Fracture of a bone can occur at any time to anybody, during a fall, or an accident, and at times due to osteoporosis, and bone cancer. Whatever the case, it requires immediate attention. The Ayurvedic term for fracture is Bhagna. Ayurveda offers effective treatment for rejoining bones and restoring them to their original form and strength.
Generally, bone being a living tissue, constantly builds and hence rejoins and nourishes. Ayurveda is quite popular in its methods of treating fractures, with the treatment practices for bone fractures being centuries old, starting from the age of Susruta, the first-ever surgeon in the history of medicine.
In Ayurveda, bone fractures are classified into two types “ dislocation and fracture. Ayurveda adopts the ˜touch and analyze method for diagnosis. The diagnosis is made by touching and analysing the appearance of the affected part. The treatment methods adopted are bone setting, medicines, therapies, splints or slings, as required. Splints are made with bamboo pieces in different shapes and thickness.
There are traditional bone setters and Kalari masters, the martial art practitioners in Kerala, who are experts in this field. They have sufficient skill in manipulating bones and aligning it in the right manner, which is vital in management of bone fractures, than medicines taken internally.
In fact, bone setting is a special art that requires practical knowledge. It involves pulling and adjusting the bones gently, back to their original position. Thereafter, herbal medicines in the form of pastes are applied to rejoin the splints and the bones. When joining, the bones, muscle, ligaments and tendons are also healed.
One of the main advantages of ayurvedic treatment for bone fracture or dislocation, is its external and internal use of herbal medicines in various forms, which shows great results in reducing pain, healing wounds, and joining bones. Some ingredients used when making such medicines are egg white, wheat flour, milk, ghee and sugar, along with herbal pastes such as Kasamarda and Kumari.
Oil massage therapies are also a popular method adopted in Ayurveda, in shaping the bones back to their original form. Methods such as steaming, and application of herbal pastes, also reduce pain and inflammation. Depending on the condition of the patient, Panchakarma Therapy is also done.
In cases where fracture has occurred on marma points (vital areas), special attention is required. Only expert Ayurvedacharyas can manage and treat complicated multiple fractures.
The main aim of the treatment process in fractures is to restore functional abilities of the individual. In cases of bone problems occurring due to old age and chronic diseases, treatment is difficult and may take longer time, but, the process of healing is quicker in young people.
The duration of rehabilitation also depends on the type of fracture, and associated soft tissue involvement, location of fracture, and method of stabilization. Depending on the stability of fracture, motion exercises may be recommended for adjacent joints, followed by strengthening exercises. Once, the healing is restored completely, the individual can continue with regular activities of daily living.