In this article, I’m going to discuss the ayurvedic treatments for knee pain due to Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. Symptoms of Osteoarthritis range from minor discomfort to debilitation. Osteoarthritis can occur in any of the body’s joints. But most often it occurs in the weight-bearing joints i.e the knees. Thus resulting in severe knee pain. In addition to this, it also results in stiffness in the knee joints. Besides the knees, Osteoarthritis also develops in the hands, hips, and spine. The most affected areas after the knees are the neck or lower back.
If you or your family or friends are suffering from knee pain and Osteoarthritis. Then you’re at the right place since this article is meant for you. All that you need is healthy food and ayurvedic treatments for knee pain. Moreover, these ayurvedic treatments for knee pain don’t have any side effects. Hence, these ayurvedic remedies are the best for all those who can’t take any medications and allopathy tablets.
What causes Osteoarthritis?
First and foremost, Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition of the joints. When the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones gradually loses its elasticity, it wears away. The bones begin to rub against each other in the absence of this protective cartilage. This, therefore, results in Osteoarthritis. Further, it causes stiffness, inflammation, and loss of movement.
There are several factors in the development of Osteoarthritis. One of the factors includes inflammation and biomechanical imbalances. These, in turn, exert stress on the joints. Another factor is cellular disorders that lead to the abnormal breakdown of cartilages. There are many treatment therapies for Osteoarthritis with conventional medicine. However, these treatment therapies have no effect on the natural course of the disease. Since they focus only on pain reduction and control of inflammation.
Hence, in order to treat Osteoarthritis. It is important to use the approach that addresses as many factors as possible. So the best treatment would be ayurvedic treatments for knee pain and Osteoarthritis.
Effects of Osteoarthritis on the Body
People suffering from advanced Osteoarthritis are affected both physically and emotionally. Firstly, since the pain and decreased mobility can limit the ability to work. Secondly, it also limits people from participating in daily activities. Additionally, it also limits people from enjoying their life with their spouse, family and friends.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Knee Pain and Osteoarthritis
Due to the moderate effectiveness and potential side effects of conventional treatments. Both patients, as well as health care professionals, are on the lookout for alternative therapies for knee pain. And the main therapy is the ancient healing system that’s known as Ayurveda. In this article, we shall discuss 3 main modalities. Ayurveda uses these 3 modalities to treat Osteoarthritis and other knee pain disorders. The 3 main modalities are herbal treatments, meditation and yoga.
Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments
Ayurveda offers many herbal remedies for the treatment of Osteoarthritis. The plants which are used in herbal treatments have anti-inflammatory properties. And the best part is that they don’t have any side effects of commonly prescribed medications. Herbal ayurvedic therapy is very effective in treating knee osteoarthritis. It gives the same results as the commonly prescribed medication (Celebrex) and glucosamine. But since it’s an ayurvedic herbal treatment, it has fewer or absolutely no side effects.
Thus, ayurvedic herbal treatments have an added benefit over Celebrex and glucosamine. The American College of Rheumatology states that Ayurveda offers safe and effective treatment alternatives for Osteoarthritis. The following herbs decrease inflammation by interfering with the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body. The herbs are Boswellia, turmeric, and ashwagandha. Also ginger, Triphala, Guggulu and Shatavari. I have penned down all these in detail.
The ayurvedic herb Boswellia Serrata is also known as Indian frankincense. It alleviates joint pain and inflammation. An enzyme known as “5 lipoxygenase” is responsible for the formation of leukotrienes. Leukotriene is a chemical which stimulates and perpetuates inflammation. Boswellia blocks the enzyme 5 lipoxygenase. Hence, it’s very essential.
People suffering from Osteoarthritis should consume Boswellia along with ashwagandha, turmeric, and zinc. This will relieve joint pain and increase mobility and strength.
In traditional ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is used to treat a wide variety of ailments. That too they use it orally as well as topically. Most of these ailments are related to inflammation. As a matter of fact, turmeric is a spice commonly used in South and East Asian cooking. Curcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric. It inhibits key inflammation producing enzymes such as lipooxygenase, cyclooxygenase, and phospholipase A2. It, therefore, disrupts the inflammatory cascade at 3 different stages. Additionally, turmeric protects the stomach against non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
In addition to Boswellia and turmeric, ashwagandha is another ayurvedic herb with anti-inflammatory effects. The scientific name for ashwagandha is Withania somnifera. Further, the extract of ashwagandha suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. These pro-inflammatory molecules are TNF alpha and 2 interleukin subtypes.
