Ayurvedic Explanation of Joint Pain or Osteoarthritis
As per Ayurveda, Osteoarthritis is termed as sandhivaata which is self explanatory name that suggests the disease is due to presence of aggravated vayu in sandhiyaan i.e. joints. This vayu initiates the process of degeneration and thus making the person, a patient of osteoarthritis... more in the transcript below.
Joint Pain Video Transcript
Some diseases have a direct relationship with our growing age. As we age, these diseases attack and make us, their victim. One such disease is Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is also known as disease of the aged. But these days, even the young generation does not remain untouched by this disease. In this disease, the joints of bones become weak because of which walking, climbing up and down the stairs and even getting down from the bed becomes difficult, In this disease, there is disintegration of cartilaginous layer present between hips, knees, hands and wrist joints. It results in severe pain in these joints. Most of the victims of this disease are women. This is because, after menopause, women undergo weakening of their bones. The patients suffering from Osteoarthritis are able to accomplish only 25% of their routine work.
Today, our topic of discussion is going to be Osteoarthritis, which is a disease of joints. For this, as usual we have Senior Ayurveda Expert, Dr. Parmeshwar Arora in our studio. You are welcome, sir.
Q. First of all, please tell us what actually Osteoarthritis is?
A. Osteoarthritis is a type of degenerative disease and as you have already said, it is a disease of the aged. It is generally seen in people of old age i.e around 60-65 years of age. But now-a-days, due to our dietary habits and lifestyle, we get such patients of 40-45 years of age who complain about its symptoms. People of this kind of age have also started to fall prey to this disease. As you said, this disease involves joints. So the large, weight bearing joints like knee joint, hip joint and shoulder joint get affected by this disease. In general, pain swelling, stiffness is seen in the patients of this disease. In Ayurveda, this disease is termed as sandhivaata. Again self explanatory name which suggests that the disease is due to presence of aggravated vayu in sandhiyaan i.e. joints. This vayu initiates the process of degeneration and thus making the person, a patient of osteoarthritis.
Q. As you said, this disease happens with ageing. Why is it so?
A. You have asked a very relevant question. See, as I said this is a degenerative disease. Degeneration is related to age. As we age, the process of degeneration takes place in every part of body. Similarly, it takes place in joints as well. That’s why it happens in old age. Also, it is not only about degeneration in joints but the degeneration also happens in muscles. and muscles are also undergoing weakening. Let’s take an example of knee joint which is the most affected joint in this case. If we consider its formation then it has tibia on lower side and femur on upper with cartilage in between and the joint is enclosed in capsule. This how the knee joint is formed. With the impact of age, the thigh muscles are becoming weak. Thigh muscles are responsible for stretching the femur due to which the space between tibia and femur remains maintained and their movements remain smooth so that there is no pressure on cartilage.
Due to weakening of thigh muscles, there is dropping down of femur and it almost touches the tibia bone damaging the layer of cartilage in between, This is the stage when there is friction caused between tibia nd femur bone. This can be felt very easily. When you put your hand on patient’s knee and the knee is extended or contracted then a kind of sound is felt. This is called crapitus. Crapitus indicates that the space between femur and tibia has lessened from the normal. If we compare the bones with wood, then whenever the woods collide and there is no lubricant (i.e. synovial fluid between bones) then it will cause wear and tear, Pieces break out of these bones which are referred to as osteophytes. This wearing and tearing causes swelling and pain. Thus, two things namely degeneration and weakening of muscles make an aged person, a patient of osteoarthritis. This happens to aged people because both degeneration and weakness in muscles happen in aged people as a normal process.
Q. You just explained why does this disease happen in old people but earlier in the conversation you had said that these days it is seen in young people too. So, what is the reason for that?
