Acute Pain Management & Ayurveda
Pain is defined as a highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury. No matter however mild the pain is anywhere in the body it lands you in a state of discomfort and affects your routine activities.
Pain can be of differentiated as
1) Throbbing pain as in toothache.
2) Spasmodic pain as in painful menses (dysmenorrhea).
3) Colic pain as in renal stones etc.
Pain at any site and origin like Joint pain, Muscular pain, Headache, Abdominal pain, back pain, neck pain etc. is addressed by the use of NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) either in Oral Or Topical Form. However persistent use of these NSAID has led to various complications ranging from abdominal discomforts like Nausea, Vomiting to severe complications like Ulcers etc.
Ayurveda connects the root-cause of Pain to aggravated Vata in the body. Vata is associated with movement. Any obstruction in the path of Vata, aggravates it further leading to Pain.
There is a common belief that Ayurveda fails on the modern parameters of management of acute pain and then Ayurveda medicines should be /are to be consumed in chronic illnesses and it always gives very slow results.
If correct observations are made on the limit of aggravation of Vata with its site, Origin and systemic involvement, Ayurveda can be equally component to eliminate the root of Pain instantly.
Following are some Ayurveda treatments which help in relieving the pain.
Snehan or Oleation is of 2 types – External and internal
External Oleation involves application of warm Herbal Medicated Oil either on the whole body or limited to an area. For eg. If a patient has knee joint pain Janu Basti is done to the affected knee joint in which Specially prepared warm herbal oil is poured over the knee joint and retained inside the black gram paste boundary for the required duration (max 45 mins). Similarly Neck Pain is managed by Greeva Basti; Lower back pain is managed by Kati basti. These procedures are carried out not only to relieve the pain but also to strengthen the musculature around the particular affected joint.
Internal Oleation is intake of medicated ghee or oil. 2-3 tsps of medicated ghee is generally given to lower down the vitiated vata.
Swedan or Sudation can be localized or for the complete body.
There are various types of swedan like
• Nadi sweda – Steam generated from herbal decoction is given through pipe. Generally given for localized pain, swelling.
• Peti Sweda – Patient is asked to sit in steam box for few minutes. Generally given for full body pain, Muscle pain, or before Panchakarma procedures.
• Pottali sweda or Kizhi – It uses herba/ choornam/Navra rice tied in a muslin cloth to make small herbal boluses (potlis). These boluses are then heated and lightly pounded over the body or specific parts of the body as needed. It provides dry or wet heat for aggrevated Vata & Vata-Kapha conditions. It is useful in treatment of osteoarthritis, Spondylosis, muscular cramps, swelling etc
Ayurveda Scriptures mentions Basti as half treatment of any Vata related disorder. Similarly Modern medicines also acknowledge the rectal route as the fastest for drug administration. So any medicine given through intestines will get absorbed quickly.
Ayurveda mentions the lower abdomen as the seat of Vata thereby; Basti given through intestines will act as a corrective measure for the vitiated Vata thereby reducing the Pain caused by it.
There are 2 types of Basti which are given.
• Anuvasan Basti or Sneha Basti – Oil Enema
• Kashaya Basti – Decoction or Kashaya Basti.
These are given in a specific order (as decided by the Ayurvedic Physician) for 8, 15 or 30 days depending upon the Patient and severity of Vata or the Pain.
4. Agni karma
Agnikarma employs the usage of a pointed metal rod which is subjected to heat on its far end. This heated area is then brought in contact with the sore area of the body for a friction of a second. The contact transfers the heat to the affected area causing vaso-dilatation (increased blood supply) which reduces the pain instantly. However number of sittings required and points are decided by the Ayurvedic Physician. However utmost care and precautions needs to be undertaken to avoid scalding and other serious injuries.
Ayurveda has mentioned the best possible remedies for instant and chronic pain management. However the focus has to be in determining the complexity involved with the reach of the underlying conditions.Should the Ayurveda physician be able to pinpoint the Origin and Site of Pain, Involvement of overlying systems and the resulting aggravation of Vata, Management of Pain would not a difficult issue.
We at Ved Clinic focus on understanding the cause leading to the discomfort and hence are able to deliver results in a shorter span of time.
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