Joint pain - Acupuncture can help

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Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Joint pain


So many people have joint pain. So many reasons can cause pain and so many diagnosis terms are available for a western medicine doctor to name which one belongs to yours. Currently the result of medical intervention is not so satisfied so that there is so high rate of cortisone injection or joint replace rate in the North America. The hormone injection works only for several months. If the surgery works, that’s fine. People may get rid of the pain for a pretty long time. Otherwise, repeated surgery is still needed again and again and it makes the later treatment with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also very difficult – the surgery may have change the structure of the joint dramatically.

In TCM, a joint pain is considered to be due to an accumulation of Cold, Fire, Wind, Wetness, Phlegm (we call them Xie-qi), or a combination of these Xie-qi in the joints. If the joint pain come here in this joints some days, and there on other joint the other days, it is considered to be involved in an accumulation of Wind on the joints – you see, the pain moves as a wind – some times here and other times there. People with the Wind joint pain do not like wind weather, neither an air conditioning in a car.

If the joint pain feels as burning, the skin turns red, it is considered as an accumulation of a Fire on the joints. For such Fire pain, people tend to use cold patch or something similar to release pain. If the joint pain feels cold, the skin may turn white or even purple in color, it is considered an accumulation of Cold on the joints. People with Cold joint pain like to warm their joints and hate the change of weather too. If there is an accumulation of phlegm in the joint, the joint might be swelling and people feel heavy on the joint. Joint may due to the accumulation of the Phlegm is relatively hard for the treatment. In clinic, the above disease-causing factors could combine and make the clinic manifestation complex. For example, for a given person, his/her joint pain might belong to Wind-Fire, Wind-Cold, Fire-Phlegm, or Cold-Phlegm. The longer the joint pain history, the higher chance the joint is due to the combination of any of these factors.

There are many folk therapies available in China and used for Folk to help themselves when they have joint pain. Many formula of them cannot be introduced here in North America for short of the materials needed to prepare the formula. Here we introduce some of them, in which the materials need to prepare is available.

(1). Soy bean soup

Material: soy bean, 60g.

Preparation: Add the soy bean into water 500 ml, bring to boil and cook as for a soup until the bean is soft to eat.

How to use: Eat the bean and drink the soup.

Function: it works to remove wetness and wind from the joints. It is good for spasm of the muscle (mostly on calf, for example).

Note: the soy milk may not work as use of the natural beans, since some ingredients in the soy, for example the soy oil, is missed from the milk.

(2). Black chicken

Material: Black chicken (Wu ji), one.

Preparation: Cook the black chicken in water (water is one inch above the chicken) until the meat is editable.  

How to use: Tear the meat into pieces, mix with ginger, allius, pepper, salt and sauce to eat.

Function: it works to remove wetness and wind from the joints. It helps to release the pain feeling from the bone.

(3). Vinegar brick

Material: any kind of brick, one; vinegar, some amount.

Preparation: (a). Rinse a piece of gauze into vinegar, squeeze little bit then fold the affected joint with the gauze. (b). Put the brick over oven to bring to red or very hot. Put the brick then into vinegar. (c). Put the brick under the joint, let the steam to vapor the joint. For best result, cover the joint, the brick with a blanket. Do it until the brick becomes cold. Repeat once every two days.    

Function: it works to reduce swelling and pain on the joint.

(4). Salt warming

Material: Salt, 500g; fennel, 120g. (fennel can be replaced by dry ginger powder)

Preparation: Dry fry on pot to warm. Take half amount, fold into a gauze (several layers). Put on the affected joint. Replace a new warmed gauze bag once the first one became cold. 

Function: it works to remove Cold xie-qi from the joint. So it is good for Cold-type joint pain.

(5). Vinegar and allius

Material: vinegar, 1000ml; allius, 50g.

Preparation: bring the vinegar into boil until it is evaporated and half amount left. Add the allius in and continue to boil for two times. Rinse a gauze into the liquid extract, cover the affected joints with the gauze. Do it twice or three times a day.   

Function: it works for acute joint pain.  

From the Five-element theory point of view, the joint belongs to the Lung system in the body. Other tissue that belongs to the Lung system is the skin, nose, throat, beside the lung and bronchi. As we mentioned in the article for cough, the Lung system works as a “bell” in the body. It means that any factor, from out or inside of the body, can cause the bell to ring. Therefore, many reasons can affect the function of the Lung system. It shows either in the lung, as cough or phlegm; of in skin as skin disorders; or in the joints, as joint pain or stiff or swelling. In another words, the treatment of the disorder related to the Lung system is also difficult: depending on if the doctor can really find out the exact reason for the “bell” to ring.

Basically, if the joint pain is a new trouble, or it is one of the symptoms during some other diseases, the treatment is relatively easy. We only need to pay attention to solve those diseases. No specific herbs are actually needed to work on the joint. One the other hand, if the patient has only the joint pain, the pain is very severe, the treatment may need a longer time, even if you visit a TCM doctor.