Arthritis is a disorder affecting one or more joints of the body. It is characterized as inflammation, pain, and stiffness of the joints. Arthritis can also present as redness, warmth, swelling and decreased range of motion in the affected joint or joints. Onset can be gradual or sudden.
Facts About Arthritis
There are actually over 100 different classifications of arthritis. The two most common forms of arthritis seen clinically are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that usually occurs with age and affects the fingers, knees and hips. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that often affects the hands and feet.
Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is quite simply pains in the neck region. Neck Pain is a common problem that will affect two-thirds of the population at some point in their lives.
Facts About Neck Pain
Neck pain is becoming an increasing problem in the modern age, as more and more of the population finds itself working at a desk in front of a computer for multiple hours a day. An ever-increasing amount of young people are developing neck pain due the spending hours a day with the neck in a flexed position (bent forward) texting or just looking down at a cell phone. Neck pain can be caused due to muscular tension (in the neck region or upper back) or a pinched nerve somewhere in the cervical spine.
Facts About Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve (or radiculopathy) is a mechanical compression of one or more nerve roots near its connection to the spinal column. A pinched nerve is commonly caused by a bulging or herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, or facet joint disorders. A pinched nerve can occur anywhere in the spine however it is most commonly found it the neck (cervical spine) or low back (lumbar spine). When a patient suffers from a pinched nerve in the neck, the most commonly present with sensations in the neck radiating to the shoulder, arm, or even all the way down to the fingertips. Sensations from a pinched nerve are usually characterized as sharpshooting electrical pain, tingling and or numbness sensations, or loss of strength and or function in the hand or arm.
Acupuncture For Neck Pains - Pinched Nerve
In Traditional Chinese Medicine neck pain or neck pain with a pinched nerve is considered to be local stagnation of qi and blood. When diagnosing neck pain, a physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine must determine which acupuncture meridian has the obstruction of qi and blood as well as which muscle channel has an obstruction of qi and blood. When diagnosing neck pain with a pinched nerve, a physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine will perform the same diagnosis as a regular neck pain but must also determine at what level of the cervical spine is there an obstruction of qi and blood.
Acupuncture Vs Western Medicine
In Western Medicine, there is a wide variety of pharmaceutical medication prescribed for neck pain or neck pain with a pinched nerve. Most of these pharmaceutical drugs are harmful to the liver and kidney after prolonged use and are accompanied by harmful side effects. If these pharmaceutical drugs prove ineffective doctors tend to do steroid injections. These steroid injections tend to give the patient at best 6-8 months of relief, then typically the pain returns at the same intensity or worse. These pharmaceutical drugs or steroid injections simply numb the pain without addressing the root of the problem. In extreme circumstances, surgery is performed however statistics show very minimal success in pain relief and limit the patient's range of motion in the cervical spine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we will look for the obstruction causing your neck pain or neck pain with a pinched nerve. The treatment strategy will be to remove the obstruction to alleviate pain and restore range of motion to the cervical spine. Treatments can involve acupuncture, electrical stimulation, cupping massage, heat therapy and exercise.
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