Most arthritis “remedies” are ineffective

Although many preparations promise to relieve rheumatism pain, a new study suggests that most of these “natural” remedies are ineffective.

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an inflammation process in the joints and can occur at any age. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is caused by wear-and-tear of the cartilage that covers the extremities of joint bones; pain and inflammation usually ensue when the bones rub against each other without the protective layer of cartilage. In both cases, pain and stiffness are common, especially in the finger, knee, hip and spine joints, thereby making everyday activities painful.

In order to improve the information available to the public on the various natural remedies on the market, researchers reviewed existing data on the effectiveness and safety of over 40 products. According to the researchers, most of the products studied did not have sufficient evidence to support their effectiveness.

Among the alternative rheumatoid arthritis treatments in the study, 13 out of 21 were found to have no or little effect on symptoms. The ineffective treatments include antler velvet powder, collagen, feverfew, flaxseed oil and vitamins A, C and E. The report did find, however, that fish oil appears to be effective in reducing joint pain and stiffness.

As for products sold to treat symptoms of osteoarthritis, six out of 27 were shown to have little or no effect. Capsaicin gel, a substance found in chilli peppers and used in certain analgesic creams sold in pharmacies, proved most effective. According to the researchers, the effectiveness of glucosamine, a popular product, remains uncertain.

If you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and are looking for additional relief, begin by asking your pharmacist whether these products are safe for your particular case. Even natural products are not suitable for everyone and can interact with other medication you are taking. And if you decide to try these products, have realistic expectations! There is still no miracle cure to treat these conditions…

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