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Arthralgia refers to a group of symptoms which include aching pain, numbness, and heaviness of muscles, or difficulty in flexion and extension , burning sensation of the swollen joints, usually seen in rheumatic arthritis, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis in Western medicine.  Clinically, it can be classified into four types: migratory arthralgia, arthralgia aggravated by cold, arthralgia due to dampness, and arthralgia due to heat.
(1) Acupuncture
Treating principles: To dredge meridians and promote circulation of qi and blood
Migratory arthralgia: Geshu (BL17), Xuehai (SP10)
Arthralgia aggravated by cold: Shenshu (BL23), Guanyuan (CV4)
Arthralgia due to dampness: Shangqiu (SP5), Zusanli (ST36)
Arthralgia due to heat: Dazhui (GV14), Quchi (LI11)
Choose the points according to the affected area:
Shoulder: Jianyu (LI15), Jianliao (TE14), Naoshu (SI10)
Elbow: Quchi (LI11), Hegu (LI4), Tianjing (TE10), Waiguan (TE5), Chize (LU5)
Wrist: Yangchi (TE4), Waiguan (TE5), Yangxi (LI5), Wangu (SI4)
Back: Shuigou (GV26), Shenzhu (GV12), Yaoyangguan (GV3), Jiaji (EX-B2)
Hip: Huantiao (GB30), Juliao (GB29), Xuanzhong (GB39)
Thigh: Zhibian (BL54), Chengfu (BL36), Fengshi (GB31), Yanglingquan (GB34)
Knee: Dubi (ST35), Liangqiu (ST34), Yanglingquan (GB34), Xiyangguan (GB33)
Ankle: Shenmai (BL62), Zhaohai (KI6), Kunlun (BL60), Qiuxu (GB40)
(2) Pricking-cupping Bloodletting: This method is suitable for heat arthralgia with swelling and pain.
(3) Electro-acupuncture: Stimulate the points with the sparse and dense waves.
It is most effective for athralgia, especially for rheumatic arthritis.  For chronic rheumatoid which is difficult to shake off, acupuncture cannot give immediate effect.


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