Knee Pain Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala
As people get older, many of them struggle with painful knees. It’s a tough challenge. Often, the knees are the first joints to weaken, leading to various painful problems. In Ayurveda, which is an ancient system of medicine, knee joint pain is considered a Vata disorder, and it’s influenced by Kapha elements. What’s interesting is that Ayurveda also thinks that digestive issues can create toxins called ama, and these toxins might be linked to knee pain.
Anatomy of Kneejoint
A joint is where two bones meet, regardless of whether they allow movement or not. Now, let’s focus on the knee joint. It’s the largest and most complex joint in the body. This complexity arises because the knee joint is like a fusion of three separate joints:
- Lateral femorotibial joint,
- Medial femorotibial joint
- Femoropatellar joint.
In terms of its type, the knee joint falls into the category of a “condylar synovial joint.” This means it’s composed of two condylar joints, one between the condyles of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone), and the other is a saddle joint between the femur and the patella (knee cap).
Cartilage in the knee serves as protective tissue in joints. There are two types:
- Hyaline cartilage (articular cartilage): Smooth and slippery, it covers joint surfaces for smooth bone movement.
- Fibrocartilage: Tough cartilage made of thick fibers found in the meniscus, which cushions the space between the femur and tibia in the knee.
Knee ligaments are tissue bands connecting the thigh and lower leg bones. There are two types:
- Collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL): These prevent excessive side-to-side movement in the knee.
- Cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL): They create an X-shape inside the knee and control front-to-back knee movement
Acharya Charaka, an ancient Ayurvedic expert, described two different types of bones in the knee area. He called one “Janu Kapalika Asthi,” which refers to the flat bone in the knee known as the kneecap or patella. The other one, “Janu Asthi,” corresponds to the tibial tuberosity, a part of the shinbone.
In terms of ligaments and tendons (Snayu), there’s a type called “pratanavati” or branched Snayu found in the joints, including the knee.
Sushruta Acharya, another ancient scholar, identified five muscles in the knee region. Modern science also recognizes these same five muscles: Gastrocnemius, Sartorius, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, and Plantaris muscles.
When it comes to “Sleshma Dhara Kala,” think of it as being similar to the synovial membrane in joints. This membrane is situated in joints, produces synovial fluid, and helps support the joint.
In Ayurveda, “Sleshma,” specifically “Sleshaka Kapha,” can be linked to synovial fluid, which is like a lubricating and cushioning fluid in our joints
Theory and Ayurvedic View on Knee Pain Treatment
Knee joint pain Mainly affected in two ways
- Dhatukshaya janya Sandhi (Joint) Issues: When we talk about problems in the joints, there’s a specific kind related to a substance called “sleshaka kapha.” This issue usually happens because of factors like aging and certain habits. These factors lead to an increase in Vata dosha in the body. This Vata dosha, when it’s imbalanced, can cause dryness, lightness, and roughness, which in turn leads to a reduction in sleshaka kapha, ultimately causing problems in the joints.
- Avarana janya Sandhi (Joint) Issues: Now, when it comes to joint issues, especially in joints that bear weight like the knees, it can happen because of too much fat production in the body. This excess fat can block the nourishment to the upper body tissues, leading to their depletion. Additionally, this surplus fat can also block the normal movement of Vata in the body, and when this disturbed Vata gets stuck in the joints, it can cause joint problems,
Osteoarthritis often hits the knee joint the hardest, especially the front and inner parts. In women, it often affects both knees in a similar way, while in men, injuries can lead to just one knee being affected. The pain in osteoarthritis of the knee is usually felt in the front or inner areas of the knee and the upper part of the shin. Going up and down stairs or slopes can make it hurt more. If you have pain at the back of the knee, it could mean there’s another issue called a popliteal cyst. Osteoarthritis is a condition where the knee’s cartilage gets damaged, there’s inflammation in the joint, extra bone growth, and the space inside the joint gets narrower. All of this leads to pain
Knee pain Ayurvedic Treatment: Causes
Knee pain can arise from diverse etiologies. Obesity is a significant predisposing factor for knee pathologies. Excessive knee utilization can incite painful knee conditions. Additionally, a preexisting history of arthritis can be a contributory factor to knee discomfort.
Here are various medical conditions and injuries related to the knee,
Knee pain can happen because of certain health problems:
- Arthritis: This includes conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (an immune system issue), osteoarthritis (wear and tear of joints), lupus (an autoimmune disorder), and gout (a type of arthritis caused by crystal buildup).
