In Ayurveda, Osteoarthritis(Sandhigatavata) is one type of “vatavyadhi”, which is the commonest form of the articular disorder. Osteoarthritis(Sandhigatavata) refers to a condition where there is an imbalance in the Vata Dosha (one of the three doshas in Ayurveda) that affects the joints (Sandhi) and causes pain(Vedana), stiffness(Jadata), and inflammation(Shoth). This condition is also known as osteoarthritis (OA).

Today’s modern and fast era due to sitting jobs, lack of proper healthy diet, more taking fast food, old age, traveling and lack of exercise, etc leads to this disease. The disease most commonly affects the joints in the knees, hands, thumb, neck, hips, and spine, but primarily the knee joint in the transition period between middle and old age. It is common in women more than male.

Osteoarthritis :

It is a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage that cushions the end of bones to break down, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of movement in the affected joint.

Type of Osteoarthritis(Sandhigatavata) : 

  • Primary osteoarthritis – It is also known as idiopathic osteoarthritis, and it occurs due to wear and tear of joints over time. This type is more common in older adults and can affect any joint like the knee, hips, spine, etc.
  • Secondary arthritis – It typically affects the joints as a result of specific causes such as an injury during a job that requires frequent kneeling or squatting for extended periods of time, diabetes, obesity, joint genetic disorders, infectious arthritis, Inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Gout.

What is Sandhigatavata?

According to Ayurveda, Sandhigatavata is caused by an accumulation of Ama (toxins) in the body, which can block the channels of circulation and nourishment in the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. Factors that can contribute to the development of Sandhigatavata include age, injury, obesity, overuse of the joints, and a sedentary lifestyle.

वातानिलो दोषो दोषः सर्वेषां दोषाणां दोषमण्डलं सन्धिगतवातमुदाहृतम् ।

आमसंनिकृष्टं जडं विवर्तमानं च जायते सन्धिगते वाते तस्मादसौ संधिगतवातः ||

Ashtanga Hridaya-Sutrasthana 11/3


 “Vata and Anila (air and wind) are responsible for all types of doshas (faults) in the body. When Vata accumulates in the joints, it leads to Sandhigatavata. This condition causes Ama (toxins) to accumulate in the joints, leading to stiffness, immobility, and deformation of the joint.”

Samprapti (Pathogenesis) of Sandhigatvata :

Sandhigatavata is a type of Vata Dosha disorder that affects the joints, bones, and muscles. The Samprapti of Sandhigatavata involves a series of three stages that lead to the manifestation of the disease.

  • Vata Prakopa (Aggravation of Vata Dosha): The first stage involves the aggravation of Vata Dosha due to various factors such as improper diet, lifestyle, and stress. This leads to the accumulation of toxins (ama) in the body, which further aggravates Vata Dosha and causes it to move from its normal location.
  • Sandhi Shotha (Inflammation of Joints): In the second stage, the aggravated Vata Dosha affects the joints, leading to inflammation and pain. The toxins (ama) also start to accumulate in the joints, leading to further inflammation and stiffness.
  • Sandhi Gata Vata (Vata in Joints): In the third stage, Vata Dosha gets localized in the affected joints and causes degeneration of the joint tissues. This leads to chronic pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility of the joints.

The treatment of Sandhigatvata involves balancing the aggravated Vata Dosha, reducing inflammation, and removing the toxins (ama) from the body

Causative factor of Sandhigatavata :

  • Aging: As we age, the joints may become less flexible, and the cartilage may start to wear away, leading to joint pain (Vedana) and stiffness (Jadata).
  • Improper diet: Consuming a diet that is high in Ruksha (dry), Sheet (cold), or Alpa (in small quantity), laghu (light), tikta, katu kashay aahara (diet), which aggravates the Vata dosha, can contribute to the development of Sandhigatavata.
  • Lack of exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can cause the joints to become stiff and lose flexibility.
  • Occupational hazards: Repeated or prolonged physical activity that puts excessive strain on the joints, such as lifting heavy objects, can increase the risk of developing Sandhigatavata.
  • Trauma: Injuries or trauma to the joints can damage the cartilage and lead to joint pain and inflammation, increasing the risk of Sandhigatavata.

Signs & Symptoms :

  • Sandhi shoola (pain) in the affected joint
  • Vatpurnadrutisparsh (Sounds resembling that made when we rub against ballon)
  • Jadata (Stiffness)
  • Shotha (swelling) in the joint
  • Prasarana-kunchnayo pravruttisch svedana (Pain during movement)
  • Numbness
  • Atishosh (Osteoporosis)
  • Atop (crepitation)

    Osteoarthritis symptoms
    Osteoarthritis symptoms

Ayurvedic Treatment :

The Ayurvedic treatment for Sandhigatavata typically involves a combination of dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and herbal remedies. The goal is to balance the Vata Dosha and remove Ama from the body. This may include consuming warm and nourishing foods, practicing gentle exercise, getting regular massages with warm oils, and taking Ayurvedic herbs which details given below :

