OA is marked by symptoms like joint pain, joint stiffness, swelling of joints, restricted joint movements etc. It usually manifests in the site of the hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips.
Ayurveda has two perspectives of OA. The first one is ‘degeneration oriented’ OA known as Dhatukshayajanya and the second is due to ‘accumulation of toxins in joints‘. Both these types of OA have separate aetiologies and requires different line of treatment altogether.
It is extremely important for a Vaidya to make a proper diagnosis for the successful treatment of OA. In rare cases, both the reasons are present which may take longer time to heal and patient may have to take rigorous therapies.
State of mind
Patients are known to loose their confidence when they are suffering from OA because they are fatigued both mentally and physically as they have to constantly fight the pain. This makes them very irritable and restless.
The main causes of manifestation of this disease is Malnutrition, excess physical and mental stress, obsession with sports, over gymming and other causes too can be responsible for degenerative type of OA.
Lack of physical activity, obesity, heavy foods, and sedentary lifestyle are responsible for the accumulation of toxins which causes the second type of OA.
What will add to OA
Lack of awareness, ignorance or carelessly disregarding the pain or the signs of joint pain can further deteriorate the condition. It is because of the intermittent nature of the pain that makes one ignore the pain. This aggravates the ailment.
Low physical activity, sleeping in day time, consuming curds and cold foods can aggravate the condition too.
Dangers to health
If untreated, OA can lead to anatomical deformity. Other structures within the joint can also be affected like ligaments. Outgrowth called osteophytes or spur can develop which can further make it painful. These developments cause disfigurement too. Depression can set in due to the feeling of helplessness and also causes low self esteem.
Very Essential Dos
Keep yourself physically active. Take up light exercise like walking or swimming to keep your joints mobile.
Take diet as per your prakruti and the current state of the Vikruti (as recommended by your Vaidya).
Take up seasonal detoxification programs to avoid accumulation of toxins in the body and joints. Consulting your Vaidya to understand the favourable seasons for detoxification is very essential.
Stay happy and motivated.
Treatment and therapies
Ayurveda can help treating OA very successfully. With professional guidance of diet, herbal supplements and Panchkarma (Ayurvedic detoxification), one can achieve the desired results.
Guggulu formulations have shown proven clinical results in the treatment of OA. Also joint strengthening programs on regular basis, under the supervision and guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic physician will immensely help.
Dos and don’t of diet and exercise should be followed strictly by the patient to avoid further attacks of OA and to retain the results.
Motivational counselling is also the essential part of the therapy to achieve positive state of mind of the patient.