What is Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a joint inflammation that result from progressive degeneration of cartilage. It may affects the all joints of body. In today’s society it is most prevalent and very costly disease. It can cause immobility of joints, pain, tenderness, inflammation and it may lead to serious complications
Loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between the bones and lead to pain and limitation of joint mobility. Inflammation of the cartilage can also stimulate new bone outgrowths referred to as osteophytes.
Over long time the deterioration of cartilage affects both function and shape of the joints. This condition becomes so worse that it is very difficult and painful to do daily routine tasks.
- According to Ayurveda the term used for osteoarthritis is “sandhivata”. This disease is associated with both sandhi (joints) and asthi (bones). This condition arises when vata dosha is aggravated in sandhis.
- As we all know vata dosha is laghu (light) and rooksh (dry) in nature. Due to these destructive properties vata dosha enters sandhis and absorb synovial fluid from joint capsule.
- Vata dosha is destructive and catabolic in nature. It causes degeneration of cartilage and give birth to this serious condition called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis in hands is called hast-sandhivata.
- Vata dosh is the main factor responsible for making equilibrium between dosha, dhatu and mala. With the growing age vata dosha progresses, this factors aggravates in our body and causes degeneration of cartilages. Sandhigata vata is one of main factor of extra accumulation of vata dosha in body. Osteoarthritis in India is more among menopausal women.
- Over weight
- Overuse of joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Several medications
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in hands is depend upon the condition that which specific joint is affected. Symptoms may vary from person to person. Most sufferers complains:
- Severe pain when person is using their hands
- Severe inflammation
- Joint stiffness usually at morning
- Unable to move fingers
- Very weak grip
- Tenderness around the wrist
How to Treat Osteoarthritis in Hands
- For the sufferers of osteoarthritis there is range of exercise that are beneficial to treat this problem. Small, mild and simple exercise several times a day help to relieve stiffness and pain. By the regular habit of these exercise we can also improve the flexibility of hand joints. Various exercise to prevent and treat osteoarthritis at home may include-
- Try to form a fist of your fingers and after few seconds open your fist. Do it gently several times a day after regular intervals helps to relieve tenderness and pain.
- Try to touch each fingertip with your thumb. Do not do it forcefully if your thumb stretching is difficult.
- Move your fingers up and down on wall.
- Make a claw by bending your middle knuckle and then straighten your fingers.
- Your little efforts and making changes in lifestyle helps to give relief from this problem. You can do hot and cold compress to relieve tenderness and pain. You can wear splints to support your thumb, fingers and wrist joint. In markets anti-arthritis gloves are also available you can also wear these gloves to reduce stiffness and pain.
Diet to Prevent Osteoarthritis in Hands
- What we all are eating in our daily diet is very essential for our body cells, organs and for our healthy bones. Abundance of vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, meats and nuts are very essential to give nutrition to body joints. Foods that are used to prevent osteoarthritis in hands may include-
- Cranberries are best sources of anthocyanin, power anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature. It helps to prevent stiffness and reduce severe inflammation in hand joints. So adding cranberries to your diet helps to cure osteoarthritis in hands and also good for treating urinary tract infections.
- Oranges are powerhouse of vitamin-C and also great anti-oxidants. It helps to neutralize the harmful effects of toxins and free radicals that causes severe inflammation in joints and also a great reason for damaging your cartilage. Grapefruits and tangerines are also great sources of vitamin-C.
- Beet root is again very essential source of anti-oxidant. Mostly rich anti-oxidants are present in red pigments. It also contains vitamin A and C and other essential and healthy nutrient present in this healthy food is folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese. It helps to relieve tenderness of hand joints.
Green leafy vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, kale and sprouts etc. are packed with anti-oxidants and vitamin A,C and K. these foods helps to fight against free radicals and also good for preserving calcium in bones. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contains sulforaphane and this component helps to inhibit the process of inflammation and protects hand joints from the risk of inflammation.
- Bell pepper is very good food to prevent osteoarthritis. Abundance of vitamin –C in this food is good for bones and also helps to preserve the cells present in the cartilages.
Natural Remedies to Prevent and Treat Osteoarthritis in Hands
- Turmeric is very effective natural remedy to get relief from this serious problem. Cur- cumin present in this natural remedy is used to reduce the inflammation and to reduce pain in hands.
- Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants that helps to prevent cartilage from the harmful effect of free radicals and toxins. It also contains polyphenols that helps to reduce inflammation.
- Ginger is a natural pain reducer that helps to relieve severe pain in hands caused by osteoarthritis. Ginger protects the both cartilage and bones from the risk of OA.
- Aloe Vera is very good herb that is used in Ayurveda and this herb is also good for treating osteoarthritis.
- Eucalyptus leaves are also beneficial to prevent arthritis pain. Leaves of this plant contains tannins that helps to reduce both pain and inflammation. Topical application of paste of leaves and oil is used to reduce stiffness.
- Try to manage your diabetes because high glucose level in blood affects our bones and cartilages. Diabetes can trigger inflammation so to manage diabetes is very effective to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Try to stay active always. Mild walking and exercise 30 minutes a day is good for both body organ and bones.
- Try to avoid extra use of pain killers. It will harm your molecular level of body.
- Manage and maintain your healthy weight.
- Strictly avoid carbonated drinks.
- Never hold or supress you natural urges.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.