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Definition of Arthritis

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Arthritis is defined as a health concern that causes symptoms like inflammation to the joints, pain to the affected areas of the body and loss or limitation of body movements. Inflammation due to arthritis often is combined with stiffness and mild to severe pain that is often the result of infection. Arthritis can also bring other maladies like degenerative diseases, trauma and poor metabolic function. There are actually more than a hundred forms of arthritis but there are three common types of this disorder. These include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is also referred to in association with rheumatic diseases but it should be mentioned that the many types of arthritis are just a fraction of the many kinds of rheumatic diseases that certain people are suffering from.

Arthritis has also been observed in children as well as old people. It is a chronic disease that is long-term and occasionally permanent. The stiffness, swelling and pain caused by arthritis can stay latent for a long time but may erupt anytime and the severity of the pain can range from mild to severe for different kinds of sufferers.

Arthritis affects almost 50 million Americans every year.  Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis with people over 60 years old as the age group where it most often arises.

Arthritis occurs when the joints meet and rub together causing pain. When the tissue that enwraps the ends of the bones – the tissue that allows the joints to smoothly slide against each other – is diminished or has been completely lost, problems like severe impairment of the range of motion of the affected area, instability and joint weakness and of course, pain occurs. This condition can disrupt the sufferer’s daily activities making it difficult for him to walk, climb stairs, type, utilize eating utensils or even brush his teeth.

Many arthritis sufferers may figure out that the pain is not the only problem of their condition. There are forms of arthritis that can lead to damage to major body organs like the skin, blood vessels, lungs or heart besides the often affected musculoskeletal system of the body.

Written by Valerie

November 17th, 2013 at 2:11 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Arthritis Complications

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The basic health complication from arthritis is stiffness of the joint.  The restrictions of your body’s range of motion are due to inflammation and pain of the joint or from actual damage to the joint.  As for osteoarthritis, bone spurs can develop on a normal bone causing pain and compression of the nerves as well as restriction of body motion. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, damages the joint’s synovial lining which eventually causes the limitation or actual loss of range of motion of the joints.

The following are complications that rheumatoid arthritis can cause:

  • The incapacity of the sufferer to perform his activities of daily living
  • The shortening of the lifespan of the sufferer
  • Peripheral neuropathy – The sufferer may experience burning, numbness or tingling in his hands and feet
  • Spine instability
  • High or low blood platelets
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease/failure – RA ups the risk for heart disease, primarily because of the inflammatory effects of RA. These effects may damage heart muscle tissue and the arteries.
  • Joint distraction
  • Social limitations
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Lung disease
  • Anemia
  • Periodontal disease – People who acquire RA are twice at risk than people without RA to develop periodontal disease. Both periodontal disease and RA are the result of immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation
  • Osteoporosis – If not properly managed RA can lead to osteoporosis which is a condition that erodes bone density, a condition which commonly affects postmenopausal women. The hipbone is usually the body part affected most by RA.
  • Gastrointestinal problems – RA can lead to colorectal cancer among its sufferers
  • Skin problems – RA can lead to dermal conditions especially the fingernails and the fingers
  • Infections – Sufferers of RA are more prone to infections even more so if they are taking immune-suppressing drugs
  • Scleritis – RA can lead to scleritis which is the inflammation of the blood vessels located in the eye. Scleritis in turn can lead to damage to the cornea and possible blindness

Complication of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA in young people can lead to a condition named macrophage activation syndrome

Psoriatic Arthritis Complications

The daily routine activities of sufferers may be severely affected by psoriatic arthritis.  This type of complication is quite painful prompting the sufferer to sit or lay down until the pain dissipates. Psoriatic arthritis causes the gradual erosion of the joints.

Gout Arthritis Complications

If unmanaged or poorly controlled, gout arthritis can lead to complications such as chronic problems in the joints and the creation of kidney stones. Gout can also cause permanent disability to a person.

 

Mark Schwartz is a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of Buckhead Acupuncture & Herbal Center in Atlanta, GA.

Written by Valerie

October 27th, 2013 at 3:50 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupuncture Treatment for Arthritis

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Probably one of the most pervasive diseases and the leading cause of disability in the United States is arthritis. When it comes to treating this disease acupuncture arthritis is all the rage nowadays. Studies show that acupuncture in Orlando for arthritis has been found to be very effective and this has given relief to individuals who were inflicted with this kind of illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that one out of three Americans which is an estimated 70 million people is affected with arthritis. Some individuals would claim that as the body ages, arthritis pain and inflammation cannot be avoided. In fact, people over 50 years old already show signs of arthritis since joints naturally degenerate over time. But thanks to acupuncture and oriental medicine, arthritis can be managed and controlled.

Acupuncture Diagnosis and Treatment of Arthritis

Arthritis occurs when there is an imbalance or blockage of the cyclical flow Qi in the meridians. The blockage is referred to as “bi” type pain. Studies have shown that this type of pain can be successfully treated with a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment.

Traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture has been found to be tremendously effective at treating inflammation and pain related with all types of arthritis. Depending on the blockage of Qi or arthritis, if it is caused by damp, cold or damp-heat, the acupuncture points and herbs used would vary. Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM does not distinguish arthritis as one particular syndrome. Instead, it focuses to treat all the specific symptoms that are unique with each individual. To restore balance to the body, a variety of techniques like Chinese herbs, acupuncture, dietary or lifestyle recommendations and energetic exercises are used. Thus, if there are 10 patients who are will be treated with oriental medicine for arthritis then each patient will have their own unique customized treatment plan starting with different acupuncture points, herbs, and lifestyle and diet recommendations.

To determine your Chinese diagnosis and treatment, your acupuncturists will examine you first to decide the onset of your condition and learn the signs and symptoms of your present illness. This is initially done before your acupuncturists will choose the right acupuncture points and treatment plan for you.

In treating arthritis, acupuncture points are located all over the body so basically it does not focus on the affected area alone. During the treatment process, tiny needles are placed along the arms, shoulders, legs and the toes.

A lot may be anxious as to how the needle insertion would feel like but there is only little sensitivity when it comes to needle insertion. There may be brief moments of discomforts as the needle are inserted but once the needles are in place, you will feel relax and may even fall asleep during the whole treatment.

The number, frequency and length of the acupuncture treatment will vary from patient to patient. A usual treatment would last from five to 30 minutes with the treatments repeated once or two times a week. For some individuals, symptoms are relieved after the first treatment. But for more severe and chronic pains, this would usually require multiple treatments.

Written by Valerie

June 5th, 2010 at 9:59 pm