Exploring Complementary Health Approaches for Osteoarthritis

Exploring Complementary Health Approaches for Osteoarthritis


Hey everyone! Today, we want to dive into an article we recently came across that discusses complementary health approaches for osteoarthritis (OA). As you may know, OA is the most common type of arthritis, often affecting the hands, knees, hips, and spine. It occurs when the cartilage in a joint breaks down, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving the joint.

The article highlights various nutritional, psychological, and physical approaches for managing OA symptoms. We'd like to share some key points from the article and our thoughts on them with you.

  1. Nutritional Approaches: Unfortunately, there's still uncertainty around whether glucosamine and chondroitin have a meaningful impact on OA symptoms or joint structure. The evidence for other dietary supplements is also limited, making it difficult to draw any conclusions.

  2. Psychological and Physical Approaches: Acupuncture may help relieve OA pain, and there's a small amount of evidence suggesting that massage therapy could be helpful. Additionally, participating in tai chi may improve pain, stiffness, and joint function for those with knee OA, while Qi gong may offer similar benefits but has less research to support it.

  3. Safety Considerations: It's essential to be aware of the safety of these complementary health approaches. Some dietary supplements can have side effects or interact with medications. Psychological and/or physical approaches generally have good safety records when used correctly, but some may need adaptations to accommodate people with OA safely. Additionally, magnetic therapies may not be safe for individuals with certain implantable medical devices.

Various guidelines have been issued by national health professional organizations for treating OA. For example, the American College of Rheumatology conditionally recommends tai chi for knee OA and acupuncture for knee OA patients who are candidates for knee replacement but cannot or will not undergo surgery. However, they conditionally recommend against the use of glucosamine and chondroitin for knee or hip OA.

Although there are some promising complementary health approaches for OA, it's crucial to consult with your health care provider before trying any of these therapies. Remember to disclose all the complementary or integrative health approaches you use to ensure coordinated and safe care. Stay informed and make wise decisions for your health!

Have you tried any complementary health approaches for osteoarthritis or know someone who has? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya 

1 comment

  • serg

    very interesting subject and has to be approach indidually,because of the body set…but better to combine several methods of the treatment to achive more stable result in the long term. Also some internal intake of TCM medicine would be making good difference to conditions, thanks

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