Ayurveda for Hallux Rigidus
Hallux rigidus as the name suggests involves stiffness and limitation in function of the big toe joint between the first metatarsals and the phalanges of that foot.
It is a slowly progressive degenerative disease that involves increasing difficulty to flex the toe joint. It commonly affects people in their 30 s to 60 years of age and is more commonly found in women than in men.
Formation of osteophytes or bone spurs is considered to be an aggravating factor for this condition.
There may be a history of any trauma involving the condition. But it also occurs independently in many people. .
The gap between the metatarsophalangeal joint is gradually reduced in this condition with an aggravation of the condition involved.
AYURVEDIC POINT OF VIEW
From the Ayurvedic point of view, Hallux rigidus can be compared with “Sandhigat vata” a disease that is comparable to osteoarthritis in modern medicine. Since, hallux rigidus is also a type of osteoarthritis, a similar diagnostic approach can be followed for it. .
Sandhigata vata involves a vitiated vata dosha at the articulation site of the joints (Toe joint in case of hallux rigidus). It involves piercing pain at the site of the joint involved and occurs usually in old age causing pain during walking, getting up from sitting position and all other kinds of activities that involve movement of the joints. .
The causative factor for the development of the disease is a vitiated vata dosha which is accompanied by “dhatukshaya” or a degeneration of the bones of the joint and the surrounding tissue material like the synovial membrane and the synovial fluid.
HALLUX RIGIDUS IN FEMALES
In females, this condition occurs more commonly in and around the menopause when the body goes through major hormonal changes that lead to demineralization of the bone tissues. .
Lack of exercise, excessive weight are other common factors involved.
CAUSES OF HALLUX RIGIDUS
- People with fallen arches
- Excessive rolling in of the ankle joints.
- History of trauma
- Pain during rest
- Difficulty wearing shoes
- Pain may radiate to other parts of the foot, leg and back
All these are probable causes, the exact cause of the disease is not known.
SYMPTOMS OF HALLUX RIGIDUS
- Pain, swelling and inflammation at the site of the joint.
- Difficulty in squatting, running etc.
- Pain and stiffness in the joint at the base of the big toe.
- Aggravation of symptoms in cold weather.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR HALLUX RIGIDUS
1. Curcumin Capsules –
Curcumin is the main active principle that is responsible for the remarkable medicinal properties exhibited by turmeric. Curcumin is a very potent anti – inflammatory agent that helps relieve any kind of inflammation in the body. It suppresses the immune response that is involved in the development of inflammation in the body. Curcumin capsules are also a source of numerous anti –oxidants that are helpful in scavenging the free radicals that damage the joint area around the big toe in hallux rigidus. .
Curcumin is a very versatile herbal supplement that has great rejuvenating properties and that are very helpful in managing senile disorders like hallux rigidus in patients.
2. Aamvatantaka Churna –
Aamvatantaka churna is very helpful for the treatment of osteoarthritis and similar diseases like hallux rigidus. Aamvata is a condition that involves the vitiated vata that interacts with the toxins (AMA) that accumulate in the body as a result of our lifestyle and food habits and cause inflammation in the joints. .
It has a blend of herbs such as Curcuma longa, Trigonella foenum graecum and Colchicum autumnale. All these herbs have proven effects in preventing and delaying age related changes in the body. .
In case of hallux rigidus, this powder shows a great recovery in patients who are chronically suffering from the disease. The degenerative changes in the joint of the big toe are very much reduced by the use of this herbal powder.
3. Cap. Joint Aid Plus –
The contents of Joint aid plus capsules include Vitex negundo, Commiphora mukul, Boswellia serrata, Zingiber officianale, Tinospora cordifolia and Withania somnifera. .
The capsules help in dealing with all kinds of joint conditions that cause any kind of skeletal problem in the body. .
Regular use of this product helps in the maintenance of joint flexibility and lubrication so as to minimize wear and tear in patients of hallux rigidus. .
Besides this, the herbs are a great supply of natural anti –oxidants to the body and increase the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
4. Punarnava Capsules –
Punarnava capsule is a very effective herbal medicine that is a great diuretic supplement. .
In case of arthritis, a few patients have a problem in the release of excess fluid that accumulates around the arthritic joints. .
Even in patients of hallux rigidus, in advanced stages, there is progressive increase in the stiffness and pain involved in the joint of the big toe which often gets badly swollen because of that. .
This swelling poses great difficulty in mobilization in patients having swollen knee joints. .
Punarnava capsules together with the above three herbs makes for a great herbal medicine for hallux rigidus.