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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 5190986, 13 pages
Review Article

Insights into the Action Mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Osteoarthritis

1College of Pharmacy, Gannan Medical University, Ganzhou 341000, China
2Department of Clinical Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Gannan Medical University, Ganzhou 341000, China
3Department of Pharmacology, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan 523808, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Hao Huang; moc.liamg@oahgnauhoawh and Longhuo Wu; moc.liamtoh@uwhgnol

Received 16 September 2016; Revised 27 November 2016; Accepted 14 December 2016; Published 22 January 2017

Academic Editor: Isabel Andújar

Copyright © 2017 Linfu Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic degenerative joint disease characterized by articular cartilage destruction, synovial inflammation, and osteophyte formation. No effective treatments are available. The current pharmacological medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and analgesics, accompanied by possible adverse effects, might ameliorate OA symptoms. But they do not arrest the progression of OA. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) provides medical value by modification of disease and symptoms in OA. Valuable work on exploring TCM merits for OA patients has been investigated using modern technologies, although the complicated interacting network among the numerous components indicates the uncertainty of target specification. This review will provide an overview of the action mechanism of TCM in the last 5 years, discussing the TCM activities of anti-inflammation, antiapoptosis, antioxidation, anticatabolism, and proliferation in OA. TCM is a proposed medical option for OA treatment.