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  • Writer's pictureYong Kang TCM

Knee Pain During Rainy Weather: Rheumatism Strikes

When it comes to rheumatism, have you ever wondered how many individuals silently endure the discomfort and pain it brings in their daily lives? Perhaps your family members, friends, or even yourself have been affected by the challenges of rheumatism. Imagine every step taken, every raised arm, and even a simple smile becoming a distant goal for those afflicted by rheumatism. Behind these seemingly ordinary actions, lies the untold effort many put forth to escape their agony. Have you ever pondered if Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) could offer a glimmer of hope for these individuals? Let's delve into this together, exploring whether TCM holds the potential to provide relief and recovery for those with rheumatism.

Traditional Chinese Medicine's Perspective on Rheumatism

Rheumatism is a prevalent chronic condition that primarily affects joints, muscles, and bones, resulting in pain, swelling, and restricted movement. This ailment can manifest at any age but is particularly common among middle-aged and elderly individuals. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint, rheumatism is believed to result from the invasion of external factors such as cold, dampness, or damp-heat into the body, causing stagnation in the circulation of Qi and blood. This stagnation leads to joint pain and other symptoms. According to TCM theory, rheumatism can be classified into three main types: cold-damp type, damp-heat type, and wind-cold-damp type.

In the cold-damp type, symptoms include joint swelling, pain, and limited movement, which can worsen with changes in weather. TCM often employs warming herbs and acupuncture to promote the circulation of Qi and blood, dispel cold and dampness, and alleviate symptoms. The damp-heat type is characterized by severe joint pain accompanied by fever, dry mouth, and yellow urine. TCM typically utilizes herbs with heat-clearing and detoxifying properties to alleviate joint pain and remove damp-heat. The wind-cold-damp type involves joint pain, swelling, and flu-like symptoms. TCM approaches this type by expelling wind and dispelling cold, promoting blood circulation, and alleviating pain.

The impact of rheumatism on daily life should not be underestimated. Pain and discomfort can hinder routine activities like walking, lifting, or even simple daily motions. This might also lead to sleep problems, anxiety, and depression. The influence on work, family, and social life can significantly distress many patients. Therefore, early understanding of effective rheumatism management and finding appropriate treatment methods becomes crucial. Next, let's delve deeper into how TCM plays a role in treating rheumatism.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis of Rheumatism through "Four Diagnostic Methods"

The diagnosis of rheumatism in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the "Four Diagnostic Methods": observation, auscultation and olfaction, inquiry, and palpation. This approach allows the physician to comprehensively understand the patient's condition and formulate more accurate treatment plans. Through observation, the physician can assess the patient's complexion, tongue coating, and tongue condition to identify any abnormalities related to cold-dampness or damp-heat. Auscultation and olfaction involve detecting the patient's body odor to assess the level of internal dampness. Inquiry involves questioning the patient about symptoms, medical history, dietary habits, etc., to gather more information. Finally, palpation involves massaging acupoints and observing the flow of Qi and blood to assess the severity of the condition.

For instance, if a patient presents with joint swelling, pain, a thick and greasy tongue coating, and a slippery and rapid pulse, the physician might diagnose this as a damp-heat type of rheumatism. Based on such a diagnosis, TCM would employ a series of treatment methods to alleviate the symptoms.

Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Cupping, and Tuina in Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Rheumatism

Yong Kang Acupuncture

Acupuncture is considered a highly effective therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating rheumatism. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific acupuncture points to regulate the flow of Qi and blood, balance Yin and Yang, and improve the symptoms of rheumatism. This method stimulates the meridians, enhances the circulation of Qi and blood, improves local blood circulation, and alleviates joint swelling and pain. Acupuncture also has the ability to modulate the immune system, enhance the body's self-healing capabilities, thereby accelerating the recovery process. Although the needling process during acupuncture might cause a mild sensation of pain, it is generally slight, and many patients experience relaxation and comfort during the session.

Yong Kang Herbal Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine also plays a significant role in the treatment of rheumatism within Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbal prescriptions are tailored to the specific symptoms and constitution of the patient, possessing unique properties and effects. For damp-cold or damp-heat type rheumatism, Chinese herbal medicine can aid in eliminating dampness by exerting effects such as heat-clearing or promoting the circulation of meridians. This helps alleviate joint pain and swelling. Chinese herbal formulations come in various forms, including herbal decoctions, pills, and granules, allowing for the selection of the most suitable form based on individual circumstances. Chinese herbal treatment typically requires some time to demonstrate its effects, yet it offers a gentle and sustained therapy, suitable for long-term regulation and treatment.

Yong Kang Cupping

Cupping is another approach in Traditional Chinese Medicine, involving the creation of negative pressure on the patient's skin surface. This stimulates local blood circulation, expediting the expulsion of dampness. Cupping can effectively alleviate muscle and joint pain while promoting the dissipation of inflammation. It provides relief for symptoms arising from rheumatism, such as joint swelling, stiffness, and pain. A typical course of cupping therapy involves several consecutive sessions to achieve optimal results.

Yong Kang Tuina

Moreover, Tuina is a commonly employed Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment method. It involves techniques like massage, kneading, and pinching to facilitate the circulation of qi and blood. Tuina soothes painful areas and relaxes spasming muscles, thereby enhancing joint mobility. This therapy also adjusts the body's qi flow and balances yin and yang, contributing to the alleviation of symptoms associated with rheumatism. Comparatively gentler than other methods, Tuina is suitable for patients of varying ages and constitutions.


These Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment methods are all grounded in Chinese medical theory and accumulated experience. Each method possesses its unique principles and effects, enabling the formulation of tailored treatment plans for different conditions. It's important to note that TCM treatment for rheumatism requires time and a sustained course of therapy to achieve optimal results. Therefore, when selecting a treatment approach, it is advisable to consult experienced TCM practitioners who can devise a suitable plan based on individual circumstances.


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