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Ayurveda offers many remedies towards pain relief. Many treatments when effectively combined gives a long-standing relief from pain, stiffness, swelling and other complaints associated with sore joints and bones, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular pains. They also rejuvenate, relax and strengthen the joints, muscles and soft tissues apart from providing pain relief. Many treatments also are highly useful in preventing many diseases like arthritis and low back pain.
Churna Pinda Sweda or Podi Kizhi is one popular treatment from the list of highly effective remedies offered by Ayurveda towards pain relief.
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 pains and related conditions, strengthen & rejuvenate joints, muscles and soft tissues.
Churna Pinda Sweda or Podikizhi is a form of sweat inducing therapies (fomentation, sudation, steaming treatment).
Swedana or fomentation (sudation, sweat inducing treatments, steaming treatment) is a specialized treatment of Ayurveda which helps in providing unparalleled relief in pain, swelling and stiffness associated with diseases like Amavata vis-à-vis Rheumatoid arthritis, Sandhigata Vata (Osteoarthritis), Kati Shula (Low back pain) etc.
Churna Pinda Sweda is a form of swedana which is included under the category of Pinda Sweda (bolus fomentation). In this procedure we use heated or oil fried herbal powders (prepared by pounding the herbs which have the property of healing pain, catches, swelling, inflammation and degeneration) tied in a bolus to provide heat to the pain afflicted joints or body parts, especially in diseases like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lumbar spondylosis, Cervical spondylosis, Musculoskeletal pains, Myalgia etc.
Churna means powder (herbal), Pinda means bolus, Sweda is sweat, Swedana is sweat inducing treatment.
Churna Pinda Sweda is a treatment in which herbal powders having analgesic, anti-degenerative and anti-inflammatory properties are used for fomentation (sweat inducing) of painful parts
In this treatment, the herbal powders prepared by pounding the medicinal drugs which can relieve pain and associated conditions (having analgesic, anti-degenerative and anti-inflammatory properties) are heated or fried in herbal oils to tolerable temperature and are tied in a bolus. The bolus is heated in a pan or dipped in herbal oils being heated at a less constant temperature in pans. The heated bolus is continuously rubbed over the pain afflicted areas. This treatment is generally done both in the presence and absence of ama (intermediate products of digestion and cell metabolism, circulating or tissue toxins which get adhered in the cells due to their sticky nature, block the channels and transport systems of the body and cause pain and stiffness). Different churna’s are selected for different stages of the disease.
When ama is predominant in the joints and soft tissues and causing pain and related conditions, Churna Pinda Sweda is used in the form of Ruksha (dry) Sweda, Ex. Rheumatoid Arthritis (Amavata). When ama is absent and only morbid Vata is involved in producing pain and related symptoms Churna Pinda Sweda is used in the form of Snigdha Sweda (unctuous or oil mixed / dipped powder), Ex. Osteoarthritis (Sandhigata Vata). Thus Churna Pinda Sweda is used in the form of Ruksha Sweda (predominance of ama, kapha and meda), Snigdha Sweda (predominance of morbid Vata) and also Snigdha-Ruksha Sweda. Churna Pinda Sweda is selectively used in diseases caused due to morbid Pitta and Rakta (blood), especially when they are associated with ama. Otherwise swedana is contraindicated in high Pitta and high Rakta conditions.
Churna Pinda Sweda is an unparalleled treatment in Vata-Kapha morbidity or any disease or painful conditions caused by morbid Vayu and or Kapha, usually degenerative and oedematous diseases of joints and soft tissues associated with mild to moderate inflammation and effusion. Powders which can pacify morbid Pitta are used in the bolus for tackling inflammatory diseases of joints and soft tissues. Morbid Kapha and its symptoms like catches, heaviness, coldness etc can be got rid of by using Kapha destroying herbal powders in the bolus.
Churna Pinda Sweda is best treatment to provide relief from pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness (catch) associated with bone, joint and or musculoskeletal pains. It is highly beneficial in healing musculoskeletal and neuromuscular diseases. Many times it also acts as a disease-modifier when combined with other effective treatments and oral medications. It is more effective when combined skilfully with Abhyanga (massage with herbal oils), Kati Vasti (oil pooling for low back pains), Greeva Vasti (oil pooling for neck pains) etc treatments.
Osteoarthritis (Sandhigata Vata) –
Osteo means bones and Arthritis means painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over a period of time. OA can affect and damage any joint in the body. Joints of the hands, fingers, thumb; neck, lower back, hips, knees and spine are commonly afflicted by osteoarthritis. The most common symptoms are joint pain and stiffness. Joint swelling and decreased range of movements are also present in many cases.
