Deriving from the Greek words of inflammation, joint and bone,
osteoarthritis is a chronic condition involving the joints that is caused by
the breakdown of cartilage and other joint tissues usually due to bone
deterioration. Although it can occur in any joint in the body it
predominately affects the weight bearing joints such as the hips and the
knees, and less frequently the ankles, shoulders, wrists and hands. It
usually starts in one area and develops in other areas as the condition
progresses. Pain initially is related to activity and so is most severe at
the end of the day but as the disease progresses pain is felt even during
rest. Other symptoms present are joint stiffness, tenderness and swelling,
with joint deformity occurring at later stages of the disease.
Men tend to develop this condition at an earlier age then women, but statistically in the United States a whopping 90% of the population over the age of 40 has some aspect of osteoarthritis in their weight bearing joints.
Conventional treatments aim at reduction of pain and maintenance of joint movement. Initially when the pain is not as severe over the counter pain relievers help alleviate the pain. For more moderate pain the doctor may prescribe stronger drugs for pain relief including narcotics as well as injections of cortisone. For severe osteoarthritis that is not relieved by any treatment surgery may be the option.
Alternative methods are used to relieve pain and improve function in varying degrees depending on the severity of the condition and the amount of damage caused to the joint by the disease. Acupuncture, herbs and dietary supplements, magnets, therapeutic touch, reiki, massage, hypnosis and relaxation, Tai chi, qigong and yoga are among the modalities successfully used in treating osteoarthritis.
Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners believe that the symptoms manifested by an individual such as pain, soreness, or numbness of muscles and joints, is the result of the body being attacked by the environmental factors such as Wind, Cold, Heat, and Dampness. This in turn affects the natural flow and balance of chi and blood.
When there is a stagnation of chi or blood, pain, and other symptoms of illness result. Acupuncture helps release the blockage, balance the energy, and promote harmony of Chi and Blood.
A major clinical study conducted on the effectiveness of acupuncture on reduction of pain and improving function of people afflicted with osteoarthritis of the knees garnered positive results. Other studies on patients with chronic osteoarthritis compared acupuncture with conventional treatments such as drugs and found that acupuncture not only relieved pain and improved function but the positive results were sustained for up to 6 months after therapy.
Dr. Elisha expertly utilizes acupuncture as part of a comprehensive treatment program for osteoarthritis. The holistic approach includes a diet and exercise plan as well as herbal and homeopathic remedies. Let Dr Elisha alleviate your pain, promote a better sleep pattern, and help you relax and feel generally better.
Call Dr. Elisha at the Healing Center today, and start feeling good and young again!