Complementary and Alternative Medicine Show Significant Benefit For Arthritis Patients

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Show Significant Benefit For Arthritis Patients

According
to a new study in the November issue of the Journal
of Clinical Nursing
, nearly a quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
and osteoarthritis used complementary and alternative therapy (CAT) to help
manage their condition. At all Pain Center of Arizona locations, we encourage
patients to try complementary and alternative methods to managing their chronic
pain condition, and the pain management specialists at The Pain Center can
recommend different treatments to assist with that process.

250
patients between the ages of 20 and 90 were interviewed by researchers, and more
than two-thirds (67%) had rheumatoid arthritis and the remainder had
osteoarthritis. The researchers found that 23% used CAT in addition to prescribed
drugs and that just under two-thirds of those (64%) felt that the therapy was
beneficial, reporting improvements in pain intensity, sleeping patterns and
activity levels.

The survey
discovered many interesting findings, such as the fact that CAT users had an
average age of 45 years, significantly younger than the average non CAT user,
who was aged 57 years. Also, CAT use was higher in patients with osteoarthritis
(29%) than rheumatoid arthritis (20%). The most common CAT used was herbal
therapy (83%), then exercise (22%), massage (12%), acupuncture (3%), yoga and
meditation (3%) and dietary supplements (3%). CAT users were asked to rate the
amount of pain they felt and the percentage who said that they experienced no
pain rose from 12% to 43% after CAT use. The number who slept all night rose
from 9% to 66%. Just under a quarter of the patients using CAT (24%) sought
medical care because of possible side effects, but they were not serious and
were reversible. The most common side effects included skin problems (16%) and
gastrointestinal problems (9%). The majority of patients did not tell their
physician about their CAT use (59%).

Though
CAT is considered beneficial for most patients with rheumatoid arthritis and
osteoarthritis, patients should proceed with caution when using the CAT method
and be sure to share with their physician what treatments they are using so
their CAT methods do not interfere with existing treatments. Here at The Pain
Center of Arizona, many alternative therapies are used to help patients deal
with their pain.

Herbal
medicine (also called therapy) was most popular among CAT patients, but what
exactly is it? Herbal medicine refers to using a plant's seeds, berries, roots,
leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Herbs are still considered
somewhat mysterious in the science community because scientists aren't sure
what specific ingredient in a particular herb works to treat a condition or
illness. Whole herbs often contain many different ingredients that work
together to produce a beneficial effect.

Herbal
supplements are the most popular form used among patients. The most commonly
used supplements are borage oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and green tea extract. It
is important for patients to remember that while these herbs may help relieve
some inflammation, they will not make all the pain to go
away.

If you
suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain
Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management
physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality
and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across
Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa, Gilbert, Deer Valley,
Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson! We take multiple
insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make
an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us
today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!

The advice and information
contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended
to replace or counter a physician's advice or judgment. Please always consult
your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other
educational medical material.

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Marketing Solutions, 2012

 

 

 

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