This short article focuses on the evidence from well structured, randomised controlled prospective studies and systematic reviews that is available to support clinical practice.
When modern medicine is unable to offer complete pain relief, particularly for a chronic disease such as arthritis, patients often seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Up to 50% of Australians use such products, although fewer than half of these people will admit it to their doctors. Whether this is due to a perception that such therapies are not ‘medicines’, or simply because patients do not want their doctors to think badly of them, is not clear. Either way, it is important that primary caregivers be aware of the range of products available and of what these might add to management.