Ayurveda Doshas & Joint Movement

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Table of Contents

What are Ayurvedic doshas?

All three doshas help in bringing about the smooth movement in the joints. A healthy state occurs when the doshas are balanced.

The Kapha dosha helps in the lubrication of the joints and maintains the joints’ integrity and stability.  When Kapha morbidity occurs, the joints’ stability is reduced, and the joints’ immunity will also decrease.

If joint lubrication gets decreased, the joints become dry. Vata and Pitta get out of balance, and Vata increases from the prevailing dry atmosphere.

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– If Pitta dosha gets involved in the pathological process, the joints’ inflammation can worsen the problem. Pitta helps in metabolism in the joints that keep up the joint’s heat, keeps infections at bay. Pitta, combined with Kapha, also provides lubrication to the joint. When Kapha morbidity occurs, fluids can accumulate within joint spaces and can result in swelling. Excess fluids create pressure on the cartilage and the joints and can lead to infections.

Vata helps in free movement, keeps up the joint’s flexibility, and allows free movements to happen inside the joints.

Excess Kapha in the joints will decrease Vata’s responses due to the non-availability of free space and fluids. If Vata increases a pathological increase, it can dry off the fluidity of Kapha, cause excessive dryness. The joints quickly get deteriorate.

Signs of dosha participation in arthritis

Symptoms of Dosha participation in arthritis

1. Signs of Vata participation: Vata form of Arthritis (Involvement of Vata):

– Severe Pain — Excess Vata vitiation in the joints causes joints and soft tissues’ damage at a lively rate. Vata’s involvement in any joint disease reflects degeneration and may be understood by extreme intensity of pain. Pain is a frequent symptom in any kind of arthritis, but its severity varies with the participation of distinct Doshas and combinations. If Vata Dosha is severely aggravated, the high level of pain will be acute.

– Mobility — Movements may be severely diminished and limited due to severe damage to the joints.

– Time of Infection — Each of the symptoms and signs of Vata arthritis will worsen during evenings and nights.

– Swelling — Mild to moderate swelling could be viewed in Vata form of arthritis.

– Crepitus — Sounds at the joints will be highest in Vata affliction of joints due to acute degeneration, damage, dryness, and the consequent production of loose bodies in the joints.

– Season — Symptoms aggravate in Varsha Ritu (monsoon period / rainy season), during cold and damp weather, cloudy environment, and regress in hot and summer season.

– Relieving factors — The pain and other symptoms of Vata type of arthritis will get relieved —

By warm and hot comforts or remedies

Program of soothing herbal oils and massages (abhyanga)

Sudation or sweat-inducing treatments (swedana)

Local remedies like  Greeva Vasti (oil pooling for neck pain), Pinda Sweda (bolus fomentations), Kati Vasti (oil pooling for low back pain), Janu Vasti (oil pooling for knee arthritis)

– Consumption of medicated oils: Virechana and Vasti (therapeutic purgation and therapeutic enemas). A diet of light digestible food, hot and fresh, more of candy (madhura), sour (amla) and salt (lavana) tastes

– Take Rest

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2. Signs of Pitta participation: Pitta kind of Arthritis (Involvement of Pitta):

– Burning Pain — When Pitta afflicts the joints, it causes inflammation. If Kapha isn’t able to supply an antagonistic effect to this inflammatory process, the Pitta morbidity will burn off the joints to destruction. Since Pitta’s involvement reflects the inflammatory process, the individual discovers burning sensation in the joint, a sense of passion, or burning coal in the joints and fumes getting released.

– Warmth — Due to its hot state, vitiated Pitta will cause greater heat in the joints. The Pitta affected joints will be hot on touch.

– Redness — The inflamed joints in Pitta joint disease will be reddish. This result is a manifestation of the inflammatory destruction happening in the joints and soft tissues. More redness will reveal more inflammation.

– Mobility: Movements restricted to a wide range based upon the degree of inflammation. Inflammation can cause a burning type of pain, and the pain will limit the movements. However, the restriction of mobility isn’t as intense as in a Vata type of arthritis caused by joint degeneration and damage.

– Swelling — In the pitta form of arthritis, the swelling will reflect the quantum of inflammation. If the inflammation is severe, we could discover severe swelling, and whether the inflammation is mild, the swelling will be mild. The swelling is going to be of an inflammatory form (unlike Kapha type of swelling wherein the swelling is massive because of the accumulation of fluids within the joint areas. Generally, moderate to severe inflammatory swelling (related to heat, redness) could be viewed.

– Time of Pain — The majority of those complaints in Pitta arthritis will be during the day. It’s generally believed that Pitta symptoms, including swelling and pain, will increase with the seriousness of Sun towards noon and get decreased towards sunset. The indicators will surge in the afternoon.

– Relieving factors — The pain and other symptoms of Pitta type of arthritis will get alleviated —

By cold conveniences or remedies

Application of calming herbal oils made up of pitta relieving and anti-inflammatory herbs, Ksheeradhara (stream pouring of treated milk within the joints and soft tissues), Lepa (anointments or pastes having anti=inflammatory land ). Remedies like Virechana (therapeutic purgation), Raktamokshana (blood-letting therapy ). Taking Tikta Ghritas (herbal ghee prepared with herbs using Pitta relieving, and bitter-tasting herbs)

– Diet of light digestible food, cold in nature, more of candy (madhura), tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent) tastes

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3. Signs of Kapha participation: Kapha type of Arthritis (Involvement of Kapha):

– Heaviness — Kapha is a fluid lubricating element. When Kapha accumulates in excess within spaces around joints, it induces effusion. Kapha’s involvement typically indicates the accumulation of some fluid in and around the joints. This accumulation can cause substantial pain around the joints. The fluid is the most frequently non-inflammatory type.

