Arthritis : Complementary and Alternative Medicine Options
People with arthritis find that complementary and alternative therapies may help relieve symptoms of arthritis in some patients but they do not cure arthritis. Complementary and alternative medicine are used here to describe a wide range of therapies and practices which are outside the mainstream of medicine. They are often used a longside your conventional medicine.
There areÂ a number of complementary and alternative therapies. They can be divided into four different categories
- Touch, pressurem manipulation and movementÂ therapies such asÂ chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, and massage
- Medicine and diet-related therapies such as herbs and natural dietary supplements, raditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda.
- Mind and emotion therapies such as meditation, prayer
- Energy Therapies such as reiki,Â pulsed fields, magnetic fields
Some of the therapies most popular with people suffer from arthritis are:
- natural dietary supplements
- magnet therapy
- tai chi
- Copper bracelets
Safety is very important to people who use complementary and alternative therapies. Many turn to complementary and alternative medicine because they have suffered side-effects from conventional treatment. It is difficult to generalize, but generally speaking complementary and alternative therapies are relatively safe, although you should always discuss their use with your doctor before embarking on treatment. There are some risks associated with specific therapies.
If you decide to try a complementary therapy, the following checklist will help you ensure your treatment is reliable and safe:
* Tell your doctor aboutÂ about any alternative or complementary treatments you are receiving.
* Tell your complementary practitioner about any prescribed medication you are taking.
* Ask your complementary therapist how much treatment will cost and how long it will take.
* Find out whether the therapist is a member of a professional body
* Find out whether they have insurance in case something goes wrong
* Ask about their training and how long they have been practising
* Don't stop taking a prescription medicine without talking to your doctor first