External treatment :

  • Abhyanga: This is an oil massage therapy that involves the application of warm medicated ayurvedic oil to the body. Vata vitiation causes dryness of joints which initiates the degeneration of tissues. Abhyanga helps to nourish the joints, improve circulation and reduce stiffness and pain. Oils used for Abhyanga in OA like Dhanvantharam tailam, Murivenna oil, Narayan tailam, Sahacharadi tailam, etc.
  • Swedan: This is a sudation therapy that involves the use of steam or warm herbal compresses to induce sweating. This will help to open the pores in the body and helps the elimination of waste materials and absorption. Sweden helps to loosen up the joints and improve flexibility.
  • Basti: This is an enema therapy that involves the administration of medicated oils or herbal decoctions through the rectum. Basti helps to pacify the vata dosha and reduce the symptoms of Sandhigatavata.
  • Panchakarma: This is a set of five cleansing and rejuvenating therapies that aim to eliminate toxins from the body and restore balance to the doshas. Panchakarma therapies such as Virechan (Purgation therapy) and Nasya (nasal medication) can be beneficial in the treatment of Sandhigatavata.
  • Jalaukavacharana: Leech application will improve local circulation thus accelerating tissue repair.

Internal Ayurvedic Medicine :

  • Navak Guggulu
  • Abhadi Guggulu
  • Yogaraja Guggulu
  • Lakshadi Guggulu
  • Trayodashanga Guggulu
  • Maharasnadi Kashaya
  • Ashwagandharishtam
  • Dashmoola Kashaya
  • Mukta pishti
  • Dhanwantaram 101 Aawarti
  • Gandha Taila Capsule
  • Panchtikta Guggulu ghrita

Single Herbs for Sandhigata vata :

  • Guggulu (Comiphora mukul)
  • Shallaki (Boswellia serrata)
  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
  • Ashwagandha (Withenia somnifera)
  • Laksha (Lac)
  • Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)
  • Shigru (Moringa Oleifera)
  • Eranda (Ricinus communis
  • Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata)
  • Bala (Sida cordifolia)
  • Devdaru (Cedrus deodara)
  • Nagabala (Grewia hirsute)

Diet for Sandhigatavata :

There is no specific diet to cure osteoarthritis, certain foods and nutrients can help reduce inflammation, improve joint health, and relieve symptoms. Here are some dietary recommendations for osteoarthritis:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health.
  2. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods: Certain foods can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish, can help reduce inflammation. Other anti-inflammatory foods include nuts, seeds, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables.
  3. Avoid inflammatory foods: Certain foods can contribute to inflammation in the body, which can worsen the symptoms of osteoarthritis. These include processed foods, sugar, saturated and trans fats, and foods high in refined carbohydrates.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can put extra strain on the joints, which can worsen the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help reduce this strain and improve joint health.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help keep your joints lubricated and reduce stiffness.
  6. Consider supplements: Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may help reduce joint pain and improve mobility in some people with osteoarthritis, but research results are mixed.

Yoga & Exercise for Osteoarthritis(Sandhigatavata) :

Exercise and physical activity can help manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis by improving joint mobility, reducing pain and inflammation, and increasing muscle strength. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that can be particularly beneficial for people with osteoarthritis as it helps improve flexibility and balance without putting excessive stress on the joints. Here are some yoga and exercise recommendations for osteoarthritis:

  1. Yoga: Yoga poses such as the warrior pose, tree pose, and seated forward bend can help stretch and strengthen the muscles around the joints, reducing stiffness and improving range of motion. Gentle, restorative yoga can also help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
Osteoarthritis yoga treatment
Osteoarthritis yoga treatment
  1. Low-impact aerobics: Low-impact aerobics such as walking, swimming, cycling, and water aerobics can help improve cardiovascular health, reduce pain and inflammation, and increase joint flexibility.
  2. Strength training: Resistance training with light weights or resistance bands can help strengthen the muscles around the joints, reducing pain and improving mobility.
  3. Range-of-motion exercises: Exercises that involve moving the joints through their full range of motion, such as knee bends and shoulder rolls, can help maintain flexibility and reduce stiffness.
  4. Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a gentle form of exercise that involves slow, flowing movements and deep breathing. It can help improve balance, flexibility, and overall well-being.

As with any exercise program, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a physical therapist before starting, to ensure that the exercises are safe and appropriate for your individual needs and condition.

By Dr.Dimpal Baldha

I'm DR. Dimple Baldha, an Ayurvedic doctor and I have treated more than a thousand patients in my couple of years of experience in this field. This has given me a lot of insights and positive areas to work with people from different parts of the world managing arthritis issues, Dietary changes, healthy lifestyles, and metabolic disorders. I have good knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine, Panchkarma treatment, Healthy lifestyle and yoga. I have treated so many diseases like spondylitis, psoriasis, allergies and bronchial asthma. Talks about #health, #ayurveda, #wellness, #healthylifestyle

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