Is Joint Pain Cramping Your Style?

Joints are areas of the body where two or more bones meet. They are supported and allowed to move by virtue of surrounding soft tissue such as muscles, ligaments and tendons. Nerves transmit messages to the muscles giving the “signal” to contract and thereby effect movement of the joint. Blood vessels supply nutrients and remove toxins in order to ensure that the joint remains healthy and functions optimally.

Physical injuries may affect any or all components of the joint in question. For example, a fracture involves damage to the physical structure of the bone and may also include damage to blood vessels (hence the bruising), nerve tissue (resulting in pain, numbness or weakness) and ligaments or tendons (causing a change in integrity or stability of the joint). Fore the most part, an injury will heal in a relatively short time, depending on the severity. What may not be obvious is that during the healing period the joint’s lack of mobility can further impair function. Many people will complain of pain or disability long after the fracture itself has healed.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective these long-standing symptoms are the result of impaired Qi. Translated in Western medical terms this means that the tissue is not adequately bathed with the healing components of blood or that nerve impulses are not being conducted freely to the muscles.

If these complaints are not dealt with immediately, scar tissue may form resulting in reduced range of motion which could further compound the problem. Long-term effects may include muscle atrophy, weakness, altered sensation or arthritis.

Joint pains may be treated with any combination of acupuncture, massage, homeopathy or joint specific detoxification protocols in order to facilitate full healing of the affected area. A licensed naturopathic doctor is trained in these various methods of healing. When these treatments are accompanied with gentle stretching exercises such as yoga or tai chi, a more complete recovery may be experienced. Patients will sometimes report that other long-standing complaints have also improved from these individualized treatment regimes. This is holistic medicine at its absolute best.

For an assessment of your condition contact Dr. Margret Holland, B.Sc., N.D. Improving your health, naturally.