The term arthritis means “inflammation of the joints” and usually involves pain, stiffness, and limitation of function. Rheumatism is another name for it. Although arthritis occurs in a number of different forms, there are essentially two major types: inflammatory and degenerative which may result from injury, malnutrition and limited capacity of the articulator cartilaginous surface to repair itself. The first group includes the type of arthritis associated with infective agents, rheumatoid arthritis and connective tissue disorders. The second group comprises degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis, and hypertrophic arthritis.
Gout is a form of arthritis characterized by increased blood uric acid and is a metabolic disorder. In cases of persistent gout, arthritis, acupuncture can be given along with any prescribed medication to relieve the unpleasant symptoms.
Most types of arthritis tend to be relentlessly progressive, with increasing joint destruction, pain, and limitation of motion, until this disease becomes severe most people relieve their symptoms with non-prescription drugs often containing aspirin which can cause stomach ulcers and a generalized bleeding tendency. The harm some of the prescription drugs can do to a patient’s general health outweighs their temporary advantages.
Vitamin therapy with vitamin C and pantothenate is helpful in reducing arthritic symptoms and the bleeding induced by some anti arthritis drugs. Vitamins help restore the function of the adrenal glands, along with Chinese medicine, suppressed by cortisone and its derivatives. Vitamins and Chinese herbal medicine should be instituted promptly and continued after acupuncture.
Most patients have their pain, swelling, and stiffness significantly relieved by the time they have had five – ten acupuncture treatments. Some of them have regained freedom from these symptoms for years, after their first course of treatments. Others have had a recurrence of pain after a few months, but the pain was relieved again, after another course of treatment. Some people with sever rheumatoid arthritis, have been able to stay almost symptom free, by having maintenance treatments weekly.
Acupuncture will not change bone deformities, but it’s remarkable how well a person can function in spite of these if they’re free from pain and stiffness.