Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. There is no cure, so long term treatment is indicated. Medication-based therapies comprise several classes of agents, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), non-biologic and biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), immunosuppressants, and corticosteroids. Other standard treatments include physical therapy and surgery.
Surveys have shown that a substantial proportion of people with RA will try complementary and alternative interventions, perhaps reflecting the lack of complete satisfaction with conventional approaches, and also a desire to help themselves. (1)