For most types of arthritis -- including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout -- there is no cure. Before trying any treatment that claims to cure arthritis, there are a number of important considerations to take into account. For example, you should not replace a proven conventional treatment for arthritis with an alternative treatment that is unproven. Also, the actual ingredients of a supplement may be different than what you see on the label.
The Holy Grail of Medicine -- An Arthritis CureWe have all read the personal claims: "After two months of this product, I stopped limping. I am now playing tennis with less pain and my knees have stopped swelling." Or you might have heard about a so-called "arthritis cure" from a friend. "My shoulder hurt for three months. I took this product and it got better." Based on these types of stories, one might assume there are cures that your healthcare provider is not telling you about. In fact, search the Internet for "arthritis cures" and you are bound to find many available products. Most of these products are natural, which might explain why your doctor does not know about them.
These claims can be attractive, especially for people living with a chronic condition like arthritis. Some people may even achieve unbelievable results from some of these remedies. But before you consider any of these so-called cures, it is important to keep in mind that, for most types of arthritis, there is no cure -- natural or not.
What is meant by "most types?" The term arthritis is used to describe more than 100 conditions that can cause inflammation of a joint. There is no cure for most types of arthritis. This includes the three most common types -- osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Yet, there are several forms of arthritis that may get better on their own and never come back. Others might be cured with medicine. For example, infectious arthritis -- a type of arthritis caused by an infection with bacteria (septic arthritis), a virus, or fungi -- can often be cured with medicines, such as antibiotics for bacterial infections or antifungals for fungal infections. But when it comes to curing arthritis, these examples are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Researchers continue to learn more about arthritis; and significant advances have been made in treatment options. Thirty years ago, people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis were often treated with a cane. Today, medicines are available to slow down joint damage, and damaged joints can be replaced with new artificial joints (see Knee Replacement and Hip Replacement), giving people back pain-free mobility. But there is still a lot more work to be done in order to find an arthritis cure.