Ayurvedic treatment for Pain an overview

Pain an overview

Know More on Pain

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References


Pain an overview Ayurvedic treatment


Pain is an uncomfortable feeling and/or an unpleasant sensation in the body. The presence of pain often is an indication that something is wrong. Pain can appear suddenly or can come about slowly.1

Pain is associated with a wide range of injury and disease, and is sometimes the disease itself. You could experience pain arising due to several problems, such as pain after an operation or surgery, pain due to cancer, or conditions such as headaches in which pain is the main problem.2


Pain an overview


  • There are two kinds of pain experienced based on its duration – Acute and Chronic pain1

    Acute pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body. Acute pain might be caused due to many reasons, including:1

    • Surgery
    • Broken bones
    • Dental work
    • Burns or cuts
    • Labor and childbirth

    Chronic pain persists for a long time despite the fact that the injury has healed. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months & even years. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there may be no clear cause.1,3

    Problems that usually cause chronic pain include

    • Headache
    • Low back strain
    • Arthritis (swelling in joints)
    • Pain from nerve damage
    • Cancer

    According to Ayurveda, pain is attributed to Vatadosha and activities of Vata are mainly perceived through nerves. Thus any kind of Aghat or shock will sensitise the pain perception via nerves (Nadi sansthan).4 Ayurveda divides pain into categories depending upon the element (dosha: Vata, Pitta, Kapha) that caused them.5

    We have pain due to dryness and excessive air within the system, which is attributed to Vata dosha. This dry pain may appear extreme, come and go, travel throughout the body, feel like pins and needles, prickling pain or numbness.5

    We can have pain due to heat/fire/pitta dosha which may appear inflamed, red, burning, sharp, throbbing, and intense. 5

    We can also have pain which is due to excessive fluid accumulation/water/kapha dosha which may appear swollen, dull, achy, or as a heavy feeling in limbs/joints. 5




Pain an overview


  • Headache
  • Low back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves)
  • Psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside)


Pain an overview


  • Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision. Doctors rely on the patient’s own description of the type, timing, and location of pain.6
  • Defining pain as sharp or dull, constant or on-and-off, or burning or aching may give the best clues to the cause of the pain. These descriptions are part of what is called the pain history, taken during the start of the evaluation of a patient with pain.6


Pain an overview


All types of pain are managed through Ayurvedic care. Modalities utilised by Ayurveda to manage pain vary according to the root elemental/doshic cause of the pain.5

Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing different kinds of pain by practising a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime. Based on which imbalanced dosha is the root cause, the diet will vary.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

Vata balancing diet

Grains – Rice, wheat, barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye, oats

Vegetables - Peas, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, potatoes

Fruits – apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, dry fruits after soaking overnight

Sweeteners – jaggery, honey, maple syrup

Oils – Ghee, coconut oil, olive oil


Pitta balancing diet

Vegetables - asparagus, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, raita, mung dhal, summer squashes, courgettes, cilantro, coconut, cucumber, lime and green salads.

Fruits – Peaches, figs, berries, raisins, pineapples

Grains - wheat, basmati rice, oats, barley, corn, millet and rye

Herb teas - peppermint, spearmint, rose, coriander or liquorice

Oils – ghee, coconut oil, Udo’s oil, flax oil


Kapha balancing diet

Vegetables – Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bean sprouts, Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower, Lettuce Peas Peppers Potatoes (roast) Radish/Spinach

Fruits - Apples Apricots, Berries, Cherries Cranberries, Grapefruit, Papaya, Peaches, Pears, pomegranates, raisins, Watermelon

Grains - barley, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, corn, millet and rye

Herbs – Hot lime water with ginger, barley tea

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

Yoga asanas , daily Ayurvedic body therapies and massage with special herbs, oils to rub into afflicted areas, lifestyle support, specific exercises, meditation, visualization (consciously using your natural creative imagination to make positive changes in your life and health), breathing, mantra repetitions, and prayers5

Types of Pranayama: Bhastrika pranayama, Suryabhedana pranayama, Anuloma-viloma pranayama

Yoga Asanas : Bhujangasana, Uttanapadasana, Sarvangasana (Yogasanas are to be practiced under supervision)


Image result for bhastrika pra?ayama Image result for bhastrika pranayam




Bhastrika pranayama Suryabhedana pranayama

Image result for sarvangasana Image result for uttanapadasana Image result for bhujangasana















Pain an overview
  1. Can Ayurveda treat foot pain?

