I’m 20, female and have pain, stiffness and swelling in the knees. I took Ayurvedic medicines and the swelling has reduced, but I have difficulty walking. An X-ray showed everything is fine.

The main symptoms of joint inflammation (arthritis) are joint pain and stiffness, swelling, redness and limited movements. Distinguishing the cause of your knee pain is crucial to make a treatment strategy. The differential diagnosis can vary as:

• Osteoarthritis: wear-and-tear damage to cartilage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movements. Knees are common sites; however, probability is less likely considering your age.

• Rheumatoid arthritis: the body’s immune system wrongly attacks joints and inflame the joint membrane. The disease can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.

• Gout: occurs when high level of uric acid accumulates in your joint as urate crystals, causing sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness in joints, often on the big toe and occasionally on knees.

• Chondromalacia patellae: also known as runner’s knee, it is a condition where the cartilage on the undersurface of the kneecap deteriorates. This condition is common among young, athletic individuals.

• Knee injuries: Collateral and cruciate ligament injuries are very painful and can cause unstable knee joints. The meniscus can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it.

As per Ayurveda, vata imbalance located in your muscles, tendons and ligaments and joints will cause pains and aches. Ayurveda therapies and medications can safely and effectively reduce inflammation, which relieves pain and prevent joint damage.

Ayurveda therapies give clinically significant improvement in arthritis and musculo-skeletal problems with the added advantage of fewer side-effects. Below are some of the useful therapies in knee pain that are recommended in combination with internal herbs. Please consult an ayurvedic expert who will prescribe the right medications and therapies that can include:

• Upanaham: bandage with ayurvedic oils and herbal pastes.

• Lepam: application of herbal pastes reduces swelling and pains rapidly.

• Abhyangam: oil massage

• Kizhi: application of warm herbal compress

• Janu vasthy: retention of oil on knees

• Ekanga dhara: drizzling of medicated oil from a particular height on the affected area.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.