Arthritis is one of the most prevalent ailments noted amongst the elderly in India. It is an auto immune disease that causes mild to severe discomfort in the joints.
There are several types of arthritis, of which the two most common are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. It usually starts with stiffness in the joints. It could remain mild or moderate for years, or sometimes become chronic which results in the inability to do any activities. Even walking or climbing stairs becomes a difficult task. Visible symptoms of arthritis is knobbly fingers, but most of the changes are only visible through an X-ray.
In Ayurveda, Osteoarthritis is referred to as Sandhivata. Sandhi means joints, and vata is one of the three doshas in the body. The Vata disorder is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. There are several causes to this condition including an excess of ama (toxins) in the body, poor metabolism, obesity, and brittle bones due to ageing. Thus, as per Ayurveda, to treat arthritis, one needs to stimulate the agni (digestive fire) and treat the ama.
Arthritis has diverse signs and symptoms. Some of them are:
- Joint Deformity
- Joint Inflammation
- Joint Pain
- Joint Redness
- Joint Stiffness
- Joint Swelling
- Joint Tendernes
- Joint Warmth
- Loss of range of motion
- Loss of symmetry
Here are some of our tips on how to manage Arthritis at home:
- Adjust your sitting, standing and sleeping positions frequently so as not to lock your joints.
- Avoid chilled drinks and cold meals.
- Eat fresh meals.
- Use turmeric, as it possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.
- Avoid overeating or eating too quickly. Concentrate on your plate while having your meal, and you’re your food properly.
- Choose activities that do not overburden your joints.
- Consume less fatty food, especially less ghee, oil and fatty acids.
- Consume specific spices like ginger and black pepper to eliminate the Ama.
- Eat Omega-3 rich food like soybeans.
- Add plenty of proteins and fibre to your diet.
- Exercise on a regular basis. A 45-mintue walk must be a daily routine as it can decrease the glucose in your blood.
- Instead of simple carbohydrates (rice, white bread, white pasta, maida) consume compound carbohydrates like oats, whole grains, or millets like bajra, ragi, jowar.
- Add leafy vegetables.
- Keey your digestive tract clean and consume gut-friendly food like triphala, amla and hardeye.
- Maintain a healthy weight and engage in light stretching and exercises daily.
- Quit smoking, if you do, as well as all other forms of tobacco.
- Talk to your doctor regularly and keep him updated of any discomforts.
- Indulge in sports like tennis that require repeated hand movements.
- Drink sugar-coated drinks as this may increase blood glucose levels.
- Drink plenty of water between meals.
- Indulge in activities like running, jumping and high-impact aerobics as it may tear ligaments.
- Indulge in high impact and repetitive motion and strenuous activities.
- Keep your joints unprotected or cold.
- Swallow food unchewed as this may lead to further indigestion.
- Make starchy carbohydrates your main course.
- Skip meals as it isn’t good for your metabolic rate.
Treating arthritis is still considered a big challenge. With the advances in the medical field, the hope remains that better forms of treating this ailment are found. Meanwhile, temporary relief can be sought with dietary regulations and exercise regimes.
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