Gout (Vatarakta or Vatashonita) –
A disease in which defective metabolism of uric acid causes arthritis, especially in the smaller bones of the feet, deposition of chalk-stones and episodes of acute pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (Amavata) –
It is a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet and ankles.
Musculo-skeletal pains as in myalgia and or fibromyalgia (Mamsagata Vata)
Sciatica (Gridhrasi) – Pain affecting the back, hip and outer side of the leg caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back is called Sciatica. It happens due to the effect of degeneration of intervertebral disc or discs causing compression on the Sciatic nerve.
Intervertebral disc protrusion or prolapsed (IVDP) – is impinging or compressing on the nerves supplying the lower limbs. It presents with pain, numbness, pain extending down the limbs, pain worsening at night, muscle weakness, tingling, aching or burning sensations in the neck, back, legs and arm etc depending on the site of prolapse.
Spondylolisthesis – is a forward displacement of a vertebra, especially a 5thlumbar vertebra. Generally it occurs following a fracture. It presents with back stiffness, tight hamstrings, leaning forward posture, waddling gait and generalized lower back pain with intermittent shooting pain from buttocks to the posterior thigh and or lower leg via sciatic nerve.
Spinal stenosis – It is a condition in which the spinal column (backbone or spine) narrows and starts compressing the spinal cord. It is a gradual process. If the narrowing is minimal, no symptoms will occur. Too much narrowing can compress the nerves and cause problems. The symptoms include leg or arm weakness, lower back pain while standing or walking, numbness in legs or buttocks and balance problems.
Spina bifida (occulta) – It is a birth defect where there is an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. It presents with leg weakness and paralysis, club foot, hip dislocation, bladder and bowel control problems etc
Coccydynia – Tail bone pain
Low back pain or Lumbago (Lumbar spondylosis)
Sacroiliac Joint Syndrome or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Internal derangements (ex. meniscal tears) – The onset meniscal tears is usually acute and debilitating, with preceding trauma can be minor. Patients may describe true locking (normal flexion, but an inability to extend the affected knee).
Bursitis – Greater trochanteric bursitis in the hip and pes anserine bursitis in the knee present with pain over the lateral aspect of the hip and over the medial aspect of the knee respectively. There is also local tenderness in these areas that is usually absent in simple OA.
Cervical spondylosis – Neck pain due to damage of neck bones and joints or osteoarthritis of neck bones
Whiplash – neck pain caused when a person’s head moves backward and then suddenly forward with great force. Whiplash presents with neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in ears etc.
Wry neck (Torticollis) – It is a painfully twisted and tilted neck. The top of the head in this condition generally tilts to one side and the chin tilts to the other side. Symptoms include, an inability to move your head normally, neck pain or stiffness, headache, having one shoulder higher than the other, swollen neck muscles, a tilting of your chin to one side.
Ankylosing Spondylitis – It is a form of arthritis which primarily affects the spine. It causes severe inflammation of the vertebrae that might eventually lead to chronic pain and disability. The disease will cause pain and stiffness in other parts of your body. Other large joints such as the shoulders, hips and knees can be involved as well.
Polymyalgia Rheumatica – It is an inflammatory disorder that causes pain and stiffness in various parts of the body. It commonly affects neck, shoulders, arms, thighs and hips.
Frozen Shoulder – Chronic pain and stiffness of the shoulder joint with limitation of range of movements, also known as adhesive capsulitis
Elbow pain due to various conditions like Tendinitis, Olecranon bursitis, elbow sprain, cellulitis, arthritis, nerve entrapment etc
Iliotibial band syndrome – The ilio-tibial band is a band of rough tissue that runs from your hip down to the outer part of your knee. If it is irritated by overuse or other problems, it becomes inflamed and cause pain on the outer side of the knee.
Patello-femoral pain syndrome (Chondromalacia patellae) – This often results from issues associated with muscle imbalance, tightness and alignment of the legs, rather than an injury. Pain is present between the patella and the underlying thighbone (femur).
Loose bodies in the joints – Sometimes injury can break loose cartilages. These pieces can get stuck in the joint, causing it to freeze and producing pain and swelling.
Knee injuries: like ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) injury, Torn Meniscus, Knee Bursitis, Patellar tendonitis etc
Old (chronic) joint injuries which was not properly treated
Sprains and strains
Pains and catches in the joints and spine (especially neck and low back) due to bad postures
Pain due to repeated trauma of bones, joints, muscles, soft tissues
Neuromuscular diseases and various musculoskeletal disorders