Arthritis is an insidious disease, eating its way into the joints of nearly 70 million Americans, or nearly one out of every three U.S. adults. It is considered one of our most prevalent chronic health problems, costing the economy more than $124 billion in healthcare and lost wages each year.1 One of the more unnerving aspects of this disease is the fact its prevalence has nearly doubled in the past two decades,2 adding 23 million more to its “hit list” in the past seven years alone.
A new study by the National Institutes of Health shows significant improvements in the pain management of degenerative osteoarthritis through the use of acupuncture, the ancient Asian medical practice of inserting fine needles at key energetic points along the body. The study included 570 patients with knee osteoarthritis who were either taking anti-inflammatory drugs or other pain relievers.
A European research study presented at the American College of Rheumatology confirms what many alternative health consumers already know. Glucosamine sulfate, a supplement made of crustacean shells, scientifically qualifies as a viable treatment for arthritis. In a study of 212 patients with osteoarthritis, those taking glucosamine over a period of three years experienced improved physical function with less pain and stiffness, while members of a placebo group showed deterioration of their condition.