Osteoarthritis Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is a painful condition which is commonly seen among the population in their lifetime. It is the second most common rheumatological 

factor and is the most common type of arthritis that manifests due to degenerative changes in the joints, which is typically characterised by damage or destruction to the cartilage.

Theory and Ayurvedic View On Osteoarthritis

According to Ayurveda, Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs due to aggravation of Vata Dosha. The symptoms of osteoarthritis can be compared to those of Sandhigata Vata,

Where the word Sandhi means (joints), Right here, Vata Dosha 

(one of the three bio-regulating principles of the body ) aggravated by various reasons like;

  • Improper diet
  • Overexertion.
  • Exposure to cold and Intake of cold items in excess.
  • Suppression of natural urges.
  • Staying awake at night.
  • Stress
  • Depression.
  • Injury 

due to regular practice of these causative factors leads to aggravation of Vata Dosha lodges in Sandhis ( joints), leading to Sandhigata Vata. Apart from these, ageing is the primary cause as Vata predominance in the body increases as the person advances towards old age. Individuals with Vata Prakruthi are also more prone to this condition, “ Sandhigata Vata”.

Osteoarthritis Ayurvedic Treatment

Causes Of Osteoarthritis

The main cause of osteoarthritis is degeneration ( wear and tear), which occurs naturally in the ageing process.

Primary causes of osteoarthritis

  • Genetic factors- genetic vulnerability is one main factor.
  • Trauma/ injury– A History of previous joint injury can lead to osteoarthritis if not well treated.
  • Metabolic Changes and Sex Hormones- Female hormones variation after menopause makes them more prone to degeneration and thus this condition. 
  • Overweight -is the other main cause of osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints, typically knee joints.

Secondary causes of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis may be caused as a result of other diseases, like

  • Heamo-chromatosis
  • Congenital anomalies.
  • Parthe’s disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus

Other factors that contribute to Osteoarthritis include Heredity, Sedentary lifestyle, Obesity, Joint overuse and injury. Along with these, patients who already have rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop Osteoarthritis.

Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis

  • Restricted movement And Pain – Pain and range of movements will be restricted; these are the two main symptoms suffered by osteoarthritis patients.
  • Muscle weakness- Surrounding the Arthritic joint, exclusively for arthritis in joints.
  • Stiffness – Joint stiffness may experienced by patients.
  • Tenderness – Tenderness over affected joints may be experienced even by applying light pressure to or near them.
  • Bone spurs- extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, can form around the affected joints.
  • Swelling – swelling around the region of the joints ( but not found in all cases).
  • Grating Sound – especially osteoarthritis-affected knee joint patients complain of cracking or tick-tick sounds during the movement of their joints.
  • Deformed Joints –  Deformity in joints appears almost in a worsened stage by neglecting the primary symptoms. Once the deformity is formed, it is difficult to regain the normalcy of joints.
Osteoarthritis Ayurvedic Treatment

Stages Of Osteoarthritis

Stage 1-

Osteoarthritis patients will advance to very minor wear and tear and bone spur growth at the end of the knee joints.

However, at this stage, it is unlikely to feel pain or some sort of discomfort.

Stage 2- 

In stage 2, X-rays of knee joints will show more bone spur growth; though the gap between bones appears normal, people will begin to face symptoms of joint pain. Particularly while sitting for long periods, after rising in the morning or after a workout, even cartilage and soft tissues are in healthy condition.

Stage 3

Here, there will be obvious erosion to the cartilage surface between bones, and fibrillation narrows the gap between the bones.

Bones advance to develop spurs at the joints as they become rougher.

With the advancement of osteoarthritis of the knee is obvious joint inflammation, which causes frequent pain when walking, running, squatting, extending or kneeling.

Along with the joint stiffness after sitting for long or when waking up in the morning, there may be popping or snapping sounds when walking.

Stage 4

During this stage, the joint space between the bones is considerably reduced, which causes the cartilage to wear off, leaving the joints stiff. The breakdown of cartilage destroys the soft tissues around the joints, leading to a chronic inflammatory response with decreased synovial fluid that causes friction or moving joints.

