Alternative Health Care Approach for Arthritis


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Arthritis can be a crippling health problem. The problem is often chronic pain and alternative health offers a unique treatment option.

It is sometimes possible to get a bit of insight into the attitude of Western vs. Traditional Chinese Medicine by examining the meaning of the words used to describe a condition. The suffix “itis" means inflammation, and the word artho is Greek for joint. So, arthritis simply means “inflammation of a joint. " The point here is that this is a condition or a symptom that is being discussed. The use of a special word gives it the status of a disease in Western Medicine.

Arthritis is one of the most common of all physical ailments. It is the most common complaint of people over 65 years of age. It causes much pain and loss of function, and most treatments for it consist of treating the pain and hoping for the best. Acupressure for arthritis is a type of treatment that has been used for centuries to treat the pain and restore function. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes arthritis as the symptom that it really is and looks deeper to discover the cause.

Although Western practitioners do not understand this search for causation and would not agree with the conclusions of the alternative health practicioner as to how relief would be achieved, they do agree that the treatment can be effective. Many doctors are suggesting alternative health treatments for patients with long term chronic arthritis. Of course, they mostly suggest it as part of a comprehensive treatment that combines the different disciplines.

A recent study done by the National Institute of Health found that acupuncture could result in as much as a 44% reduction in pain and a 40% improvement in joint mobility in patients suffering from osteoarthritis. The study involved 570 patients over the age of 50 that were in an advanced stage of the affliction. The patients were divided into three groups. One received the suggested treatments designed to treat the specific patient. The second group received a sham treatment. The final group continued on the self help and medication program that they had been previously using.

The surprising results of this study led the National Institute of Health to issue a cautious endorsement of alternative health treatments for arthritis. This endorsement did have some important results in the acceptance of an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis by insurance companies.

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