Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Osteoarthritis (OA)

What Is Osteoarthritis (OA)?


Osteoarthritis (OA) - Basics

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage—which cushions the bones in the joint and absorbs shock—wears down and leaves the bones unprotected. When this happens, the bones rub against each other, creating pain and inflammation, and limiting range of movement in the joint. Over a long period of time, bone spurs can form, and the joint can become misshapen. Furthermore, pieces of bone or cartilage can break off and travel freely in the joint space, causing more pain. Osteoarthritis occurs primarily in older patients, however, young people who have experienced a joint injury can also suffer from the disease.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Osteoarthritis.

What Patterns Are Related To Osteoarthritis (OA)?


Osteoarthritis (OA) - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of osteoarthritis (oa) generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of osteoarthritis (oa):

Blood StagnationKidney Qi Deficiency

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Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Osteoarthritis (OA)?


Osteoarthritis (OA) - Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols

Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for osteoarthritis (oa) that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.

The following Tam healing and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with osteoarthritis (oa):

1 Point Is Empirically Important For Osteoarthritis (OA)

Formulas and Products @ Our Store Associated With Osteoarthritis (OA)

The Following (8)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Osteoarthritis (OA)

Fang Ji Huang Qi Wan (Stephania and Astragalus Teapills)

Clinical Usages

  • Wind damp / wind edema (feng shui, literally "wind water") patterns, generally acute - heavy sensation of the body, superficial edema, difficulty with urination - idiopathic edema, ascites.
  • Weak wei qi - frequent colds, flus.
  • Wind damp bi syndromes (osteoarthritis or rheumatoid, swelling, edema), particularly of the knees.
  • Idiopathic sweating issues (weak exterior and weak spleen).
  • Bone fractures with the right underlying issues, generally associated with damp bi.
  • Weight loss with deficiency signs (weak appetite, heavy sensation of body).

    Clinical Categorization

    Juan Bi Wan (Remove Painful Obstruction Decoction)

    Clinical Usages

    • Wind-cold-damp bi syndromes in qi deficient patients - joint pain possibly with heaviness of the limbs that generally improves with movement.  Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gouty arthritis.  With wind-cold-damp patterns other inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia.
    • Atrophy from qi and blood stagnation - stroke recovery.

      Clinical Categorization

      Shen Tong Zhu Yu Wan (Remove Stagnant Blood from a Painful Body Pills)

      Clinical Usages

      • Qi and Blood stagnation blocking the channels and collaterals - pain in the extremities, shoulder pain, elbow pain, leg pain.
      • With the right underlying patterns - possibly useful for fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, etc.
      • Arthritic conditions - rheumatoid, neuralgia.

        Clinical Categorization


        • Avoid during pregnancy.

          Shu Jing Huo Xue Wan (Relax The Channels and Invigorate The Blood Decoction)

          Clinical Usages

          • Primarily used for blood stasis with wind-damp in the channels and collaterals characterized by internal deficiency with external excesses - joint pain, muscle aches, numbness and/or pain in the lower extremities (may be severe).
          • Wind-cold damp bi-syndrome (i.e. arthritis) - particularly in the lower part of the body, hips, knees, lower back.
          • Sciatic pain with the correct underlying pattern.
          • Neck pain with the correct underling pattern.
          • Fractures that are reluctant to heal, particularly in the lower body.

            Clinical Categorization


            • Avoid during pregnancy.
            • Generally not for long term use and use with caution if at all in deficient patients.

              Si Miao Wan (Four Marvels Powder)

              Clinical Usages

              • Damp-Heat Bi-Syndromes in Chinese Medicine terms - arthritis with hot swollen joints. With the right underlying diagnosis both osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis would respond.
              • Gout.
              • Weakness and/or atrophy in the lower body with swelling.
              • Leukorrhea and other heat related discharge.

                Clinical Categorization


                • Avoid in pregnancy.
                • Avoid in deficiency cases.
                • Generally not suitable for arthritis with cold/deficient signs.

                  Xi Guan Jie Bi Tong Wan (Knee Joint Pain Relief)

                  Clinical Usages

                  • Arthritis from damp heat in Chinese Medicine terms.
                  • Knee issues with kidney and liver systems involvement.
                  • Lower body pain and/or inflammation - hips, knees, ankles, toes especially when the pain moves around due to interior wind.
                  • Connective tissue disorders.

                    Clinical Categorization

                    Zhuang Gu Guan Jie Wan (Invigorate Bone and Joint Pills)

                    Clinical Usages

                    • Damp and Cold bi-syndromes - arthritis (osteo primarily), joint pain, muscles aches that is aggravated with cold and/or damp weather - weakness of the knee, pain in lower back, general weakness, pain in joints, stiffness of joints, and pain that moves around. 

                      Clinical Categorization

                      Zuo Gu Shen Jing Tong Wan (Sciatica Pills)

                      Clinical Usages

                      • Wind-cold-damp bi syndromes with particular issues in the lower back and legs - sciatic pain, heaviness in the lower body, hip and knee pain, arthritis in those areas (osteo or rheumatoid).

                        Clinical Categorization

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