"The word 'Arthritis' means 'inflammation of joints'"
Shri H.K. Bakhru
The word ‘arthritis’ means ‘inflammation of joints’. It comes from two Greek words, athron
joints and its meaning inflammation. It is a chronic disease process.
In the early stages, the whole body is usually involved and one or two
joints may become completely deformed, leaving the patient handicapped
and somewhat weakened. Arthritis assumes various forms, the most
frequent being osteroarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation
is the main feature of arthritis, which is a reaction of the joint
tissues to some form
of damage or injury.
is a degenerative joint disease which usually occurs in the older
age-group. It results from structural changes in the articular
cartilage in the joints, usually those which are weight-bearing such as
the spine and knees. The chief symptoms of oesteroarthritis are pain
and stiffness in the joints. The pain usually increases after exercise.
Other symptoms include watery eyes, dry neck, leg cramps, allergies,
arterisclerosis, impairment in the functioning of the gall-bladder and
liver disturbances. The possible causes include malnutrition,
continuous physical stress, obesity, glandular insufficiency, calcium
deficiency and shortage of hydrochloric acid.
arthritis is a serious disease which affects not only the joints of the
fingers, writs, hips, knees and feet but also the muscles, tendons and
other tissues of the body. The disease is due to an inflammatory
process of the synovium or lining of the joints accompanied by swelling
and eventual deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis is often called the " cooked food disease"
. It usually develops gradually over several months with persistent
pain and stiffness in one or more joints. Ulti- mately the whole body
is affected. Symptoms include anaemia, colitis, constipation,
gall-bladder disturbances, low blood pressure, deformed hands and feet.
The condition may be caused by hormonal imbalance, physical and
emotional stress, infection, severe fright, shock and injury.
Hereditary factors may also be responsible for the onset of this
diet of the arthritis patient should be planned along alkaline lines
and should include fruits and vegetables for protection and proteins
and carbohydrates for energy. It may consist of a couple of fresh raw
vegetables in the form of a salad and atleast two cooked vegetables.
Cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, endive, lettuce, onion, radishes,
tomatoes and watercress may be used for a raw salad. The cooked
vegetables may include asparagus, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots,
celery, brinjal, mushroom, onions, peas, beans, spinach, tomatoes,
squash and turnips.
severe cases, it will be advisable to put the patient on raw vegetables
juice therapy for about a week. Green juice, extracted from any green
leafy vegetable, mixed with carrot, celery and red beet juice, is
specific for arthritis. The alkaline action of raw juices dissolves the
accumulation of deposits around the joints and in other tissues. Fresh
pineapple is also valuable as the enzyme in fresh pineapple juice,
bromelain reduces swelling and inflammation inosteoarthritis and
rheumatoid arthritis. Repeated juice fasts are recommended at intervals
of every two months. The raw potato juice therapy is considered one of
the most successful biological treatment for rheumatic and arthritic
conditions. It has been used in folk medicine for centuries. The old
method of preparing potato juice was to cut the potato into thin
slices, without peeling the skin, and place them overnight in a large
glass filled with cold water. The water should be drunk in the morning
on an empty stomach. Fresh juice can also be extracted from potatoes
and drunk diluted with water on 50 : 50 basis, first thing in the
gingerly seeds, soaked overnight in water, have been found to be
effective in preventing frequent joint pains. The water in which the
seeds are soaked should also be taken along with the seeds the first
thing in the morning. Drinking water kept overnight in a copper
container also serves the same purpose. This water has traces of copper
which helps strengthen the muscular system. For the same reason wearing
a copper ring or bracelet will also help. Warm coconut oil or mustard
oil, mixed with camphor, should be massaged in case of stiff and aching
joints. It will increase blood supply and reduce inflammation and
stiffness on account of gentle warmth produced while massaging.
Camphorrated oil is an ancient rebefacient used for the purpose.
The lime has also been used as a home remedy for arthritis since long. The citric acid found in lime is solvent of the uric acid which is the primary cause of arthritis. Other
remedies found useful in relieving pains in the joints include
green-gram soup mixed with crushed garlic cloves and a teaspoonful of
powdered fenugreek seeds in warm water taken everyday. Sea bathing is
considered beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. The natural iodine
in the sea water is said to relieve arthritis pain. As is well-known,
iodine regulates the acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues,
helps to repair and regenerate worn out tissues and nourishes the
skeletal structure. It enters into the thyroid gland’s secretion. The
hormone uses this iodine to nullify germs in the bloodstream and to
create a self- cleansing of internal toxemia.
sea bathing is not possible, the patient should relax for 30 minutes
every night in a tub of warm water in which a cupful of sea salt has
been mixed. The minerals in the sea salt, especially iodine, can be
absorbed through the skin pores. This will help correct an internal
imbalance. The body should be kept warm at all times. Joints should not
be bandaged tightly as this limits movement and interferes with the
free circulation of blood. There should be plenty of indirect
ventilation in the bedroom. Rest is of greatest importance to
arthritis, who should not overdo their work, exercise or recreation
Constipation should be avoided as it poisons the system and adds to the irritation and
of the joints. Light exercises such as walking, hiking and swimming are
beneficial. Maintaining a normal body weight is also an important
factor in preventing arthritis. Obesity places excess stress on
weight-bearing joints and interferes with the smooth functioning of
tendons, ligaments and muscles.
The yogic asanas helpful in curing arthritis are trikonasana, bhujangasana, shalabhasana,
vakrasana and shavasana. Arthritis patients should practice these
asanas regularly. Yogic kriyas like jalneti and kapalbhati and
pranayamas such as anulomaviloma, ujjai and bhrameri are also
The patient should be given a lukewarm enema for a
few days to cleanse the bowels. Neutral immersion baths, hot foot
baths, ultrasonic diathermy and exposure of the affected parts to
infra-red rays, a knee pack applied for an hour every night, stream
baths and a massage once a week are beneficial in the treatment of
arthritis. All general cold water treatments, such as cold baths and
cold sprays, should be avoided.
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