Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis are two common degenerative joint diseases caused by thinning of the cartilage. Nature has designed these cartilages to function well into our adulthood. However, as age progresses, the cartilage in the vertices of major joints start eroding, causing joint pain. Joints that warrant a lot of movements are highly susceptible to wear and tear, eg. the joints of back and neck, joints such as the hip, knee, shoulders and spine. Obesity and excessive strain on the joints are other leading causes of such damage. Damage to the cartilage at different joints manifests differently. The damage to the cartilage of the knee caps causes discomfort in bending the knee, lifting or lowering the limb and walking briskly. Such a condition in the neck could cause difficulty in glancing sideways or up and down with ease.
Ayurveda has well-documented protocols for treating joint problems. Ayurvedic treatment primarily consists of three stages. The first phase involves managing inflammation and pain. Ayurvedic medicines commonly prescribed in this phase are Guggulu tiktam Kashayam and Ghee, Guggulu tablets such as Kaisora Guggulu tablets and Yogaraja Guggulu tablets. Shadharanam Churnam is also useful based on the situation. Apply Sahacharadi and Kottamchukkadi thailam, externally to the affected areas and joints.
The second phase focuses on strengthening the muscles around the joints and re-establishing the proper functioning of the joints. Application of thailam and performing kizhi therapy over the affected area are most beneficial. Kizhi therapy is a procedure in which massage is done using warm poultices of medicinal herbs held in a muslin sack. It provides the much-needed relief from pain and stiffness. Ksheeradhara – a herbal decoction in milk – is a more specialized treatment that some experts resort to in stubborn cases of pain and inflammation.
Finally, treatment to arrest the underlying cause. Treatments such as Pizhichil work to restore the flexibility of joints and promote blood flow to the muscles. Njavara kizhi (a kizhi therapy done with medicated rice and milk decoction) also helps build muscle strength. These treatments are recommended as a path to complete cure. Oil Retaining Vasti ( Kati Vasti) is yet another Ayurvedic remedy used to relieve joint pain and to strengthen the cartilage. Vasti involves the retention of warm medicated oil over the affected area for about half hour to one hour.
Ayurvedic Diet, yoga and exercises are also prescribed by the physician the cartilages do no degenerate and remain as healthy as possible. Itoozhi Ayurveda specializes in Degenerative therapy and conducts regular clinics.