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Osteoarthritis Health Center

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Osteoarthritis - Other Treatment

Most people use some form of complementary and alternative medicine to treat certain health problems, including osteoarthritis. Some people use these treatments along with or, in some cases, in place of standard care to help relieve their arthritis symptoms.

Some of these treatments may help you move more easily and deal with the stress and pain of arthritis. But in some cases, not much is known about how safe they are or how well they may work.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you're using a complementary or alternative therapy or if you're thinking about trying one. He or she can discuss the possible benefits and potential side effects of these treatments and whether any of these treatments may interfere with your standard care. For example, some diet supplements and herbal medicines may cause problems if you take them with another medicine.

Complementary and alternative treatments

Other treatments to consider

  • Taping uses tape that sticks to the knee to help keep the kneecap in place and relieve pain. You can do taping at home. But first have your doctor or physical therapist show you the right way to put it on.
  • Braces can help shift weight off the part of your knee that hurts. It's not clear how well these work, but there isn't a lot of risk in trying them.

One Woman's Story:

osteo_Bev.jpg

Bev, 76

"After I have a massage and acupuncture, I feel like a new person. I encourage people to find out what treatments others have tried and what things have worked for them. I'm a believer in other people's ideas. Obviously, what works for one person may not work for another, but unless you try it, you'll never know if it'll help."—Bev

Read more about Bev and how she learned to cope with arthritis.

What to think about

There are many treatments for arthritis, but what works for someone else may not work for you. You may need to try several different treatments to find what works for you.

Experts are testing new medicines and methods that they hope will one day help prevent, reduce, or repair cartilage damage. For example, they're looking at cartilage transplants and the use of stem cells to grow new cartilage. So far, therapies to repair cartilage have only been studied in younger people with small, well-defined holes in their knee cartilage. This isn't a common problem for most older adults who have arthritis of the knee.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 09, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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