Q: How do I relieve ankle and knee pain caused by arthritis?
A: The nature of the therapies and treatments you employ for your arthritis will depend entirely on the nature of the arthritis you have.
If you experience the brittle dryness of osteoarthritis, you likely have an imbalance of the Vata dosha. This imbalance is concerned with issues related to movement and elimination. A lack of moisture and lubrication in the body will lead to a decreased nourishment of the cartilage and dry, painful joints are the result. Along with proper therapies as administered by a trained Ayurvedic practitioner, a sufferer of osteoarthritis can also favor cooked foods over raw foods, prepare foods with oils such as sesame oil and olive oil, avoid animal products such as pork and red meat, massage the whole body—but the affected joints in particular—with warm sesame oil, and add ghee to all cooked foods (1 or 2 tablespoons) as this is a great source of lubrication to the bones.
If you experience the inflamed, irritated heat of rheumatoid arthritis, you likely have an imbalance of the Pitta dosha. This imbalance is concerned with issues related to digestive fire and heat. With too much heat being produced by the body’s digestion, it is likely for this heat to spread out into the rest of the body and cause inflammation as happens with rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is also best treated by a trained practitioner, and can be supplemented by eating cooling foods like white basmati rice, cow’s milk, ghee, and sweet fruits, reducing the amount of physically rigorous activity in any given day, eating smaller quantities of food, and eliminating the intake of spicy foods, sour foods, meats and other animal proteins, and alcohol.