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Readers Respond: Have You Tried an Alternative/Complementary Treatment for Your Osteoarthritis?

Responses: 5


Updated July 02, 2009

Alternative and complementary treatments have gained popularity. Researchers have begun studying detailed patterns of alternative/complementary medicine use. In other words, which alternative or complementary treatments are used the most?

According to a CDC study, fibromyalgia patients used complementary treatments more than people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or chronic joint symptoms. More than 50% of study participants used over-the-counter topical pain medications, while more than 35% drew from spirituality or meditation and 19% had used a chiropracter. Share your alternative treatment story.

Treating OA

What are we treating when we treat OA? Invariably it is Pain and / or inflammation. There is no treatment for the disease just the outcome, the damage! Treating OA earlier appears not to be option, Rheumatologists ignore the consequential damage caused by OA until it is too late. Why is it this way? Primarily because there is no cure and many put it down to being an "age related disease", one which is inevitable and unavoidable, rubbish! Having had a knee replacement and now lining up for another, not the last joint. I have taken matters into my own hands, cutting out NSAIDS and reducing Painkillers to when it is absolutely necessary. OA is not only about the pain. Where does that leave us in respect of Complementary and Alternative medical treatments. I am in the final stages after more than 2 years, of trialing Joint Pain relief and rebuilding products. Results so far are promising, however it may take a few more months before I can reach a conclusion. Alternative Treatment is next.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy

I went for 8 chiropractic sessions, doctor xray'd, then used some kind of thing on my spine did a rat-a-tat type of thing and acupuncture on ears. It was all kind of silly and I stopped going thought at 3 weeks I should have felt something change-but nothing did. Lots of PT, pre op, post op and in between, one therapist would tie me to machines and have me do backward neck stretches, one could not un-tie me for about 15 minutes the stress made my neck hurt worse. They all want to put you in extension, neck, back- be careful this is not always sanctioned by your doc or surgeon so only with clearance from the doctor. This same guy would manipulate my neck and the resulting headache would last a week or more. He denied his actions could cause such a thing. IT DID and still does even with the Botox. I highly recommend this for chronic painful neck.

alternative and complementary

I have osteoarthritis and have taken nsaids for years with varying results and degrees of gastritis. Even with the nsaids I have had a great deal of musclular aching and pain. Approximately 4 years ago my brother suggested I try Bromelain and Turmeric. I was skeptical but did take them. I was most pleased when I actually got relief. I continue to take them on a regular basis. Water aerobics keeps me more flexible and stronger. The hot tub afterwards is the icing on the cake. This summer I have not gone to exercises for various reasons and I can really feel the difference. I see my chiropractor as needed and on a maintenance schedule. I use topical pain medication. I found that I can often get comfortable enough that I do not need to take a narcotic pain medication. I would love to get massages but I can not afford them right now. These modalities are not miracle workers but combined definitely increase my quality of life. Glenda Farr
—Guest Glenda Farr


I am doing Homeopathic Treatment and it seems to be working quite well. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Raynaud's, and Depression. I do not have the pain like before. I was spending $900.00 a month on medications due to not having Health Insurance now I spend about $20.00 a month for Homeopathic Pellets & Alteril Sleeping Pills and feel alot better than before.

Philip Burley

I was diagnosed many years ago with spondylitis, and told by the surgeon the I needed to have a lamanectomy. I was advised of the risk, that there was a 50/50 chance I could face life in a wheelchair if the operation was not succesful. I was taking Nsaids on a daily basis, which affected my stomach.After trying physiotherapy, osteopath, reflexology, which was costing me a lot of money almost as a last resort, I purchased a home hydrotherapy system, within two weeks, I stopped taking the drugs, that was over eleven years ago, I still have the condition of course, and a curvature of the spine, but using my hydrothearpy on a regular basis, I am now virtually pain free, no drugs, and I lead a healthy and active life. I would be pleased to give more information if required.
—Guest Philip Burley
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