Arthritis is a chronic condition categorized by pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. It affects the mobility of the joints and causes difficulty in carrying out day to day activities by the individual. Arthritis could be genetic or acquired over the years. Heightened stress, anxiety and mental fatigue worsen the arthritis condition.
Healthy flexible joints rely on strong digestion and metabolism. An unhealthy lifestyle, poor eating habits, weak digestion, and stress leads to the accumulation of impurities in the joints which inhibit joint function and brings discomfort and pain. This means, deep cleansing of the joints and tissues or preventing the buildup of impurities and eliminating all toxins out of the body can possibly prevent Arthritis and manage the existing symptoms effectively.
The term cure means that the disease or disorder goes away completely and the patient is left with no symptoms and no need for any further treatment. There are many kinds of arthritis and there is no cure for most types. Only a few types of arthritis can be cured, the ones that are associated with infections. It is certainly possible to manage the symptoms and prevent flare-ups in most cases. The problem can be fully controlled to an extent that the person can lead a normal life.
There are various types of Arthritis and every type has its own line of treatment.
Arthritis due to a virus-like Parvovirus: It is a self-limited condition and runs its course without any treatment.
Gout: Gout is a type of arthritis that happened due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint especially in the big toe. It can be relieved by lowering the uric acid in the body so that the gout crystals do not precipitate in the joints and cause inflammation. It looks like it gets completely cured but the symptoms might return if diet changes.
Psoriatic Arthritis: Psoriatic arthritis is associated with inflammation of the skin and joints leading to red, raised, patchy and white areas of inflamed skin with scales. Biological therapies, up to 90% of psoriasis patients achieve significant improvement in their skin and up to half of the patients can achieve complete clearance of their skin. Technologies like CRISPR gene editing and Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell therapy works well in curing the problem.
An anti-Inflammatory diet is the best way to relieve pain and swelling caused by inflammation in the case of Rheumatoid arthritis and Psoriatic arthritis. It is always advisable to opt for fresh home-made foods, avoiding excessive dry and cold foods. The meals should be cooked with Turmeric as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Boswellia, Willow Bark, Cherry are all anti-inflammatory herbs that can be consumed by arthritis patients.
Osteoarthritis: Knee replacement and surgeries is an option for Osteoarthritis patients. Joint replacement is possible only for Osteoarthritis knees, so one can get complete relief in this case. Flat, flexible shoes and sneakers reduces the force exerted on knee joints, so the patient with osteoarthritis must choose flat closed shoes with arch support.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition: Some of the Ayurveda therapies or procedures that proved to be beneficial for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients includes Pacification therapy (Samana Chikitsa), Poorvakaramas, and Sodhana Chikitsa (Elimination Therapy). All these procedures are known to remove the toxins accumulated in the joints and also helps in preventing arthritis flare-ups. These procedures are very beneficial for Rheumatoid arthritis patients as it is an autoimmune disorder that can attack any part of the body.
Mind-body therapies like yoga, tai chi, meditation, aromatherapy, visualization, and biofeedback help to reduce stress and lessen the pain. These therapies help in achieving flexibility and muscle strength naturally. The sleep disturbances created by arthritis symptoms increases fatigue, which leads to stress and stress again aggravates arthritis condition. So, it is very important to take some time out and practice mind–body exercises and even breathing exercises like pranayama.
Light exercise (stretching) and treatment therapies like acupressure, acupuncture, physiotherapy, massage also prove beneficial in managing the symptoms of arthritis. Magnet therapies also come in various forms like bracelets, necklaces, inserts, pads or disks and are very beneficial for patients with knees and hip osteoarthritis. Water exercises also help in relieving stress on the joints and can provide benefit for people with hip, knee and low back problems.
Techniques like Nerve block (by injecting a local anesthetic plus steroid) into the nerve, Trigger Point Injection, Hyaluronic acid injection, Hot and cold compress are some of the ways to relieve arthritis pain and swelling.
Gels, creams, and patches may be applied over the affected areas to get some relief.
Balancing the doshas is an important step in relieving arthritis pain. The aggravation or imbalance of Vata dosha in the body leads to pain and sensitivity. The treatment approach focuses on balancing the nervous system function and its sensitivity to the joints, improving the lubrication of joints, strengthening the digestion to create a pure nutritional plasma.
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be completely cured but the disease gradually becomes less aggressive and symptoms may improve over time. However, any damage to the joints and ligaments or any deformities that occurs due to Rheumatoid arthritis stays permanent. The early treatment and use of Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic drugs which can interfere with the immune processes that lead to inflammation have proved effective in relieving pain and less damage to the joints.
Being overweight can make one more likely to get Osteoarthritis (in women especially) over 45 years of age. Weight must be monitored and kept in normal limits. Remaining physically active is the only way to stay mobile and be in good health. Movement prevents stiffness in the joints and strengthens the muscles around the joints.
If arthritis is diagnosed early and appropriate steps are taken on time, then one can get relief from an inflammatory type of arthritis. Early diagnosis can help to prevent the joint damage to a great extent. Depending on the patient’s age, stage of illness and medical conditions, it is possible to get 80% relief from the problem using Ayurvedic treatment.