Ayurvedic Treatment for Knee Pain
Understanding Knee Pain
Knee pain is one of the most common problems experienced by people around the world, especially the elderly. Though it is commonly considered a problem of ageing, the young generation is increasingly getting affected by it because of their sedentary lifestyle and food habits. The reason behind your knee pain can be anything ranging from a minor injury to severe degenerative issues. Whatever the cause be, a course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala can work wonders on your knee. The divine science of ayurveda can offer a whole new pain free life, which you thought may never be possible. Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala offers wide possibilities and gives hope to many with its holistic approach. Understanding your knee pain and getting it treated at the right time is the key to continuing an active and pain free life.
What are the common causes of knee pain?
Pain in the knees could be due to different reasons. Before exploring the ayurvedic treatment for knee pain, it is important to understand those underlying causes of knee pain. The causes for knee pain can be mainly categorised into three:
1.Injuries to the knee joint
This refers to any damage caused to the ligaments, bones, tendons, meniscus or bursa of knee. ACL tear (Anterior Cruciate Ligament tear), fractures, tendinitis, meniscus tear and bursitis fall under this category.
2.Some types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are usually manifested with severe pain on knee along with other symptoms.
Knee cap dislocation, pain on foot and hip etc. that eventually put strain on knees are examples of scenarios where knee pain is caused by mechanical problems.
These are the most common reasons for knee pain. One must understand that knee pain is only a symptom of the underlying disease and hence it is very important to analyse the underlying cause before treatment. The first step in ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala is determining the underlying reason for your knee pain.
How do you develop knee pain?
Ayurveda treats diseases on the principles of tridoshas - vata, pitta and kapha. When these three doshas are in balance, we experience health but when one or more of these doshas are disturbed, it leads to disease. In the case of knee pain, the vata dosha is aggravated in the knee joint / janu sandhi (Janu means knee and Sandhi means joint in Sanskrit). Vata Dosha is responsible for all the locomotor and musculoskeletal activities in the human body. But when vata dosha goes out of balance due to dietary, lifestyle or genetic reasons, it moves and settles in parts of the body that are weakened due to previous wear and tear or injury. Knee pain is caused when vata lodges in the knee joint and causes problems there. Due to the peculiar nature of vata dosha, these problems increase over time and lead to more and more symptoms. In more advanced stages, other doshas like pitta and kapha dosha also get affected. The outcome of ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala will always be better if the condition is diagnosed and treated while only vata dosha is involved i.e. before it troubles kapha and pitta doshas too.
Is Kerala ayurvedic treatment for knee pain beneficial in all cases?
Yes, Kerala ayurvedic treatment for knee pain is beneficial in most cases. The onset, progress and severity of knee pain vary in patients according to the cause. When you come for ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala, you must give a detailed history of your disease and symptoms as this gives important clues to the physician about the exact cause of knee pain in your case. For example,
- Ligament injury- sudden onset of severe pain with a “popping sound”
- Kneecap fracture- severe pain with swelling in the front portion of knee
- Patellar tendonitis- pain with movements
- Meniscus tear (cartilage tear)- severe pain in the space between the bones, often felt as a stiffness and catching pain
- Patellar subluxation- pain around the sides of the knee cap
- Bursitis- pain above, on or below the knee cap
- Osteoarthritis of knee- pain aggravates on walking
- Rheumatoid arthritis- pain with morning stiffness
- Gout- pain more during night time
In all the above cases, pain is a common symptom but the way it is experienced and its severity differ. Understanding the nature of pain is very crucial in ayurvedic treatment for knee pain, as the therapies and medicines are chosen based on the characteristic nature of pain.
When should you consider ayurvedic treatment for knee pain?
While knee pain of recent onset usually gets relieved on its own, expert opinion may be necessary in cases where the pain persists. You may wait for a good 2 to 3 days if the onset of pain was gradual and was caused due to over activity. Proper rest and sometimes ice packs are beneficial in such cases. But seek ayurvedic treatment when
- The pain persists or aggravates even after 3 days
- The pain is associated with swelling, redness, fever or tenderness
- The pain affects your mobility and usual activities
- There is the presence of a deformity that can be noticed externally on the knee
One major challenge faced by ayurveda physicians in treating knee pain is with the stage when the patient comes for treatment. Keep in mind, as with other systems of medicine, in ayurveda also, the final outcome will always be better when you seek treatment at the earliest. While it may not always be possible to seek ayurvedic treatment for knee pain within the first week of onset, following some ayurvedic tips, and modifying your diet and lifestyle can effectively control further worsening of the disease until you come for treatment. The duration of treatment and the time required for complete recovery considerably reduce when it is managed not so late. Perhaps you have been taking modern medicines to manage your knee pain but has not benefited significantly from it. You are still not late to undergo ayurvedic treatment for knee pain as there are proven successful cases in ayurveda where complete recovery was made possible, when other systems were helpless.
How successful is ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala?
Ayurveda is able to offer a long term solution for knee pain in most cases. However, the outcome of ayurvedic treatment for knee pain is the best when the condition is diagnosed early and treated early. In early stages, vague initial symptoms of the underlying pathology are more pronounced than the actual symptoms. Treating at this stage is less troublesome for both the patient and physician as it responds to medicines and therapies very fast. Having said that, advanced stages of knee pain are also efficiently managed in ayurveda, compared to any other system of medicine. In later stages, the symptoms and severity will be manifested more clearly. Treatment at this stage is focused on relieving the pain effectively without causing further progression of the disease. In chronic cases where the illness cannot be completely cured, ayurveda adopts symptomatic management and supportive care to arrest the pain and further worsening of the disease. This explains why most people resort to ayurvedic treatment when other systems of medicine have nothing more to offer.
Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain
What are some therapies used at a Kerala ayurvedic centre in the treatment for knee pain?
Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain begins with proper history taking, that discusses details from the onset to the present condition of the disease. The treatment essentially includes both external and internal therapies to ensure maximum benefit. After a thorough examination of your knee, the ayurvedic physician will choose internal medicines and external therapies suitable for your condition. The internal medicines and its dosage will be modified as and when needed during the course of your treatment, depending on the progress you are showing. The common therapies that are usually advised for knee pain are:
- Podikizhi/ churna pinda sweda - medicated powder bolus massage that helps in relieving pain and facilitating easy absorption of medicines through skin.
- Abhyangam - massage with ayurvedic oils that is beneficial in bringing down vata, promoting blood circulation and strengthening the joint.
- Ela kizhi/ patra potali sweda- massage with heated boluses containing medicated leaves. Helps in alleviating swelling and pain in arthritis, degenerative conditions of knee, tendinitis and muscle sprain.
- Njavara kizhi/ shashtika pinda sweda- massage with herbal paste processed in milk and njavara rice, indicated in chronic degenerative conditions with inflammation. Gives a rejuvenating effect.
- Janu vasti - retaining warm medicated oil over the knee for specific period of time. Helps to relieve pain in knee due to arthritis and other conditions where there is no inflammation.
- Pichu- keeping a cotton cloth dipped in warm medicated oil over the painful knee and maintaining the temperature. Helps in pain relief, provides lubrication to the knee and strengthens the knee joint
- Lepanam - application of herbal paste on knees to relieve pain
- Veshtanam- bandaging that helps in keeping the knee joint immobile in cases of injury to the ligaments/ cartilage. Also beneficial in fractures.
- Vasti- enema which is a nourishing and purifying procedure is a part of panchakarma treatment for knee pain and helps in pacifying vata dosha
One or more of the above therapies may be advised depending on your condition. Therapies other than the ones mentioned here may also be adopted by the physician.
What are the steps followed in the ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala?
Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala is a step by step process decided by the physician after assessing the condition of your knee. The first stage will be to bring the inflammation, if present, under control. Internal medicines with anti-inflammatory properties will be given along with external therapies like podikizhi or lepanam. The second stage will be aiming at repairing the damaged knee with suitable oral medications and external therapies like abhyanga(oil massage) or elakizhi. This may be done locally or below the hip depending on the severity and condition of the disease. The third stage is to normalise the knee joint with vata pacifying internal medications and therapies like janu vasti or pichu. Nourishing the affected knee joint becomes the fourth stage of treatment and this includes internal medications with rasayana effect and therapies like njavara kizhi or ekanga dhara (pouring warm medicated oil/ decoction over the knee or entire leg). Vasti(enema) may also be advised if needed. The fifth and final stage in the ayurvedic treatment for knee pain will be concentrating on rehabilitation and includes specific exercises for knee joint and physiotherapy. Knee bandaging may be advised after each treatment procedure, if necessary. The number of days required for the inpatient course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala vary for different patients depending on their underlying cause of knee pain.
Can knee pain treatment in Kerala offer a permanent cure?
Yes, knee pain treatment in Kerala can offer a permanent cure if the disease is in its early stages. If the disease has progressed but has not become chronic, the pain responds fairly well to therapies and medicines. However if your disease has progressed significantly, you may be instructed to undergo therapies every year or once in 2 or 3 years to ensure permanent benefit. Having comparatively far less chances for side effects, you can completely rely on ayurvedic medicines as a permanent solution to your knee pain and would not have to go back to those painkillers anymore. In chronic cases, where the knee pain is present for many long years and in some highly degenerative cases, permanent cure may not be possible. Ayurveda offers supportive treatment and great pain relief in such cases. Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in this situation will be focussed on enabling the patient to lead a less painful life without further worsening of the disease.
Does ayurvedic treatment for knee pain offer a cure in cases where knee replacement surgery is suggested?
Knee replacement surgeries are advised mostly when there is serious damage to the knees that occur in cases of osteoarthritis and some severe cases of ligament and cartilage injuries. Fear of surgery and its complications may compel you to search for other options. Ayurveda offers hope to such patients with its holistic approach. There are proven cases of patients who avoided knee replacement surgeries with their timely approach and continues to lead a pain free life with ayurvedic treatment. While in certain specific cases it may not be possible to completely avoid the surgery, ayurveda can surely delay the urgency of replacement and helps avoid further damage to the knees. Talk to your ayurvedic physician regarding the various possibilities ayurveda can offer instead of going for a knee replacement surgery immediately.
Why should you choose ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for your knee pain?
If you have decided to undergo ayurvedic treatment for your knee pain, there is no better choice than God’s own country, Kerala. Although ayurveda continues to gain popularity worldwide, no other place propagates and practice ayurveda like Kerala does. Rather than treating the symptoms, your ayurveda hospital in Kerala will start treatment by analysing your present lifestyle including your family disease history. You cannot find such an in depth treatment style in any other part of the world. Qualified physicians who are very sincere and dedicated to their profession and completely devoted in studying the principles behind this divine science, makes Kerala the no.1 choice for ayurvedic treatment. The lush greenery and warm welcome offered by Kerala is sure to make you comfortable and feel at home. Besides, you can find that ayurvedic treatment for knee pain is less expensive in Kerala, compared to other parts of the world.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE FOR KNEE PAIN
What is the diet suggested in the ayurvedic treatment for knee pain?
Knee pain being a vata involved illness, the diet should be aimed at balancing vata dosha for better results. Dryness and coldness are favourable factors for increasing vata. Hence your food must be warm, oily and moist rather than cold and dry. A warm, light home cooked diet that is easy to digest and not too spicy would be ideal. Warm soups and porridges are soothing for the body and mind. A breakfast that includes hot cereals or a bowl of oats with cooked vegetables and fruits should be ideal to start your day. Cooked grains, hot soups and porridges, mildly spiced milk with turmeric or cinnamon etc. can counteract the vata effect and hence, are good for you. It is not so unusual to observe an increase in knee pain when you have cold items like ice cream, refrigerated leftovers etc. This is because of the vata imbalance caused by such food.
