mobility. Inflammation of the cartilage can also stimulate new bone outgrowths (spurs, also referred to as osteophytes) to form around the joints. Osteoarthritis occasionally can develop in multiple members of the same family, implying a hereditary (genetic) basis for this condition
Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
• Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
• Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
• Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
• Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
• Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
• Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.
• Older age. Osteoarthritis typically occurs in older adults. People under 40 rarely experience osteoarthritis.
• Sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn't clear why.
• Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
• Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
• Obesity. Carrying more body weight places more stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as your knees.
• Certain occupations. If your job includes tasks that place repetitive stress on a particular joint, that may predispose that joint toward eventually developing osteoarthritis.
• Other diseases. Having gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget's disease of bone or septic arthritis can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis
Self Help Approach:
• Doing a regular mild exercise programme or yoga postures to enable the joint to move and prevent further damages
• Both excessive use and reduced use of your joints is bad for you.
• Move at least for 30 minutes daily.
• Weight is a main cause in the destruction of your joints. So keep your weight on normal
• While loosing weight, don't go for excessive fasting and exercise as it will cause dryness in your body and will increase catabolic process in your body.
• Don't bear the natural urges of urine and stool, these increase Vata in your body and causes problems with your bones, as Vata resides in bones, due to their porosity.
• Daily massaging with the mahanaraya oil or specific oils prescribed by an ayurvedic doctor is used to calm down the vata dosha.
After applying the oils on your joints, don't forget to foment you joints properly, take a sauna bath or an herbal steam bath.
Herbo-Mineral Supplements for Osteoarthritis:
• Shallaki (Boswelia Serrata): Studies have shown that the boswellic acids have an anti-inflammatory action - much like the conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) used by many for inflammatory conditions. Boswellia inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators in the body, such as leukotrienes. As opposed to NSAIDS, long-term use of boswellia does not lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach..
• Guggulu (Commiphora Mukul): Systemically, guggulu is one of the best rewarding herbs for Vata diseases. Various preparations of guggulu used in sciatica, hemiplegia, gout, rheumatic diseases, facial paralysis etc
• Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Well known for its effect on muscles, bones and joints. Reduces pain as well as strengthens the muscles so that they (muscles) can help the joints in proper functioning.
• Devdaru (Cedrus deodara): The extract from the wood shows marked anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. It acts as anti Vataj.
• Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata): Highly effective for backaches, muscular sprains and joint pains. The root of the plant is found Effective in inflammations, rheumatic disorders, osteoarthritis and allied disorders.
• Erand (Ricinus communis): Also known as castor seeds, it contains alkaloid ricine and toxalbumine ricin which yield a fixed oil. It is very good for cleansing ama (toxins) from the body. It is very good for arthritis, gout, and spondylitis-like rheumatic disorders. It is used in back pain, sciatica, and inflammation of joints
• Rasone (Garlic, Allium sativum): Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used throughout the world for gout and Rheumatism. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, hypolipidemic, anticoagulant, hypoproteinemic, hypocholesteremic, antibacterial, antifungal, antihypertensive and hypoglycemic action.
• Nirgundi (Vitex negundo): Nirgundi has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and swelling of joints due to rheumatism and injuries. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with the plant and encouraging results obtained. It has analgesic properties.
• Gandhaprasarini (Paederia foetida): It inhibited the elevation of serum orosomucoid levels in rats, suggesting the possibility of the presence of disease-modifying antirheumatic activity. The results indicate that there is some rationale behind the ethnomedical use of the plant for treating inflammatory disorders. -
• Shilazatu: it helps to rejuvenate the joints. Due to its potency shilajitu is said to have properties that suppresses pain, as it acts directly on vata thereby helping out in suppressing it, as it is the cause of initiation of pain. A very good remedy in arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and other joint related problems and back pain. Has a very good pain relieving effect in any kind of injury and muscular pain
• shilajit is said to work as anti-inflammatory substance. It works very similar to as the working of betamethasone a glucocortocoid.
Maha Rasnadi Kwath
Maha bishgarbha tail (For Local)
Panchguna taila (For Local)
Panchakarma Increases Mobility and Decreases Disability in Osteo Arthritis. The Therapies include: Abhyangam, Swedam, Elakizhi, Pizhichil, Navarakizhi, Janu vasthi, Virecanam, Matra vasthi etc. These differ from person to person and are decided by a Specialist Ayurvedic Physician according to the Age, Severity, Intensity, and Disability of the patient.
Salvasan, susma vyaam etc