Bone pain according to Chinese Medicine

aching bones and joints and weakness of bones redirect here

Bone pain can be the consequence of several so-called “patterns of disharmony” in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like bone pain here). It is similar to the concept of disease in Western Medicine but not quite: a Western disease can often be explained by several Chinese patterns and vice-versa.

A pattern often manifests itself in a combination of symptoms that, at first glance, do not seem necessarily related to each others. For instance here bone pain is often associated with tinnitus, vertigo and infertility in the pattern “/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency”.

Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of bone pain we’ve identified three herbal formulas that may help treat patterns behind the symptom.

We’ve also selected below the five medicinal herbs that we think are most likely to help treat bone pain.

Kidney Yin Deficiency, a "pattern of disharmony" that can cause bone pain

In Chinese Medicine bone pain is a symptom for the pattern "Kidney Yin Deficiency". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.

The Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine

Kidney Yin Deficiency

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Empty (Xu), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Complete absence of coating

Tongue color: Red

Tongue shape: Cracked

Kidney Yin Deficiency causes false Heat symptoms, such as night sweats, thirst and five palm heat. These signs are from a depletion of Body Fluids and Essence. It can be caused by prolonged overwork, excessive sexual activity, chronic long term illnesses, consumption of Body Fluids by Heat, prolonged blood loss, overdosage of Kidney Yang tonics herbs, smoking and Kidney depleting foods such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, and fruit juices.

In addition to bone pain, other symptoms associated with /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency include tinnitus, vertigo and infertility.

From a Western Medicine standpoint /tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency is associated with health issues such as Menopausal Syndrome, Prolonged Periods or Irregular Menstruation.

/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency is often treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, a herbal formula made of 6 herbs (including Prepared Rehmannia - Shu Di huang - as a key herb). Liu Wei Di Huang Wan belongs to the category of "formulas that nourish yin and tonify", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system)".

Read more about Kidney Yin Deficiency here

Three herbal formulas that might help with bone pain

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1119 AD

Number of ingredients: 6 herbs

Key actions: Nutritive tonic for the Liver and Kidney Yin Essence (nourishes the parasympathetic nervous system).

Why might Liu Wei Di Huang Wan help with bone pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency' of which bone ache is a symptom.

Read more about Liu Wei Di Huang Wan here

Zuo Gui Wan

Source date: 1624 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Nourishes the Yin. Strengthens the Kidneys. Fills the Essence. Augments the marrow.

Why might Zuo Gui Wan help with bone pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency' of which bone ache is a symptom.

Read more about Zuo Gui Wan here

Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan

Source date: 1584 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Tonifies Yin. Drains Fire.

Why might Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan help with bone pain?

Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern '/tcm-education-center/patterns/kidney-yin-deficiency' of which bone ache is a symptom.

Read more about Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan here

Acupuncture points used for bone pain

The five Chinese Medicinal herbs most likely to help treat bone pain

Why might Prepared Rehmannia (Shu Di Huang) help with bone pain?

Because Prepared Rehmannia is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bone pain as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Prepared Rehmannia is a Warm herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Tonifies the Blood. Tonifies the Yin of the Kidneys.

Read more about Prepared Rehmannia here

Why might Cornelian Cherry (Shan Zhu Yu) help with bone pain?

Because Cornelian Cherry is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bone pain as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Cornelian Cherries is a Warm herb that tastes Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Preserves and tonifies the Kidney, Liver and Essence. Stops sweating and benefits the Yang and Qi. Assists menstruation and stops bleeding.

Read more about Cornelian Cherries here

Why might Water Plantain (Ze Xie) help with bone pain?

Because Water Plantain is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bone pain as a symptom, like Liu Wei Di Huang Wan or Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan for instance.

Water Plantain is a Cold herb that tastes Sweet. It targets the Bladder and the Kidney.

Its main actions are: Causes urination and removes Damp-Heat

Read more about Water Plantain here

Why might Anemarrhena Rhizome (Zhi Mu) help with bone pain?

Because Anemarrhena Rhizome is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bone pain as a symptom, like Zhi Bo Di Huang Wan or Yu Nu Jian for instance.

Anemarrhena Rhizomes is a Cold herb that tastes Bitter and Sweet. It targets the Kidney, the Lung and the Stomach.

Its main actions are: Clears Heat and Fire from the Qi level. Clears Heat and Fire from the Lung and Stomach. Clears Heat and tonifies the Yin.

Read more about Anemarrhena Rhizomes here

Why might Achyranthes Root (Niu Xi) help with bone pain?

Because Achyranthes Root is an ingredient in several formulas indicated to treat bone pain as a symptom, like Yu Nu Jian or Zuo Gui Wan for instance.

Achyranthes Roots is a Neutral herb that tastes Bitter and Sour. It targets the Kidney and the Liver.

Its main actions are: Moves Blood and relieves pain in the raw state. Tonic to the Liver and Kidneys and strengthens the bones and sinews. Reduces Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner. Regulates the flow of reckless Blood caused by either ascendant Liver Yang or Yin Deficient Fire.

Read more about Achyranthes Roots here