The term ‘Arthritis’ is a loose term. Any joint pain with swelling, redness of overlying skin, restriction of movement comes under arthritis. The term has become so common that there is nobody who does not mention it.
Arthritis is actually many symptoms which causes more than 80 diseases. These include, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteo arthritis, gout etc.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
It is the second most common rheumatic disease. An incredibly painful disease which affects mainly the joints. It can shorten the life span from around 6-10 years and can have a major impact on a person’s life as well as on the rest of the family. 42% of RA patients registered disabled within 3 years and many people have to give up work within one year of diagnosis.
Coming to its definition – RA is a chronic systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown cause involving the joints.
The diagnosis of RA is based in 7 criteria. Of this a patient having RA will be having five of seven criteria.
The criteria are,
Treatment & Management
Ayurveda does not consider RA simply as one particular roga (disease). Instead based on the different manifestations of the clinical signs it can be called as vatashonitha, Amavata or sandigata vata, avarana vata etc.
According to modern medicine there is no such cure for RA but progression of disease can be slowed.
Treatment in Ayurveda mainly focuses on the following criteria.
I Nidana thyaga (Avoid the causative factor)
II Aushadha (Medicines)
Use of, 1) Kashaya – Kokilasksha kashayam
2) Arishtas – Aswagandharishtam, Dasamoolarishtam
3) Gulika (Tablets) – Kaishora guggulu, Abha guggulu, Simhanada guggulu
4) Lepas (Application of powders) – Nagaradi churna Jatamayadi churna, Grihadhoomadi churna
IV Rasayanas (Rejuvenation Therapy)
Using Vardamana pipaly rasayanam, Sukumara rasayanam, narasimha rasayana, chyavana prasham etc.
V Physiotherapy and rest – to improve joint movements & strengthen muscles.
VI Occupational therapy
Includes training, advice, counseling which help people do daily activities more with less pain.
VII Meditation – Relaxation – Yoga
To relieve from stress and mental impact affecting the patient and his family. Yogasanas like Vajrasana, Shirshasana etc. and other asanas according to condition.