What is arthritis?

Arthritis, a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints, is a large and growing public health problem in the United State, resulting in costs of $128 billion annually, and continues to be the most common cause of disability. There are many different kinds of arthritis, among which the most two common forms are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

OA is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 21 million Americans. This disease is characterized by warm, swollen and pain joints, and the pain always moves from one joint to another. It typically affects the weight-bearing joints including the hips, knees, ankles, and low back. Osteoarthritis is mainly acquired from daily wear and tear of the joints or occurs as a result of joint injury. Usually, the pain of the joints may be aggravated during activities, while a state of rest can relieve the symptoms.

RA is another common type, which is caused by autoimmune disorder that the body’s own immune system starts to attack body tissues. Different from osteoarthritis, RA often affects joints in the fingers, wrists and elbows. Typically, the disease is symmetrical (usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body) and can result in joints deformity and even lead to limitations in daily activities. Joints stiffness, especially in the morning, is one of the specific symptoms of RA. Other common symptoms involve swollen or tender joints, pain, muscle weakness or fatigue.

Why Acupuncture is superior than typical way for treatment of arthritis?

In Western medicine, there is no cure for either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment options generally focus on reliving pain and preventing further joint damage, including physical therapy, lifestyle changes (such as exercise and weight control) and medications. In some cases, joint replacement surgery may be needed in eroding forms of arthritis.

However, it is acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine that have their advantages to effectively control or even cure arthritis. In fact, acupuncture is an essential component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and its use dates back to over 3000 years in China [5]. A 2002 survey estimated that 8 million Americans have used acupuncture, predominantly for pain-related problems [6]. Furthermore, during the past ten years, the United State has witnessed the development and expansion of acupuncture, a new and effective method to deal with all kinds of diseases.

Traditional practice of acupuncture is based on the theories of TCM that are quite different from Western medical viewpoint. According to TCM concepts, the pathogenic factors of Wind, Cold, Dampness and Heat invade the body and block the meridians, affecting the flow of Qi (a kind of energy or vital force) and Blood (a kind of substance that nourish the whole body) through the body. Then the symptoms of the limbs, joints and muscles may occur, involving pain, soreness, numbness, stiffness, swollen, deformity and limitation in activities.

The practitioners of acupuncture or TCM fully understand this condition and they will take a holistic approach to handle arthritis and help your body regain balance. They will insert some needles at specific acupoints along the meridians or give you a prescription of Chinese herbal medicines in order to eliminate all the pathogenic factors and allow the Qi and Blood flows freely around the body. Thus as soon as the imbalance of the body gets corrected, the symptoms of arthritis disappear gradually and naturally.

In brief, acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine can offer a safe, natural and effective way to cure arthritis and help your body maintain overall health.

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