Keralite panchakarma for joint problems
Written by Dr. B. Harinatha Chary   

Life is not living but living in health. Every one wants to live a happy and healthy life. Joint disorders are one among the diseases, which hinders the normal function of the joint and make life so difficult to lead with. Joint is a structure, which maintains the contour of the body and helps in its free movement. If such a joint is diseased, our normal day-to-day life comes to a stand still. Allopathy aims mainly at NSAIDs and Cortisones in the management of these diseases. Such treatment is leading to several complications. Ayurveda gives many treatment modalities in the management of these diseases. A disease has to be approached correctly in order to treat it successfully. Depending on the pathology joint diseases can be classified mainly into Mechanical & Inflammatory, two types.

 Mechanical Joint disease includes mainly Inactivity stiffness Felling of stiffness in the affected joint after resting which disappears with activity, Clicking sound in a joint and Locking of a joint Joint will not extend fully although it may flex

Inflammatory Joint disease mainly includes Early morning stiffness for more than 30 min and signs of inflammation as redness, warmth, tenderness and swelling. According to Ayurveda Mechanical joint disease can be compared to Sandhi vata (osteo arthritis, ankylosing spondylosis) where most of the joints get degenerated and inflammatory joint diseases can be compared to Amavata, Vatarakta and Krostuka seersha where most of the joints get inflamed.
Keralite Panchakarma is a unique technique, which denotes collective measures and procedures highly popularized because of their continuous and effective clinical practice since hundreds of years by traditional vaidyas, owing to their simplicity and efficacy. Among those which are useful in joint diseases are
(a)    Kayaseka
(b)   Navara kizhi / Pinda sveda
(c)    Annalepa
Kaya Seka: It is a specialized procedure wherein massage (abhyangam) and fomentation (sveda) performed simultaneously. In this, medicated Luke warm oils / liquids poured on the whole body or affected part for a specific time in a specialized manner. Dhanyamla dhara is mostly preferable in conditions of inflammation such as Rheumatoid arthritis (Amavata), Gouty arthritis (Vata rakta) and the like.
Navara Kizhi: It         is most popular and widely been used in almost every joint disorder. In this medicated puddings are been used to generate perspiration locally or generally. It relives pain and stiffness besides nourishes the joint. It is indicated in chronic stage of Rheumatoid arthritis and Ankylosing spondylosis
Anna Lepa: Application of paste of specialized rice called ’Navara’ on the whole body is known as Annalepa. It is specially indicated in degenerative disorders like osteo-arthritis (snadhi vata)
Kati vasti and Janu vasti are special types of localized therapies, which are used for low backache and knee pains respectively. In this a circular bridge has been made at the respective part with the flour of green gram and leaked warm oils / ghees are poured into it and kept for proper time.
All these measures are of the great use for the patients to get rid of their joint disorders. They are not only helpful in relieving pain but nourish the joint also. For better results the above said therapies must be supervised by the physician who, is specialized in that subject