Arthritis is formed from two Greek words i.e. Arthon & itis.. Arthon means burning and itis means sensation. Hence there is pain, inflammation and stiffness of joints in arthritis. The joint pain varies enormously in severity from sharp stabbing sensation, burning sensation to grinding pain. In chronic cases there is deformity in one or more joints. Most chronic sufferers find means and ways to cope with pain but pain always exists. Arthritis occurs in knees, wrists, elbows, hips, fingers, toes, shoulders as well as in spine.
The symptoms appear suddenly or gradually; stiffness of joint may be worse in the morning, in the evening or after sitting for a while. In some cases pain is relieved after movement while in other cases movement aggravates. In other cases pain is better by cold applications while in others. It is better by warm applications. At times joints get locked momentarily which is caused by weakness of muscles. In some cases movement of joint is badly affected leading to handicap.
As per the allopathic system of medicine, the causes leading to arthritis are riot fully understood. Many forms of arthritis are genetically transferred in the family. These include gout, ankylosing spondylitis and to a lesser extent osteo arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, genetics make a person more susceptible to the disease. The arthritis can also be acquired by infection and injury to the joint.
According to ayurvedic system of medicine different types of diseases in the body are the result of disturbance of equilibrium of vata (air), pitta (bile) and cough. Vata controls respiration, speech, digestion, excretion and nervous system. Pitta controls metabolic process, circulation of blood, digestion and activities of brain. Cough gives nourishment and strength to different parts of the body. It also helps in digestion of food, flexibility of joints and controls secretion of different type of juices from different glands. According to ,ayurvedic; system, the improper functioning of digestive system and disturbed metabolic activity are primarily responsible for arthritis.
Homeopathic system of medicine is based on natural laws of healing. The mostimportant fundamental law of homeopathy is law of similars i.e. like cures the like. This enables the physician to prescribe a remedy based on characteristic symptoms. The omeopaths believe that all parts of body are inter dependent and treat the patient as a whole rather than concentrating on different organs of body separately. The mental and physical illness is treated simultaneously. In the treatment of arthritis, homeopathic system of medicine plays an important part.
In acupressure the disease is treated by applying pressure on specific points with the help of thumb or non pointed object. In arthritis, acupressure has emerged as a consistently better analgesic therapy than any other treatment.
Yoga as a system of medicine also plays an important role in arthritis. Yogic exercises of right kind and proper duration help in reduction of pain and improves mobility of joints. These exercises should be done slowly and increased progressively. These exercises build up muscles and improve mobility of joints. As the muscles are strengthened, the pain is reduced. The mobility of joint is key to the management of pain, resumption of normal activity and finally to rehabilitation. Further exercise stimulates the production of endorphin in the blood stream and increases body’s capacity to cope with pain.