Acupuncture For Arthritis
Pain Relief
a Chinese Medicine Perspective

Can acupuncture and Chinese medicine as a natural arthritis pain relief technique help you? Ever wondered if the pain you have in, and around, your joints is actually arthritis?

The singular term arthritis (from arthron a greek word for joint and -itis meaning inflammation) is a group of conditions that involve damage to the joints of the body. The plural term is arthritides. Another term that you may also come across is arthralgia (arthron a greek word for joint and algos meaning pain).

So in clinic, consideration is given to discriminating between arthritis (joint inflammation) and arthralgia (joint pain). Arthralgia, for example, can be due to the common cold where the joints are not inflamed.

Humans as well as animals suffer from arthritis. Worldwide, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in people older than fifty-five years of age. But young people do suffer from arthritis as well.

There are various types of arthritis. Arthritis Australia reports that there are over 100 different forms of arthritis. You’ll find that the primary types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, infectious or septic arthritis. However, the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), which is largely due to wear and tear and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is an autoimmune disease.

Another group of arthritis occurs secondary to other diseases, for example psoriasis or even Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Included also are the rarer forms of arthritis, for example Reactive Arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome, when three seemingly unrelated body parts are affected, such as inflammatory arthritis of large joints, inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis and uveitis), and urethritis, which is inflammation of the urethra.

And then there are diseases that mimic arthritis.

Now, I am not encouraging you to be your own doctor. But I’ve found that when my patients understand arthritis, it helps them to plan their life and maintain a good lifestyle so that they can manage their arthritis. This eventually contributes to better health and well being with effective management of their arthritis.

So it does help to know a little about it, especially if you have been diagnosed with arthritis. Therefore, click on the various links in this section to explain more about:

Difference between western medical and Chinese medical treatment for arthritis

In general, we can say that arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints that is characterised by pain, swelling, heat, redness and limitation of movement. That's the western medical perspective at least.

However, in Chinese medicine, arthritis is NOT just inflammation and heat. For example, it can be caused by a prior invasion of coldness that damaged the body causing obstruction in the natural flow of both Chi and blood which then manifests as heat. So treatment includes both the cause and manifestation of the disease.

The reason for this difference is that acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer various diagnoses for arthritis, with treatment protocols applying to suit each person individually. So your treatment is not going to be the same as another person with arthritis. That IS the way it should be. We are all different after all. Here is a link that will tell you more about how arthritis is treated by acupuncture.

Western medical doctors will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for your inflammatory arthritis. For your OA, NSAIDs are one of the commonest pharmacological treatments prescribed in general practice. Drugs used include aspirin, ibupofen, or gold compounds; but steroid-based drugs such as corticosteroids and immuno-suppressive drugs are also widely used.

NSAIDs have been the subject of recent controversy. In September 2004 the drug rofecoxib, a cyclooxygenase-2-selective NSAID (referred to as COX-2 inhibitor) was withdrawn worldwide. There were serious concerns about the cardiovascular safety of all NSAIDs, and COX-2 inhibitors in particular.

Due to the wide range of adverse side effects including stomach irritation, gastritis or ulcers caused by long-term use of these medications, NSAIDs, corticosteroids or immuno-suppresive drugs are prescribed for short-term relief. So you are not meant to be taking these medications for a long time. That’s where Chinese medicine and acupuncture can really help.

In Asia, and now in many countries such as Australia, USA, UK and parts of Europe, the use of acupuncture in combination with Chinese herbal medicine plus gentle exercise programmes such as tai chi, dao yin and chi kung represent the major health care modalities to treat joint and musculo-skeletal disorders including arthritis.

These ancient therapies with their thousands-of-years-old history are still used because they are empirically effective. They have stood the test of time. Recently, various scientific studies have testified to the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the treatment of arthritis.

Acupuncture treatment for arthritis

Traditional Chinese medicine, that is, a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be very helpful in the treatment of various types of arthritis and arthritic pain.

If you would like to start a course of treatment for your arthritis or joint pain, please telephone our clinic on 9796 2388 or email us through this contact-us form.

My clinic is situated at:

Berwick Specialist Suites (Upstairs, above the 24-hour Super Clinic)
Suite 8 - Level 1, 50 Kangan Drive, Berwick 3806
(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia).

P.S: If you find this website useful, feel free to recommend it to a friend.

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© Copyright Pier Tsui-Po 2005-2014. All Rights Reserved.
Dr Pier Tsui-Po Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Clinic
Berwick Specialist Suites,
Suite 8 - Level 1, 50 Kangan Drive, Berwick 3806,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Telephone: 9796 2388

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