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Review
, 30 (5), 571-86

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Proposed Mechanism of Action and Efficacy of Commonly Used Modalities

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Review

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Proposed Mechanism of Action and Efficacy of Commonly Used Modalities

Petros Efthimiou et al. Rheumatol Int.

Abstract

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become popular in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) worldwide. The objective of this study is to systematically review the proposed mechanisms of action and currently available evidence supporting the efficacy of CAM modalities in relieving signs and symptoms of RA. The prevalence of CAM usage by RA patients is anywhere from 28% to 90%. Many published studies on CAM are based on animal models of RA and there is often insufficient evidence for the efficacy of CAM modalities in RA. The existing evidence suggests that some of the CAM modalities, such as acupuncture, herbal medicines, dietary omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and pulsed electromagnetic field show promising efficacy in reducing pain. While the use of CAM modalities for the treatment of RA continues to increase, rigorous clinical trials examining their efficacy are necessary to validate or refute the clinical claims made for CAM therapies.

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