A. True, these days we get patients of osteoarthritis who are about 35-40 years old. The main reason for this is obesity. Osteoarthritis and obesity are very closely related. We often tell such patients to reduce their weight. It is such that losing 5 kg of body weight can bring down their pain by as much as 50%, without use of any medicine. As I told you in case of old people, the weakness of thigh muscles cause dropping down of femur and that’s the main reason for the condition of osteoarthritis. See, the muscle’s capability is limited. There is a limit to the maximum weight that it can support. True that you are young and strong but if your weight is beyond the capacity of muscles then definitely, it will not be able to keep the femur stretched upwards. In this situation, the dropping down of femur bone will definitely occur. The tibia bone being situated on a hard base cannot go down. Thus there is narrowing of joint space which should be appropriate to allow free movement of tibia and femur. The grease or synovial fluid present here, dries out and the person becomes a patient of osteoarthritis at an early age. After obesity, another reason for osteoarthirits in young age is vata vardhak aahar-vihar i.e. vata increasing food and lifestyle.
Probably you remember that osteoarthritis is named sandhivata in terms of Ayurveda. This means there is entry of vata in joints. If you want to understand that what I mean with Vata vardhak aahar, then I would say, these days we frequently eat the food which is stale or not fresh. Most of you deny this but let me tell you, the pckaged or preserved products which have become inseparable in our lives, can’t be called fresh. True that they are prevented from rotting with help of preservatives but I would never be convinced that they are fresh. According to Shastra, the stale or un-fresh food is the biggest culprit in vata prakopa. Secondly, rich and spicy foods are such foods which we are incapable of digesting. Even when we have sluggish digestion we tend to eat fried and spicy food and non-vegetarian food. This tends to form gas in our body resulting in vata prakopa. Thirdly, when we talk about lifestyle, keeping awake during nights is said to be the foremost reason for vata prakopa. Living under stress also aggravates vata. Along with this, vega-vidharan is also a big reason for this. Due to our commitments, we often live under pressure of deadlines. It is so much that we even ignore the urge of urination and defecation. This is what we mean by vega-vidharan.
These are all very small things but they definitely leave their impact on our body. So, vata-vardhak aahar-vihar make us a patient of osteoarthritis at a younger age.
Q. You have so nicely explained the reasons for osteoarthritis. In fact, now-a-days it is becoming quite common among youngsters. Could you please tell us those symptoms on the basis of which a person can be identified as a patient of ostearthritis?
A. In context of symptoms, subjective parameters include pain in large weight bearing joints such as knee joints, hip joints and shoulder joints., swelling in and around these joints, stiffness of joints. For assessment of objective parameters we send the patient for an X-Ray. The X-Ray reports of the patient show narrowing of joint space, dryness, presence of osteophytes i.e. small broken pieces of bones and degeneration. Though it is a very simple investigation procedure but it is sufficient to confirm the presence of osteoarthritis in patients. To conclude, if the person has pain, swelling and stiffness in large weight bearing joints and his X-Ray shows narrowing of joint space, degeneration, osteophytes and dryness then you can sy that he is a patient of osteoarthritis. Exactly similar symptoms have been described in Ayurveda for sandhivata. On touching joints, you will feel as if there is accumulation of gas or vayu, there will be swelling and pain, extension or contraction of joints will give pain. These are the symptoms for sandhivata according to Ayurveda.
Q. When we say Osteoarthritis or arthritis, there are actually many types of arthritis. How do we know that which kind of arthritis are we suffering from?
A. True, Arthritis is of many types. Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis are its various types. With respect to differential arthritis, while the most common type i.e. osteoarthritis is generally seen in old people, the second most common type i.e. rheumatoid arthritis is seen in younger people. Besides, in osteoarthritis, large bearing joints get affected while in rheumatoid arthritis small joints like joints in fingers and wrist joints get affected. Also, in general rheumatoid arthritis shows bilateral symmetrical presentation ie. if there is pain in a finger in left hand then the pain would be felt in corresponding finger of right hand as well. This is not so in case of osteoarthritis in which your right knee could be painful while the left knee is absolutely alright. So, a symmetrical presentation is not compulsory in osteoarthritis.Similarly morning stiffness is a symptom found in patients of rheumatoid arthritis. when he wakes up in the morning, the stiffness in his joints may take a long time like half-an hour to one hour, to get normal. Such a stiffness is not seen in patients of osteoarthritis.
