Baker’s cyst, or popliteal cyst, is one of the most common diseases affecting the knee. A fluid-filled sac is formed behind the knee joints due to increased pressure for various reasons.
The condition is usually seen in middle-aged people with underlying pathologies.
What causes Baker’s cyst?
The synovial fluid present in the knee joint aids in the normal movement of the joints by reducing friction between the moving parts of the joint. A baker’s cyst develops when the reabsorption or production of synovial fluid is compromised by underlying pathology. This fluid builds up in the popliteal fossa.
The underlying pathologies include:
- Secondary to degenerative changes of the joints.
- Meniscal tears or lesions.
- Injury to the knee joint.
- Inflammatory arthritis including rheumatoid arthritis.
What are the symptoms seen?
The symptoms of baker’s cyst are seen localized to the popliteal fossa. Baker’s cyst of small-sized and not inflamed and doesn’t cause any symptoms. Inflamed and large-sized cysts cause symptoms such as:
- Pain or discomfort behind the knee joints.
- Lump or sac formation behind the knee joints.
- The feeling of tightness over the popliteal region.
- Symptoms increase during activities or while extending the knee joint.
- In advanced cases, swelling of the lower extremities can be seen.
- The lump is filled while standing or extending the knee joints and decreases while flexing the knee joint to 45 degrees.
Baker’s cyst in Ayurveda
Baker’s cyst can be correlated as a type of granthi in Ayurveda. Asthija Granthi explained by Acharya Vagbhatta has symptoms similar to Baker’s cyst. Due to asthi bhagna or other reasons, the cyst is formed having features such as pain, swelling, and restricted movements.
How baker’s cyst is managed in Ayurveda?
In the Ayurveda Treatment for Bakers Cyst, the elimination of the causative factor is the first step in the management of the disease. Baker’s cyst can be managed by treating the underlying pathologies responsible for the formation of the disease.
Abhyangam: This is a full-body massage done with medicated herbal oils. This helps in stimulating the nerve endings at the site of pain which increases blood circulation.
Kizhi: Kizhi uses herbs / sand / rice / choornams tied in a muslin cloth to make small herbal boluses (potlis). These boluses are then heated and lightly pounded over the knee joint as needed. This process is very important to alleviate knee joint inflammation and reduce pain.
Pizhichil: Pizhichil or oil squeezing is done to pacify the vata, strengthen muscles and thereby lubricate knee joints.
Janu Basti: Janu Basti involves pouring specially prepared warm herbal oil over the knee. The herbal oil restores the lubricating fluid in the joint and improves the mobility of knee joints. Janu Basti is mainly used in Pain management conditions such as osteoarthritis of knee joints, osteoporosis, Arthritis of knee joints, and chronic pain of the knee joints.
Upnaham: This Oleation therapy is done by the application of herbal paste over the affected area. This treatment is very effective in Osteoarthritis of the knee, knee joint injuries, and localized Knee Pain and Swelling.
Sneha Basti: This procedure involves an enema using medicated oil. It helps in colonic Detoxification as Colon is the main seat of Vata according to Ayurveda.
Kashaya Basti: Kashaya Basti involves enema using medicated decoction. Also, it helps in relieving constipation which is one of the major complaints of patients.
Along with this, the intake of various Ayurvedic medicines is also essential for the management of the disease.
Home remedies that can be followed
- Practice muscle-strengthening exercises daily.
- Use ice compression to reduce pain.
- Reduce physical activity.
- Maintain an optimal body weight.
The treatment of knee pain will vary in each case depending on the specific cause. If not properly diagnosed and treated at the right time, it can take several years to restore. The exact schedule & combination of treatments needs to be decided by the doctor depending upon the condition & Prakriti of the patient.
At Ayurclinic, we are committed to helping our patients get better with our personalized Ayurveda treatment for Bakers Cysts along with various Ayurvedic treatment methodologies. If you want to know more about our personalized ayurvedic treatments, you can call us at +61 3 9078 2940 or Book an online consultation with us