Arthritis pain usually responds extremely well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy. Arthritis in our medicine can have several causes and can affect various parts of the body and so the approach we take will be different for each patient. We find this individualized treatment to be both essential and effective, since we are all different and everyone responds somewhat differently to therapy. Arthritis patients will usually find that they feel better after just one or in some cases a couple of treatments. It is important, however, to treat not only the painful symptoms but at the same time to find and treat the underlying cause of the arthritis. Sometimes the underlying cause can be a weakness in the body, or perhaps a structural or postural problem. If the cause of the arthritis is treated than the person can be truly healed of the ailment. If just the pain is treated than the underlying cause may actually worsen and over time the pain might spread or worsen. This is a very important distinction between the Eastern and the Western approach to arthritis and many illnesses. Often in Western medicine, the pain is treated with steroids or other pain killers, the pain may lessen while the actual disease mechanism marches on, untouched. Chinese herbs and diet are also effective in reducing pain and treating the root cause of the arthritis and proper exercise is important. Any postural abnormalities must also be addressed if true healing of the arthritis can occur; if we have neck pain for instance and we carry our head forward and down, we are fighting gravity itself, which usually wins. Using Chinese medicine to treat arthritis pain gives us many options. It is important to stop the pain, but it is equally important to stop the reason it began in the first place.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond