Natural Therapies for Osteoarthritis

Self-Directed CPD

Number 110. For professional use only

ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis, resulting in pain and motion limitation in over 20 million people in the U.S. Originating in joint cartilage, the disease is associated with degradation of the cartilage matrix and significant subchondral bone changes, triggering inflammation and pain of the surrounding joint and becoming progressively severe. The joints most often affected in OA are the hands and weight-bearing joints: knees, hips, ankles, and spine. Conventional treatment and management approaches for OA include a wide assortment of drug interventions such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, and analgesics. Unfortunately, these interventions have attendant adverse side effects and a real potential for morbidity and mortality. Natural alternatives that can provide significant relief with dramatically lower risk include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, niaci- namide, vitamins C and E, and select herbs such as boswellia and turmeric.

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