Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis frequently creates other neuromuscular problems that are easier to treat. These secondary conditions are created because the patient is compensating to accommodate the arthritic joint.
Arthritis is frequently exacerbated by cold, dampness, fatigue, and heat. Each type of arthritis is treated differently. The types of arthritis frequently seen in my practice are outlined below.
Migrating Pain Arthritis
This type of arthritis is characterized by pain that moves from joint to joint. One day you fingers hurt and the next day your feet hurt.
Arthritis that feels worse with cold weather is very common. The pain is located at a specific joint, frequently the hands or the site of an old injury. Symptoms often improves with application of heat and/or movement. Treatment of this condition usually includes both acupuncture and heat therapy.
Symptoms of dampness-arthritis include swelling of the joint and increased pain with rain or humid weather. I frequently use the example, “that this type of arthritis is equivalent to old wooden door that just won’t shut all the way on a damp summer’s day in New England. Just turn on the air conditioning for a few hours and the door closes with no problem.” Well the same thing happens to the joints in your body; they contract and expand with changes in the weather. With acupuncture I am just turning on the air conditioner or turning off the heat depending on the patient.
This pattern is frequently seen with patients diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms include pain, redness, and other heat type symptoms.
Note: When using acupuncture to treat Rheumatoid arthritis I have been most successful when I treat away from the effected joint.
Age Related Arthritis
The type of arthritic pain is normally associated with ageing, symptoms include periodic or persistent back pain, knee pain, and of course hand pain. The patient can frequently predicts changes in the weather.
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