While you can include fruits and vegetables as much as possible, it is best to avoid potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, radish and sprouts as these are vata increasing in nature. Start using mildly sauteed or steamed vegetables in your bowl of salad instead of raw vegetables, so as to not increase vata.
Moist fruits likes watermelon, berries (except cranberry), etc should be consumed in plenty.
Make sure to have dairy products like milk and limited quantity of ghee daily in your diet, but exclude that processed cheese and curd.
Pulses and legumes like dried bengal gram, dried green peas, dried lentils and sprouts are sure to worsen your already existing knee pain because of their vata aggravating nature. Having said that, you cannot completely ignore those protein rich items in your diet. To counteract their vata dosha aggravating nature, you may soak the dried lentils and cook them well with culinary herbs and spices like asafoetida, fennel, cumin and ajwain so that you may supplement your diet with necessary protein. Also, the fresh variety of lentils like beans is very much safe to consume as it does not hamper vata dosha.
It is best to minimise non-vegetarian food as you are mostly expected to have a pure vegetarian diet while on treatment.
That tempting fried and junk food is causing you more trouble to your knee than you can imagine. This is also the prime reason for obesity that eventually puts excessive strain on your knees, causing knee pain. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Avoiding spicy, acidity causing food is a general rule.
Does cold climate worsen knee pain?
The answer is yes. Almost all joint pains tend to increase when it is monsoon or with the onset of winter. Similar is the case with knee pain, especially if the pain is due to arthritis like diseases. During monsoon and winter seasons, when there is a drop in temperature, dryness sets in our body. Dryness always tend to increase vata, which in turn increases pain in the already weakened knee joint. Cold climate also aggravates knee joint stiffness which affects the movement. All these factors cause more trouble to the patient, compared to other seasons. But do not worry if you are living in a cold country. Ayurveda explains seasonal regimens in detail to deal with such situations. Following this, you can take necessary precautions to prevent further progression of the disease. An expert ayurvedic physician will be able to guide you regarding specific measures you may adopt and therapies that you can undergo during this time along with diet and lifestyle modifications.
What are the lifestyle modifications recommended in the ayurvedic treatment for knee pain?
Start modifying your lifestyle a bit and experience the difference even before you start the treatment. The most important thing is to avoid giving unwanted strain to your knees. Make sure you walk, stand and sit with your back straight all the time, without giving additional weight on your knees. Avoid long walks, day sleep, lifting heavy weights and pushing hard objects with your knees. Discard those high heels and wear comfortable footwear as this is important in maintaining proper alignment of your knee bones. Most importantly, shed those extra kilos you gained as your knees are the first to feel pressure when you are overweight. You can continue your regular morning/evening walks and light exercises to maintain a healthy body weight so that your knees will not experience that pain again due to overweight. Avoiding mental and physical stress and over exposure to cold weather provide long term benefits, ensuring a healthy knee.
What can you do after your discharge to sustain the results of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for knee pain ?
Following your physician’s advice after the course of treatment is very much necessary to experience the full, long term benefit of the treatment. Ayurveda advocates rest for twice the number of your treatment days. This does not necessarily mean absolute bed rest, but avoiding strenuous activities that gives strain to your knee joint during the period. You may be advised to take some medicines internally for a few months. Following the exact dosage and time as prescribed by the doctor ensures smooth recovery. You may experience fast relief but do not discontinue the medicines without your doctor’s advice. Simple exercises for the knee joint may be prescribed before your discharge to enhance the flexibility of knee joint. Make sure you follow this even in your busy schedule to avoid recurrence of pain. Stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle even after the course of your treatment.
