Shoulder Arthritisaccording to TCM

Symptom families: Rheumatic and Arthritic Disorders, Shoulder Issues

Parent symptom: Arthritis

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is a condition characterized by inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the shoulder joint, leading to a reduction in range of motion and affecting daily activities. It encompasses various forms, including glenohumeral arthritis, where the main ball and socket joint of the shoulder is affected.

This condition can result from a variety of causes such as wear and tear, injury, or autoimmune disease, and is a specific manifestation of the broader category of arthritis. Over time, shoulder arthritis can lead to the degeneration of the shoulder joint, significantly impacting an individual’s quality of life.

How does TCM view Shoulder Arthritis?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches shoulder arthritis through a lens that considers the flow of Qi (energy) and Blood within the body. TCM theory suggests that shoulder arthritis arises from blockages or imbalances in these vital energies, often due to the invasion of external pathogenic factors such as Heat, Wind, Cold, and Dampness.

These factors can obstruct the meridians, leading to pain and stiffness in the shoulder. TCM emphasizes the importance of identifying the specific pattern of disharmony causing these symptoms to effectively tailor treatment strategies that can unblock the flow of Qi and Blood, thus relieving pain and restoring mobility.

Acupoints for Shoulder Arthritis

In the treatment of shoulder arthritis, TCM highlights the use of specific acupoints to alleviate symptoms and address the underlying causes of discomfort. One such acupoint, Xiaoluo TB-12, located on the Triple Burner Channel, is particularly noted for its effectiveness in removing obstruction from the channel, thereby relieving pain and stiffness associated with shoulder arthritis.

Positioned on the line joining the olecranon and Jianliao TB-14, midway between Qinglengyuan TB-11 and Naohui TB-13, Xiaoluo TB-12 is strategically utilized to enhance the flow of Qi and Blood through the affected area. Targeting this acupoint, among others, reflects TCM's comprehensive approach to managing shoulder arthritis, focusing on restoring balance and facilitating the body's natural healing processes.

See more details below about Xiaoluo TB-12, an acupoint used to address shoulder arthritis.

  • By Meridian
  • Triple Burner Channel
Xiaoluo TB-12

Xiaoluo TB-12

On the line joining the olecranon and Jianliao TB-14, midway between Qinglengyuan TB-11 and Naohui TB-13, 5 cun proximal to the olecranon. It is just on the lower end of bulge of the lateral head of triceps brachii when the forearm is in pronation.