If you talk about gouty arthritis then often the patient would say the pain started with his big toe. Such patients have elevated levels of uric acid in their blood. In case psoriatic arthritis, presence of skin lesions is seen as it is an auto-immune phenomenon. In case of septic arthritis, patients have fever and severe inflammation. So depending upon the symptoms and some objective parameters, we prepare a differential diagnosis.
Q. SInce our today’s topic is osteoarthritis, please tell us what kind of treatment is available for this?
A. For its treatment, we would need to get to its pathology and understand its cause. As i said, it is a type of degenerative disease. So, we would need to provide nutrition and rejuvenation using rasayana. Also, in Ayurvaeda, this disease is termed as sandhivata. This means that there is involvement of vata prakopa because of which even young people are becoming victims of sandhivata. Hence it is very important that we control the vayu. Also, according to Ayurveda, wherever there is pain involved, there has to be vata because nothing except vayu can be a reason for pain. When we adopt vata-shamak treatment, we work towards controlling the vayu and at the same time we are also working on relieving pain. And through rasayan-chikitsa we are working towards controlling degenerative process as well as repairing the wear and tear caused inside the joints, Thus, rasayan-chikitsa which corrects the degenerative changes and anti-vata chikitsa which suppress the vayu should be our approach while treating osteoarthritis. And there is one more important aspect i.e. weight management. Those patients who are overweight or obese and they want to get relief from pain in their knee joints and hip joints they would need to reduce their body weight. If they reduce their body weight by 5 kg they will achieve 50% relaxation in their pain, swelling and stiffness and that too without any medicines.
Q. That’s a very good thing to know that if a person reduces his weight, he will be able to automatically achieve 50% relief from his problems. But like, for every disease you suggest some churana (powder) or some medicine, do you have anything for osteoarthritis, as well?
A. When we come to the medicines for osteoarthritis, then we generally give two types of therapies to the patients. One is in the form of oils and another is oral medication. See, as I said, in this condition our joint has become dry and there is friction between two bones which is causing the process of wearing and tearing. Also, the synovial fluid which generally provides lubrication has been exhausted. Giving an oil massage, provides lubrication. In presence of lubrication, even if the joints collide against each other, there is still not as much of wear and tear as it used to be earlier. Since the wearing and tearing reduces, there is reduction in pain and swelling as well. So, oil massage is an important therapy. Now, let me tell you the name of oils to be used for this. I recommend mahavishgarbh oil, which is easily available as almost all of the Ayurvedic companies manufacture it. Even a massage with til (i.e. sesame) oil will provide 50% relief. You can add little salt, turmeric, carom seeds in the sesame oil, heat it and apply on affected area. Coming to the internal medication, when you approach allopathy doctors regarding this problem, generally you are prescribed some pain killers.
In contrast, when we treat the disease through Ayurveda, we consider the basic pathology which is degeneration in this case. To counter this cause we have to provide regeneration through rasayan-chikitsa. Simultaneously, we also work on vata-shaman i.e. removal of vayu so that the patient gets relief from pain. Thus giving pain-killers to suppress pain is not a good approach, according to me. If you relieve the pain along with initiation of regeneration, then that would be the right approach. If the patient adopts such a treatment in initial stage only i.e he is managing his pain by replacing degeneration with regeneration the I don’t think he is ever going to need knee replacement. I wish God gives you a long life and I assure you that with this kind of approach in treating osteoarthritis, you can always live free from problems of joints. With the same intention, we have developed a medicine called Posh-Rujari. This is a combination of many Ayurvedic herbs like rasna (the herb which suppresses vayu), erund (which is rasayan as well as vrashya and also suppresses vata), guglu (which is a well known vata-shamak), harar, ajwain (for vata- anuloman), ashwagnadha, shilajeet (rasayan aushadhi which provide rejuvenation) etc. We are already giving this medicines to our patients and patients are quite satisfied with their improvement.
