Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

whatisrheumatoidarthritis(ra)?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Basics

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the membrane surrounding the joints, causing pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue and a general sense of ill feeling. Unlike other forms of arthritis, RA affects joints in a symmetrical manner—meaning that if one wrist is affected by the disease, the other wrist will also be affected. RA commonly causes inflammation in the wrist and finger joints, however, it can also affect the neck, knees, ankles, elbows, feet, shoulders and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis can range in severity from mild to extreme, and is often chronic. Some people with RA experience peaks in the severity of their symptoms (called "flares"), while others' are constant.
Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What Patterns Are Related To Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

whatpatternsarerelatedtorheumatoidarthritis(ra)?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (ra) 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 rheumatoid arthritis (ra):

Blood StagnationKidney Yang DeficiencyLiver FireLiver WindLiver Yin DeficiencyLiver and Gallbladder Damp Heat

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The Following (8)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan (Solitary Hermit Teapills)

Clinical Usages

  • For chronic pain due to obstruction (bi zheng) with liver and kidney deficiency.
  • For lower back pain often with weakness and/or pain in the knees.
  • For arthritis, especially the type affected by cold/damp weather.

    Clinical Categorization

    Cautions

      • Use with caution during pregnancy.
      • Do not use with patients that present with damp heat or excess heat.

        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

            Cautions

            • 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

                Cautions

                • 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

                    Cautions

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

                      Tong Qiao Huo Xue Wan (Unblock the Orifices and Invigorate the Blood Decoction)

                      Clinical Usages

                      • Blood stagnation particularly in the head - migraines and/or headaches with other sensory factors - auras, sound sensitivity, etc.
                      • Dizziness, tinnitus, hair loss - with underlying blood stagnation signs.
                      • Stroke, seizure disorder, post concussion headaches.
                      • Rheumatoid arthritis.

                        Clinical Categorization

                        Cautions

                        • Avoid during pregnancy.
                        • Avoid with heavy menstrual bleeding.
                        • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
                        • Generally not for long term use.

                          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

                            Xian Fang Huo Ming Yin Wan (Immortals Formula For Sustaining Life)

                            Clinical Usages

                            • Generally for short-term use with early stage heat toxins - sores, carbuncles, boils, styes, acne.  Swollen and painful skin lesions with other heat signs (chills/fever). 
                            • Breast abscesses, mastitis.
                            • Uses for rheumatoid arthritis and/or psoriasis with the right underlying diagnosis.
                            • Internal abscesses from blood stasis.

                              Clinical Categorization

                              Cautions

                                • Generally not for long-term use.
                                • Use with caution with spleen qi deficiency.
                                • Avoid with yin fire.

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