Common Forms Of Arthritis
(according to Oriental medicine)

The most common forms of arthritis, according to conventional medicine, include:

  • Osteoarthritis (affects 5-10% of the population)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (affects 2-3% of the population)
  • Gout
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Juvenile Arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

But, since arthritis includes any "inflammation of the joint" ("arth" means joint, "itis" means inflammation), there are actually over 100 other types of arthritis. This makes arthritis pretty difficult for conventional doctors to both diagnose and treat.

Conversely, in Oriental medicine, we can see all arthritis as stemming from only 5 different "patterns", making it easier to diagnose and to treat. This, in part, explains why we often get results when conventional treatments don't work.

Let me explain the common forms of arthritis from the Oriental medicine perspective...

Arthritis types (according to Oriental medicine)

In Oriental medicine, most of the common types of arthritis are described using terms of nature. This is a fairly profound way for people to understand arthritis because we intuitively understand nature. For example...

... you can easily understand the description of "Heat" type arthritis - it would show redness, feel warm and be relieved by cold. But, if you're told that your arthritis is caused by "a group of genes on chromosome 6 codes for the HLA antigens" ...well, do you get the point?

So, here's the 5 common forms of arthritis as described in Oriental medicine. Go back to the natural remedies for arthritis page for more information on what to do about each type.

Wind Type

  • Pain moves from joint to joint
  • Possible fever
  • You may feel worse in, or dislike, windy weather.

Cold type

  • Pain is in a fixed location
  • Pain is pretty severe
  • Pain is relieved when you apply warmth to the area
  • Pain feels worse when you apply cold (or in cold weather)

Damp type

  • Swelling
  • Usually a feeling of heaviness or numbness in the limbs
  • Get's worse with damp weather
  • Pain is in a fixed location

Blood stagnation type

  • Pain is constant
  • More severe pain with numbness and bad circulation.
  • It's a fixed location
  • This pain often develops after surgery or an injury

Heat type (can develop from the other types)

  • Redness of the joint
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Feels warm to the touch
  • Pain usually feels better when you apply cold
  • Possible fever and/or thirst

Note - the first four (wind, cold, damp and blood stagnation) often combine and will show symptoms of two or more. For example, on the arthritis and chinese herbal medicine page, I discuss herbal remedies for "wind cold damp" type. That's because those symptoms often overlap, and the remedies will often be effective for all three.

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