More than 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) and more often than not conventional treatments don’t completely alleviate the pain and discomfort. Massage therapy is one of the alternative treatments that can help with arthritis. A recent study issued by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that weekly, 60 minute massage sessions by a licensed massage therapist can ease the pain and stiffness that arthritis brings on.

While massage therapy has been proven to be a safe and effective alternative treatment for arthritis, there are a few things that you should avoid due to a lack of proven results. First, chiropractic manipulation, or realigning the spine, has shown no evidence of easing the pain of arthritis. Second, dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin have shown no more results on helping with arthritis pain than a placebo. However, there have been some recognizable results in rheumatoid arthritis pain when taking a high dose of fish oil, but the effectiveness on helping with osteoarthritis pain remains unclear. Homeopathic treatment options are also known as a possible source of pain relief for arthritis sufferers, but the effectiveness isn’t proven.

Generally speaking, weight loss and exercise are possible options to consider for arthritis relief. Excess weight puts added pressure on ankles, hips, and knees, which can increase arthritis severity and pain. If you don’t exercise daily you should consider incorporating activities that strengthen your muscles, improve your range of motion, and boost your cardiovascular activity. In addition to tai chi and yoga, consider a regular walking or swimming program.

Source: “Alternative Treatments for Arthritis: What to Try and What to Skip”, Consumer Reports, written by Catherine Roberts, January 3, 2017