Aim: This article is a report of a study evaluating changes in health status before and after topical ginger treatment for adults with moderate to severe osteoarthritis.
Method: In 2011, 20 adults with chronic osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to one of two groups for 7 consecutive days of topical ginger treatment by trained nurses: Group 1 received a manually prepared ginger compress and Group 2 a standardized ginger patch. Participants had the option to continue self-treatment using the ginger patch for a further 24 weeks. A brief arthritis health questionnaire was completed weekly for 3 weeks and 4 weekly for 24 weeks.
Results: The mean scores for Group 1 and Group 2 show a notable decline following 1-week topical ginger treatment; scores in pain, fatigue, global effect, and functional status reduced by 48%, 49%, 40%, and 31%, respectively, whereas health satisfaction improved from 80% dissatisfied to 70% satisfied. Scores for all participants in all five domains progressively reduced over the following 24 weeks of self-treatment.
Conclusion: Topical ginger treatment has the potential to relieve symptoms, improve the overall health, and increase independence of people with chronic osteoarthritis.
Keywords: alternative therapies; chronic conditions; chronic pain; herbal remedies; older adults.
© The Author(s) 2013.