Acupuncture for Pain and Swelling in Ankles and Feet


Chief Complaint: pain and swelling in ankle and feet, alcohol abuse

Medical History: Patient: 53 year old female

Occupation: art student

History: family history of alcoholism, pain in legs since 1978

Current presentation: Patient has stiffness and swelling in her feet and ankles making ambulation difficult. The pain is 8-9 on a scale of 0-10 with deep, heavy, sharp quality that is worse at night. She can recall no injury or precipitating factors. Feet are cool to touch, soft, pale with non-pitting edema. The patient smokes and drinks six beers a night. She eats cold foods for lunch.

Symptoms: Patient is stressed with school work, and has a sensation of something in her throat. She has poor sleep and reads to fall asleep. Appetite is poor with an energy drop at 3pm. She has fatigue and states that legs bruise and bleed easily. Other symptoms are dizziness, ringing in the ears and eye strain with blurred vision. Patient wears glasses for reading. She is up twice a night to void and has loose stools which change to hard when anxious. Her back and knees are sore and weak and hips are stiff.

Questioning exam: low back and knee pain, ankle swelling that is pale and cool, tinnitus and up twice a night to void

painful, cool ankles that is deep and heavy.

Sharp feeling may be from cold causing some blood stasis as well

loose bowel movement, poor appetite, afternoon energy drop and easy bruising

curdy center of the tongue coating and slippery R guan pulse

plum-pit syndrome with feelings of stress.

Based on age, early menopause, smoking and alcohol habit, blurred vision and difficulty falling asleep this patient may also have an underlying Liver/Kidney yin deficiency but this was not viewed as significant at this time and was not addressed.

Pulse exam: Pulse: L-thin, weak R- slippery guan position, weak cun, weak, deep in chi

Tongue exam: pale, pink, purple, puffy with central crack to tip with thick, curdy center coat

stiffness and swelling in her feet. feet cool and pale

OM Diagnosis: Ki yang deficiency, cold-damp bi in ankles/feet

Spleen Qi deficiency with damp

Liver Qi and phlegm stagnation

Signs and symptoms supporting diagnosis:

Treatment Principle: tonify Kidney yang. Drain damp. Alleviate pain

Tonify Spleen Warm Qi. Move Liver Qi. Resolve phlegm accumulation

Point Prescription: tonify K7, K3 plus moxa to warm and tonify Kidney yang

tonify Sp6, St36 to promote Spleen Qi

sedate Sp9, St41(local point) to drain damp

even method for Liv3/Li4 to calm and promote movement of Liv qi

No herbal formula was given. With reduction in alcohol intake this will be an option

Patient was instructed to warm and dry feet after showering with a hair drier.

The benefit of cooked foods on digestion was explained and she agreed to cook lunches.

Visit 2: The patient returned the following week with reports of no more pain in her feet and swelling had diminished. She had reduced her alcohol intake to 3 beers a night. Sleep had improved though she woke twice to void. Low back and knee ache continued. Tongue was unchanged though a red tip was noted. Pulse was wiry and deep and weak in chi positions.

Diagnosis: unchanged though definite positive response to treatment.

Treatment: same body points were used along with moxa. NADA protocol was added using Sympathetic, Shenmen, Kidney, Lung, Liver and alcohol points in both ears.

Food therapy: Patient likes liver and dandelion greens which are foods to help strengthen and clear the Liver. She agrees to add these to her diet.

Visit 3: Swelling resolved and increased ease with ambulation stating she had not realized how bad her legs felt until noticing they felt better. This week she had experienced cold moving up and then heat moving down over her. Mouth was dry with thirst and urine had had a strong odor for a couple of days after the last treatment. She reported having had a lot of gas and bowels were pasty to normal.

Pulse: L- superficial position, slippery, slightly rapid thin weak deep in chi position

Tongue: moist, pale with curdy back, teethmarks and slight red edges

Diagnosis: Kidney yin and yang deficiency

Damp-heat in middle jiao from alcohol

Treatment: Nourish Kidney yin and yang. Drain damp-heat. NADA protocol

Tonify K3 for Kidney yin, K7 for yang, Reduce Sp6, Sp9, St40 to drain damp, Liv3/Li4

Herbal Formula: Silymarin (milk thistle was suggested as supplement to cleanse the liver)

Liver DTX was ordered

Chai Hu-moves liver qi

Huang Qin- clears heat from the liver channel

Hu Zhang- clears damp-heat

Ge Hua-

Bai Shao-nourishes liver blood

Yin Chen Hao- clears damp-heat from the liver

Zhi Zi- drains heat from the 3 jiaos

Da Huang- drains damp-heat through the stool

Wu Wei Zi- improves Liver function

Ma Bian Cao

Fu Ling-drains damp. Strengthens the Spleen

Yu Jin-moves stagnant Liver qi

Qing Pi-moves stagnant Liver qi

80% Silymarin-cleanse the Liver

Pu Tao Zi-antioxidant

Results: This patient continues to have weekly treatments. Back shu points have been used for the past two weeks for chief complaint of low back pain. Energy level is much better and she had stopped smoking. However, school proved to be quite stressful this past week and her smoking and alcohol intake increased. The NADA protocol is used each week to support her goals.

Last modified: September 8, 2009  Tags: , , , ,  В·  Posted in: Musculo-Skeletal