In Ayurveda, foot care is considered very important since it is known to benefit the entire body and nervous system in a holistic manner. There are certain points in our body called marma or vital points, where our vital energies are concentrated. Feet and ankles also have these vital points, which if not taken care of, can cause problems like chronic pain in the ankles, pain and swelling in feet, etc. Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing ankle pain with a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime.

  1. What kind of diet and exercises will be helpful in reducing neck pain?

To reduce neck pain, Ayurveda suggests following diet and exercises:

  • Take lots of fruits, green vegetable salads and sprouts.
  • Good hydration will help retain neck health.
  • Avoid refined foods and junk foods.
  • Milk is an important source of Calcium and can help maintain healthy bones.
  • Vitamin C in citrus fruits will help the healing process.
  • Honey in warm water or herbal teas are good for cleansing the bowels and this will help relieve many backaches that are due to constipation.

Pranayama (breathing exercises) is a powerful way to promote relaxation and a pivotal first step towards relieving muscle tension. Slow, deep breathing & relaxation can stimulate a sense of calmness and cause reduction in pain.

Yoga Asanas are also beneficial in maintaining neck and overall health

Balasana                                       Marjaryasana                                 Bhujangasana              

  1. I have knee pain. What could be the reasons for it?

Knee pain can have different causes. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for knee problems. Overusing your knee can trigger knee problems that cause pain. If you have a history of arthritis (swelling of knee joint), it could also cause knee pain.

Medical conditions that can cause knee pain are

  • Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout
  • Infection in the knees / knee joint
  • Injuries – fracture, dislocation, sprained knees etc.
  • Cancer
  1. What can I do to reduce my knee pain?

Ayurveda suggests following diet and lifestyle changes to help reduce knee pain.

Include more foods containing

  • Pulses: Black gram, green gram
  • Vegetables & spices: Onion, garlic, sesame seeds, ginger, radish, ladies finger, pumpkin
  • Fruits: pomegranate, mango, grapes
  • Oils: Ghee

Ayurveda recommends regular, slow and gentle exercises with adequate rest to knee joints. Regular Pranayama and Yoga Nidra is also recommended.

  • Avoid prolonged walking, standing, kneeling and squatting and crossed leg sitting.
  • Yoga asanas: Makarasana, Pavanamuktasana, Dhanurasana, Vakrasana
  1. I have tingling pain in the legs. Is it sciatica?

Sciatic pain most often occurs on one side of leg or hip. Symptoms of sciatica pain can vary widely as mentioned below:

  • Mild tingling
  • Dull aching that radiates from buttock to back of whole leg
  • Burning sensation
  • Inability to move leg when pain becomes severe

The pain often starts slowly and may get worse:

  • After standing or sitting
  • At night
  • When sneezing, coughing, or laughing
  1. What diet is effective in reducing the sciatica pain?

A healthy diet for controlling sciatica pain is for balancing Vata dosha and includes:

  • Grains: Rice, cooked oatmeal, whole wheat and whole grain breads (toasted)
  • Pulses: Yellow split mung beans (green skin removed), whole mung beans, red lentils and tofu
  • Vegetables: : Zucchini, asparagus, carrot, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumber, lady finger, parsley, green peas, fennel, spinach in small amounts and cooked coconut. All should be cooked well so they are soft.
  • Spices: Cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, ajwain, celery seeds, fenugreek, coriander, bay leaves, basil, saffron, hing (asafoetida), cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise, fennel, black pepper (in small amounts)
  • Fruits: All ripe, sweet, and juicy fruits. Sweet grapes, banana, melons, plums, cherries, mango, papaya, pomegranate, sweet pineapples, raisins, sweet oranges, dates and figs, avocado, apples and pears.
  • Oils: Ghee or organic olive oil
  • Sweeteners: Honey, jaggery, date sugar
  1. I frequently get gas pain. What food types are good for me?

Following foods are good to help relieve gas pain:

  • Grains: Whole wheat thick flat bread or chapati, millet & sorghum bhakri, unpolished rice
  • Pulses: Chickpea, Tur dal, Masoor Moong
  • Vegetables: Carrots, Radish, Lauki, potatoes, white gourd, spiny gourd, , cucumber, ajwain, guar bean, eggplant, amaranth, cabbage, spinach, coriander seeds and leaves, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green chillies, lady finger
  • Fruits: , pears, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, oranges, unripe bananas, water chestnut, dry fruits – almonds, walnuts, peanuts, dry dates, apples, grapes etc.
  • Oils: Ghee, coconut oil in small quantities
  • Ginger, cumin, coriander should be preffered in spices.
  1. What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal nerve (TN) pain is a nerve condition that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face.