The enzyme cyclooxygenase produces inflammatory chemicals in the body. Hence, ginger works as an anti-inflammatory by interfering with this enzyme. Ginger has a moderate beneficial effect on the osteoarthritis of the knee.
Triphala is a formulary that consists of 3 herbs i.e Amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki. These herbs in Triphala have anti-inflammatory effects. The ayurvedic herb Triphala is in use in India for thousands of years for the treatment of Osteoarthritis.
The herb Guggulu (Commiphora guggul) is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme NFKB. It regulates the body’s inflammatory response. Further, extracts of Guggulu resins decreases inflammation and joint swelling.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is an Ayurvedic herb that has a soothing, cooling and lubricating effect on the body. It has an inhibitory effect on chemicals that create inflammation in the body such as TNF-alpha and IL-1B.
You can’t achieve good health by only balancing your body. Achieving good health requires balancing your mind and spirit too. Meditation is the best source to balance the body, mind and spirit. Acknowledging the emotional and spiritual aspects of health and healing is an important principle of Ayurveda. Additionally, practising meditation also creates many physiological changes. One of the most important physiological change is that it reduces inflammation in the body.
Meditation is a mind-body practice that’s part of treatment for chronic pain. This chronic pain can be due to various conditions. Emotional reactions such as fear, anxiety and depression intensify feelings of pain. Meditation is a powerful tool that trains our minds to regulate our emotions. Additionally, it reduces anticipation of pain and increases relaxation. It, therefore, decreases our perception of pain.
Meditation Releases the Stress of Chronic Pain
Besides the regulation of emotional pain. Meditation helps in dealing with the stress associated with a chronic pain condition. When we are stressed, our heart beats faster, our blood pressure rises, and our breath becomes shallow. Not to forget that our adrenalin and cortisol production increase. Further, it leads to low production levels of sex hormones, our blood sugar level rises, and our immune system weakens.
Hence, when we practise meditation regularly, physical and emotional health benefits include the following.
- Decreased blood pressure and hypertension.
- Slower heart rate.
- Lower cholesterol levels.
- Reduced production of stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.
- More efficient oxygen use by the body.
- Increased production of the anti-ageing hormone DHEA.
- Improved immune function and more restful sleep.
Yoga for Osteoarthritis
By integrating the body, mind, and spirit with the practice of yoga. We experience physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. When we practise yoga regularly, we obtain maximum benefits. Moreover, they also support the joints and improve the flexibility of the muscles too.
Relieving Stress on the Joints
Biomechanical imbalances create stress on the joints. Yoga focusses on balance and alignment which in turn helps improve these biomechanical imbalances. The cartilage gets damaged because the body develops unbalanced positions while moving, walking or sitting. Poor posture and lack of body awareness can contribute to the wear and tear of the cartilage. Besides this, misalignment of bones and dysfunctional movement patterns also contribute to the same. Thus, yoga helps in retraining our body to move in ways that decrease stress on our joints.
Yoga Enhances Emotional Wellbeing
Besides the physical healing that yoga provides, it enhances mental well being and emotional balance too. Thus, providing essential benefits. Yoga increases energy, reduces body aches and pains, and increases mental energy and positive feelings. Thereby, making you feel healthy and better. All these are important factors for people dealing with chronic pain conditions such as Osteoarthritis.
Art of Ayurveda: Promotes Natural Healing
As we have seen, Ayurveda offers many therapies for the treatment of Osteoarthritis. But, the best ones among all these therapies are yoga, meditation and the appropriate use of herbal therapies. These ayurvedic treatments for knee pain (Osteoarthritis) are sure to help you. The best advantage is that they offer their benefits without any risks associated with conventional medical treatments.
Herbal therapies, meditation and yoga treat the underlying improper balances. Additionally, they also integrate the body, mind and spirit. Thus by following and practising all these, we can develop a better connection. Also, another most important thing to note is that you need to stay positive throughout. Being positive in life especially during ayurvedic treatments helps you to recover faster. Also, patience is the key. You may consider reading the best knee massager for Arthritis in India. Purchasing one of these will help you save your money and time. Since you won’t need to visit the masseur or therapist.