Other Treatment Options: Alternative Arthritis Therapies

When you suffer from arthritis, there are a number of treatment options available to help you live the most comfortable life possible. Doctors may recommend certain exercises, a diet change, medications, and even surgery. However, there is a whole other realm of pain relief that you should consider when thinking about and discussing the many treatment options with your doctor and other medical professionals-alternative medicine has helped many types of arthritis patients. Alternative choices include dietary herbal supplements, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and prayer, among other things. While most doctors don't consider these methods "medicine" in the traditional sense, more and more studies are proving that these things really do work. Is it the placebo effect? Maybe. But no matter what the case may be, if these types of treatments can help you with your arthritis, they are worth considering.

Herbal supplements are often readily available over the counter and provide you with a generally safe and healthy way to control pain and the other symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis Today annually publishes a guide to the different herbal pills you can take to help your condition. It is important to remember that, while these pills are generally very natural and safe, they can still interfere with traditional medications. When you begin a new supplement regimen, talk to your doctor about it to be sure that you won't experience any negative side effects from different drugs interacting with one another. Also speak with your doctor or a pharmacist to find out the potency of the supplements you wish to take and how you can expect them to affect your body.

Acupuncture is a form of TCM (or Traditional Chinese Medicine) that more and more patients are finding very helpful. The procedure, which includes sticking tiny hair-thin needles into points on your body, may at first sound scary, but the procedure is very safe and relatively effective for most patients, especially when used in conjunction with traditional Western medical treatment. The acupuncturist will first diagnosis your overall health by asking you questions, reading your face, looking at your skin and tongue, and learning about your body and emotions. He or she then treats your body's energy by stimulating the flow with needles.

An acupuncturist can also do massage, or you can benefit from traditional Western massages. This type of treatment works the muscles and helps you relax. Of course, a massage can be quite expensive, so truly gage your body's reaction to it (and to all procedures) before scheduling months' worth of sessions.

Lastly, you can use meditation or prayer as a form of treatment. Meditation does not have to be religious and can simply be a way for you to relax. Prayer usually is the same idea, but with a religious affiliation. Both are good ways to be thankful for your life, even though you are experiencing pain. Overall, prayer, meditation, and all of the other alternative treatments I mentioned work well for many who are experiencing arthritic pain, so you should research and consider these treatment options.

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