The progressive stage of osteoarthritis shows;

  • Development of more spurs
  • Causing severe pain makes everyday chores, including walking and descending stairs, challenging.

Cure Perspective Of Osteoarthritis In Ayurveda,

Sandhivata or Sandhigata Vata gradually worsens with time; thus, early diagnosis and treatment are very important to prevent further worsening of the condition. Since Sandhivata is a degenerative disorder, treatments can prevent the progression of the disease, relieve pain, rejuvenate damaged cartilage and improve the strength and function by increasing lubrication by improving circulation of synovial fluid in joints.

Ayurvedic Treatment For Osteoarthritis

Ayurveda has focused not only on symptomatic and structural diagnosis and treatment approaches but also considers the causative factors like Ahara and Vihara (food habits and other daily regimens) and metabolic functions, which lead to the formation and progression of Osteoarthritis.

For Osteoarthritis, Ayurveda has different types of treatment modalities that are followed based on the severity and stage of the disease, from mild to severe.

Here, both internal and external treatment procedures have equal importance.

treatments like;

  • Snehanam (oleation)Abhyangam (body massage with medicated oils), intaking of medicated ghee or oils internally.
  • Svedananam (fomentation) – Different types of svedana karma done according to the condition

 Svedana karma like Bashpa swedana (fomentation therapy with evaporation), Podi Kizhi (poultice with medicinal powder), Patrapinda Swedana ( fomentation treatment with a bolus of medicated leaves), Shashtika Shali or Njavara kizhi (fomentation with njavara rice preparation), Upanaha Svedanam (poultices), Dhanyamla Dhara (pouring fermented water over body).

  • Agnikarma ( therapeutic heat burn)– is a dry heat application over the pain-affected part where dry heat is applied using shalaka ( an instrument used for the Agnikarma procedure) or by using heated honey, etc., according to the condition and site of the pain. 
  • Pichu – where a piece of cotton is immersed in medicated oil and placed over the affected part of the body; it is another type of snehana (oleation therapy).
  • Basti– its external treatments done in the affected part of the body like Greeva Basti

 (over neck region), Janu Basti (over knee joints), and Kati Basti ( over low back area). It’s a type of snehana (oleation) and svedana procedure( fomentation ) treatment.

  • Lepanam–  application of medicinal paste over the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Panchakarma Treatments – Panchakarma treatments like Virechanam (purgation), Vamanam (vomiting), Vasti ( enemas)-  Kashaya or Ruksha Vasti and Anuvasana Vasti both are done. They are important and said to be Agroushada ( best medicine) for Vata rogas ( Vata Dosha predominant diseases) and Nasyam (nasal instillation).
  • Rasayana– Either after all these treatments or along with these treatments, Rasayana therapy is to be done, which is the rejuvenation therapy. 

In this, the intake of rasayana preparations internally is recommended according to the patients’ Agnibala ( digestive fire). Various medicinal preparations, either in the form of Lehyas (lickables) or Ksheerapaka, etc., are advised.

Along with external treatments, the intake of internal medicines like intake of Kashaya (decoctions), tablets, Ghee, etc., mainly Vata shamaka (medicines to pacify Vata dosha), is indicated also needed as per the physician’s advice.

Diet And Lifestyle Changes For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is characterised by the degeneration of articular cartilage over years. A well-balanced diet will support and nourish the joints and delay the chance of degeneration. In Ayurveda, we say Pathya and Apathya mean Do’s And Don’ts, respectively. Hence, Osteoarthritis is a Vata Vyadhi (Vata predominant disease) – Sandhigata Vata. One should intake the diet and follow a lifestyle that helps in pacifying Vata Dosha. PATHYA AHARA ( Indicated Food)
Anna Varga ( class of grains) can intake Godhuma (Triticuaestivum), Masha (Vigna mungo), Rakta Shali ( Oriza punta)
Dairy Products Milk, ghee
Fruits and vegetables Raisins, mangoes, Moringaoleifera, Allium sativum, Trichosanthesdiocia 
Sneha Varga (class of Fats) Taila (oil), Ghrita (ghee), Majja (bone marrow),  Vasa ( animal fat)
Rasa Varga Use of tastes- Sweet, Sour, Salt in diet.

