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8 Alternative Treatments For Arthritis

Medically Reviewed by Cellaxys

By Published: January 3, 2023Updated: March 2, 2024No Comments
alternative treatments for arthritis
Dr Pouya Mohajer


Medically Reviewed

Published on: January 3, 2023 | Updated on: March 2, 2024

Arthritis is a group of more than 100 bone diseases that cause inflammation and swelling of joints. It results in excruciating pain and stiffness, which consequently restricts mobility.

Long-term administration of anti-inflammatory medicines like NSAIDs is considered the most effective solution for symptomatic relief. However, some people prefer alternative treatment for arthritis along with the antibiotic course.

Here are eight non-medical methods that can treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and all similar forms of bone disease.

1. Natural Supplements

Plant and animal cells are rich in several therapeutic chemical compounds. Ayurvedic medicine has mastered extracting these compounds to be consumed as pills. These are called natural supplements.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3, omega-6, and other essential fats that improve bone diseases, hypertension, and cognitive decline. In osteoarthritis (degenerative bone disease) patients, the omega-3 essential fatty acids regulate aggravating actions of white blood cells. This directly normalizes inflammation.

Evidence also suggests that in the case of rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune damage to otherwise healthy bones), fish oil pills significantly reduce NSAIDs requirement.


At the level of joints, cartilage, synovial fluid, and some other compounds are naturally present to prevent friction between the bones and easy mobility. Glucosamine is one of the lubricating components of the protective cartilage.

In several forms of arthritis, loss /degeneration of cartilage is a pathognomonic problem. The body often cannot replace these patients’ damaged cartilage (and glucosamine). However, glucosamine can be harvested from animals (like shellfish) and packaged into a supplement.

As an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis, glucosamine supplements reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling and also help improve mobility.


Chondroitin is another substance found in joints, and its degeneration is an integral element of arthritis development. Like glucosamine, chondroitin is also extracted from animals. When administered with NSAIDs, chondroitin supplements markedly decrease inflammation.


SAM-e or S-adenosyl-methionine occurs naturally in the body. It has anti-inflammatory properties and plays an essential role in protecting cartilage. Therefore, understandably, inadequate levels of SAM-e are integral to arthritis pathogenesis.

SAM-e supplements are available over the counter (OTC tablets). Apart from reducing inflammation and pain, SAM-e also has dramatic anti-depressant effects. Since stress can exacerbate arthritis, these tablets are essential in halting disease progression.


Curcumin is a compound that gives turmeric its natural yellow color. It blocks cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme /chemical that initiates and aggravates inflammatory pathways. Due to this, curcumin tablets decrease pain and swelling in arthritis.


Vitamins are micronutrients involved in several physiological processes of the body. Inadequate intake or malabsorption of these vitamins can impair protective functions, resulting in weak bones.

Here are some of the major vitamins that are vital to bone health:

  • Vitamin A. Vitamin A supplements are essential to building strong bones in arthritis. Osteoblasts (bone-building cells) need vitamin A to function and multiply correctly, so its deficiency causes arthritis.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is another antioxidant nutrient crucial for healthy bones. It forms collagen, a foundational bone formation and growth element.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for adequate absorption of calcium in the bones. Its deficiency, especially in children, can lead to bone weakness and skeletal deformities.
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps preserve bone mass, and its deficiency can lead to arthritis development, especially in post-menopausal women.
  • Vitamin K. Vitamin K is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins. In terms of bone health, vitamin K regulates genetic mechanisms needed for the adequate production of bone-related proteins.

All these vitamins are available in natural supplements and can improve symptoms as an alternative treatment for osteoarthritis.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique that involves applying pressure on Meridian’s lines by inserting needles. Meridian’s lines are particular points on the body, each corresponding to a different landmark.

Oriental medicine believes that applying pressure on these Meredian’s lines can treat any disease of their respective parts. A study shows that acupuncture is helpful at all stages of arthritis. However, the effectiveness depends on the severity of your condition.

Since acupuncture is a risky procedure that can lead to complications like bleeding, bruising, and pain, you should always consult a skilled and renowned practitioner to get it done.

3. Massage Therapy

Arthritis involves swelling and aggressive inflammation. This results in swelling and tenderness, both on and around the joints. During the massage, sustained pressure is applied to the muscles, which helps relieve the pain. Additionally, massage also reduces stiffness, thus improving mobility.

4. Physical Therapy and Exercises

As an alternative treatment for arthritis, physical therapy can reduce stiffness in joints and muscles. Although this is not a long-term cure, physical exercises can prolong restricted movement that the patients otherwise experience due to arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation recommends different exercises to help preserve the joint’s ability to move freely. Braces, splints, and low-impact activities like swimming can do wonders in arthritis management.

