The Trusted Solution to Manage Common Orthopedic Conditions
Orthopedic conditions are exponentially on the rise among Indians. Over the last 25 years of my experience in treating innumerable patients in Chennai using traditional Ayurveda treatment practices that I’ve learnt from Kerala, I have noticed a startling increase in the percentage of patients coming to me with orthopedic problems. Change in lifestyle, means of living, and food intake are definitely the primary reasons for this surge in orthopedic conditions.
So, let’s take a look at the reasons behind the origin of most of these conditions from the trustworthy perspective of Ayurveda.
The core of a healthy mind and body in Ayurveda is about maintaining a perfect balance between Vatha, Pitta, and Kapha. Any disharmony or vitiation of the three doshas leads to many orthopedic conditions.
Vatha vitiation, for example, catalyses osteoporosis or weak bones, Pitta vitiation exposes the bones to inflammations and infections, and Kapha vitiation leads to dense bones and supportive tissues. Hence different combinations of the three doshas lead to multiple orthopedic conditions – from rheumatoid arthritis to tendency for fracture.
Let’s quickly review some common orthopedic conditions and determine how Ayurveda treatment provides complete relief and resolution for each condition.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by severe joint pain caused when the cartilage protecting the bones of the joints wears away. A common condition that starts from middle age, osteoarthritis also causes inflammation of the joints, swelling, stiffness, and locking of joints. It commonly affects the knee, hands, hips, and the spine. Osteoarthritis can be cured through a combination of lifestyle changes, fomentation, herbal medication, oleation, and dietary control can help control the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis (Vatarakta)
Rheumatoid arthritis also affects the joints; however, it is caused by an autoimmune disorder. This condition can affect any joint in the body and the eyes, heart, and lungs, and the entire body through the blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressively limiting disorder affecting an individual’s ability to carry out regular activities. Ayurvedic treatment focuses on correcting the metabolic balance of the body to manage the condition through biological purification or Shodhana, fasting, stringent diet plans, digestive medicines, and shamanachikitsa (pacifying treatments). A disciplined lifestyle also supports in bringing back the body to health.
Osteoporosis is a predominantly vataroga, where the bones are so brittle that they can fracture or deform easily. Ayurveda focuses more on prevention of this condition by balancing the cold characteristics of vata with the warm profile of kapha. Dietary control, herbal medications,yoga, and lifestyle discipline are critical in preventing osteoporosis through Ayurveda treatment.
Tennis elbow is a vataroga – a form of inflammation of the tendons near the elbow, caused by excess stretching or movements of the arm muscles around the elbow region. The condition is common in people with excessive physical activities, but also in today’s age of excessive arms-related work (e.g., typing and writing) and in case of excessive physical labor requiring movement of the arms.
Ayurvedic treatment focuses on pain relief since resting the arm usually corrects the condition. Rejuvenation, oleation, and swedana therapies help provide immense relief. Kizhis and medicated oil baths are also helpful in addition to some pain-relieving herbal medication. Dietary control and lifestyle corrections help prevent recurrence.
The list of orthopedic conditions that require attention is much longer but these examples prove the holistic approach of Ayurveda in correcting, eliminating, and overcoming these conditions. Ayurveda’s treatment approach symbiotically combines medication, food (aahar), lifestyle changes (vihar), exercise, and physical therapy of varying complexities to bring back a body’s balance.
This approach is closer to the body’s natural properties and provides a harmless, side effect–free solution to most orthopedic conditions.
In the coming blog posts, I will be reviewing each orthopedic condition in detail and providing a healthy Ayurveda treatment and solution to each condition. Watch this space for a holistic approach to living.