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Complementary Medicine for Arthritis

Table of Contents

Topic Overview

Complementary medicine includes many treatments you can use along with standard medical treatment. A lot of people use some form of complementary medicine to treat osteoarthritis.

Some of these treatments may help you move more easily and deal with the stress and pain of arthritis. But in some cases, not much is known about how safe they are or how well they may work.

Be sure to tell your doctor about any complementary treatments you use or want to use. He or she can tell you about the possible benefits and side effects of these treatments.

Dietary supplements

Other treatments

What are the risks of complementary medicine?

One risk is that you might use complementary treatment instead of going to your regular doctor. Complementary medicine should be in addition to treatment from your doctor. Otherwise you may miss important treatment that could help you feel better or keep your condition from getting worse.

Some natural products may be safe when you take them on their own. But they may not be safe if you have other medical problems. And they could be dangerous when they are combined with another medicine you take. To be safe, always check with your doctor before you use any new natural products or supplements.

Natural products also can vary widely in how strong they are. And they may contain harmful things not listed on the label. Your doctor or practitioner may be able to recommend a brand you can trust.

Complementary medicine isn't regulated as much as standard medicine. This means you could become a victim of fraud. People who sell or practice nonstandard medicine are more likely to be frauds if they:

Credits for Complementary Medicine for Arthritis

Current as of: April 30, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Jeffrey N. Katz MD, MPH - Rheumatology

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