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The Lure of Unproven Arthritis Remedies

Some People Are Willing to Try Almost Anything


Updated June 01, 2014

Wait and Investigate

The chronic pain of arthritis can become so distressing that a person is willing to do almost anything in an attempt to halt the agony. The willingness to try anything can lead a person to explore:

  • unproven remedies
  • quack cures
  • other gimmicks

Out of desperation, caution can be overlooked, allowing time and money to be spent on arthritis remedies which have no value. Before a new arthritis remedy or treatment is tried, it should be investigated.

10 Signs of an Unproven Arthritis Remedy

This list of ten routines is typical of promoters of unproven arthritis remedy products and treatments. The gimmicks used should make you wary of their claim.

#1 - It's a "Cure" Often the remedy or treatment offers a cure for arthritis. There is no known cure yet for chronic rheumatic diseases. When a genuine cure is found, it will be worldwide headline news.

#2 - It's a "Secret" Often the remedy is described as an exclusive, special or secret formula. Scientists who are legitimate do not keep their findings secret or exclusive.

#3 - The "Testimonial" Often testimonials of people who were supposedly helped by the arthritis remedy are presented as anecdotal proof of its value.

#4 - Advertising is "Sensationalized" Often the arthritis remedy is promoted in tabloid articles, special health-interest publications, through mail-order promotion, and will be sensationalized in its advertisement.

#5 - It's "Quick or Simple" Often quick or simple relief of arthritis pain is promised or implied by using the arthritis remedy.

#6 - The Body is "Cleansed" Often the arthritis remedy is said to somehow cleanse the body of toxins to allow the natural curative power of the body to take over.

#7 - Drugs and Surgery are "Condemned" Often the various arthritis drugs and medications and/or surgical options are condemned as being dangerous and unnecessary. The arthritis remedy is touted instead.

#8 - It's "Untested" Often the proposed arthritis remedy or treatment has not been tested in clinical trials. Claims of the arthritis remedy are not backed up with scientific proof or reliable evidence.

#9 - It's a "Special Diet" Often a special diet and/or nutrition program is promoted as the answer to arthritis. Food or nutrients have not been found by scientists to cause or affect any rheumatic disease, except for gout.

#10 - The "Conspiracy Theory" Often various charity organizations or the medical establishment are accused of a "conspiracy" to interrupt progress by not approving or endorsing the arthritis remedy being promoted. These often include organizations such as:

  • The Arthritis Foundation
  • The American Medical Association
  • The NIH
  • The Food and Drug Administration

The Best Defense

Education and taking responsibility for ones own health care is the first line of defense against promoters of unproven, quack treatments. Knowledge of symptoms, new treatments, and reasons behind health advice lead to intelligent questions and disallow a person to be easily conned.

Three federal agencies have the power to take action against promoters of ineffective treatments.

  • The Food and Drug Administration can go to court to stop anyone from selling a drug for arthritis that has not been properly tested or approved for sale by them.
  • The Federal Trade Commission can prohibit any individual or company from making false advertising claims for a product developed to treat any medical condition.
  • The United States Post Office has the authority to seize all mail addressed to any promoter selling such a product through the mail.

These agencies often lack the staff to be fully effective however.

The Bottom Line

Realistic hope is the ingredient needed to avoid the lure of unproven arthritis remedies. An unproven arthritis remedy only offers false hope. The target is someone who is feeling no hope.

The NCCAM is 1 of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the NIH. NCCAM is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. Check alternative treatments against NCCAM.


Understanding Arthritis, by The Arthritis Foundation

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