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Relieving Chronic pain with Ayurveda

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Abstract: This clinical case study signifies the use of Trailokya Vijaya Vati in relieving Chronic pain. Chronic pain is a kind of pain that usually lasts a long time. Chronic pain may originate in the body, or in the brain or spinal cord. It is often difficult to treat. Severe chronic pain is associated with a decrease in the likelihood of survival over the next 10 years of a patient’s life, especially the ones with comorbidities.

There is a growing interest among patients and healthcare professionals in the clinical benefits of Cannabis in chronic pain relief. Chronic pain is common, expensive, and challenging to treat. Many individuals with chronic pain have shifted their way of treatment to cannabis as an alternate for pain management

This is a case of a 78 yr old female with a history of Chronic Pain who underwent Spine Surgery 18 months ago and Total Knee Replacement 9 months ago. Her pain prevents her from standing in the kitchen for cooking or any physical activity in general. She is gradually putting on weight and is always stressed over minute things. She also mentioned that her husband complained she is constantly irritable. She has a constant desire to be normal and wants to keep up with life.

Ayurveda Perspective

Ayurveda has explained the origin of chronic pain to be due to vitiated VATA DOSHA and once VATA DOSHA is treated efficiently & effectively, the pain eases up automatically. The TIKTA rasa and USHNA guna of Vijaya makes it a choice of drug for VATA DOSHA.

Introduction

Nowadays, people suffer more from chronic pain than then cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Chronic pain is the most common cause of long term disability in India. However, hearsay evidence suggests that cannabis or its compounds may help relieve chronic pain, including pain resulting from nerve damage and inflammation. The cannabinoid in cannabis interacts with the pain receptors in the brain to exert pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.

Case Report

Patient description

This is a case of a 78 yr old female with a history of Chronic Pain who underwent Spine Surgery 18 months ago and Total Knee Replacement 9 months ago. Her pain prevents her from standing in the kitchen for cooking or any physical activity in general. She is gradually putting on weight and is always stressed over minute things. Recently she has pain and tingling in her hands and neck. She does not get a sound sleep and her pain is easily affected by season/weather change.

Case history

She has been experiencing pain for the last 2-3 years. When she first visited a spine clinic the doctor prescribed her strong pain medication, but the medication did little to alleviate her pain. After a few weeks, an MRI revealed that she required spine surgery to fix her issues. She was immediately operated and it helped her extensively. Soon after a few months, the pain re-emerged and this time it was intense and it could be felt at all her joints, especially the knee joint.

Another visit to a specialist and she was advised Bilateral Total Knee Replacement, which she readily agreed to and got operated for the same. But the pain never went away. She has been under treatment for her chronic pain and tingling sensation in her extremities for the last 4-5 months. Initially treated with various GUGGULA combinations and other Vatashamana formulations, she always came back and insisted for a change of drugs.

Physical examination results

She was brought to the clinic in a wheelchair on her first visit. She could get up from the chair but standing even for a few seconds was arduous for her. She immediately sat down on the chair and seemed in great pain even after such little activity. She has been on strong analgesics but somehow they no longer provided any relief to her.

Other findings:

  • The patient has no other comorbid conditions
  • She was tested negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • The patient was mildly osteoporotic

Treatment plan

Medicines to be used – Trailokya Vijaya Vati. She was prescribed GUGGUL KALPA as a start and other combinations overtime for the last 4 months, every time she would come back and insist on giving her a stronger formulation. 3 weeks ago she was started Trailokya Vijaya Vati 1 OD along with Trayadoshank Guggul. She came back after 1 week with better reviews. The combination helped her with pain relief and tingling and also gave her a sound sleep. She did not insist on changing her medicine anymore. Trayadoshank Guggul was omitted 2 weeks ago and she was still better. And for the past 1 week, she has been taking Trailokya Vijaya Vati 1 OD every alternate day.

Expected outcome of the treatment plan

The expected outcome was to relieve her of the pain and that the patient should get a sound sleep. Moreover, there was hope that this formulation could help her with the stress.

Actual outcome

The patient on her last follow up could actually stand for a while and also could stand with little discomfort. Her complaints and irritability have reduced significantly. She was sleeping well and mentioned trying to walk little distances by herself without aid or without the wheelchair. This progress has impacted her life positively and her pain is now “MANAGEABLE”.

Discussion

The treatment was decided on the basis of predominance of VATA involvement (Pain and Tingling sensation). The Vijaya as mentioned has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is also an effective VATASHAMANA herb. It helps in reducing the pain gradually and is also an effective muscle relaxant. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the pain and the sedative action helped the patient cope with her stress and restless sleep.

Conclusion

This case study shows that Chronic pain can be successfully managed with Trailokya Vijaya Vati. However, there is still a need for more research into the area of Cannabis use in Chronic pains, especially into the use of different strains, dosages, and methods of delivery

Case Study shared by: Dr. Simeen S Bawadekar, Consultant Ayuvedacharya Published by: HempStreet

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