Osteoarthritis from an Ayurvedic Perspective

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease mainly caused by the wear and tear of the joints resulting in loss of the cartilage, loss of resilience and the lubricating mechanism of the joint is impaired. The weight bearing cartilage is undergoing calcification and bony spurs growing around the edge of the joint.

Osteoarthritis is called Sandhigata Vata . This is comprised out of 3 words.
1. SANDHI meaning junction, connection, combination, union. In Ayurveda, shareera sandhi is a technical word indicating that it is the place where two or more bones meet together. The joint may be a fixed type or with less or more movement. (A place where 2 or more bones meet)
2. GATA is a Sanskrit word used to denote an initiation of movement, carrying something along with to reach a particular site, through any particular pathway.
3. VATA – Involvement of the Vata Dosha. Vata is increased and is settling into the bone (asthi dhatu).

Definition of Sandhigata Vata/ Osteoarthritis:
The vitiated Vata when it gets lodged at one or more than one Sandhi (joint) and producing features like
• Sandhi vedhana/ pain in the joint
• Sandhi shosha/ swelling
• Atopa/ crepitus
• Sandhi stabhdata/ Stiffness in the joints.
• The joints feels full of air
• Sandhi vishlesa/ hyper mobility of joints

When these clinical manifestation appear only in Janu (Knee joint) then it is called Janu Sandhi Gata Vata.

Nidana/ Causes for Sandhigata Vata mentioned are

Vihara (lifestyle)
• Divasavapna/ day sleep
• Dhatukshaya/ depleted body tissues
• Ativayayama/ excessive exercise
• Abhighata/ injuries
• Marmaabhighata/ injury of Marma

Ahara (food)
• Kashaya, Katu and tikta/ excess astringent, hot and bitter food
• Ruksha, Laghu, Sheeta, alpa/ drying, light, cold and too little food

Manasika (emotional)
• Chinta/ excessive thinking
• Shokha/ grief
• Krodha/ anger
• Bhaya/ fear

Samprapti Ghatakas/ disease etiopathogenesis

Dosha: vata, vyana vayu vriddhi, kapha kshaya (sleshmaka Kapha)
Dushya: snayu, mamsa, asthi
Srotas: asthivaha srotas
Agni: asthi dhatvagni
Rogamarga: madhyama
Adhisthana: sandhi

Treatment principles:
Since Osteoarthritis is Vata dominant with Asthi/ bone being the main vitiated dhatu (tissue). BRIMHANA (nourishing/ toning) and BALA/ strength increasing are the main line of treatment.

Unless the Osteoarthritis is due to Avarana. In this type there will be excess meda (fat tissue) dhatu. This will cause obstruction for the flow of nutritive materials to the future Dhatus i.e. Asthi (bone), Majja (bone marrow)…. leading to their Kshaya/ depletion. (Su.Sa Su 15/32 – Dal.)
We are not discussing this type here.

Chikitsa/ Treatment of Osteoarthitis

1. Nidana Parivarjana (eliminating causative factors), weight reducing treatment if overweight.
2. Snehana
-Abhyantara Sneha: internal oleation in the forms of pana, bhojana, basti, and nasya
-Bahya Sneha: Abhyanga oil massage and Mardana
3. Svedana/ Sudation this is done with
– Upanaha/ poultice. The poultice is tied at night and taken off in the morning.
– Bandhana/ medicated paste with Vata hara dravya (Vata reducing herbs) is applied.
4. Panchakarma chikitsa is done before BRIMHANA and BALYA treatment. Snehapana with Ghee before snigdha virechana/ purgation. Basti Karma (enema) treatment is also essential.
5. Pathya Ahara/ Vihara – wholesome diet and lifestyle
6. Shamana Yogas
7. Rasayana/ rejuvenation treatment.

Other treatments and beneficial formulations:
• Lepana paste application with Nagaradi lepa choorna
• Janu basti treatment
• Thaila/ oils such as Kethakimooladi thaila, Bala thailam and Murivenna thailam
• Internal medicines Rasnapanchakam Kashayam and Guggulu/ commiphora mukul formulations

If you have any more questions about Sandhigata Vata you are welcome to email us on info@lakshmiayurveda.com.au

With love your Lakshmi Ayurveda team


* 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘎𝘈. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘺𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯. 𝘞𝘦 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘦 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘺, 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭𝘴.

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