Alternative therapies are just that – they may or may not work for everyone, but many people are looking for options beyond medication or surgery.
Tumeric – this spice, often used in East Indian food is available also in a supplement form, has been touted as anti-inflammatory. Most research on it has been done in mice, but a study published last year on complementary and alternative medicine found adults who were suffering from knee osteo-arthritis and took 333 to 350 mg a day for 12 weeks reported less pain and stiffness. Note if you are on a blood thinner, tumeric supplements can interact with your medication so speak to your doctor first before starting tumeric.
Acupuncture – this traditional Chinese therapy, where thin needles are inserted into the body at specific points, seems to offer some relief for osteo-arthritis. Make sure you see an acupuncturist who is licensed in your state. Look on nccaom.org for resources. Dr Duarte at Everett Pacific Rehabilitation is a licensed Acupuncturist who specializes in chronic pain.
Massage – the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation reviewed seven studies in 2017 and found massage can ease stiffness and pain. Because arthritis can make your joints sensitive, make sure the massage therapist specializes in medical massage for chronic pain.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin – evidence is mixed on these supplements. Some research suggests it may help when used for less than six months, but other research found that they failed to relieve pain or prevent cartilage loss more than a placebo when used up to four years.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more options to deal with chronic pain.