Chinese Medicine works to manage the symptoms of muscular pain

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Organ names in Chinese medicine differ from Western medicine’s understanding. Soft tissue injuries are a common occurrence and can happen to anyone at any time.

These injuries involve damage to the body’s soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft tissue injuries can be painful and debilitating, affecting a person’s ability to carry out their daily activities. Western medicine approaches the treatment of soft tissue injuries by managing the symptoms with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physiotherapy, while Chinese Medicine approaches the condition holistically, taking into account the whole body’s state and the person’s constitution.

In Western medicine, soft tissue injuries are classified as acute or chronic. Acute soft tissue injuries occur suddenly and can include sprains, strains, and contusions.

Treatment for acute soft tissue injuries involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the affected area. Pain relief can be achieved with the use of NSAIDs. Chronic soft tissue injuries, on the other hand, occur over time, and the pain can be managed with physiotherapy and NSAIDs.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches soft tissue injuries from a holistic perspective. According to TCM, soft tissue injuries are caused by an imbalance in the body’s Qi and Blood circulation. Qi is the vital energy that flows throughout the body, while Blood refers to the nourishing and moistening component of the body’s fluids. TCM believes that when Qi and Blood circulation is obstructed, it leads to pain, swelling, and stiffness, which are all symptoms of soft tissue injuries.

One of the fundamental concepts in TCM is the Five Elements theory. This theory categorizes everything in the world, including the human body, into five elements, namely wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element corresponds to a specific organ in the body and a particular season, color, and emotion. In soft tissue injuries, the Liver and Gallbladder organs are often affected, and the treatment approach involves regulating the Qi and Blood circulation in these organs.

Another TCM approach to soft tissue injuries is channel therapy. In TCM, the body has twelve main meridians or channels, which are pathways through which Qi and Blood circulate. Each channel corresponds to an organ and can be accessed through acupuncture points. Channel therapy involves the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine to stimulate the affected channels, promoting Qi and Blood circulation and alleviating pain and inflammation. From an acupunctue perspective, pain is often treated by using points on the oposite side of the body and often on the oposite limb. this may seem very unusual for those having their first acupuncture treatment. this techniques tends to produce very favorable clinical results.

TCM also considers the concept of Zang Fu, which refers to the organs’ functional systems. Each organ in TCM is associated with a specific (chinese) organ function. For example, the Liver organ is responsible for regulating the flow of Qi and Blood, and it is associated with the emotion of anger. In soft tissue injuries, the Liver organ’s function may be disrupted, leading to pain and swelling. Treatment involves addressing the underlying imbalances in the Liver organ and restoring its proper function.

Phlegm, heat, cold, and wind are other TCM concepts that are relevant in the treatment of soft tissue injuries. These concepts refer to specific pathological conditions in the body that can contribute to pain and inflammation. For example, cold conditions can cause stagnation of Qi and Blood circulation, leading to pain and stiffness. Treatment involves warming the affected area and promoting circulation.

In conclusion, soft tissue injuries are a common problem that affects many people. While Western medicine approaches the condition by managing the symptoms, TCM takes a holistic approach, addressing the underlying imbalances in the body’s Qi and Blood circulation. TCM uses various approaches, including the Five Elements theory, channel therapy, and Zang Fu, to restore balance and alleviate pain and inflammation. A complementary approach using both Western and Eastern medicine may be beneficial in managing soft tissue injuries.

References:

Maciocia, G. (2015). The practice of Chinese Medicine: The treatment of diseases with acupuncture and Chinese herbs (3rd ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.

Deadman, P., Al-Khafaji, M., & Baker, K. (2016). A manual of acupuncture (2nd ed.). Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

Cheng, X. (2010). Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion (3rd ed.). Foreign Languages Press.

TCM Diagnosis Study Group of the Chinese Society of TCM Dermatology. (2015). TCM diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries. Chinese Journal of Traditional Medical Traumatology & Orthopedics, 23(10), 84-87.

American College of Sports Medicine. (2011). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (9th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Lin, Y., & Xu, J. (2015). Progress in research on mechanism of traditional Chinese medicine in treating sports injuries. Chinese Journal of Tissue Engineering Research, 19(7), 1066-1071.

Wang, X., & Xie, Y. (2017). Research progress on the effect of traditional Chinese medicine on soft tissue injury. Journal of Emergency in Traditional Chinese Medicine, 26(4), 647-650.