Additionally, different yoga poses can also improve joint flexibility, as well as reduce tension between the joints and muscles. Child’s pose, cat-cow variation, planks, forward fold, and side-lying pose can all be practiced alongside the medicinal management of arthritis.

A patient can perform these exercises independently, but it is crucial to consult a physical therapist whenever your arthritis flares.

5. CBD

Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical or active component in cannabis (hemp plant). Its therapeutic properties (anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, etc.) have made it popular as a viable treatment option for several skin conditions, metabolic syndrome, and other diseases.

Arthritis is one of the conditions CBD is widely used for. The topical application of CBD oil on inflamed joints and tender muscles provides pain relief to many arthritis patients.

Even in the case of oral intake, CBD does not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is why there is no potential for drug abuse. On the other hand, opioids added in anti-inflammatory medicines that are usually prescribed for arthritis can cause addiction. Due to this, arthritis patients, especially those in their early stages, use CBD oil.

Regarding side effects, as per the WHO report, people generally tolerate CBD well. However, CBD is not FDA-approved yet, which leaves room for the production of CBD products that may contain harmful ingredients.

6. Herbs

Ayurvedic medicine thrives on the medicinal action of herbs. Following are some plants that serve as an effective alternative treatments for arthritis:

  • Aloe vera. Aloe vera contains anthraquinone, which is an anti-inflammatory chemical. Therefore, the topical application of aloe vera gel alleviates arthritis pain and swelling.
  • Ginger: Ginger is another typical staple that can treat arthritis. It inhibits the production of inflammatory chemicals.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory. Due to this, doctors recommend regularly using turmeric for arthritis patients.

7. Cell-based Therapies

Cell-based or stem cell therapies are becoming increasingly popular for several orthopedic and sports-related injuries. When the body fails to regenerate new cells, cell-based treatments transplant your stem cells in the diseased area to renew the tissue. However, since transplant always carries a host vs. graft disease risk, the patient’s stem cells are used as a graft.

At CELLAXYS, There are two main types of stem cell therapies based on the location cells are extracted from:

  • MMAT: MMAT or Minimally Manipulated Adipose Tissue involves collecting fatty tissue from one area and transplanting it on the diseased site. The “minimal” in the term implies that very little fatty tissue is excised, which does not affect the natural cushioning of body fat. The doctor can perform MMAT on different body parts affected by arthritis.
  • BMAC: BMAC, or Bone Marrow Concentrate, involves extracting healthy bone marrow to treat musculoskeletal disorders like arthritis.

Cell-based therapies have up to an 80% success rate in regenerative treatment and can even help reverse arthritis. They are performed within 2 hours, and the doctor may allow you to go home right after the procedure. To determine the exact location of arthritis, the doctor will use live X-rays and Ultrasounds.

8. Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is a technique that involves drawing a patient’s blood, isolating their platelets, and reinjecting them into their spine. Platelets are blood components that are essential in regulating the immune response. This is achieved by forming fibrin clots that nodulate the defense response.

Therefore, in the case of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, PRP limits inflammation. Platelets also release growth factors that promote the regeneration of cells. This helps replace damaged bone tissue and cartilage.

Cell-based therapies and PRP are considered the best alternative treatments for arthritis. At CELLAXYS, we have renowned and learned physicians to perform both procedures in the outpatient department.

Upon consultation, our experts take detailed history relevant to your disease. After carefully analyzing your symptoms and disease progression, they counsel you regarding which alternative treatment (PRP and cell-based therapies) will be effective for your arthritis.




CELLAXYS does not offer Stem Cell Therapy as a cure for any medical condition. No statements or treatments presented by Cellaxys have been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This site contains no medical advice. All statements and opinions are provided for educational and informational purposes only.


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Dr. Pejman Bady began his career over 20 years ago in Family/Emergency Medicine, working in fast-paced emergency departments in Nevada and Kansas. He has served the people of Las Vegas as a physician for over two decades. Throughout this time, he has been met with much acclaim and is now the head of Emergency Medical Services in Nye County, Nevada. More about the doctor on this page.

alternative treatments for arthritis

Dr Pouya Mohajer


Pouya Mohajer, M.D. is the Director of Spine and Interventional Medicine for CELLAXYS: Age, Regenerative, and Interventional Medicine Centers. He has over 20 years of experience in pain management, perioperative medicine, and anesthesiology. Dr. Mohajer founded and is the Medical Director of Southern Nevada Pain Specialists and PRIMMED Clinics. He has dedicated his career to surgical innovation and scientific advancement. More about the doctor on this page.

Dr. Pejman Bady

Dr. Pejman Bady began his career over 20 years ago in Family/Emergency Medicine, working in fast-paced emergency departments in Nevada and Kansas. He has served the people of Las Vegas as a physician for over two decades. Throughout this time, he has been met with much acclaim and is now the head of Emergency Medical Services in Nye County, Nevada. More details about the doctor on this page.


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