Winter is characteristically like Vata Dosha (dry and cold) and has a harmful effect on joints. With the progress of age, problems like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, idiopathic arthritis or ankylosing spondylosis become common and winter causes a lot of pain.
Here are some tips to preserve your joints in winters and keep them healthy.
- Kapha foods for joints
Sleshaka Kapha (synovial fluid) resides between bone joints and helps in smooth movement of limbs. Kapha is responsible for maintaining tissues, body fluids, lubrication, flexibility and firmness in the body. These are important for proper functioning of the joints and hence it is important to include more Kapha balancing foods especially in winter. Okra (bhindi), sprouts, pumpkin seeds, spinach and black beans help in restoring Sleshaka Kapha in the body and facilitates painless movement of the joints.
- Warm Ayurvedic Potali massage
Warm poultice massages are helpful in promoting muscle and joint relaxation. Poultices, known as Potalis in Ayurveda can be prepared at home and used for frozen shoulders, spondylitis pain, arthritis and all kinds of joint and muscular pains. In a clean muslin or cotton cloth, pack 1 cup rice powder, 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon cardamom powder, 1 teaspoon of clove powder and 1 teaspoon rock salt. Tie it into a pouch. Take a cup of sesame oil and mildly heat in a pan. Dip the pouch in warm oil. Check the warmth of the potali and apply gentle on the joints. This will relax the muscles around the joint, promote blood circulation and provide amazing pain relief.
- Yoga for pain-relief, flexibility and strength
Marjariasana (cat pose), Balasana (Child pose) and Gomukhasana (Cow face pose) are known to keep the joints flexible. However, these asanas should not be done when you are experiencing pain. Doing these yoga asanas regularly gives your joints flexibility and fluidity and strengthens your joint muscles.
- Fenugreek (Methi):
Fenugreek is a high-grade antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, making it a preferred choice for joint pain treatment. Swallow one medium-sized teaspoon of fenugreek power mixed with honey and drink a glass of lukewarm water with it. Don’t gulp down the entire glass in one go! Take slow sips. Soon enough, you’ll notice a difference in the severity of pain you’re experiencing.
Living with joint pain can be very difficult, especially if you’re getting on in age. If you’ve been experiencing joint pain for a while, we’d advise you not to ignore it. Make sure you see a doctor at the first signs of joint pain so that the problem can be nipped in the bud.
By: Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director of Jiva Ayurveda