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Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Dr.C Manoj Kumar,Chief Physician, Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Centre Kalady, Kerala


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting the knee. It starts as wear and tear of the soft cartilage in and around the knee. The degenerative changes can, if not managed, continue and end up in pain and restricted movements of the joint. It can affect people of all ages but mostly affects after the age of 50. The cushion like cartilage, present between the bones,wears out partially or completely resulting in this condition.

Pain, stiffness, crackling sound from the joints are the major symptoms. Damage from mechanical stress like over activity, obesity, loss of strength of muscles supporting the joint, wrong movements etc are the few major reasons for the wear and tear to start and lead to degeneration. Changes in hormone levels in females also contribute to osteoarthritis

Ayurveda offers very good prognosis in the management of osteo arthritic conditions of the knee. Ayurvedic treatments helps in managing the presenting discomforts along with prevention of further degenerative changes. If treated with Ayurveda in the early stages, a complete repair is possible. This will help prevent the surgical joint replacement.

Ayurveda consider this as Sandhigatha Vata, where Vata gets aggravated due to mechanical stress and strain in the joint. Due to this aggravation, the corresponding dry and rough properties of Vata also increase, in the soft hydrated structures like cartilage, situated within the joint. Continued mechanical stress on the dehydrated soft structures will lead to progressive degeneration.

With appropriate internal medicines, massage of the affected area with selected medicated oils, massage with herbal powder bag (podi kizhi) heated in the appropriate warm medicated oil, massage with herbal leaf bag (ela kizhi) dipped in warm medicated oil, pouring medicated oil all over the body (pizhichil) , cooked medicated rice bag massage (njavara kizhi), , application of the herbal paste on the knee, bandage of the affected part with medicated oil, Having an oil pool placed at the knee (janu vasti), one can attain very good results. Any person planning for a knee replacement surgery should try undergoing Ayurvedic treatment before going under the knife. A natural joint is always a better option than an artificial steel one.

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