Because conventional treatment options focus mostly on pain management, an increasing number of the 43 million people with arthritis are seeking alternative methods of disease management to improve their quality of life. According to a 1998 survey (Eisenberg D, David R, Ettner S, et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990–1997: results of a follow-up national surgery. J Am Med Assoc. 1998;280(18):1569–1575), those who have used alternative methods to manage their diseases are included in the 50% of Americans who have tried an alternative treatment modality. As the first in a 2-part series, this article reviews the historical use of selected alternative therapies and provides current information that will help orthopaedic nurses and other healthcare providers to advise their patients on the use of such treatment modalities.
From the Rehabilitative/Medical Services, Palmetto Health Baptist, Columbia, SC.
This article was previously published in Orthopaedic Nursing, Volume 22, Issue No. 5, pp. 335–342 (2003).