Oriental medicine treatment includes herbal remedies and acupuncture. Acupuncture treatment focuses on stimulating acupuncture points on related meridian channels to normalize the function of the joints and to relieve pain and symptoms. Acupuncture has been found to be clinically effective in reducing arthritic pain and improving mobility and circulation. Often, localized acupuncture therapy can be extremely helpful in managing arthritis. Herbal therapy is useful in reducing inflammation, nourishing joints and soft tissues and improving one’s energy. In particular, if you suffer from side effects of taking anti-inflammatory drugs or have overall weakening of fitness it may be a useful replacement.

A joint is the location at which bones connect. They are constructed to allow movement and provide mechanical support. A joint disorder is termed an arthropathy, and when involving “inflammation” of one or more joints the disorder is called arthritis which is the leading cause of disability in people over the age of 55.

There are many different forms of arthritis, each of which has a different cause. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion.

A variety of causes—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical deficits—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged. As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.

Treatment generally involves a combination of exercise, lifestyle modification, and drugs. If pain becomes debilitating, joint replacement surgery may be used to improve the quality of life. There is no cure to stop it completely yet. Therefore, patients should understand the nature of their disease and the purpose of the treatment is focused on reducing pain, while maintaining the function of the joint and preventing deformation.