Q. That’s a very good effort. Why don’t we ask the users themselves that what kind of change have they experienced in their symptoms after use of this medicine.
- My name is Loknath Manchanda. I had problem in my knees since a long time. I was not able to climb up the stairs and always used to wait for the elevator. I was always reluctant to go anywhere. When I met Dr. Arora he gave me Posh-Rujari capsules which I have been using from 3-4 months. I have got complete relif from my knee problems. I am able to climb the stairs very easily now and I am no more reluctant to go outside. I go out quite often. *
- I was struggling with pain in knee joints since 8-10 years. I had a great difficulty in moving around. Someone gave me reference of Dr, Arora. He gave me Posh-Rujhari capsules which I have taking since around 6 months. Now I can move around a lot and with quite an ease. I even climb up stairs and I feel no difficulty. *
- My name is Harvinder Singh. I was unwell since a long time. I had body pain and pain in joints. I also had swelling in the body due to which my body weight had gone up. I started Ayurvedic treatment after meeting Dr. Arora. He gave me Posh-Rujari capsules which relieved me from my joint pains. Even my body pain and swelling is gone. As of today, I am completely fit. I am grteful to the doctor for this. *
- I consulted Dr. Arora for pain in my joints. I am taking medicines from Dr. Arora since last three months and I am much better now. I move around easily and am able to do the entire household works. *
* Results may vary person to person
As you saw, after using Posh-Rujari capsules people have regained happiness in their lives. And they have once again started walking. Infact I would say, the recovery is quite rapid too.
Q. You had recommended oil massage. I am a little confused as the allopathy doctors advise against it. So what should we do actually?
A. I don’t think I would need to explain it much to you. See, as you know, in this condition your joints have become dry. And, due to dryness, there is friction between two bones which is causing their wearing and tearing. What could be the other medium to recreate the lubrication between the bones. Oil is a very good and simplest medium for this. I have not been able to understand the reason behind their being against oil massage. What harm is it going to do anyway. According to Shastra, anything which is capable of controlling vata from outside then it is oil, Thus, I don’t think there is any harm in oil massage. In fact as much as you practice it, it would be more beneficial for you. Just don’t worry and practice oil massage with mahavishgarbh oil or if you don’t get it, use mustard oil or sesame oil. Put a little, salt, ajwain and turmeric in oil, heat it and massage the affected area with this oil. You are only going to benefit from it.
Q. Is Posh-Rujhari beneficial in case of cervical and lumbar problems, as well?
A. In cases of lumbar and cervical spondylosis, we observe that there is degeneration involved and that’s the reason of pain and stiffness in such patients. We are giving Posh-Rujari capsules to these patients and we are getting very good results. In any pathology which involves skeletal or muscular disorder and where there is pain and stiffness, we must include Posh-Rujari capsules. Because as I said, suppression of pain through nerve blocking is not a good idea. I would always encourage that the pain be subsided by adopting a rasayan chikitsa which will stop degeneration, initiate regeneration and control wear and tear. It is going to be safe as well as effective treatment. We have tried to achieve the same by developing Posh-Rujari capsules.
Q. Now, when we have understood the effectiveness of Posh-Rujari Capsule, we would also like to know the details of its dosage.
A. Of course! People who have a severe pain should take it as 2 capsules, thrice a day. Those who have moderate pain can take two capsules, twice a day. So, depending upon the severity you can decide the dose yourselves. Since the medicine is a herbal product, its prolonged use will benefit you. This medicine not only provide relief from pain but it also gives energy to the entire body. It also keeps your bowels clear. As per its name, Posh is meant to provide nutrition, strength and stop overall process of degeneration and Rujari which aims at reducing rujha i.e. pain. I mean to say, this medicine can be used as a tonic also.
Dr. Arora gave us so many useful information on Posh-Rujari. If you have anyone at home who is suffering from Osteoarthritis or if you yourself are suffering from it, then I would suggest that you instantly order this medicine so that you get relief from all your problems related to Osteoarthritis.