Basal Joint Arthritis-Ayurvedic Treatment, Diet, Exercises, Research Papers, Yoga & Pranayama

Ayurvedic Treatment for Basal joint arthritis


Basal thumb arthritis is presented with pain in the thumb as main sign. It is been very common in the OP clinics nowadays. Both young adults and old age people will be affected by this disease. It is seen mostly along with other underlying conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis. Pain is felt on the base of the thumb and radiates to the thenar eminence and the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint. The pain is slightly relieved by rest but in most cases, the pain is aggravated by excessive physical activity involving thumb. Daily chores like washing & draining clothes with hands, closing & opening of jars, writing and working on computer make pain worse. Usage of mobile is becoming a big issue among youngsters leading to damage of thumb joints and lately manifested as basal joint arthritis. In the beginning there will be intermittent pain, may be mild and bearable. If not given proper treatment, the pain becomes constant and unbearable over time. In chronic cases, weakness and restricted movements of the joint also can be observed. Though it causes extreme discomfort to the patient, it woks really as a protective mechanism by the body to restrict the joint from moving and excess exertion. In later stages, the inability of the joint becomes severe and subluxation results. Movements of abduction becomes almost impossible. Slowly the function of the hand is deteriorated along with pinch grip. In this condition, holding large objects become impossible as the gap between thumb and index finger can not be widened normally. In the final stage, the thumb is collapsed forming a swan neck deformity. It is associated with progressive adduction of the first metacarpal joint and hyperextension of metacarpophalangeal joints as a result.

Causes of basal joint arthritis

No genetic or environmental factors are proven as the cause of basal joint arthritis. But chronic degenerative arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, defective postures & strain on the area can act as risk factors of the condition.

Treatment of basal arthritis

Mild cases are dealt with:

  • Restricted movement and activity
  • Splints
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Moderate and severe cases may need corticosteroid injections and surgery along with measures previously mentioned. In very severe cases, continued use of analgesics & restricted movements will be necessary.

Complications of basal joint arthritis

Swan neck deformity

Complete loss of movement

Weakness of thumb

Preventive measures of Basal joint arthritis

Moderate exercises to keep the joints healthy.

Avoid excessive physical pressure on the joint

Complications of medicine & treatment

In severe cases corticosteroids are used mostly in the form of injection. This may cause damage to the capsule of the joint & articular cartilage. In repeated use, the effect may be reduced.

Oral administration of corticosteroids is also needed in some cases. Long term use of NSAID s and analgesics are advised in many people with severe pain. Such medications can cause adverse effects on the gastro intestinal system and immunity.

Ayurvedic Concept of Basal joint arthritis

Ayurvedic explanation of pain is always related with an abnormal or instable Vaata dosha. This can happen either due to a channel obstruction where Kapha or Pitta is associated or in degenerative conditions where only Vaata being the culprit. Pain in the joints when Vaata dosha is aggravated, the condition is called as Sandhigatavaata. Basal joint arthritis can be related with this condition in the beginning stages. When Vaatadosha gets aggravated and affects the kandaras that connect into fingers, it causes severe pain & loss of movement of the hand and fingers. When radiating pain is there or pain of the whole arm develops, the condition can be compared to a disease explained as Khallwi/Viswachi where Vaata dosha causes severe pain of the shoulder, arm & the hand. The description of signs & symptoms of this condition are told as Pain the hand and fingers and loss of mobility of hands and fingers In both conditins, the movement is affected due to severe pain and in due time, the affected joint undergoes degeneration leading to serious deformities. Timely management along with nidaanaparivarjana (avoiding causative factors) are essential to prevent such complications.

Ayurvedic Nidana of Basal joint arthritis

Causative factors for the vitiation of Vaatadosha like malnourishment, senile changes, deficiency, diseases like Rajayakshma causing emaciation etc


Ayurvedic treatment for Basal joint arthritis

The treatment of basal joint arthritis needs both whole body & localised care. In the first stage, it is necessary to differentiate the presence or absence of any associated dosha with Vaata. If there are Kapha or Pitta, medicines & therapies are done to remove them. In cases where only Vaata is present, nourishing diet & therapies are advised.

 Lepanam with herbs that are dry & relieving pain like jadamayadi choornam if Aama or vitiated kapha present

Abhyanga (oil massage) and pradesikadhara (continuous pouring) with oil in conditions without aama or kapha. If the patient is strong enough and young, oleation therapies with medicated oils & ghee followed by therapeutic sweating is done. Cleansing therapies like medicated purgation or emesis are done. In needed cases, therapeutic enemas are administered with expert supervision.

In emergency, Agnikarma or cauterisation therapies are done for immediate pain relief.   Common medicines used in such cases are as follows:

Ashtavargam kashayam

Maharasnadi kashayam

              Prasaranyadi kashayam

              Ksheerabalatailam avarthy

Herbal Preparations for Basal joint arthritis

  • Milk preparation or decoction with dasamoola
    • Milk preparation or decoction with karaskara
    • Local application of Rasnadi churna
    • Herbal paste made from Sataahwa & kulattha

The Food and Drug Administration, United States has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.

Please consult Dr. Rajesh Nair here-


Dr. Rajesh Nair Consultant, Ayurveda Medicine, India

Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

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