1. Main problems with joints:
– injury (worn-out cartilage)
2. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks its own tissues.
3. What are the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
– joint pain
– joint tenderness
– joint swelling
– joint redness
– joint warmth
– joint stiffness
– loss of joint range of motion
– many joints affected (polyarthritis)
– joint deformity
– both sides of the body affected (symmetric)
– loss of joint function
4. What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hands, hips, knees, and spine.
5. What are signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis?
– joint aches and pain
– stiffness (esp upon waking) often in hands, knees, hips, spine (neck or lower back)
– for knees: difficult to walk, climb, get out of chair
– for spine: stiffness in neck and back, weakness, tingling, numbness of arms and legs
6. What are the solutions?
Inflammation is a major component underlying both RA & OA. Avoid an inflammatory diet: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, oil, refined grain, refined sugar, foods cooked at high temperatures (frying, baking, grilling).
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Fruits, leafy greens, nuts & seeds, legumes, whole grains.
Optimal nutrition and exercise are best treatment.
Curcumin in turmeric is good for preventing bone-joint inflammation and problems, with no bad side effects. Curcumin also helps with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and thalassemia.
There are medications but they may have side effects:
– blood loss
– bone loss
– toxicity to liver and eyes
– allergic reactions
Other good foods for OA:
– ginger (anti-inflammatory)
– sesame seeds
7. What are the TCM views of arthritis?
A. TCM categorizes arthritis as a blockage (stagnation) in the smooth flow of qi and blood throughout the energetic pathways in the body. TCM has many classifications for various types of arthritis.
B. Arthritis can be caused by cold energies (and dampness). Chronic cases are associated with underlying deficiency involving the liver, kidneys and spleen.
C. TCM focuses on eliminating the causes, although it also works on reducing pain and inflammation:
– herbal therapy to address the cold (and dampness) condition
– exercise is important for any type of arthritis to restore Qi and blood flow through the meridians
– diet should include warming and anti-inflammatory spices, such as cayenne pepper and ginger
The information shared here is for educational purposes only.
These opinions are not given as medical advice and not intended to replace or conflict with your decisions or healthcare providers’ advice.
1,2,3. William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FAC. “16 Early Symptoms and Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)“, MedicineNet.com, June 26, 2019.
4. “What is Osteoarthritis?“, Arthritis Foundation.
5. “Osteoarthritis“, Jan 5, 2016.
6. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Turmeric Curcumin & Osteoarthritis” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 16,
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Turmeric Curcumin & Rheumatoid Arthritis” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 16, January 15, 2014.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Healthy Joints” (Audio), NutritionFacts.org, June 22, 2017.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “Sesame Seeds for Knee Osteoarthritis” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 33,
7. Bill Schoenbart & Ellen Shefi. “How to Treat Arthritis with Traditional Chinese Medicine“, HowStuffWorks.com.
“Arthritis: How Chinese Medicine Addresses Arthritis and Stiff Joints“, AgelessHerbs.com.