JOINT INFLAMMATION PROBLEMS
Western Medicine believes that arthritis (inflammation of a joint) is due to the degenerative effects of aging (osteoarthritis), or from an autoimmune disorder in which the body”¦s immune system acts against the joints and connective soft tissues (rheumatoid arthritis). The exact cause of arthritis is unclear in Western Medicine. These types of arthritis are considered incurable diseases. Over time, the joints of the hands or feet will become very painful, stiff, and deformed. Diagnosis is made by inserting a needle into the affected joint and withdrawing fluids to be examined microscopically for the presence of crystals, uric acid, or microorganisms. Blood tests may be performed to determine the high level of rheumatoid factor. X-rays may also be performed to reveal the extent of the joint damage.
Treatment with Western medicine involves a combination of rest, special exercises, joint protection, and medications. Strong pain killing drugs and steroids are often used to relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation. Diseased joints that have become extremely painful, deformed, or unstable may require replacement of the joints with artificial substitutes or by fusing bones together.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that when the body perspires, cooling down should be done naturally. Cooling down with air conditioners and cool water does not allow the body to naturally perspire. When this occurs, the skin pores shrink, leaving the ”„sweat”¦ inside the skin. In the beginning stages, itchy skin results, followed by muscle cramps and swelling, nausea, and finally soreness and swelling of the joints.
Traditional Chinese Medicine treats joint inflammation and pain by using herbs to eliminate the excess moisture in the body from perspiration. Acupuncture is used to improve the circulation and eliminate pain in the joints. Lifestyle behaviors of unnaturally cooling down must be changed. Interestingly, this is how certain people with arthritis are sensitive to seasonal changes.