Osteoarthritis is a very debilitating and painful illness that damages the joints of the hands, hip, or knee. During osteoarthritis instead of a new and normal bone developing when the old cartilage wears out, the body will produce abnormally shaped joints that often result in impaired movement and severe pain.
Both herbal medicine and acupuncture can help resolve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine attribute the growth of misshapen joints to hardened phlegm that came about as a result of an underlying and chronic deficiency. When there is damp in the body, phlegm is produced. Phlegm usually hinders the flow and transformation of fluids. The spleen is affected by too much phlegm in the body as it is the organs system responsible for the transport and transformation of spleen. Herbal medicine and acupuncture are used to tonify the spleen to help correct this problem.
Besides boosting spleen energy, acupuncture needle can help stimulate healing by reaching the deeper levels of the body affected by osteoarthritis, something that topical herbs or massage therapy cannot do. Sufferers of osteoarthritis in the knee, usually state that they experienced immediate results once the acupuncture needles are inserted in the areas near the kneecap.
Studies have verified the effectiveness of acupuncture and herbal remedies in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The Cochrane Review posted a study during January 2010 that demonstrated an improvement in pain related to osteoarthritis after two to 6 months of treatment. The people who participated in this study reported a 4 point improvement of their pain on a scale of 0 to 20. Besides that, they said that their overall physical function got better by 12 points based on a scale of 0 to 69.
Another edition of the Cochrane review published in June 2013 published a study showing comfrey extract gel and Chinese herbal patches to be helpful in the betterment of function and relief of pain compared to placebo treatment. The center point of the study, however, was the effectiveness of arnica in the improvement of physical function and relief of pain when compared to the effectiveness of NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Natural treatments like topical herbal treatments and acupuncture were shown to really help in the proper control and management of osteoarthritis symptoms. They have proven to be effective frontline treatments for this disease.