Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more joints. Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a “cushion” between the bones of the joints. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis. Among the over 100 different types of arthritis conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common, affecting over 20 million people in the United States. Osteoarthritis occurs more frequently as we age. Before age 45, osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in males. After 55 years of age, it occurs more frequently in females. In the United States, all races appear equally affected. A higher incidence of osteoarthritis exists in the Japanese population, while South-African blacks, East Indians, and Southern Chinese have lower rates.
Few alternative medicine therapies have been extensively studied in clinical trials so it is difficult to assess whether these treatments are helpful for osteoarthritis pain
Common alternative treatments that have shown some promise for osteoarthritis include: Acupuncture, ginger, glucosamine and chondroitin, avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs), Tai chi and yoga.
More about osteoarthritis.