Freedom from Joint pain – Holistic & Medical options

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Freedom from Joint pain - Holistic & Medical options

There are many approaches to addressing various aspects of an individual’s health, particularly concerning musculoskeletal conditions and biomechanical problems. All the approaches have their way of treating a problem, however the objective remains the well-being of the patient.

There are many practices like :

·         Yoga therapy

·         Physiotherapy

·         Orthopedics

·         Chiropractic

·         Ayurveda

·         Naturopathy

·         Acupressure & acupuncture.

Here we have compared 3 of the above-mentioned approaches which are most popular globally. These are Physiotherapy, Orthopedics and Yoga therapy. Here’s a brief comparison of each:


1. Physiotherapy:

Practitioners: Physiotherapists are trained healthcare professionals who assess, diagnose, and treat conditions related to biomechanics, movement and functioning of the joints. They do not prescribe medicines or perform surgery as per their scope of work.

Objective of treatment: Physiotherapy, aims to restore and maintain physical function, alleviate pain, and improve mobility. It has a wide range of therapeutic exercises, machines and other modalities to address injuries or conditions affecting the functioning of the musculoskeletal system.

Line of treatment: The primary method to bring healing is by using machines like Ultrasonic heat, IFT therapy, and SWD therapy along with exercises. They teach the therapeutic exercises to the patient and the patient is supposed to practice them at home. A normal time duration to visit a physiotherapist is a minimum of 7 sessions to a month or two. Exercises aim at reducing joint pain and restoring movement effortlessly. Some physiotherapists are also Chiropractors and some of them also use acupuncture as a part of their treatment plan.

Sometimes, many physiotherapists do not customise the exercises as per the requirements of the patient (except for some really good ones). They have an exercise routine and a protocol to be followed. That might or might not be enough to address the problems of every individual patient. Also, the mental and emotional aspect of the pain is not a point of consideration in the treatment. It is focused on the physical aspect.


2. Orthopaedics:

Practitioners: Orthopaedics is a medical wing that specialises in dealing with the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Orthopaedic physicians and surgeons are medical doctors having expertise in the surgical and non-surgical management of musculoskeletal conditions. They can prescribe medicines and perform surgical procedures to fix a broken/misaligned/degenerated joint. Orthopedic doctors or surgeons diagnose and treat a broad range of conditions, at an anatomical level. This can include moderate to acute problems like a muscle sprain, ligament tear, bone fracture or a degenerated joint that needs replacement. Joint replacement specialization is unique to orthopaedics. This cannot be done by any other practitioner like a yoga therapist, ayurvedic doctor or even a physiotherapist. Only Orthopaedics are qualified and trained for such invasive procedures.

Objective of treatment: Almost like a Physiotherapist, an Orthopaedic doctor also aims to reduce pain, restore musculoskeletal functioning, and improve overall biomechanics. To achieve this, they must work in collaboration with the Physiotherapist specifically to take care of the exercises part.

Line of treatment : 

The Non-surgical treatment is mostly based on medicines like NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, supplements, steroidal injections etc for immediate relief from acute pain. Thereafter, they refer the patients to the Physiotherapists or to a Yoga therapist to learn the exercise regime.

Surgery is advised by the doctor if the case has gone beyond recovery through the non-surgical approach.

The orthopaedic doctors also focus completely on the physical aspect. There are many other contributors to the physical pain. Some on the top of the list are stress, lack of sleep and poor breathing. Hence the emotional aspect is not taken care of. Also, there is less scope to customise the treatment plan for each patient as the medicines cannot be tweaked or customised. However, they are the saviours in acute cases where immediate surgery is required.


3. Yoga Therapy:

Practitioners: Yoga or Exercise is the first line of treatment for most chronic ailments, both at an anatomical and physiological level. Yoga therapists are professionals with specialized training in therapeutic yoga. They have the expertise to modify the classical yogic postures to suit the needs of the patient. They have a deep knowledge of Human Anatomy and Physiology which gives them an edge over the other yoga teachers. They are also trained to read diagnostic reports like X-rays, MRIs and blood reports. This also helps them understand the patient’s case in minute detail and accordingly design a yogic sequence for their health condition.

Objective of treatment: Yoga therapy is focused on providing holistic healing to the patient both at a mental and physical level. The therapeutic postures embedded in the patient’s sequence consider factors like his sleeping patterns, breathing, diet, hunger cravings, hormonal imbalance, and various gut issues. It focuses on giving him immediate relief from joint pains, posture correction, counselling, motivation, lifestyle correction, restoration, and stabilization of the recovery phase.


Line of treatment: Yoga therapy involves the use of yoga practices like therapeutic postures, breathing exercises, meditation, restorative yoga, ropes, belts, and bolsters as tools to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The yogic sequence is carefully designed keeping in mind the current state of the patient. It is a target-based treatment. Rope and belt therapy is an integral part of therapeutic yoga. It has shown significant results in joint pain relief, especially in the knee joint, back pain (Sciatica pain, prolapsed disc, hyperextension of pelvic or loss of muscle tone etc), and neck pain (Cervical Spondylosis). In this treatment, the recovery of biomechanical functioning can be easily tracked in terms of improvement in the range of motion of the joints and can be demonstrated to the patient to boost his morale. Emotional recovery can also be seen in the improvement in the quality of sleep, reduction in food cravings, rejuvenated life spirit, reduced tiredness, and many other parameters.


Ending note:

All these therapies can work both in collaboration with each other or stand alone depending on the severity of the problem. In many cases, a collaborative approach involving physiotherapy, orthopaedics, and yoga therapy is beneficial for holistic care.

For some specific acute injuries, Physiotherapy and orthopaedics are often recommended. For conditions requiring immediate surgery, post-surgical rehabilitation, and immediate medical intervention. Yoga therapy is often used for chronic health conditions, chronic joint pains, lifestyle correction, stress management, and overall wellness.

An appropriate therapy must be chosen as per the personal preferences of the patient and their health conditions.

Don’t hesitate to consult with a professional to figure out the most appropriate course of action for yourself!


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