PATHYA VIHARA ( Beneficial Lifestyle) Mild Exposure to Sun rays, Mridushayya ( soft bed), bath with warm water, oil application over the body. APATHYA AHARA ( Contraindicated Food)
Class Of Grains Yava ( Hordeum vulgare),  Chanaka ( Ciceraeitinum)
Mamsa Varga ( type of flesh) Dry meat
Rasavarga ( tastes) Avoid excessive use of Pungent, bitter, astringent tastes in diet.
APATHYA VIHARA (Avoidable Lifestyle)  Excessive anxiety, control of natural urges, excessive exercises, loss of sleep, fasting, excessive indulgence in sex, excessive exposure to wind and sun 

 How to Prevent 

Osteoarthritis is most commonly caused by degeneration by age, and another is wear and tear on the cartilage that protects and cushions joints. Some risk factors of osteoarthritis are inevitable, such as hereditary, gender, and age. Thus, we can prevent this condition up to an extent by; Practising Exercises– Mild exercises like calf stretches, hamstring stretches and practising some yoga postures help to slow down the Osteoarthritis condition and help to maintain healthy joints., Leading a healthy lifestyle – proper food at the proper time intaking healthy food Managing occupational risk- jobs that involve repetitive motion can harm the joints. Ensuring proper rest – by avoiding excess stress and strain on joints. Maintenance of body weight– Being obese or overweight can increase the stress on your weight-bearing joints, such as knees and hips.

Yoga for Osteoarthritis

By practising yoga individuals with limited range of motion and flexibility caused by arthritis can regain their strength and flexibility of joints by increasing circulation of synovial fluid in joints and by strengthening muscles surrounding the joints. Some Yogasanas that help in Osteoarthritis are;
  • Badhakonasana (Bound Angle Pose)
  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Dandasana ( Staff Pose)
  • Virabhadrasana ( Warrior Pose).
  • Shavasana ( Corpse Pose)
  • Makarasana ( Crocodile pose)
  • Surya Namaskara
All these yogas help in relieving stress and, at the same time, help to relieve some out of the symptoms like pain, loss of flexibility of joints, and stiffness in joints that Osteoarthritis causes. 

Osteoarthritis Ayurvedic Treatment At Dheemahi Ayurveda

At dheemahi, we are providing effective treatment for Sandhivata. Since  early control and treatment are important and key to controlling the physical disability arising from pain and loss of functional capacity, which reduces the quality of life and rises further morbidity by osteoarthritis. Thus, the treatment at the right time at the right place is important. Hence, Dheemahi Ayurveda is 100% result-oriented with the knowledge of the past 5 generations.We have our own pharmacy and medicine manufacturing unit. Through this, we can provide you treatment with authentic medicines and assure you get a cure.Dheemahi Ayurveda Village provides a calm and peaceful atmosphere, which also has a major role in the cure of diseases.The mind serves as important as the body in attaining a healthy life. The spacious garden and living rooms support your peaceful stay and healing process. While privileged resorts give calm and beautiful surroundings for your stay, dheemahi facilitates the same with a professional approach to doctors and treatments. Our team of professionals help you achieve a complete state of health and vitality by giving you a daily food and lifestyle routine, which helps to heal your mind and body. 


Osteoarthritis is very common nowadays because of neglecting the symptoms and proper treatment at the right time. Along with that, our sedentary lifestyle makes the condition worse. Ayurveda provides and has excellent results in Osteoarthritis because of maintaining a good lifestyle and daily routine along with the proper diagnosis and treatment; thus, here, along with a proper cure, the chance of recurrence of symptoms would get up to an extent.

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