Disease Info

Arthritis

Arthritis can be described as the inflammation of joints.This is a very common disorder, especially found in people of 50 and older.However it can reach people at any age and is a combinatory disorder, which is described by 100 different types of conditions.As the joints naturally degenerate over time.A group of diseases affecting joints and muscles is collectively known as arthritis. One can describe common arthritis symptoms such as swollen,warn and painful joints,imflammation and limited movement of joints. Each joint is surrounded by the protective capsule, which has a lubricating fluid ,a cartilage.The main function is a cartilage is to ensure smmoth motion of joints, when it is damaged or even lost the inflammation in the joint will cause the pain and problematic movement.The modern medicine has all the means to fight arthritis and help ease the pain in patients.The complex approach to treat arthritis includes a combination of nutrition,medication,exercise,weight management and I more severe cases a surgery.

Types of Arthritis

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, with most of them including the joint inflammation.Arthritis thus can pose some problems in diagnostics.The known types of arthritis include gout,fibromyalgia,osteoarthritis,psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc.Doctors distinguish viral arthritis and septic arthritis, where for the first there is no known prevention method and the latter one being common in patients with artificial joints.

Causes of Arthritis

The cause of arthritis will depend on its type and vary from metabolic disorders (like in gout)to over reactive immune system (like in rheumatoid form), or can be caused by infections (gonococcal arthritis or viral arthritis),or even hereditary factors (like in osteoarthritis).

What Aurveda says about arthritis causes?

It is generally believed that imbalanced Vata dosha is the common cause for any most cases of arthritis.That explains why it is more frequent in elderly population, who tend to have aggrevated Vata.However, it is also caused by degeneration of joints, which is case with obese people. Other factors which contribute to increased Vata or damage to joints include:

  • Too much exercising.
  • Cold climates/temperatures.
  • Eating too much or only dry food.

Symptoms

Pain and limited motion in joints are the most mentioned symptoms of all kinds of arthritis.Patients suffering from arthritis can note stiffness, swelling, redness and feel warm in the affected area. The deformation of joints and surrounding tissues as well as bones, their tenderness can also be present. However, many forms of arthritis associated with rheumatic cause will experience the problems in other organs, not directly connected with joints: fever, weight loss, and loss of appetite, muscle pain, tiredness, gland swelling, and some disorders in inner organs such as lungs, kidneys and heart. Numbness in wrists, cracking finger joints, swollen toes, and problems with eyes and fingernails (for example a severe pain and redness in eyes) can also indicate the arthritis.For rheumatoid arthritis the most significant symptom is the morning stiffness, also joints can be affected in symmetrical pattern, where the joints on both sides of one’s body are affected. In general, the symptoms or better say their combination will be dependent on a particular type of arthritis a patient experience.

General treatment of arthritis

As the pain can be very severe in arthritis affected joints, different kinds of pain killers like Panadol (paracetamol), other analgesics (such as some weak opioic drugs) and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, Celebrex, Motrin, Indocin, Toradol, Aleve, and Naprosyn) being prescribed to ease the symptoms. They are found to be very effective in fighting the pain, however, might have side effects. Moreover, there are 3 types of pain associated with arthtiris (nonciceptive, neuroplastic and neuropathic).

Depending on the type of pain and the area affected by pain (in some cases neurons will trigger pain signals even in healthy surrounding tissues) the medicine will use different type of drugs or even therapeutic treatments (such as acupuncture).

It has been also found out that somatic, environmental and psychological factors influence the severity and area coverage of arthritis pain. The open question remains however, as to how identify what type of pain is present in a patient, for which there has been only mixed success in medical trials. General treatment of arthritis is aimed at decreasing or eliminating for temporary the pain, conserving the current stage of the disease, keeping the flexibility of joints possibly on the same level and preventing any further damage to joints.

How Ayurveda treats arthtiris

Since Arthritis is a Vata disorder, the treatment will be to decrease Vata in one’s body.Depending on the type of arthritis Ayurveda applies different approach, comprising of the combination of internal and external therapies. This will put the limitation to the furtherdevelopment of arthritis. Ayurvedic treatments can control the cause of the very disease, however it takes a long time to get back to normal life for those already suffering from arthritis, and this will depend on the particular symptomatic and arthritis development history of each patient treated. A combination of therapies include oil pouring, herbal massage (like Dhanyamla dhara, Valuka Sweda, Vaitrana basti and Mridhu virechana), taking in Ayurvedic drugs (Lasunadi Vati, Rasnadi or Rasnasaptakam Kashyam, Yoggaraja Guggulu and Simhanadi Guggulu). For sustaining the results of Ayurvedic treatment of arthritis a patient should follow the regular exercise routine. Patients will especially benefit from stretching exercises (yoga etc.), cycling and walking (aerobic activities), swimming and exercising in water, isotonic and isometric strengthening exercises.The main mistake of many arthritis patients is the avoidance of any kind of movements and especially aerobic activity. However, scientific research has confirmed the numerous advantages of even intensive aerobic activity to fight arthritis, as it helps to increase flexibility of joints, strengthen muscles, control weight, decrease pain in joints and surrounding areas, support immune system and increase stamina. We should note that before starting exercise program one should consult his/her doctor.

Lifestyle habits should be reconsidered for one with arthritis condition, which is essentially. Following the Vata decreasing diet, where alcohol, starchy food, too many carbohydrates, red meat, or any processed of fast food, containing too much salt, sodium and artificial additives, as well as alcohol should be avoided.The diet alone will not render any sufficient results with arthritis patients. Only the combination of lifestyle habits, diet, medicine, regimen, exercising and external treatment, as well as a positive attitude will prove beneficial.