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Traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a general review

Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is difficult to cure. Many methods have been used for its treatment, among which traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been considered as an important strategy. All of the three parts of TCM: Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and massage have been reported with varying degrees of therapeutic effects on RA. Also the mechanism exploration is under process. Many effective ingredients of anti-rheumatic Chinese herbs have been found to inhibit RA development and some of the effective ingredients have been verified. Furthermore, greatly enhanced life quality of RA patients was obtained using acupuncture and massage to relieve pain, expand joint motion and modulate emotion which mainly correlated with the possible modulation of immune system, nerve system, endocrine system, etc. Thus, a systemic review on the therapeutic effect of TCM on RA is necessary. In our paper, the current status of TCM application in the clinic for the therapy of RA was summarized accompanied with the related mechanism exploration using modern test facilities.

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Correspondence to Peng Zhang or Ling Qin.

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Zhang, P., Li, J., Han, Y. et al. Traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a general review. Rheumatol Int 30, 713–718 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-010-1370-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-010-1370-0

Keywords

  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Chinese herbs
  • Acupuncture
  • Cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway
  • Massage