- Baker Cyst: It’s a fluid-filled lump behind the knee that can happen when the knee is swollen, often due to conditions like arthritis.
- Bone Cancers: These are either cancers that start in the bones or spread to them.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease: It’s a condition that mainly affects growing teens, causing pain below the knee due to overuse.
- Bone Infections: Infections can happen in the bones around the knee or within the knee joint itself.
Because of injuries and excessive use:
- Bursitis: This occurs when a small sac (bursa) near the knee gets inflamed, often due to repetitive knee pressure or injury.
- Tendinitis: It’s inflammation of a tendon, often linked to overuse or sudden changes in physical activity.
- Kneecap Dislocation: The kneecap can pop out of place, causing pain and instability.
- Kneecap or Bone Fracture: Breaking the kneecap or other bones in the knee can be painful and may require treatment.
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome: It’s an injury to a thick band of tissue running from the hip to the outer side of the knee.
- Patellofemoral Syndrome: This leads to pain around the front of the knee, typically around the kneecap.
- Ligament Tears: Injuries to ligaments, like the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL), can cause knee bleeding, swelling, or instability.
- Cartilage Tears (Meniscus Tear): Pain can occur on the inside or outside of the knee due to tears in the cartilage within the joint.
- Strain or Sprain: These are minor injuries to the ligaments, often caused by sudden or awkward movements.
Knee Pain Ayurvedic Treatment
In Ayurveda, treating knee pain typically involves two stages. The first is called Shodana treatment, which is like a purification process. It helps cleanse your body internally. The second stage is called Shaman treatment, which involves using internal medicines to keep your metabolism in good shape.
Now, how bad your knee pain is and how your body is doing overall are crucial factors in deciding the treatment. Your lifestyle and the condition of your body play a big role in determining how serious your knee pain is and what kind of treatment you need.
Ayurvedic treatments serve three distinct objectives:
- Reduce inflammation and pain
- Strengthening of muscle around the affected area
- Pacify the vitiated vata(primary cause of pain as per ayurveda)
Shodhana (purification therapy)
Virechana: Virechana means therapeutic purgation. Virechana is given after snehana and swedana. Virechana expel the morbid dosha’s especially pitta and vata, thus preventing or curing the osteoarthritis
Basti: In osteoarthritis management, Basti treatments are crucial. They include Ksheera Basti, using milk, and Anuvasana Basti, involving oil and other medications. These nutrients are absorbed through the gut wall and nourish the degenerated joints
Shamana Chikitsa(Conservative management)
Shamana chikitsa palliative approach that normalizes the doshas(Vata, pitta, Kapha) in the body at their place of vitaition rather than expelling them from the body.
Nidana parivarjanam ( avoid causative factors )
Deepana and Pachana
- Kashaya (Decoction)
Decoction obtained by boiling course powder or Dried Drugs
- Gulika (Tablets)
In tablet form, they are made by rolling medicinal pastes into balls and drying them with the use of a drier
- Choornam (Powder)
Choorna is obtained by Herbal drugs cleaned properly made dry and then powdered and steved it
External body treatment
- Abhyanga: A full-body or localized massage using medicated oils to improve circulation, reduce pain, pacify vata, and strengthen muscles and joints.
- Janu Basti: Medicated lukewarm oil is applied and held over the affected joint to restore lubrication, protect against age-related changes, boost blood circulation, and enhance knee joint mobility.
- Janu Dhara: Recommended for tenderness and swelling, this treatment involves a continuous stream of medicated oil-directed onto the joint.
- Lepa: Application of medicated paste on the joint, left for several hours to alleviate stiffness, pain, and tenderness, and relax muscles around the joint.
- Nadi Sweda: Fomentation using steam to achieve effects similar to Lepa, providing relief from pain and tension.
- Patra Pinda Sweda: A therapy combining oil application, circular joint massage, and heated herbal packs to relieve pain, rejuvenate soft tissues, and enhance joint and muscle flexibility.
- Shastika Shali Pinda Sweda: A treatment that prevents joint tissue degeneration, and muscle wasting, and improves joint and muscle flexibility through sweat induction, enhancing joint lightness and movement.
Cure Prospective of Knee Pain Ayurvedic Treatment
Getting the right treatment, living a healthy life, and sticking to therapy and medicine can boost your chances of getting better and feeling much healthier. But it’s important to know that how much you can be completely cured depends on your specific health problem, how bad it is, and your own body.
