Anti aging guide

Complementary Treatments for Arthritis



How to use complementary treatments for arthritis

There are quite a few complementary treatments for arthritis:

  • Acupuncture for pain and for relaxing the muscles around the joint
  • Osteopathic and chiropractic treatment using manipulation to relax the muscles and to help the joint move easily
  • Naturopathy, involving cutting down on processed food and using more fish oils, grain and fresh fruit (co-enzyme 010, flavonoids, pantothenic acid, vitamin E and C are also used, with some effect)
  • Herbal treatments including willow and devil’s claw for inflammation, elderflower extracts (antioxidants) and bittersweet
  • Homeopathy with arnica and Thus tox
  • Boswellia serrata, a herb known to Ayurvedic practitioners, which contains the anti-inflammatory substance boswellin and has been proven to reduce pain and swelling of the joints and improve the range of movement


Hydrotherapy, using cold water, can also reduce heat and joint swelling. In medical study, researchers found that hydrotherapy was very effective in the treatment of arthritis. It improved joint tenderness and extended the range of joint movement. Hydrotherapy can be used at home for mild arthritis, or at special centers such as hospital physiotherapy centers or even local swimming pools, where it may be possible to enroll in special classes.

You can try some water exercises in a warm swimming pool. Do some stretching of the arms and legs, some arm and shoulder rotation, and walking on the spot in the water, or gently massage the affected joint while still in the water.

Complementary treatments for arthritis don’t end there. New Zealand green-lipped mussel extract has been known to have an effect on arthritis, including the rheumatoid variety. Maoris living in the coastal areas of New Zealand have a low incidence of arthritis due, it is believed, to their admirable habit of consuming large quantities of these mussels.

In an experiment, patients were given the extract daily for about three months, and they reported an improvement in the degree of pain, a reduction in morning stiffness, and a strengthening of their power to grip. In this trial, the mussel extract reduced joint swelling by an amazing 90 per cent as compared to a reduction of 60 per cent by Brufen (Nurofen) and a mere 40 per cent by aspirin. Sceptical doctors demand more trials before they are convinced.

The extract is not thought to cause problems to those who are allergic to fish because it is chemically stabilized. Its promising benefits are thought to be due, in part, to the richness of omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine in the mussels.

Two other nutritional supplements which aim to reduce the symptoms of arthritis are glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine alone is used by many arthritis sufferers as well as by those affected by sports injuries, spine degeneration or slipped disc, after a medical consultation to diagnose the problem first.

Glucosamine may also be combined with chondroitin. This combination helps repair collagen within the joint. Normally, there is a constant breakdown and reconstruction of the tissues within the joint. This speeds up with the passage of time and the process of destruction is not balanced by the process of repair. Providing the raw materials such as chondroitin and glucosamine may help balance the process of reconstruction of the joint.

Controversial drugs used by some people who have arthritis include SAMe (which is thought to stimulate the production of new cartilage by the special cells in the joint called chondrocytes), DHEA and pregnenolone.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm