Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic
1177 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6H 1G3
© Platinum Link Health Management Inc. 2009 All Rights Reserved.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment ofRheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
arthritis, OA, osteoarthritis, RA, rheumatoid arthritis, Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM,Acupuncture, Herbal medicine, IMeG Health
Clinic, Vancouver, Canada, joint pain, inflammatorypain, CAM, phlegm, blood stasis, herb-drug interactions
There are more than 100 kinds of arthritis, themost common of which are osteoarthritis (OA) andrheumatoid arthritis (RA). Of the two, osteoarthritis isthe most common form, affecting approximately threemillion Canadians, mostly over the age of 45. Whileboth forms involve the typical joint pain associatedwith arthritis, they are in fact completely differentdiseases.Osteoarthritis is commonly caused by hardrepetitive activity, and joint injury. The condition isnormally limited to the joint capsule, and is the resultof the gradual deterioration of the cartilage that linesthe bone surfaces. As it wears away, the synoviallining in the joint capsule becomes inflamed. Whensevere, the bone ends will touch, and begin to wearaway, resulting in joint
On the other hand, in rheumatoid arthritis, theinflammation is the result of an autoimmune illness.Autoimmune conditions result when the bodyrecognizes some of its own cells as being harmful andin turn begins to attack itself.Like OA, RA affects the joints, but in addition it canalso result in inflammation of the tendons, lungs, andblood vessels. Over the years, there has beenspeculation as to its causes, but as yet its causeremains unknown.Conventional treatment for rheumatoid arthritisemploys the use of pain killers, anti-inflammatorymedications (which includes the COX-2 inhibitorssuch as Vioxx and Celebrex), and a category ofmedications known as disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, or DMARDS (which includesmedications such as methotrexate). Reports over thelast year have resulted in several of the commonly-used COX-2 inhibitors being pulled off the market.In addition to these conventional treatments,more and more patients are seeking out differenttreatment options, and in many cases seeing multiplepractitioners for the same condition. One of the mosthighly sought treatment options is traditional Chinesemedicine (TCM).
TCM Treatment of RheumatoidArthritis
Traditional Chinese medicine classifies all
arthritis as a syndrome called “Bi”, or “PainfulObstruction Syndrome”. This syndrome is further
differentiated on the basis of the presenting signs andsymptoms, resulting in names suc
h as “Wind Bi”, PainBi”, Hot Bi”, “Damp Bi”, “Bone Bi”, and others. Many
studies have been conducted over the years as to theefficacy of TCM in the treatment of this disease, manyreporting success rates of over 80%. However, in