Joint pain is a chronic and progressive process wherein new tissue is successfully produced in response to deteriorating cartilage and joint health.
The most widely occurring articular disease in adults aged 65 years and older, osteoarthritis is more common in women in comparison with men. It accounts for significant disability because of its effects on the large weight-bearing joints as well as the spine.
The knee is one joint that is most commonly affected. Osteoarthritis is generally a slowly progressive degenerative disease wherein the joint cartilage wears away gradually, making it a major joint health concern.
Castor oil benefits are known for combating arthritis and other joint health problems. Its primary component (ricinoleic acid) has potent anti-inflammatory properties, making castor oil the most ideal massage oil to obtain relief from joint pain, sore muscles, and nerve inflammation.
Massaging the joint with castor oil as well as placing a hot-water bag helps in relieving joint pain and improving joint health. When it comes to arthritis, this process (when repeated twice in a week) will yield optimum results.
Moreover, castor oil benefits also include boosting the immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells and thus combating infections.
Application of heat, too, is used primarily in sub-acute as well as chronic conditions (post 48 hours) to reduce pain and spasms, decrease inflammation, promote healing, heal bruising, and increase mobility of the joints.
Heat can be successfully applied in numerous ways: hot water bottles, electric pads, hot gel packs, or through a warm bath.
A comparative study was conducted to assess the efficacy of hot application and castor oil application in those with joint pain and poor joint health. This study was conducted in selected old-age homes. A sample comprising 50 elderly individuals was selected through the use of a non-probability purposive sampling technique, following which the samples were randomly assigned to the experimental group (Hot Application) and another experimental group (Castor Oil Application).
A pretest pain score was taken prior to using a hot application and castor oil application on day 1 of interactions on both distinct groups. After the pre-test, subjects randomly applied hot application and castor oil application once a day for a period of 7 days.
The post-test pain score was measured on the 7th day of the interaction, using the Wong-Baker FACES rating scale. Wilcoxon test was utilised to assess the comparison between hot application and castor oil application groups on the pain levels in the subjects with joint pain.
The results showed that there is a significant difference between pain score (1st day of interaction) and pain score (7th day of interaction). The mean score (W=4.506) suggests that hot application is effective in reducing levels of pain.
In the other experimental group (Castor Oil Application) a significant difference between pain score (1st day of interaction) and pain score (7th day of interaction) was observed with the mean score (W=4.443). This successfully indicates that castor oil application is effective in reducing pain levels.
The –UI test value of both groups (u=190) indicates that there is a considerable difference between pre-test and post-test pain scores when it comes to both experimental groups. Hence, the results show that castor oil application is far more effective than hot application when it comes to reducing pain levels among the subjects involved in the study.
Castor is successfully derived from castor seeds (whose scientific name is Ricinus communis), which has their origins in India. Castor oil demonstrates phenomenal benefits when it comes to combatting knee pain, arthritis, and joint pain. Moreover, it possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties, which help in reducing pain and inflammation. Individuals who are aged 50 and above are generally prone to joint pain with decreased mobility and increased stiffness. Castor oil specifically helps in tackling stiffness and improving mobility in joints. Thus improving overall joint health.