Cold Bi syndrome of the thumb joint

By: George Huang LAc, MAOM


With the extreme changes in weather from warm to cold, I have been treating patients with joint pain and swelling of the thumb distal joint or DIP. For joint pain that worsens with cold weather either damp or windy or both weather conditions, I recommend using a heating pad around the joints instead of cold pack to help warm the joint and improve blood circulation to the joint. Pain that is related to cold weather is called Cold Bi syndrome; cold wind, damp, or both.

Heating pads or soaking in a warm bath will feel a lot better and overall, help in reducing pain and swelling of these joints.

In addition to using heat for self care at home, you may use Acupuncture to help improve blood circulation to the thumb joints.

I apply moxa spray or the warming herb Ai ye to the joints affected under a comfortable heating lamp. For the thumb joint swelling and pain, I will select points on the dorsal muscle web or LI 4 area between the thumb and index finger; I can also use a point on the palmar thumb pad and another point distal to the pisiform bone called Mu Guan and Gu Guan. Both are good for swollen joint issues. I may also select points on the big toe and LV 2,3 area of the foot to image the thumb joint.

These point combos usually are sufficient in helping with thumb joint pain management due to cold bi syndrome. To help further I use Golden Flower patent formula, Chase wind penetrate bone, to remove the painful obstruction of the thumb DIP, and reduce joint swelling.

If you are experiencing joint pain due to these cold weather changes, please contact me at 713-721-7755.

I am experienced in using Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, Master Tung , and TCM to help manage your pain whether it be joint, neck, shoulder, knee, low back and sciatica pain.