Looking for alternative treatments for osteoarthritis?

How seniors in Canada are seeking alternative treatments to expensive pharmaceuticals

CALGARY, Alta. Mar. 16, 2017/ Troy Media/ – For years we have known that many of the commonly prescribed treatments for such things as osteoarthritis can offer side effects which are more harmful than the actual illness, and yet little is being done to find safer alternatives. Recently, there are growing numbers of Canadian seniors who are seeking safer alternatives to pharmaceuticals which not only come at a very high cost, but can also be extremely dangerous when taken over a long period of time. Following are some of the alternative treatments for osteoarthritis that are trending amongst seniors in Canada, as well as around the globe.

1. Acupuncture

As an ancient Chinese art/science, acupuncture has been enjoying an increasingly large group of followers over the past half century or more. By using tiny needles to penetrate nerves that are said to be connected to the body part experiencing pain or illness, the acupuncturist is said to be able to lessen or alleviate altogether the pain of osteoarthritis.

2. Medical cannabis

As of August 24, 2016, the Canadian government updated its rulings on medical cannabis and now it is possible for older Canadians to get a ‘prescription’ from their health care provider to use cannabis for the treatment of pain and inflammation. While it is still a Schedule II drug without this prescription, marijuana for seniors suffering bone and nerve pain is becoming more and more commonplace. Bearing in mind that many Boomers now reaching their senior years were probably active pot smokers back in their heyday, they are now simply looking for a form of the ‘drug’ that is not psychoactive or has limited psychoactive constituents. CBD ratio to THC should be high when being used for reduction of pain.

3. Glucosamine

One doctor in Southern California, Neeraj Gupta, says that he has been taking glucosamine supplements for osteoarthritis for at least five years and that if he should stop for a period of weeks, the pain returns and becomes unbearable again. However, there are esteemed groups such as the American College of Rheumatology that advise against taking glucosamine because of side effects.

4. Tai Chi

Here again, we turn to an ancient Chinese remedy and one that seems a bit odd given that you are probably suffering excruciating pain from osteoarthritis! Tai Chi is a form of low impact exercise that seeks to stretch, limber, and strengthen muscles and tendons whilst reducing stress in the body. Many find it strange to be told to stretch and put tension on joints that are already inflamed and sore, but advocates of Tai Chi swear by its healing powers.

So if you are a senior concerned that the pharmaceuticals prescribed by your doctor may be more harmful than osteoarthritis, you do have options and a say in your own treatment. Whether seeking cannabis legally prescribed by an authorized doctor and dispensed from an authorized dispensary or simply looking for a supplement or exercise that is not known to cause dangerous side effects, these are some of the choices you might like to investigate.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all Troy Media columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Troy Media.

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