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Article: Osteoarthritis | Arthritis and Joints Pain Supplements

Osteoarthritis | Arthritis and Joints Pain Supplements

Osteoarthritis 

Author:

Dr. Veena (Ayurvedic Physician)

Osteoarthritis, often referred to as arthritis of middle age, is characterized by degenerative and sometimes hypertrophic changes in the bone and cartilage of one or more joints. It involves a progressive wearing down of opposing joint surfaces, leading to consequent distortion of joint position, usually without bony stiffening. It is also known as degenerative arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or hypertrophic arthritis. It is the most common type of arthritis, affecting any joint in the body, with the knees, hands, feet, and hips being the most commonly affected. It is also known as the "wear and tear disease."

Many people confuse osteoporosis with osteoarthritis. Osteoporosis refers to porous bones, where the strength of the bone decreases, increasing the chances of fractures. In osteoarthritis, joint pain, swelling, and stiffness occur, affecting a person's ability to perform daily tasks.

Incidence Pattern:

Obesity, women at menopausal stage, occurring mostly in middle-aged and older adults, with women being more prone to this disease than men.

Causes:

Injury to the joints, physical labor, diabetes, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, aging, family history, direct trauma, and cold weather.

Signs and Symptoms:

Joint pain, swelling, difficulty walking in the morning, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, muscle atrophy around the joints, increased pain during activities, joint tenderness, and, in some cases, constant pain. Commonly affected joints include the knees (often the first to be affected), hips, and hands. The disease progresses slowly.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, with knee joint pain being the most common complaint. Occupation plays an important role, with individuals involved in strenuous activities being more prone to knee joint pain due to increased stress on the knee joint.

Herbs Useful for Treating Osteoarthritis:

Boswellia serrata: It blocks leukotrines. Leukotrines attack healthy joints. Boswellia can be taken orally or internally. It does not produce side effects like a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drug.

Ref: Ammon, H.P.T. et al. (1993), Mechanism of anti-inflammatory action of curcumine and boswellic acid, J. Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 38 (2-3), PP. 113-119.

The combination of Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Rasna, and Boswellia serratais useful to treat Osteoarthritis. If Powder is not available, take the herbal supplement of this combination. (For the quantity of the herbs contact the Author.)

Antiinflammatory activity of Turmeric. Ref: Ali, M.; Bagati, A. & Gupta, J. (1995), Comparison of anti-inflammatory activity of Curcumin analogs, Indian Drugs, Vol.32 (10), PP. 502-505.

Antiinflammatory activity of Ashwagandha.Ref: Singh N et al, 1978, J Res Indian Med Yoga Homoeo, 13, 53-62, Sharma AK and Singh RH, 1980, Bull Med Ethno Bot Res, 1(2), 262-271.

Sethi PD, 1970, Indian J Pharmacol, 2, 165.

Antiinflammatory activity of Rasna. Ref: Ahmad, F.; Khan, R.A. &Rashid, S. (1996), Pharmacological evaluation of medicinal plants for their analgesic activity in mice, Med. J. Islamic Repub. Of Iran, Vol. 10 (2), PP. 149-152.

Preventive Measures:

  • Do designed exercises regularly.
  • Maintain good posture to avoid pain.
  • Engage in aerobic exercises, swimming, and walking.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Eat 2 to 3 amla fruits daily or drink amla juice daily.
  • Consume ginger juice daily, diluted in a cup of water if the raw juice is pungent.
  • Eat one teaspoonful of flaxseed daily.
  • Include foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids and vitamin E, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, figs, and walnuts, in your diet.
  • Bromelain present in pineapples is useful for treating knee joint pain; obese individuals should consume small pieces of pineapples 6 to 7 times a day.
  • Drink 2 teaspoons of ginger juice mixed in half a cup of water daily.
  • Soak a small potato in a glass of water overnight, with its skin intact. Strain the water in the morning and drink it.
  • Consume a pinch of turmeric in the morning before tea, coffee, or breakfast.

External Treatments:

  • Physiotherapy can be beneficial.
  • Mix equal parts of Ayurvedic pharmacopoeial oils such as Mahamash oil and Mahanarayan oil, and massage gently onto the affected area, followed by a water steam treatment.
  • Enema is advisable to tone up the function of Vata Dosha and remove the accumulation of Aam-Tatva of the Strot.
  • Apply crushed ice wrapped in a cloth on the knee for 5 to 10 minutes while keeping the knee elevated with a pillow.
  • Boil 2 to 3 cloves of garlic in sesame oil and massage gently onto the affected area.
  • Granthokta Preparations for External Application: Dashmul Oil, Mahavishgarbha Oil, Laxmi-Vilas Oil.
  • Granthokta Preparations for Osteoarthritis (Orally): Khanjankari Ras, Sanjiwani Bati, Trayodashang Guggulu, Mahayograj Guggulu, Sinhnad Guggulu.
  • Panchakarma Therapy along with Ayurvedic Drugs is Advisable.

Investigations:

  • Radiography 
  • Reduced joint space and changes in joint shape.

Avoid:

  • Avoid Curd at Dinner, cold water, cold drinks, ice cream, stealing food, and the food that aggravates the Vata Dosha.
  • Avoid dry roasted nuts, eggplants, red peppers, and tobacco.
  • Avoid food containing too much sugar.
  • Avoid too much sodium.
  • Avoid working in a cold atmosphere.
  • Avoid working in stressful conditions.

Note:

Take all these remedies with the consultation of a doctor or Ayurvedic physician.