Globally, scientists spend millions of dollars each year in search of an arthritis cure. Cure and remission of infectious and metabolic cases have been reported in rare cases within the scientific and medical communities.
Other forms of arthritis have remained resistant to a cure. Recent breakthroughs in stem-cell research have shown promising advances. Some individuals have reported complete remission of arthritis symptoms following alternative and integrative approaches to treatment.
Arthritis Cure: Pharmaceutical Interventions
The conventional medical response to arthritis has been primarily pharmaceutical interventions. Prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications have been the front-runners for arthritis treatment.
Typically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen, are used to reduce inflammation. They also work to combat pain and to slow down damage. For rheumatoid arthritis, immunosuppressants have been used with little success of curing or bringing the disease into remission.
The most promising news in arthritis research involves Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors. JAK inhibitors block enzymes to prevent the onset of RA symptoms. In some cases, they may stimulate remission. JAK inhibitors were developed through stem-cell research. Their goal is to eliminate or weaken the disease.
Complementary and Alternative Interventions
There are numerous concerns about health risks associated with prescription drugs. Many people suffering with arthritis have turned to alternative methods in hopes of finding relief. Eastern medicine offers several different forms of treatment. Scientific research substantiates the benefits of acupuncture, yoga and relaxation techniques for alleviating symptoms. In some cases, there have been reports of complete remission of all arthritis symptoms.
Other alternative approaches include herbs and supplements, dietary changes and fitness programs. Diets that eliminate inflammation-causing foods such as fried foods and red meat have been attributed to symptom improvement. And sometimes even remission. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods such as broccoli and onions have also been effective for eliminating some symptoms of arthritis.
An Integrative Approach
Dr. David T. Felson, M.D. head of the Boston University Clinical Epidemiology Research Training Unit, is a strong proponent for integrative approaches to managing and possibly preventing or curing arthritis.
In addition to using biologics like TNF blockers and other disease modifying pharmaceuticals, Dr. Felson recommends eating anti-inflammatory foods and participating in weight-bearing exercise to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis or to facilitate remission.
For infectious-related arthritis that is linked with Lyme disease and possibly fibromyalgia, antibiotics are used to target the virus. Metabolic cases such as gout use pharmaceuticals and dietary changes to cure and alleviate arthritis symptoms.
In most cases, combining conventional and alternative approaches yields the best results and more opportunities for remission.
As more and more people seek alternative answers for an arthritis cure, the demand for alternative therapies has also increased interest among the scientific community.
More research in the area is gaining support. Newer classes of drugs, such as the JAK inhibitors, also show promise. And, as stem-cell research continues to gain steam, many scientists and doctors remain optimistic about finding a cure for arthritis.