Painful Obstruction Syndrome

At a glance

Preliminary reading: What is a pattern?

Key attributes

Chinese name: 痛痹      Pinyin name: Tòng Bì

Pattern nature: Full

Pattern hierarchy: General pattern

Causes

Common causes: 1. Exterior Cold, 2. Weak constitution

Diagnosis

Common symptoms: Knee pain Elbow pain Ankle pain Joint pain Wrist pain and thirteen other symptoms

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Pale tongue with thin white coating

Treatment

Treatment principle: Herbal treatment to expel Exterior Pernicious Factors.  Acupuncture and  moxibustion

Common formulas: Wu Tou Tang Da Fang Feng Tang

Pathology

Painful Obstruction Syndrome is also called Bi Symdrome (Bi Zheng). 'Bi' means Stagnation or blockage in Chinese. It occurs mainly due to Exterior Pernicious Factors invasion such as Wind, Cold, Dampness or Heat

There are four types of Painful Obstruction Syndrome patterns according to the original causes. 

1. Cold invading the Channels joints and muscles 

2. Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles

3. Heat invading the Channels joints and muscles

4. Dampness invading the Channels joints and muscles

Causes

Exterior Cold: External Cold, Wind and Dampness can penetrate the Body's Defensive Qi and settle down in the joints and muscles.

Weak constitution : Weak constitution means the Defensive Qi is not strong enough to fight against the external Pernicious Influence invasion. It can be due to genetic defect, overwork, lack of exercise, or long term sickness.

Diagnosing Painful Obstruction Syndrome

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin) or wiry (Xian)

Tongue description: Pale tongue with thin white coating

Main symptoms: Knee pain Elbow pain Ankle pain Joint pain Wrist pain Stiff neck Lumbar pain Joint stiff Stiff ankle Stiff wrist Muscle pain Shoulder pain Knee stiffness Swollen joints Elbow stiffness Shoulder stiffness Lumbar spine stiffness Numbness in the muscles

Diagnosis commentary: Key characteristic symptoms of this pattern are the intense joints and muscles pain and stiffness. It can happen in lumbar, shoulders, knees, elbows, ankles, wrists, neck and etc.

Treating Painful Obstruction Syndrome

Treatment principle

Herbal treatment to expel Exterior Pernicious Factors. 

Acupuncture and  moxibustion

Herbal formulas used to treat Painful Obstruction Syndrome

Wu Tou Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Warms the channels and remove obstruaction. Disperse Cold and Dampness. Warms the joints. Relieve joints pain.

Formula summary

Wu Tou Tang is a 6-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 220 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that warm the Meridians and disperse Cold.

Besides Painful Obstruction Syndrome, Wu Tou Tang is also used to treat Cold invading the Channels joints and muscles.

Read more about Wu Tou Tang

Da Fang Feng Tang

Source date: 1107 AD

Number of ingredients: 14 herbs

Key actions: Expel Wind Damp. Relieve pain. Tonify the Liver and the Kidneys. Tonify the Blood and Qi.

Formula summary

Da Fang Feng Tang is a 14-ingredient Chinese Medicine formula. Invented in 1107 AD, it belongs to the category of formulas that dispel Wind-Damp.

Besides Painful Obstruction Syndrome, Da Fang Feng Tang is also used to treat Wind invading the Channels joints and muscles.

Read more about Da Fang Feng Tang