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Chronic Inflammation of Shoulders

By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu

Chronic pain in the shoulders can be caused by bone tuberculosis, tumors, injuries, and bi (qi and blood stasis).

Bi (qi and blood stasis)

What is bi?

Bi is a condition of pain and inflammation caused by qi and blood stasis.

Bi can be classified as:

1. Wind Coldness and Dampness bi, and

2. Heat bi


1. Wind Coldness and Dampness bi: joints are painful, or some parts of the muscles feel numb and heavy. When the problem lingers on, the body and limbs can become tight and spastic and the joints can be swollen. Because of the different body constitutions, the wind, coldness, and dampness can be of different intensities.

Wind Coldness and Dampness bi can further be classified as follows:

When wind is prominent, it is call xing bi. When coldness is prominent, it is called tong bi. When dampness is prominent, it is called zhao bi.

  (a) xing bi (wandering): no definite location(s) of pain and sometimes there are chills and fever. Moss of tongue is yellowish and  greasy and with floating pulse.

  (b) tong bi (painful): whole body or localized pain in joint(s). Pain is in definite location(s). When heat is applied the pain becomes less, when it is cold the pain intensifies. Moss of tongue is white and pulse is stringy and tight.

  (c) zhao bi (fixed): skin and muscles are numb. Joint(s) is painful. Pain is localized. Cold and damp weather can trigger it. Moss of tongue is white an d with oily look. Pulse is soft and slow.

2. Heat bi: pain in the joint(s). the affected part is warm and swollen and too painful to touch, and the movements of joint(s) are impaired, accompanied with fever, thirst, yellowish moss of tongue, and with slippery and rapid pulse.

Correct diagnostics is important so that the problems can be identified early for correct therapy. In this article we are dealing with therapy of bi (qi stagnation and blood stasis).

 Diagnostic: Pain in front and back part of shoulder, sometimes radiating toward the neck and upper back. Pain has been persistent at least for three months.  No obvious injury.

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Last update: May 5, 2009; 8:47 a.m. LAH