Arthritis (Joint Pains)

In a nutshell, Arthritis means inflammation of the joint (“arth” is joint & “itis” means inflammation). Most people when they think of arthritis only think of the osteoarthritis which happens because of wear and tear on the joints. In fact, there are over hundred different types of arthritis which can hit anyone from children to older adults

While arthritis commonly attack the joints, different types also cause musculoskeletal pain. Here are some types of arthritis that may be new to you: Juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis,gout and osteoarthritis.

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What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) (Ama Vata)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis which has inflammation in the lining of the joints (synovium) and at times in internal organs. This inflammation separates Rheumatoid arthritis from the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint with synovium, especially in the hands, feet, knees, shoulders, & hips. The course of Rheumatoid arthritis is variable and unpredictable with damage occurring to joint cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and bone.

What are the signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)[amavata]?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease distinguished from other types of arthritis by the pattern of joints involved. Inflammation from RA causes pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, redness, loss of function in joints. aff Rheumatoid arthritis acts the wrist joint and many of the hand joints, but usually not the joints that are closest to the fingernails. Other joints that may be affected by RA include elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, hips, knees, ankles & feet. Other than the neck, the spine is usually not directly affected by RA. Rheumatoid arthritis. is often associated with delayed morning stiffness and fatigue later in the day. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to persist over prolonged periods of time, & the inflamed joints eventually can become damaged with the development of joint deformities or contractures. The way Rheumatoid arthritis acts will vary from person to person. In some people the disease will be mild with periods of activity (aggravation joint inflammation) called "flares." In other cases, the disease will be continuously active and get worse over time. Ayurveda terms RA as “Amavata”, meaning exacerbation of the Ama toxins as well as Vata doshas in the body, characterized by “Sandhi Shula” implying joint pain, “Sandhi Shotha” i.e. joint swelling and “Stabdhata” which translates to stiffness in joints.

What are the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) [amavata]?

The cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis, including children & the elderly. However, the disease usually begins in the young to middle adult years. Some people may inherit a tendency to develop RA.

What is Gout (Vaat-rakta)?

It is a condition in which abnormally high levels of uric acid occur in the blood which can cause frequent attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis), deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in & around the joints, & decreased kidney function and kidney stones.When you have arthritis, eating healthy can help. Healthy food choices and physical activity can help you lose weight, which is important if you have arthritis in your weight bearing joints (knees, hips, spine and feet).

What is Osteoarthritis (sandhivata)?

Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease of joints progressive in nature and characterized by pain, stiffness,& limited range of motion. It usually begins as a result of the ageing process, i.e. wear & tear of the joints during the later part of life. Among over 100 different types of arthritic conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint problem.