Talk to Your Doctor about Alternative Treatments for Arthritis
Part of the Arthritis For Dummies Cheat Sheet
At least 40 percent of arthritis patients manage arthritis pain by using an alternative therapy, such as acupuncture, magnet or copper bracelets, and herbal supplements. Despite this large percentage of patients who use alternative therapies, however, about three-quarters of them haven't told their physicians what they're doing. Talking to your doctors about alternative treatments for arthritis can be difficult, but it's important.
Here are some tips to help you discuss alternative therapies with your physician:
Begin with the assumption that your physician will be supportive.
Ask what your physician knows about the therapy in which you're interested.
If your physician doesn't know about the therapy you like, offer him information — you can get material from many organizations right on the web.
If your doctor doesn't approve of the therapy you're interested in, ask for a detailed explanation.
If there's no time to discuss your alternative therapy during this visit, ask for another appointment — and pay for it, if necessary.
If your doctor does approve of the therapy, ask if she will write you a prescription. Your health insurance just might cover it.
If your physician refuses to discuss alternatives and you're using a nonconventional approach that works for you, get a new doctor.