– Stiffness — This is the hallmark characteristic of a Kapha joint disease. The joints and soft tissues get stiff due to the accumulation of fluids in the cells. Stiffness or grab will be predominantly felt around the early part of the morning and will come down as the day moves.

– Swelling — swelling of a serious proportion will be viewed in the Kapha form of arthritis. Due to the accumulation of fluids, we can detect some glow around the swelling region.

– Mobility: The motions in Kapha arthritis will be limited because of stiffness brought on by fluid accumulation.

– Coldness — The affected joints are chilly in touch. This result is due to the cold nature of Kapha.

– Dampness — Feeling of a Wet fabric wrapped around the joint cans be sensed from the individual afflicted by Kapha type of arthritis.

– Relieving factors — The pain and other symptoms of Kapha type of arthritis will get alleviated —

By warm and hot comforts or remedies

Use lepa (medicinal pastes) that ward off the fluid collection, alleviate stiffness, and grab in the joints.

Sudation or sweat-inducing therapies, Remedies like Vamana (curative emesis)

– A diet  of light digestible food, hot and fresh, more of pungent and hot (katu), bitter (tikta) and chamomile (kashaya) tastes

– Good physical activity

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Multiple doshas and additional causes

1. Arthritis caused by the participation of more than one dosha —

When more than one dosha is involved in the causation of pain or arthritis, the symptoms and signs will be in mixed proportions.

– Vata-Pitta arthritis — When Vata-Pitta Doshas are involved, as its name suggests, Vata will be aggravated (overriding vitiated dosha) compared to Pitta (related vitiated dosha) while Kapha will stay dormant. In such conditions, endometriosis because of Vata (predominant dosha) will be, but burning sensation due to Pitta vitiation (related dosha) will also be present in a mild form.

– Pitta-Vata arthritis — Pitta will be the dominant vitiated dosha, and its symptoms will be found in a higher proportion. Vata is the related dosha, and its contribution to symptomatology will be lower than that of Vata. Kapha will be dormant here as well. Thus, in the Pitta-Vata form of arthritis, Pitta’s burning sensation will be more than pain due to Vata.

– Double and Tridosha participation; Another kind of Joint ailments too should be similarly understood. They’re —

Vata-Kapha arthritis — In this, Vata will be predominant dosha, and Kapha will be secondary dosha. As the name implies, Vata symptoms (pain) will be more than Kapha’s symptoms (stiffness ). Pitta is going to be the least vitiated or dormant dosha whose symptoms aren’t manifested.

– Kapha-Vata arthritis — This problem is merely the reverse of Vata-Kapha arthritis. In this, Kapha is going to be predominant dosha, and Vata is the associated dosha. As its name suggests, Kapha’s symptoms (stiffness ) will be more than Vata symptoms (pain). Pitta again is a subtle dosha that doesn’t surface.

– Pitta-Kapha arthritis — In this, Pitta is going to be predominant dosha, and Kapha will be weak dosha. As the name implies, Pitta’s symptoms (burning pain ) will be more than those of Kapha’s (stiffness ). Vata is going to be the least vitiated or dormant dosha whose symptoms aren’t manifested.

– Kapha-Pitta arthritis — This problem is merely the reverse of Pitta-Kapha arthritis. In this, Kapha is going to be predominant dosha, and Pitta is the associated dosha. As its name suggests, Kapha’s symptoms (stiffness ) will be more than Pitta symptoms (burning pain). Vata again is a subtle dosha that doesn’t surface.

Tridosha arthritis: In these kinds of arthritis, all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are vitiated. The indicators of vitiation of all of the three doshas (as explained above) will be evident from these joint disorders.

Additional factors can lead to arthritis aggravation —

Ama — Improperly processed digestive juices that will be not be used by the cells as nourishment and metabolized by the cells are called ama. Ama is formed at the gut-level due to weak digestion. Ama tends to block the channels of circulation and nutrition. Ama accumulates in the cells and slows tissue metabolism and formation. Ama will cause several systemic psychosomatic ailments as well as auto-immune ailments like Amavata (Rheumatoid arthritis). Association of the ama with morbid doshas will add fuel to the flame. These doshas are now known as sama doshas (doshas linked with ama). Sama Vata, Sama Pitta, and Sama Kapha will also create painful syndromes and various arthritis types.

– Weak dhatus — Weak cells provide the right atmosphere for its morbid doshas to invade and cause arthritis, particularly bone, fat, and muscle cells are vulnerable to be attacked by vitiated doshas to cause arthritis. Weak dhatus may be congenital or acquired. Weak tissue metabolism (dhatwagni mandhya) and ama accumulation in dhatus (Sama dhatus) can further benefit arthritis. Formation and collection of ama, their association with morbid doshas, and the manifestation of several joint associated ailments like arthritis describes the auto-immune procedure.

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