Either way, keeping up a healthy lifestyle, like eating well, staying active, managing stress, and getting enough rest, can really help you feel better and make your treatment work better.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes for Knee Pain Ayurvedic Treatment
- PRICE: When you hurt your knee, follow the “PRICE” plan. It means protecting the knee, resting it, using ice to reduce swelling, wrapping it with a bandage for support, and elevating it (keeping it higher than your heart) to reduce swelling.
- Stay Active: Doing exercises like walking, swimming, biking, or yoga can make your leg muscles stronger. This helps your knees stay steady and can even make the soft tissue in your knees healthier.
- Eat Well and Manage Weight: If you carry extra weight, it can strain your knees and cause more inflammation. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies, low fat, and less sugar can help you manage your weight and keep your body healthy.
- Watch How You Move: Be careful with how you sit and stand. Choose chairs that don’t make you sink in too much, and make it hard to get up. Wear good shoes with arch support. When you stand for a while, take breaks to keep your joints from getting stiff and painful.
Knee Pain Ayurvedic Treatment: Prevention
- Diet: To maintain Vata dosha balance and alleviate arthritis, focus on a diet comprising cereals like wheat and oats, a variety of fruits including apricots and pomegranates, a wide range of vegetables such as carrots and spinach, pulses, low-fat dairy products, and healthy oils like olive and sunflower oil. Include spices like turmeric and ginger, opt for homemade juices and herbal teas, occasionally consume eggs and lean meats, and use honey as a sweetener. Incorporating these foods can be beneficial for arthritis management and Vata dosha equilibrium.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight increases your risk of knee osteoarthritis, so it’s important to manage your weight through a healthy diet and exercise.
- Exercise: Regular exercise not only helps you lose weight but also strengthens the muscles around your joints, which can protect them from damage. Start slowly and increase intensity gradually if you’re new to exercise.
- Protect Yourself from Injury: Joints naturally wear down over time, but injuries can accelerate this process. Rest and seek proper care if you injure your joints, especially during sports or accidents.
- Take Care of Your Joints: Activities like heavy lifting, squatting, and climbing stairs can strain your joints, particularly the knees. People who frequently engage in these activities are at higher risk of knee osteoarthritis.
- Quit Smoking: Giving up smoking not only reduces the risk of heart and lung problems but also helps protect against arthritis.
- Control Blood Sugar Levels: There is a connection between arthritis and diabetes. Elevated blood sugar levels can lead to chronic inflammation and the production of inflammatory proteins in the joints, increasing the risk of arthritis.
Recommended Yoga Poses for Knee Pain
Yoga is low low-impact activity that puts minimal pressure on the knee. It can strengthen the muscles and promote more flexibility. Unlike activities like running or intense workouts, yoga doesn’t make your knees work too hard.
Here are some yogasana that which you can practice.
Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose): This pose helps stretch the hamstrings and improve flexibility.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose): It’s a great pose for strengthening the back and glutes.
Sukhasana (Easy Pose): This is a comfortable meditation and seated posture that promotes relaxation.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Tadasana is a foundational pose that helps improve posture and alignment.
Pavanamuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose): This pose can help relieve gas and improve digestion.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose): Trikonasana stretches and strengthens various muscles.
Virabhadrasana I and II (Warrior I and II Poses):
Warrior I: S This pose builds strength and balance.
Warrior II: It’s a pose that develops strength and stamina while enhancing focus and stability.
Remember, yoga can be helpful for knee pain, but it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid any poses that don’t feel right for your knees. If you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to consult with a yoga instructor or a healthcare professional for guidance.
Here are some things to watch out for:
Bending the knees: Avoid poses that require you to bend your knees too much. This can put extra stress on your knees and might cause more pain.
Uncomfortable knee positions. Some poses can make your knees feel uncomfortable or strained. Try to avoid these if you have knee pain.
Putting too much pressure on the knees: Poses that make you stand or kneel for a long time can be tough on your knees. It’s best to be cautious with these if your knees hurt.
Knee Pain Ayurvedic Treatment at Dheemahi Ayurveda
Dheemahi Ayurveda is dedicated to prioritizing patient health and well-being through a rich tradition of Ayurvedic wisdom passed down through five generations. Our team comprises expert doctors who are committed to your health journey. Dheemahi Ayurveda Is an authentic and traditional Ayurveda Hospital.With daily consultations we provide more reliability as by doing physical examinations, doctors can get more findings about the condition of the patient.
For chronic illnesses, regular follow-up check-ups are crucial. They cannot be overlooked. When it comes to treatments aimed at relieving symptoms, the guidance of a doctor is essential. Dheemahi ensures that our doctors supervise every step of your Panchakarma therapy and meticulously document your treatment plan.
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