Arthritis Explained

Arthritis literally means joint inflammation and refers to a group of rheumatic diseases that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joint. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis can affect anyone at any age, including children. The incidence of arthritis increases with age, but nearly three out of every five sufferers are under 65. If left undiagnosed and untreated, many types of arthritis can cause irreversible damage to the joints, bones, organs, and skin.


Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease, results from wear and tear. The pressure of gravity causes physical damage to the joints and surrounding tissues, leading to pain, tenderness, swelling and decreased function. Initially, osteoarthritis is non-inflammatory and its onset is subtle and gradual. The joints most often affected are the: knee, hip, hands and Spine.

Risks of osteoarthritis increase with age. Other risk factors include joint trauma, obesity, and repetitive joint use.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's own immune system attacks the synovium (cell lining inside the joint). Rheumatoid arthritis causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of joint function.

Western Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture.

Acupuncture effectively stimulated the production of endorphins and adrenalcorticotropin which are naturally occurring hormones responsible for pain relief. Patients receiving acupuncture for arthritis showed a 40% decrease in arthritic pain.

Eastern Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been found to be extremely effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. The acupuncture points that are used depend on the pathogen causing the condition which are either wind, cold, damp or damp-heat. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture does not recognize arthritis as one particular syndrome, instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques including electro-acupuncture and moxa (a warming stick applied to the needle).