Osteoarthritis is the degenerative disease of the Joints. It has a pure degenerative pathology without any inflammatory involvement of the joint. Inflammation of synovium may occur late in Osteoarthritis but it is not the cause. Hence, the term Osteoarthritis is misnomer and the appropriate term is “Osteoarthosis”. In Osteoarthritis, the joints are constantly subjected to cyclical loading of forces which results constant stresses at the joint surfaces.
Osteoarthritis can be divided into two types : Primary Osteoarthritis and Secondary Osteoarthritis.
Primary Osteoarthritis is affected due to the wear and tears occurred in the joints without ageing. The exact cause of Primary Osteoarthritis is not known. However, certain predisposing factors like Obesity, Hormonal Imbalance, Genetic Factors, Defectine Lubricating Mechanism, Poor posture, Hereditary, Extreme Climates etc. are blamed for this. In Primary Osteoarthrits weight bearing joints of the body like Hip, Knee, etc. are mainly affected but other joints of the body like spine, CMC joint of thumb, DIP joint of finger etc. can also be affected.
Secondary Arthritis is affected due to the wear and tears occurred in an abnormal joint. For example, Fracture in Joints, Dislocation, Congenital Maldevelopment of Joint Surfaces, Genu Valgum or Garum, Avascular Necrosis of Femoral Head, Infections like TB, Heamophilia, Acroanegaly, Hyperthyroidism, Tabesdorsalis, Syringomyelia etc.
The cause of osteoarthritis is unknown. Factors that might cause it include:
- Being overweight
- Getting older
- Joint injury
- Joints that are not properly formed
- A genetic defect in joint cartilage
- Stresses on the joints from certain jobs and playing sports.
a. Hydrotherapy : It is a proved that water has many remedial properties. Example : Antipyretic, Diaphoretic, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic.
In case of Osteo-Arthritis, the application of hydrotherapy improves overall condition of the affected part by providing nourishment and removing the pain causing irritant substances.
The following are the important hydrotherapy therapeutic measures for Osteo-Arthrits.
- Hot & Cold Compress / Fomentation
- Hot Foot Arm Bath
- Hip Bath
- Ice Massage to inflamed part
- Packs (Knee)
- Spinal Bath
- Whirlpool Bath
- Immersion Bath
- Contrast Bath & Packs.
b. Mud Therapy : Mud Therapy has a unique property of extracting toxins and has thermoregulatory action (cooling). Mud is applied in the form of local mud packs or whole body mud bath.
In case of osteo-arthritis mud can be applied in form hot or cold depending upon the symptoms of the affected area.
Ex : Full body mud bath, Abdominal Mud Pack, Eye Pack, Mud to knees, Mud Poultice.
c. Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy increases the vital force of the body by improving physiological functions of the body like circulation, excretion metabolism, and stimulation of nervous system.
Massage tones the body and gives strength to the muscles. It increases the flexibility of the joints. So, when treating Osteo-Arthritis, Massage Therapy can be applied fully or partially.
Ex : Partial massage to Knees, Back & Full body Massage.
In the treatment of Osteo-Arthritis, Sun Therapy is used in the form of Sun charged oil, ghee, water, milk, sugar balls, thermolium sun bath, sunlight bath (Sun Bath).
– Green Colour charged water is beneficial.
– Massage with Red Colour charged Oil.
Acupressure & Acupuncture works in the principle of reflexology. The sole and the palms shows the mirror image of the body. Body is divided into zones and meridians so, by applying pressure on that particular points will stimulates the connected internal organs through re flex actions.
f. Yoga Therapy
In case of OA, Yogic Activities plays an important role
OA for Knee Joint : Sukshma Vyayama, Udarkarsanasana, Uthita Padasana, Setubandhasana, Pawanmuktasana, Vakrasana, Janu Naman & Janu Ghurnan
OA of Hip Joint & Spinal Column : Sukshma Vyayama, Udarkasanasana, Setubandhasana, Katichakrasana, Bhujangasana.
Deep Breathing Pranayama, Nadi Sodhana, Kapalabhati, Surya Bheda Pranayama followed by Sheetali Pranayama.
Jalandhara Bandha, Uddiyana & Moola Bandha are beneficial during Pranayama.
Tadagi, Prana, Khechari, Chin Mudra, Jnana Mudra are beneficial.
“Omkar” Chanting, Yoga Nidra, Ajapa Japa Meditation.