The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
Swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch 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 swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch 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 swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch is often associated with weight loss, headaches and dizziness in the pattern “Painful Obstruction with Wind-Cold-Damp”.
Once identified, patterns are treated using medicinal herbs, acupuncture, and other therapies. In the case of swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch we’ve identified that a herbal formula called Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang can help treat the patterns behind the symptom.
In Chinese Medicine swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch is a symptom for the pattern "Painful Obstruction with Wind-Cold-Damp". Below is a small explanation for it with links for more details.
Pulse type(s): Slippery (Hua), Wiry (Xian)
Tongue coating: Thick white coating
Painful Obstruction with Wind-Cold-Damp is often treated with Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang, a herbal formula made of 9 herbs (including Cinnamon Twigs - Gui Zhi - as a key herb). Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang belongs to the category of "formulas that dispel wind-damp", which might be why it is often recommended for this pattern. Its main action as a formula is: "Clears Heat and inflammations".
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 9 herbs
Key actions: Clears Heat and inflammations. Unblocks the flow of Yang Qi and promotes movement (in areas with painful obstruction). Clears Wind and Damp. Relieves pain.
Because it is a formula often recommended to treat the pattern 'Painful Obstruction with Wind-Cold-Damp' of which swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch is a symptom.
Because it is a key herb in Gui Zhi Shao Yao Zhi Mu Tang, a herbal formula indicated to treat the pattern 'Painful Obstruction with Wind-Cold-Damp' (a pattern with swollen and painful joints that are warm to the touch as a symptom)
Its main actions are: Adjusts the nutritive Ying and defensive Wei Qi. Relieves the Exterior through sweating. Warms and disperses Cold. Removes obstruction of Yang. Promotes the circulation of Yang Qi in the chest. Regulates and moves blood.