Have you ever really taken a close look at your hands? Even more interesting, have you ever thought about the significance of your hands? As I enter my twenty-eighth year of practice, I estimated that I have done approximately 25,000 treatments!! Holy Moly! What's really amazing is how my hands have held up so well for so long. Could it be my genes? Or could it be my spring salad mix with walnuts, dried cranberries, and feta cheese that I eat almost every day? Well...one thing I know for sure is that nothing lasts forever. Think about all that your hands have done for you in your life. Be thankful. Give your hands a treat. Or how 'bout a treatment.
The treatment set forth in this blog can be used not only for the treatment of osteoarthritis, but for general hand care and maintenance.
First Things First - What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is one the most common types of arthritis that affects millions of people. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine.
Ouch! What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of osteoarthritis may include a grinding feeling or a crunchy sound when joints move (crepitus), less range of motion in affected joints, joint pain and stiffness, and swelling. Osteoarthritis of the hand occurs more frequently in certain spots:
Diagnosis - Oh Dread.
Osteoarthritis of the hand can be diagnosed by your medical doctor. He/She will conduct a medical exam and may order an x-ray or a bone scan. X-rays can show changes in the bone and the development of bone spurs. Bone scans can show arthritis before the changes show up on x-rays.
Conventional Western Treatment
Conventional treatment of osteoarthritis of the hand may include medication, splints, rest, heat/cold therapy, physical/occupational therapy, topical treatments, steroid injections, and surgery.
Treatment with Chinese Medicine
In Chinese medicine, osteoarthritis of the hand is referred to as "Bi" (pain) Syndrome.
There are many types of Bi syndrome based on the symptoms. For example, if you experience pain and stiffness in the hand joints that is worse in cold weather, it is called "Cold Bi". If you experience swelling and inflammation in the joints that is worsened with heat, it is called "Hot Damp Bi". Your symptoms, also referred to as "patterns", determine your treatment plan.
Healing Modalities used at Bodyscapes
Ellie combines many different modalities to alleviate the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis of the hand. Some of the therapies used may include:
Electrical stimulation using a gentle micro-current can help to increase the production of ATP, protein synthesis, oxygenation, ion exchange, absorption of nutrients, elimination of waste products, and neutralizes the oscillating polarity of deficient cells.
Not a Cure, but a Treatment
There aren't any treatments, conventional or alternative, that can "cure" osteoarthritis of the hands. What one should aim for is a treatment plan that will slow down or halt the progression of this degenerative disease. When the function of your hands becomes diminished, it diminishes your quality of life. Be proactive! Learn to love your hands.
Give me a high five for healthy hands!
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