Arthritis simply means joint inflammation. It can be knees, shoulders, hips, fingers, toes or spinal joints. It could include diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or fibromyalgia. About 50 million of US adult has some form of joint pain which can compromise their everyday activities. 50% of Adult over age 65 has some form of joint disease.

Why do we have so many cases of joint pain?. Joint is a very complex part of the body which needs a good amount of blood and fluid circulation to work properly. Due to its complexity, energy or blood circulation can be obstructed easier than other parts of the body. As you grow older, blood and energy circulation will be compromised due to lack of exercise, injuries, stagnation of blood and body fluid due to overweight. For a certain degree, you may need to accept as a sign of aging. However, if it bothers your normal range of motion, intervention might be necessary.

For major joints such as hip, knee or shoulder, doctors might recommend a replacement surgery. Even though it may work without any serious complication, it cost a lot and only last several years up to 15 years. You may have more complication if you are older. The small joint doesn't have those options.

What should we do to avoid major surgery? By increasing the circulation of blood and energy on the affected area, acupuncture can relieve the pain and improved mobility. It would be easier for normal and slightly overweight patient. Since they have enough blood and body fluid or at least dampness to be converted into body fluid, they get better quicker than a thin patient. 

For those who are thin and lack of blood and body fluid, increasing the circulation doesn't have enough effect on the problem. Nourishing the joint area needs enough body fluid available for the circulation. In this case, a proper diet is also important to nourish your body. Herbal medication can speed up the healing process by supporting nourishment, removing unnecessary substance in the body and strengthening overall circulation. Sleeping and digestion problem should be addressed in addition because it is the source of the nourishment. Any habits which inhibit sound sleep and good digestion should be taken care of as well. 

For obese cases, it largely depends on the overall balance and age of the patient. Other conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and/or high cholesterol can compromise proper circulation of the energy and blood in our body. Those conditions should be taken care of as well to see continuous improvement in joint condition. 

Case 1: 75-year-old female, thin, active
She came to the office for her shoulder problem. She also has toe pain, neck pain, restless leg syndrome, nasal congestion with post-nasal drips and sleeping problems. She's been taking thyroid and cholesterol medications for 30+ years and blood pressure medications for almost 20 years.

During the first treatment, her shoulder pain was reduced and ROM was increased. She also noticed that she had less nasal congestion during the night so she can sleep better without nasal spray. For her surprise, her toe pain which bothers her for more than a year was gone after two treatment.

However, her pain came back several days later because of her extremely deficient condition. Her tongue was very dry with cracks. After the 7 treatment, her overall condition got better and bearable so she stopped the treatment.

She was advised not to drink cold water nor eat tropical fruits since it can damage your stomach's energy to digest. For the thin and fluid deficient patient, it is very important to keep the stomach healthy to absorb nutrient from the food.

Case 2: 55-year-old female, overweight
She came to the office for her rheumatoid arthritis on hand, wrist, and knees. Her symptoms started in 2005 after eating a lot of lobster in Florida. She's been taking several medications to control the symptoms(pain & swelling) but pain during the work prevent her from performing her duties. She also has high blood pressure, constipation, frequent urination, and night urination. Her tongue was purple with red tip and thick patchy yellow coating and dry.

During the first session, her wrist bending got better with much less pain. With a couple of treatments, her wrist swelling and pain got better as well as her urination symptoms. She also had treatment for the lower back and hip pain. One day, her symptoms got worse after eating fried food at night. Herbal medication also helps her to reduce swelling and urinate easily. She was advised to refrain from cold fruits and greasy food to prevent worsening. Now she's reducing her medication, watching her diet and promised to come back if the symptoms get worse.