Osteoarthritis: An Ayurvedic Case Study

Osteoarthritis: An Ayurvedic Case Study

Arthritis Vaidya Vishwanath


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease which clinically presents with low-grade inflammation and pain in the joints. Inside the joints there is an abnormal wearing of the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints, as well the synovial fluid which lubricates the joints is decreased.

Sandhigata Vata (Osteoarthritis) is the one of the most common Vatavyadhi (vata disorders) which mainly occurs in Varidhavastha (mature age) due to Dhatukshaya (depletion of tissues) and Vataprakoka Nidan (vata dosha aggravating lifestyle factors).

A male aged 63 years had bilateral knee joint pain and swelling. He is a professor and has a history of standing for long periods of time and is also overweight. He has suffered with pain while standing for 4 years. Initially the pain was mild, which later increased while commuting to work and standing for long hours teaching. For one year, the pain and swelling had increased around the joints as well as developing crepitation (creaking sound from the joints) while walking.

His daily activities like standing for long periods and eating unhealthy foods were exacerbating his symptoms. He consulted with an orthopedic doctorand was prescribed pain medication which offered only temporary relief. Over time, the pain and swelling continued to increase while taking the prescribed pain medication.

When the client came into my office, he was experiencing great difficulty walking, sitting in a squatting position, and was unable to climb stairs. A view of the x-rays previously taken by his doctor confirmed both knee joints have osteoarthritis, particularly the left knee.


  • Sandhishoola (pain in the joints)
  • Atopa (crepitations in joints)
  • Sandhi stambha (stiffness in joints)
  • Prasarana – Akunchana (pain when moving)
  • Shotha (swelling of joints)

Upon Examination:

  • Pulse – 72/min
  • Blood pressure – 130/85 mm hg
  • Cardiovascular system – Normal
  • Central nervous system – Normal
  • Respiratory system – Normal
  • Crepitus was found in both joints with restricted movements
  • Jivha (tongue) – Sama (with toxins)
  • Mala - Mutra Pravrutti (urine and stool) Normal
  • Prakruti (body constitution) – Vata/Pitta
  • Bala (strength) – Medium
  • Jatharagni (digestive fire) – Madhyama (moderate)

Goal: improve walking distance and standing time

In this condition, the vata and kapha dosha are vitiated and responsible for the whole pathological process.

Preventive Measures to Help Balance Vata and Kapha

Avoiding or minimizing the use of tikta (bitter), kashya (astringent), katu (pungent), rasa (tastes) and especially avoid sheeta virya ahara (cold foods).

  • Rasayan Sevana (intake of rejuvenation medicine).
  • Regular practice of Abhyanga (self-massage).
  • Avoid sudden jerking movements.
  • Avoiding continuous and excessive use of one joint.
  • Avoid long standing, walking long distance.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight may be the single most important factor.
  • Protecting the joints from serious injury or repeated minor injuries will decrease the risk of further damage to the cartilage.
  • Exercise can help reduce joint pain and stiffness and engaging in light to moderate physical activity may prevent further decline and may even restore some healthy function.

Lifestyle Changes to Help Balance Vata and Kapha

  • Avoid staying awake late at night
  • Sleeping during daytime
  • Avoid excess physical and mental activities

Occupational Changes

Once osteoarthritis is diagnosed the person should reduce shock to the affected joint. Hammering away at deteriorating cartilage is likely to speed up the degeneration. People in occupations requiring repetitive and stressful movement should explore ways to reduce the trauma to the joints. Adjusting the work area and substituting tasks will help reduce the stress on the joints.

Herbal Supplements

Initially the client was given Triphaldi Churnam and Gandharvahastadi Oil for shodhana for the purpose of detoxification. These two products help to reduce sama kapha dosha (kapha toxin) and sama meda dhatu (toxins in the fat tissue) which are causing obstruction to nourish the joints.

Later adapted with vatahara chikitsa (vata balancing line of treatment). In this we used Dhanwantharam Kwath tablets and Yogaraj Guggulu tablets internally, as well as external application of Dhanwantharam Oil and Karpuradi Oil which are anti-inflammatory and pain reducing.

After administering treatment for 3 months, the pain, stiffness and swelling were reduced. Gradually, after six months of treatment, 70% of symptoms disappeared completely. Client can now walk easier, sit on the floor, and is able to stand for longer periods of time. The success of this treatment allowed the client to return to his daily routine without any type of discomfort.

How An In-Depth Health Consultation Can Heal Your Osteoarthritis

When pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis are chronic, your best option is to enlist the expertise of an Ayurvedic Vaidya. An in-depth Ayurvedic health consultation offers you a fresh look at your condition and helps you understand the root cause start the right treatment protocol.

FREE 15 Minute Pre-Consultation

Vaidya Vishwanth is offering a free 15 minute pre-consultation to our customers who would like to learn how an in-depth consultation can improve their health. If you would like to talk directly with Vaidya Vishwanath, contact us here.


Join Vaidya Vishwanath on Clubhouse next Tuesday, August 17th at 5 pm ET. He will be discussing how to manage osteoarthritis and will be available to answer questions.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at contact@kottakkal.shop and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.
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