The bones in your body are connected to each other with the joints. The joints include ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and muscles and provide support to the overall structure of your body and help in movement. So, any damage to the joints can make it difficult for you to move and cause physical discomfort.
Joint pain is very common in people of all age group (especially the older adults). Most of the people suffer from pain in hip, shoulder, and knee joints; however, joint pain can affect any part of the body including hands, elbow, ankle, and feet. With age, joint pain keeps on worsening.
Joint pain can cause mild discomfort and might go away in weeks (acute), or it can stay for a long time causing severe pain and restricting your movement (chronic). Many physical conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, strains, and injuries can also cause joint pain.
Joint pain, whether it’s a short-term condition or a chronic one, affects the quality of your life.
Joint Pain Causes: As per Ayurveda
Joint pain is mainly caused by the imbalances in Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Let’s explore the type of joint pains caused by the imbalances in all the three Doshas:
Imbalance in Vata (air) causes a dull and concurring pain in the joints. The Vata in your joints causes popping sound as the synovial fluid that lubricates the joints become dry, thus increasing the air and space in the joints. This type of joint pain gets worse during winters when the climate is cold and dry. People over the age of 60 years usually suffer from this type of joint paint.
The features of Pitta (fire) are very fiery and sharp. People suffering from Pitta type of joint pain usually experience a stabbing pain in their joints. The joints are inflamed, and the area will appear swollen and red due to the presence of excess water and fire elements. Cool treatments (ice packs) and colder weather soothe this type of joint pain while hot and tropical weather aggravates the pain.
Kapha and Ama Type
People having an imbalance in Kapha (earth and water elements) in their body experience stiffness in their joints accompanied by pain. The area might swell due to water accumulation and might appear cold and heavy. On the other hand, Ama (toxin) type pain is mainly caused by the presence of toxins in your body. These toxins (such as pollutants and chemicals) accumulate in your body due to improper food, digestion, and poor lifestyle.
Joint Pain Treatment in Ayurveda
- For treating Vata type joint pain, Ayurveda recommends a diet that helps reduce Vata in your joints. Avoid eating dry fruits, raw vegetables and iced drinks. Exclude white potatoes and popcorn from your diet and incorporate steamed vegetables, whole grains, and raw dairy products (milk, paneer, etc.) and anything that is warm. Increase the amount of healthy oils such as coconut, olive and sesame oils in your diet and also eat Ghee (clarified butter). This helps in producing more lubrication in the joint spaces.
- For treating Pitta type joint pain go for a soothing diet. Completely avoid spices and greasy food. This will cool down the systemic Pitta heat trapped in the joints. Avoid coffee and alcohol as these can aggravate the inflammation. Rather, focus on a diet constituting cucumber, coconut, green leafy veggies, watermelon, raw dairy products, and whole grains.
- For soothing a Kapha type joint pain, decrease your consumption of diary product, fried or frozen food, wheat, and sweets (excluding honey). This pacifies the Kapha and reduces pressure and water retention in your joints. When on a Kapha diet, increase your intake of bitter, pungent food and on foods that dry and warms up your system. This includes food such as buckwheat, rye, fruits (except avocado) and vegetables, barley, and legumes.
- For reducing Ama in your body, you need to detoxify and purify your digestive tract. Undergoing Panchakarma is one of the most effective ways of purifying your system. This thoroughly rejuvenates your body and digestive system. Apart from that, follow a proper diet which is light and dry and includes warming food such as steamed veggies and soups. Steamed veggies help in burning off the Ama or toxins present in your system. Including stimulating spices such as fenugreek, ginger, and black pepper in your diet also helps in reducing Ama.
Another comprehensive treatment for joint pain is by using Arthorex Oil from JMD Medico. This Ayurvedic oil is a herbal concoction of halud, til oil, ashwagandha, Jala Mansi, debdaru, Erandamul, Berela and provides instant relief from inflammation and joint pain. It soothes muscular stiffness and helps them relax. You can also use Arthorex Cream containing Tarpene, Clove, Katuvera, Gandhapura, and Neelgiri oils. Or you can have Arthorex Tablet containing Sallaki Guggula (a potent remedy for joint pain), Nirgundi, and other herbs.