Joint pain is a common problem experienced by a majority of people in the world. It can cause pain and swelling in the joints and lead to difficulty in moving the organs associated with that joint. Therefore, it is crucial to treat joint pain on time. Ayurveda offers many therapies and remedies to treat and manage joint pain, some of which are discussed in this article.
What Is Joint Pain?
Joint pain is the pain you experience during movements. It can occur in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, feet, hips or knees and cause several health conditions, such as frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.
Although joint pain is caused due to many reasons, the leading causes are inflammation and degeneration. Damage caused due to injuries can also lead to joint pain.
Basics of Ayurveda for Joint Pain
According to Ayurveda, joint pain is caused due to an imbalance of Vata Dosha in the body. Imbalanced Vata can cause circulation problems and affect the nourishment of the tissues of the joints, leading to their wear and tear. Joint pain can also be caused by an imbalance in Shleshaka Kapha, which is responsible for the lubrication of joints.
When your Doshas are imbalanced, Agni or the digestive fire also gets affected and causes accumulation of toxins or Ama, further aggravating the pain in your joints. Therefore, most Ayurvedic therapies and treatments for joint pain revolve around strengthening your Agni and digestion.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Joint Pain
Ayurvedic treatment for joint pain generally includes lifestyle and dietary regulations, herbal medicines and Ayurvedic therapies to boost blood circulation, improve Agni, remove Ama and balance the Doshas in your body. However, the mode of treatment is different for inflammatory and degenerative conditions of joint pain. Hence, you must consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for the treatment.
Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations for Joint Pain
- Dietary Regulations:
Providing adequate nutrition to the tissues is of critical importance in joint pain. Therefore, you must eat a Dosha-specific diet to keep your joints healthy. To increase lubrication and improve Agni, you should also eat an appropriate amount of high-quality fats such as ghee, nuts, etc.
- Lifestyle Regulations:
Practice Yoga and Pranayama every day to boost circulation in and around the joints and nourish the tissues with Prana. Some of the best Yoga Asanas for joint pain are Veerbhadrasana (Warrior Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Marjariasana (Cat-Cow Pose).
Herbal Medicines for Joint Pain:
Ayurveda recommends using the following herbs to treat joint pain. You can use these herbs in the form of tablets, powder, oil, etc.
- Triphala: Triphala consists of three herbs, viz Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. It is one of the best herbs to balance all the three Doshas, detoxify the digestive tract and nourish the tissues in your body.
- Guggul: The extracts of this herb help remove toxins from the body and promote the growth of healthy tissues.
- Ashwagandha: Rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, Ashwagandha helps strengthen the joints and relieve joint pain.
- Shatavari: Rich in anti-inflammatory and lubricating properties, Shatavari is known to be a highly effective herb in Ayurveda for joint pain.
- Naag Kesar: Naag Kesar is considered one of the best herbs to balance Vata Dosha in the body. It is usually applied in the form of oil to reduce bone and joint pain.
- Eucalyptus: Used in the form of oil, eucalyptus is one of the best herbs to reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain.
- Dashmool: A combination of 10 herbs, Dashamool is highly effective in pacifying Vata and reducing inflammation. It is rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and analgesic properties, all of which help relieve joint pain.
- Shallaki: Usually available in the form of oil, Shallaki helps to strengthen the joints, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and increase mobility in the joints.
- Nirgundi: Nirgundi is one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs for joint pain. It has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and anti-convulsing properties that help reduce inflammation and relieve chronic pain. You can apply Nirgundi extracts directly on the joints or grind them in a paste before using them.
Ayurvedic Therapies for Joint Pain
There are many Ayurvedic therapies that can help relieve joint pain and improve the health of your joints.
For inflammatory joint conditions, Ayurveda recommends Panchakarma treatment. It involves five therapies that help detoxify your body and mind. Some other Ayurvedic therapies for inflammatory joint pain are Dhanyamla Dhara, Abhyanga, Podikkizhi and Basti.
In the case of degenerative joint conditions, Ayurveda usually recommends Tailadhara, Nhavarakkizhi and Ksheera Basti to treat joint pain.
Home Remedies for Joint Pain
- Use turmeric or Haldi in your diet. Curcumin, present in turmeric, has potent anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve joint pain.
- You can also use carom seeds or Ajwain water to relieve joint pain, especially during winters. It is highly rich in anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties.
- Ginger is one of the best herbs to treat joint pain. You can drink ginger tea every day to reduce inflammation and relieve chronic joint pain.
- Ayurveda also recommends doing massage to relieve joint pain. You can use warm mustard oil for the same.
- Practice joint rotations every day to increase circulation and lubrication in your joints.
Joint pain can affect your normal routine and make your day to day activities challenging. Therefore, it is crucial to address joint pain and take necessary measures to treat it.
Ayurveda offers you a holistic treatment for joint pain that aims at curing the underlying causes. With the help of Ayurvedic herbs such as Triphala, Guggulu, Nirgundi, Shallaki, etc., you can easily relieve chronic joint pain. You can also use Ayurvedic therapies and home remedies to manage pain and swelling in your joints.