Osteoarthritis is known as Sandhivata in Ayurveda. In the word Sandhivata, Sandhi means the joint and Vata stands for the Vata Dosha.

When activities of the Vata increase inside the Sandhis (joints), it is known as the Sandhivata. Vata is dry in nature so it absorbs the fluids from any part of the body and it is also destructive or catabolic in nature, due to these two reasons Vata causes destruction of the cartilages and reduction in the Synovial fluid inside the joint capsule.

 How does Vata get increased in OsteoArthritis?

  • Excessive consumption of cold, dry food like bread
  • excessive sexual intercourse
  • not sleeping in the night
  • taking food in a very small quantity
  • excessive exercise/ body movements such as running jumping etc
  • emaciation due to worry, grief or diseases
  • sleeping in uneven beds
  • sitting in odd postures
  • anger
  • day sleep
  • fear
  • suppression of natural urges
  • injury
  • excessive fasting
  • falling down from heights or moving objects.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

  • Being overweight – Obesity is one among the major causes for osteoarthritis. Extra weight puts added stress on weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees.
  • Nutritional deficiency – Lack of vitamin-D also contributes to osteoarthritis.
  • Increased Joint stress – Prolonged use of high heels increases risk of developing osteoarthritis in women.  Athletes and dancers who are involved in aggressive training are also at more risk.
  • Age – As age progress joint cartilages wear off leading to osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics – Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Joint injuries – Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Bone deformities – Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Other diseases. Having diabetes or other rheumatic diseases such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Gender- Usually females are more prone to osteoarthritis after 55 years of age.

Signs and symptoms

  • Pain – You may experience sharp pain or burning sensation in the joints. Pain may be constant whole day or may occur during walking or any joint movements or while you sleep if arthritis is very worse.
  • Tenderness – You may experience pain on applying pressure over the joint.
  • Stiffness – You may feel your joints are stiff while getting up in the morning or after sitting for a long time or after certain period of inactivity.
  • Muscle weakness – The muscles around the joint may get weaker, especially in arthritis of the knee.
  • Swelling – Usually swelling does not occur in osteoarthritis.  Occasionally you may notice mild swelling if there is inflammation.
  • Joint deformity – When arthritis gets worse your joints lose their natural shape.
  • Decreased mobility – The natural movements in the joint will be reduced gradually. As your arthritis gets worse, you may not be able to fully bend, flex, or extend your joints or you may not be able to use them at all. Decreased use of joints due to pain further reduces the range of mobility.
  • Cracking or grating sensation  – Your joints may make cracking or creaking or grating sounds on movement.
  • Insomnia – The pain and stiffness of arthritis can disrupt your sleep. Deprivation of sleep worsens the pain in the morning.
  • Spinal stenosis – Osteoarthritis of vertebra causes narrowing of space around spinal cord causing compression over spinal nerves. This pressure causes pain, weakness, numbness or abnormal sensation.
  • Spur formation – There may be extra growth of bone around the affected joint, which will feel like a hard lump near the joint.

Ayurvedic treatment of Osteoarthritis not only prevents further deterioration in the joints but also rejuvenates damaged cartilages. Vata-alleviating treatments through specific herbs are also suggested for lubrication and strengthening of joints.

Avoid intake spicy, deep fried food items, cold food and drinks. Also, avoid intake of  suppression of natural urges and night outs.All the spicy, deep fried and very oily and pungent food recipes should be avoided, since these are believed to cause damage to the degenerated joints.