Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system and chronic inflammatory disorder that mainly affects joints but also affects other body systems including skin, lungs, eyes, heart and blood vessels. It affects the lining of joints and can cause a lot of pain and even deformities. Basically, the body’s immune system attacks the synovium of joints, which then thicken and cause all sorts of problems.
It typically affects small joints like the fingers first and can then move on to the larger joints. Joints will swell, be painful and often are hot. The pain can come and go, flare up or be there all the time. Rheumatoid arthritis can also increase the propensity to develop osteoarthritis.
Western medicine has not been able to identify a specific cause of rheumatoid arthritis and there is no cure.
Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories, steroids, Disease-modifying Anti Rheumatic drugs and Biological Response Modifiers are the main drugs used in an attempt to arrest the progress of the disease and to reduce pain and discomfort. The focus of these drugs is typically on symptom relief and many of them come with unwanted side effects.
Physiotherapy may help keep joints more mobile. Surgery may be recommended if the joint damage is severe enough: synovectomy, joint replacement, joint fusion and tendon repair.
Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by too much heat and inflammation in the body. Treatment requires both acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Acupuncture melbourne is used to relax vessels to increase blood flow to the affected joints and areas to help the body reduce inflammation and increase natural opioids to reduce pain. Anti-inflammatory and heat-reducing Chinese herbs are used to reduce systemic inflammation and heat. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbs typically have no adverse side-affects and are safe to receive and take long-term if required. Patients can continue to take any Western medications to stay comfortable while we treat the root cause of the problem. Please note that joint deformity cannot be reversed.
Chinese medicine recognises a clear cause of rheumatoid arthritis and has the tools to specifically treat the cause to reduce pain and inflammation.