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How to Spot a Quack Arthritis Cure


Updated June 30, 2011

Education and awareness are imperative when considering alternative, natural home remedies for arthritis. Out of desperation, caution can be overlooked, allowing time and money to be spent on treatments which have no value.

Before a new treatment or remedy is tried, it should be investigated. There will always be unscrupulous people willing to sell you nothing more than hope in a bottle. Beware.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Beware of arthritis treatments promoted with any of the following words: exclusive, secret, proven, miracle, breakthrough, special, overnight or cure.
  2. Beware of endorsements based on glowing testimonials from supposedly satisfied arthritis patients.
  3. Beware of claims against the medical establishment and suggestions of conspiracy.
  4. Beware of the promise of a complete cure for arthritis.
  5. Beware of the guarantee of no side effects with the arthritis treatment being promoted.
  6. Be suspicious when you see the words "limited offer."
  7. Beware of arthritis treatments offered in foreign or exotic locations. Use extra caution when buying products online. Many legitimate websites bring customers health products with the benefits of convenience, privacy and (sometimes) cheaper prices, but you also need to be aware that the Internet has also created a marketplace for unapproved medical products, illegal prescribing and products marketed with fraudulent health claims.
  8. Avoid arthritis treatments, which are sensationalized in magazine ads or in tabloids.
  9. Be suspicious when the arthritis treatment is touted repeatedly to be "natural" and proclaimed the only sensible alternative to dangerous drugs and surgery.
  10. Be suspicious of meaningless medical terms. Fancy jargon and scientific explanations may sound impressive, but they are often used to cover up a lack of scientific proof.
  11. Beware of any proposed arthritis treatment that cannot be backed up by scientific clinical trials.


  1. Always talk to your doctor before trying a new treatment for arthritis.
  2. Remember that there is no known cure for arthritis.
  3. Don't feel so desperate that you are willing to try "anything."
  4. The placebo effect can fool people in to believing a treatment has true value. It has been proven that when people believe strongly in a treatment, their endorphins and natural pain mediators are enhanced. Also, arthritis characteristically has periods of flares and remissions. People may attribute feeling better to the remedy when it is truly due to a remission.
  5. Visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). 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.

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