Arthritis is a group of conditions that causes pain and restricted movement of the joints. It is a common disease seen in the elderly. It is one of the leading causes of disability among people over the age of fifties.
The arthritis symptoms differ from person to person depending upon the affected area, the type of arthritis and the age of the person. However, the most common symptoms are stiffness around the joints, swelling, redness, constant or recurring pain in the joint, tenderness, and difficulty using or moving the joint.
There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The three major types are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and occurs after the age of 40 whereas rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age. Fibromyalgia does not directly affect the joints rather the inflammation and pain affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues under the skin.
Rheumatoid arthritis destroys the ligaments and tendons that join the bones and muscles. Thus, deformities can be seen in this type. In case of osteoarthritis, the bones increase in size and the space between them decreases, making the bones rub against each other, causing pain. In fibromyalgia, many patients have tender spots under the skin that are painful when any type of pressure is applied. The symptoms of this type include deep muscle pain, sleeplessness, fatigue, and depression.
1. Boil Indian gooseberry (amla) and molasses (gur) in water. Alternatively, make tablets of powder of Indian gooseberry and molasses. Take one tablet twice daily. It is especially effective for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Take fenugreek (methi) seeds or its fresh leaves along with jaggery (gur). It is very helpful, especially in winters. It allows muscles to rest while in pain. It is especially good for relieving pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Take 10 grams of camphor (kapoor) and 200 grams of mustard (sarso) oil. Mix in a glass bottle and close with a tight cork. Now keep the bottle in the sun till the camphor get dissolved in the oil. Massage with this oil for relief from back pain, nerve pain, hip pain, muscle pain and any other pains. Do not apply on the chest of a breastfeeding mother or the milk flow will stop.
4. One of the easy ways to prevent arthritis is to relieve constipation. According to the traditional medicine system Ayurveda, arthritic pain is due to aggravation of vata dosha (air in the body). Constipation stops the proper passage of air from the body, aggravating pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is also due to aggravation of vata and kapha. Take 1 to 2 grams of garlic (lahsun) and ginger (adrak) regularly to relieve vata and kapha.
5. Drink carrot juice daily for 3-4 months and you can work for hours together and will never feel tired or exhausted. Carrot juice is helpful as it increases physical and mental strength and powers of the ligaments. It strengthens heart, liver, brain, gallbladder and bones and acts a tonic. It contains iron, carotene, vitamin A, sulphur and phosphoric acid.
6. Take 4 to 5 peeled garlic cloves, and two grams of carom seeds (ajwain). Powder both and add in 30 grams of mustard (sarso) oil and heat slowly. When the color changes, stop heating and allow it to cool. Now sieve the oil and massage daily with this warm oil for relief from pain. This is an effective home remedy for arthritis.
7. Avoid fried food as this is difficult to digest and leads to digestive problems that aggravate arthritis. Do not take heavy meals, meat and fish if you have low digestive power of the intestines. Also, do not eat sour fruits.
8. Daily massage with oil gives much relief from pain and stiffness. Those who regularly massage daily with oil do not suffer from arthritis or joint problems. Their body develops the capacity to tolerate fatigue.
9. Bananas are good for arthritic patients as they make the joints greasier and give them strength. This is an effective home remedy for arthritis.
10. Feet massage with oil is also beneficial as it makes your feet soft and strong and improves eyesight, swelling, dryness and roughness of the feet. Disease like sciatica and others related to nerve pain do not occur.
11. All pulses except green gram (moong) aggravate vata and arthritis. Avoid rice especially during the night. Do not take cooked rice kept for 3-4 hours. It aggravates vata.
12. Improve your digestive system and metabolism as arthritis is basically caused due to improper digestion and disturbed metabolism of the body.
13. Drink at least one liter of water the first thing in the morning. Do not eat anything one hour after this. Those who cannot drink one liter of water can start with one glass and gradually go up to four glasses.
14. Do not eat fried, spicy, chilled items. Include plenty of fruits and green vegetables in your diet. Do not take tea, coffee, ice creams, chocolate etc. Avoid alcohol and smoking. Do not eat anything just before sleeping. Drink purified water.
15. You should not sit idle nor over-exert yourselves. Immobility or lack of physical activity may lead to stiffness of joints and over-exertion may lead to damage of ligaments. Give rest to the joints if they are inflamed. Move your painful joint at least twice daily to prevent stiffness.