Alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis often involves techniques and substances which are not part of standard medical practice. In most cases, the treatment may not be proven to be effective, but a person suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may still notice an improvement. Some of the most common types of alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis include taking dietary supplements, practicing mind-body approaches, and therapies such as acupuncture.
Standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis usually involves a mixture of physical therapy, medication and, in some cases, surgery. The effectiveness of these treatments generally depends on the severity of the condition. Many people notice significant improvement in discomfort and other symptoms during conventional protocols, but some require a greater reduction in pain or help coping with the condition. This can sometimes be achieved through the use of alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, which involves a range of different ideas, theories, and treatment types.
Dietary supplements are a common form of alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. This often involves a daily dose of a substance which is thought to help reduce inflammation in the joints. Supplements such as fish oil and gamma linolenic acid may improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in some patients. It is important for a patient to discuss a particular dietary supplement with his or her doctor to avoid any potential reaction between it and standard medication.
Aside from supplements, alternative treatment can also involve a general modification in diet. Some people, for example, have found that their symptoms seem to improve if they eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. There is, however, little evidence to suggest this is anything more than the placebo effect, and it can be difficult for a patient to change a diet for a long period of time.
Mind-body therapies are often not proven to scientifically reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but can help the patient to deal with the condition. Meditation is often recommended because it helps the person to relax, and can make acceptance of the condition easier. Other mind-body alternative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include Tai Chi and other forms of stress reduction.
Acupuncture, which involves the insertion of needles into specific parts of the body, is commonly used as an alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. There has, however, been little research into how effective it is at reducing symptoms of the condition. More research is required to establish whether there is a link between acupuncture and a reduction in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.