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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Other Treatment

Other types of treatment that may help you control some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

Complementary and alternative medicine therapies

Although not proved in scientific studies, complementary therapies are used by many people to relieve symptoms and improve their quality of life. These therapies include:

  • Acupuncture. This treatment is used to relieve pain and treat certain health conditions. It is done by inserting very thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body.
  • Massage. It can help relieve stress and reduce pain. But don't massage swollen or painful joints.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This therapy uses electrical current delivered through electrodes to the skin for pain relief.
  • Herbs and dietary supplements. If you decide to use herbs or dietary supplements, be sure to tell your doctor.
    • Herbs such as the oil of evening primrose, borage seed, or blackcurrant seed may help relieve symptoms and improve function without significant side effects. Another herb called Tripterygium wilfordii (thunder god vine) also seems to relieve symptoms but may have side effects such as increased infection.7
    • Essential fatty acids (such as fish oil) may provide some relief of symptoms.8
    • The dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin are sometimes used to try to relieve joint pain. But there is not evidence that they are effective for rheumatoid arthritis.4

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 29, 2014
    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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