What Are Musculoskeletal Problems?
In Traditional Western Medicine, the label for the disease usually indicates its cause and location, such as arthritis indicating an inflammation in the bone. Some of the diseases occur from well-known causes, many are unknown, and others are simply labeled “autoimmune” (even though the underlying cause for the immune system attacking its host is not known).
Examples of musculoskeletal problems include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, imbalances involving the muscles and skeleton result from a combination of internal organ weaknesses, varying excessive lifestyle stressors and external or environmental factors. The end result impedes circulation, causing pain and destruction to the area. Knowing which organ systems are involved in the healthy maintenance of muscles and bones allows Chinese medicine to prevent, diagnose and improve most musculoskeletal problems.
“Dr. Ritchie was the only doctor who effectively treated my gout and relieved the pain through acupuncture. He is a wonderful doctor.”
What Are the Symptoms of Musculoskeletal Problems?
The symptoms of muscular and skeletal problems are typically various expressions of pain such as aches, cramps or spasms. The pain may occur at rest or with movement of the involved muscle or joint. To identify the problem, both systems identify the characteristics of the pain including quality, severity, duration, location, factors which make it worse or better, cycles and so on.
A Case Study from Dr. Ritchie’s Files:
This petite, elderly woman suffered with severe Fibromyalgia Syndrome for more than forty years. She had seen many doctors and had been given multiple different diagnoses and treatments before they finally determined she had FMS. She was then given analgesics, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. Over the years, her condition worsened steadily. Always described as ‘spirited,’ she was able to maintain a full and active life despite the pain.
By the time she came to her first interview, she was on a wide variety of pain medications prescribed by her rheumatologist and internist. Her medication list included: Indocet; prednisone; Oxycodone and a Fentanyl patch. She was on dangerously high doses of the medications without significant relief from her pain. During one treatment, she admitted that her initial reluctance to come in was due in part to her loss of hope, that she could not keep going if she had one more failure. She was tired of failed treatment plans and feeling as if she was living her life in doctors’ offices.
She had two very specific goals for her treatments to attain. One was to minimize the pain so she could enjoy a better quality of life, and another was to get off all her medications, including her high blood pressure medications.
Initially, acupuncture was the only form of treatment employed. She received treatments two to three times a week. After the second treatment, the patient was aware of more energy and less pain. Over the next two weeks, she continued to see further improvement.
Acupuncture treatments were continued over the next three months on a weekly to biweekly basis. Herbal formulas were prescribed to further enhance the management of her pain and to help her regain better energy and stamina. As her pain decreased, her pain medications were gradually reduced. After another two months of treatment, both of her goals were realized. First, the quality of her life had improved and second, she had eliminated all unnecessary medications, including her high blood pressure medications.
How Are Musculoskeletal Problems Treated?
In Traditional Western Medicine, treatment of musculoskeletal problems frequently employs intervening in the mechanism known to produce the symptoms.
Treatment options include:
- Rest and physical therapy
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and herbal therapy are used to repair the weakened organ systems responsible for healthy muscles and bones in a safe and minimally invasive fashion.
Treatment supports the natural ability and innate tendency of the body to heal and repair itself when given the appropriate set of circumstances. A complete evaluation of your diet, exercise, environment and emotional stresses are all necessary for successful treatment of the condition, as well as preventing it from deteriorating or returning. This holistic approach is remarkably very beneficial, even for stubborn and long-term conditions.
A Case Study from Dr. Ritchie’s Files:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A young, athletic mother presented with severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands. Her CTS started about seven years earlier during her first pregnancy and had progressed rapidly following her second pregnancy.
Upon arrival for her first appointment, she reported minimal benefit from physical therapy and Western medications. The pain and numbness which originally was limited to her hands had now progressed to above her elbows bilaterally. She was unable to sleep without wearing her wrist splints and almost any activity could exacerbate her condition. She was told surgery was her only remaining option, which she was reluctant to undergo. Her other medical problems were chronic allergic rhinitis, fatigue, PMS, and a hypothyroid problem.
The patient received acupuncture treatments twice a week for a total of six treatments.
After the second treatment, the patient noted a decrease in the pain and numbness in both arms. By the end of the third week, she was able to sleep without her splints and remain symptom-free. The only other intervention during this time was nutritional education concerning how her diet had contributed to the cause and perpetuation of her CTS, as well as most of her other problems.
Acupuncture treatments continued to improve her other problems as well, even though they were not the primary focus for her visits. Her PMS symptoms decreased in severity and frequency, her fatigue was gone and her allergic rhinitis symptoms had improved noticeably.
Acupuncture treatments were quickly decreased in frequency to once a month and then to only as needed. Chinese herbal formulas had been added during the first phase of treatment to support the acupuncture’s focus on balancing and strengthening her immune system.
Over a year after stopping her acupuncture treatments she remained essentially free of her CTS symptoms.
Real Help for Musculoskeletal Problems
You don’t need to suffer with musculoskeletal problems any longer. If you’d like to find out more about treatment that really works or how Sedona Synergy Medicine can help you with your specific health issues, call Dr. Ritchie for a free local or remote phone consultation today.
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