It usually affects one side of the face. Any vibration on your face, even from talking, brushing etc. can set it off. The condition may come and go, disappearing for days or even months. But the longer you have it, the less often it goes away. TN pain usually affects women and people above 50 years of age.

Ayurveda describes 11 types of shiro rogas (headaches), among which trigeminal nerve type of pain is called ‘Ardhavabhedaka’. It happens when aggravated doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) press on the neck and throat producing a powerful burning sensation, out of which comes excruciating pain. This pain ultimately affects the eyes, eyebrows and temples.

  1. How can Ayurveda help in relieving stomach pain?

Ayurveda describes a comprehensive approach towards managing stomach pain- the most commonly diagnosed conditions being constipation (Vibandha) and indigestion (Ajirna)

Constipation is used to indicate fewer bowel movements, hard stools, painful defection and feeling of bloating, abdominal pain or incomplete elimination.

Indigestion, on the other hand, is an abnormality that occurs in digesting food or lack of proper digestion resulting in stomach pain, burping or flatulance (abdominal gas).

Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing & preventing different stomach pains by practising a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime

Corrective Ahar for both constipation & indigestion includes:

Grains: Wheat, unpolished rice, barley

  • Pulses: Green gram, chickpeas, course corn, Toor dal, moong, masura lentils, Vegetables/Spices: Garlic, Asafetida, long pepper, sunthi (dry ginger), green leafy vegetables, cucumber, bitter gourd, pointed gourd, cabbage, dates, betel nut, turmeric
  • Fruits: High fibre fruits such as apples, pears, papaya, grapes, amala, haritaki
  • Oils: Ghee

Exercise: Regular exercise, meditation and practice of asanas purifies the blood, improves the appetite, increases the will power and makes the patient physically active. The whole alimentary canal improves and becomes regular.

Yoga Asanas: Vajrasana (after every meal), Kurmasana, Vakrasana, Katichakrasana

Pranayama: Surya anulom viloma, deep relaxation technique

  1. What is myofasial pain?

Myofascial pain disorder (MPS) refers to pain and swelling in the body's soft tissues or muscles. Myofascial pain is a long-term, painful condition that affects the connective tissue that cover the muscles. It is considered as a type of muscular pain (fibromyalgia) which happens at specific areas on the body.

Myofascial pain might involve either a single muscle or an entire muscle group. In some cases, the area where you experience the pain might not be where the myofascial pain is generated. The actual location of the injury leads to the development of a trigger point, which in turn causes pain in other areas. This is known as referred pain


Pain an overview

1. Acute Vs. Chronic Pain. Cleveland Clinic. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/anesthesiology/pain-management/diseases-conditions/hic-acute-vs-chronic-pain

2. AAPM Facts & Figures on Pain. American Academy of Pain Medicine. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 23]. Available at: http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx

3. Chronic pain. NIH U.S National Library of Medicine. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/chronicpain.html

4. Singh Preeti. Conceptual Study of The Effect of Madhu in Pain Management of Newborn. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://www.worldwidejournals.com/indian-journal-of-applied-research-(IJAR)/file.php?val=April_2016_1459498232__79.pdf

5. Webb T. Alternative Pain Management Resource Manual. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://kmccaffreydo.weebly.com/uploads/2/9/4/0/2940839/alternative_pain_management_resource_manual_5.18.20121.pdf

6. Chronic Pain – Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment. NIH Medline Plus. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring11/articles/spring11pg5-6.html

7. Cavanagh D & Willis C. Essential Ayurveda – A Practical Guide to Healthy Living. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://www.yogastudies.org/wp-content/uploads/Ch_1_10_Essential_Ayurveda.pdf

8.Swami Kripalvananada. Yoga Therapy. Chapters 132 – 134. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://www.naturalmeditation.net/Design/Yoga_Therapy.pdf

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or ayurvedic treatment of pain and/or pain an overview without consulting the doctor. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. "While we have products /ayurvedic medicines for pain and/or pain an overview, you must consult an authorized physician before taking any of the products. For more information on products, visit www.dabur.com or call 1800-103-1644"