One of the most common ailments that mankind is currently suffering from and which is bound to become even more prevalent with our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is Arthritis. Arthritis is a common term that encompasses all kinds of joint pain and inflammation. The exact symptoms and their prognosis is widely varied and totally depends on the actual cause, care given and age, as well as many other factors.
Commonly prevalent causes of Arthritis are:
a) Age related degeneration
b) Auto-Immune condition
c) Injury and overuse
e) Hormonal imbalances
f) Deficiency of calcium and vitamin D
The most prevalent types of arthritis are Osteo and Rheumatoid. There are also the spinal spondylitis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, gout and secondary arthritis.
Symptoms and Areas Affected
Generally, arthritic symptoms can happen in any movable or static joint. But the most common areas affected are joints of the hands (especially fingers), spine (mostly lower back and neck), hip and knees. Symptoms can be include swelling, burning sensations, redness and a loss of mobility or a combination of these indications.
Arthritis and Ayurveda
Like in most chronic health conditions, any treatment without addressing the underlying imbalance is likely to be symptomatic and short lasting.
The usual remedies are painkillers, steroids or surgery. These have a quick effect but may cause more side-effects than positive results in the long run, due to the chronic nature of this disease. Increasingly people are choosing natural remedies and an integrated approach which includes massages, diet, exercise and herbal medication.
The condition is not considered to be a localised issue of any joint but as a manifestation of a general imbalance over an area of weak energy, or from a history of injury or over use. The treatment of arthritis will include a dosha-balancing diet, gentle supportive and restorative Yoga or Qigong practice, herbal oils for external application and dosha balancing, bone-joint nourishing and anti-inflammatory herbs taken internally.
Through Ayurveda the various symptoms associated with inflammation, like digestive problems, lack of energy, inability to focus, etc. are also addressed. The role of certain food types, stress, digestive fire and toxins and metabolic waste accumulation is also assessed and addressed in Ayurveda.
The treatments vary from person to person as per the causative factor, age, chronicity and dosha imbalance. The process of treatments includes three phases
1 PREPARATION – At this stage of treatment the body is prepared by going through a balancing diet and the underlying imbalance is addressed, rather than just the symptoms. Anti-inflammatory, pain reducing and bone strengthening herbs and oils will be also suggested.
2 CLEANSING – Ayurveda also understands the need of detoxification, or Panchakarma and its effect on the healing power of our body. Various methods of cleansing and massage are suggested using herbal powders and oils along with a controlled diet for a period of one day to two weeks.
3 NOURISHING – In this phase, the body is understood to be very receptive to various positive dietary and herbal elements. The overall healing potential also is improved. As and when the symptoms improve the patient gets into a slow and steady activity routine that may include flexibility focused therapeutic Yoga, grounding and strengthening activities like Tai Chi or Qigong and joint strengthening herbal supplements.
By going through a holistic healing procedure not only the symptoms improve but the overall control of the situation and quality of living is exceptionally improved. With improved pain control and mobility, since importance is given to activity and strengthening the effect gradually improves and is sustained longer, improving the condition and greatly improving the quality of life.
If you would like to book an appointment with our Ayurvedic Doctor, please call reception on 01444 474447. Alternatively please come into our centre in Haywards Heath to talk to one of our Health Specialists about your options.