Janu Sandhi ( The Knee Joint) in Ayurved

The Knee Joint (Janu sandhi as described by Ayurved) is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body.

Janu Sandhi is included amongst the 107 Marmas in the body. Marmas are the vital points. When traumatised they can result in mortality, morbidity, pain or some dysfunction. They are congregations of important vessels or nerves.

Janu Sandhi is classified as a Sandhi marma and a Vaikalyakara Marma. Trauma to this marma generally results in deformity.(VAIKALYA meaning disabling) A pathology when it takes place at a marma is generally more painful and disabling. Hence treatment should be initiated immediately if there is pain, swelling, tenderness at the knee joint or if there is an injury to the knee joint.

The common diseases that affect the knee joint are:

a. Sandhigata vata (Osteoarthritis) – This is mainly due to wear and tear of the cartilage due to age, obesity, etc.

b. Aamavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis) – It is an autoimmune condition which can affect any joint of the body.

c. Vatarakta (Gouty arthritis) – this type of arthritis occurs when the uric acid crystals build up in a joint. Mostly affects the big toe but can also affect the knee joint.

Trauma to knee joint may result in:

a. Ligament injury

b. Meniscus injury

c. Tendon injury.

d. Fracture.

The knee joint being a marma sthana, it is the seat of Prana vayu. Any injury to this vital point causes the vitiaition of Vata dosha . Also being a joint, it is a kapha sthana (Shleshaka kapha), which lubricates and strengthens the joint. Due to vitiation of these two doshas there is pain, swelling, stiffness etc. when the joint is affected.

Ayurved treats these different conditions with various medicines as well as specific treatments.

Medicines used in arthritis help to decrease the inflammation and rebuild the cartilage.

The medicines generally contain guggulu, shallaki , which are natural raisins and are proved beneficial as anti inflammatory and analgesic.There are various other medicines such as Maharasnadi kadha, Dashamoolarishtam, etc. which are used in different conditions.

The knee joint being a Marma Sthana, it is the seat of Prana Vayu. Any injury to this vital point causes the vitiation of Vata Dosha . Also being a joint, it is a Kapha Sthana (Shleshaka Kapha), which lubricates and strengthens the joint. Due to vitiation of these two doshas there is pain, swelling, stiffness etc. when the joint is affected. Ayurved treats these different conditions with various medicines as well as specific treatments. Medicines used in arthritis help to decrease the inflammation and rebuild the cartilage. The medicines generally contain guggulu, shallaki , which are natural raisins and are proved beneficial as anti-inflammatory and analgesic.There are various other medicines such as Maharasnadi Kadha, Dashamoolarishtam, etc. which are used in different conditions

Medicines like Lakshadi Guggulu, Trayodashanga Guggulu, Gandha Tailam help to heal the injuries. Oil treatments help to reduce the pain and swelling in the knee joints.

These treatments include

  • Janu Snehan – Application of medicated oils to the affected knee joint
  • Janu Basti – It is a kind of localised treatment in which the medicated oil is retained at the affected knee joint
  • Janu Pizichil – It is pouring of warm medicated oil on the affected knee joint. Oils used may be Mahanarayan Tailam, Sahacharadi Tailam, Ksheerbala Tailam, Dhanwantharam Tailam etc.

Various heat treatments are also given which helps to decrease the swelling, stiffness and pain in the knee joint

  • Bashpa Swedan – Steam of medicated decoction
  • Patrapottali Swedan – Heat treatment with leaves of medicinal plants
  • Pinda Swedan – Heat treatment with bolus of Medicated rice
  • Istika Swedan – Dry heat treatment
  • Valuka Pottali wSedan – Dry heat treatment with sand.

Other than these local treatments basti treatment ( Enema) is given which helps in patients with osteoporosis, meniscus injury etc. These treatments help to pacify the vata dosha and heal the injuries within the joint. These enemas are of medicated oils and decoctions.

 

Dr Aditi Gadgil, Ayurved Physician, Somaiya Ayurveda Centre

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