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What Causes Chronic Pains And How To Treat Them: An Ayurvedic Perspective

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Chronic pain can be caused by weakening of muscles and tendons due to ageing and tissue degeneration, wrong body postures while sitting and sleeping, accident or repeated injury, depression and stress. Ayurvedic massage with oils like Mahanarayana, Kottamchukkadi, Balaswagandhadi and Mahamasha, helps treat arthritis, neuro-muscular, sciatica and joint pains.

When there is a fresh muscle or tendon injury, the process of inflammation sets in. This is treated with anti-inflammatory medications and the problems related with injury – such as pain, swelling, etc. are taken care of.

In some patients, the muscle damage heals well in the initial stages, but pain recurs after several years. This recurring pain is due to the following causes:

Causes Of Chronic Pains

  1. Muscles and tendons becoming weak due to ageing and tissue degeneration.
  2. Wrong body postures while sitting, sleeping etc., causing the twitching of muscles and tendons. This worsens the wear and tear of the old injured muscles.
  3. Tiny scar tissue formation in the muscles, which make them stiff over a long period of time.
  4. Provocative factors such as depression, stress, anxiety, smoking, diabetes, consumption of junk foods, excess alcohol and aerated drinks, causes build up of free radicals. This leads to inflammation build up in the body, leading to resurfacing of pain.
  5. An accident or repeat injury causing flaring up of old pains.

The above factors, individually or collectively can cause recurring muscle and joint pains.

Healing Chronic Pains With Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Massage Oils – Composition And Benefits

If you observe composition of ayurvedic massage oils, they will obviously have regular anti-inflammatory herbs like:

  • Dashamoola (group of 10 roots)
  • RasnaPluchea Lanceolata 
  • Prasarini Paederia Foetida
  • Ela-Cardamom Elettaria Cardamomum
  • Kushta – Saussurea Lappa

Apart from the above, ayurvedic massage oils will have other herbs also that are useful in:

  • Rejuvenating
  • Anti-ageing
  • Scar tissue relieving
  • Stress relieving
  • Anti oxidant activities

These extra herbs are useful to:

  • Heal minute scars of muscle tissues.
  • Regeneration of tendons.
  • Ligaments of joints.
  • Muscle tissue scars.
  • Accelerate the process of healing and inflammation.

Ayurvedic Oils And Herbs To Heal Chronic Pains

1. Mahanarayana Oil

It is a very famous herbal oil used in ayurvedic treatment of arthritis, paralysis, muscular and joint pain, etc. It contains rejuvenating and anti-oxidant herbs like:

  • Ashwagandha – Indian Ginseng – Withania Somnifera
  • Shatavari – Asparagus Racemosus
  • Swadamshtra – Tribulus Terrestris
  • Haridra – Turmeric Rhizome – Curcuma Longa

2. Kottamchukkadi Oil

It is an ayurvedic oil used in the treatment of  vata disorders, causing neuro-muscular pains, sciatica, spondylosis, etc. It contains rejuvenating and anti-oxidant herbs like:

  • Shigru – Moringa Oliefera
  • Shunti – Ginger

3. Mahamasha Oil

It is a powerful ayurveda oil, widely used for many neurological conditions such as neuralgia, paralysis, etc. It contains rejuvenating and anti-oxidant herbs like:

  • Ashwagandha – Indian Ginseng – Withania Somnifera
  • Masha – Black Gram
  • Gokshura Tribulus Terrestris

4. Balaswagandhadi Oil

It is an ayurvedic oil, used in ayurvedic treatment of fever, weakness of muscles, bones and joints, etc. It contains rejuvenating herbs like:

  • Ashwagandha – Indian Ginseng – Withania Somnifera
  • Bala – Country Mallow (root) – Sida Cordifolia 

This proves that ayurvedic oils are not only targeted to relieve pain and inflammation, but also to rejuvenate muscles and tendon tissues and to restore muscle and joint health.

Importance Of ‘Swedana’ – Sweating Treatment:

Usually massage treatments are followed up with sweating treatment in the form of steam therapy and poultice (a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth over the skin to treat an aching, inflamed or painful part of the body). As per ayurvedic principles, it helps in better absorption of massaged oil and ensures quick healing.

Ayurvedic Massage Therapies

Other than just oil massage, ayurveda offers variant therapies for better results.

1. Kati Basti And Greeva Basti Therapies

Here hot ayurvedic oils are pooled over lower back and neck, respectively, to treat respective problems.

2. Elakizhi Therapy

Here we use the herbal drugs or leaves of medicinal plants obtained from nature for external treatments, to heal pain and related conditions, to strengthen and rejuvenate joints, muscles and soft tissues.

3. Podikizhi Therapy

In this, we use the herbal powders heated and/or fried in herbal oils tied in a bolus to rub against the painful parts for a fixed duration of time so as to heal pain and related conditions, to strengthen and rejuvenate joints, muscles and soft tissues.

4. Utility Of Panchakarma

In some chronic disorders, the above said external therapies are not sufficient to bring down the pain and inflammation. In such cases, ayurvedic Panchakarma therapies ensure removal of toxins from the body, improves blood circulation and nutrition supply to the affected regions and heals the minute tissue injuries.

5. Rasayana – Rejuvenating, Anti-Aging Therapy

After Panchakarma therapies, Rasayana – rejuvenating, anti-aging treatment is administered. This is to ensure total rejuvenation and reversing the degeneration of tissues. Here, ayurvedic anti-ageing remedies such as Chyawanprash, Brahma Rasayana, Shilajit, etc. are administered for a period of few weeks.

In this way, ayurveda offers a comprehensive chronic pain management solution.

Accessory Therapies To Aid Better Management Of Chronic Pain

  • Yoga – Improves correct posture. It helps to relieve wrong overlapping and mutual irritation between muscle tissues and tendons.
  • Pranayam – Ensures optimum distribution of energy and oxygen to all tissues.
  • Regular exercise in any form such as walking etc. – Helps to beat stress and improves blood circulation.
  • Sleep for at least 6 -7 hours at night – Ensures that all the muscles are properly rested.
  • Crepe bandages to painful muscles – Prevents unwanted motion of muscles. It helps to rest the muscles better and improve the pace of healing.
Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).

Dr Janardhana Hebbar

Senior Ayurvedic Consultant at CureJoy, Dr. Hebbar has authored 4 books on Ayurveda. Special interests are Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine) and Shalya chikitsa (Surgery).