Knee joint is the largest joint in human body with a complex arrangement that includes different bones, muscles, cartilages, tendons, bursae and menisci. Being so complex, this is also one joint that is much vulnerable to degeneration and external injuries, causing severe pain. Knee pain affects a large part of the population, irrespective of which part of the world they live in. This is also one of the most common problems seen in elderly people over the age of 50. Whatever be the reason, ayurveda treatment for knee pain always aims at eliminating or addressing the root cause of pain so that it will not trouble you again at a later point of time. Taking ayurvedic treatment at the right time for your knee pain, along with making diet and lifestyle modifications as advised by ayurveda, will help you lead a normal healthy life. Be it that painful osteoarthritis of knee, or ligament injury or that agonizing knee pain due to a fracture that happened long ago, ayurveda has solution for one and all. Do not allow knee pain to restrict you from chasing your dreams or enjoying a comfortable retired life. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala can bring miraculous relief in your knee pain which you perhaps once considered impossible.
DAILY SELF CARE TIPS
- Do not sit, stand or walk for a prolonged time as this may result in increased pressure on your knees.
- Stay active, say no to sedentary lifestyle.
- Consume calcium rich food like flax seeds and sesame seeds. Calcium is essential for bones and healthy joints.
- Give proper rest to your knees when they deserve it after a tiring day
- Avoid vata aggravating diet and resort to warm, moist and slightly oily food
- Have a stress-free life. Avoid alcohol, smoking and day sleep
- Make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle
- Avoid exposure to cold as much as possible.
I have been on painkillers. Will that affect my treatment?
No. Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain is entirely a different approach from western system of medicine. It does not depend on what treatment or medicines you have received previously. Also, the main aim will be to make you live without the need for painkillers.
I have never tried ayurvedic medicines and therapies in my life. Will it be difficult to get used to it for the first time?
Certainly not. Ayurvedic treatment for knee pain will be a step by step process that includes medicines and external therapies. You will be explained in detail about every step before starting each treatment. Only high quality ayurvedic medicines which are suitable for your body type will be used during the treatment, so there will be no issues in taking the medicines or therapies. This is evident from the fact that ayurvedic treatment in Kerala is growing in its popularity among patients from different parts of the world to manage chronic diseases.
Can I continue my medicines for hypertension and diabetes while on ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for knee pain?
You may continue the medication but make sure you inform the treating ayurvedic physician about the medicines and its time of intake so that the time of administration of ayurvedic medicines can be adjusted accordingly. You may also talk to your ayurveda doctor about possibilities of changing to ayurvedic medicines for the same.
Can I get back to work and my daily routine immediately after completing ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala?
It is advisable to go to your daily routine and work, after at least 2 weeks of completing ayurvedic treatment for knee pain. In case you cannot avoid joining back work immediately, follow your doctor’s advice strictly even while on work, to avoid difficulties. Make sure you stick to diet and lifestyle modifications as advised.
Will there be any side effects for ayurvedic therapies and medicines taken for knee pain?
Since ayurvedic treatment for knee pain starts after proper analysis of your disease history and body type, the chances for side-effects are almost nil. However, some medicines and therapies require specific regulations on diet and lifestyle, which if not followed strictly may result in unpleasant reactions.
Do I need to bring my previous medical records when I come for ayurvedic treatment for knee pain in Kerala?
It is always advisable to carry your previous medical records like x-rays, scan reports, blood test reports etc. relevant to knee pain so that you do not have to undergo those tests again. If your ayurvedic physician feels the need for a new report, he may advise the same for more clarification.
I have pain only on one knee. Will the treatment be concentrated on that knee only?
Proper examination of affected knee demands comparing both the knees for temperature difference, swelling and other deformities. In some cases, pain on one knee makes you give more pressure on the other knee, that eventually damages the healthy knee. In such cases, both knee joints will be given therapies to prevent any new occurrence.