Integrative Medicine for Arthritis Treatment
One of the reasons why Integrative Medicine is as effective as it is at managing arthritis is that physicians who specialize in this branch of medicine not only seek to alleviate the patient’s pain in the short-term but also develop strategies to improve their overall health and wellness moving forward. As Ann Marie Chiasson, MD, a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM) explains in a recent article for the Arthritis Foundation, when developing a treatment plan Integrative Medicine physicians “consider the modalities that have the strongest evidence and do the least harm.”
One great example of this is that patients who suffer from arthritis have issues with inflammation in their joints. While anti-inflammatory medication can be extremely beneficial for delivering relatively rapid pain relief, an Integrative Medicine physician might also recommend that the patient consider adjusting his or her diet to incorporate foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Foods like tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and fatty fish all have been shown in clinical studies to alleviate inflammation and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
One tenet of Integrative Medicine is to educate patients on practical ways to improve their mind, body, and spirit. While many patients only visit the doctor when they’re sick or injured, Integrative Medicine encourages the forging of a strong patient-physician relationship that seeks to identify opportunities to not only address disease but also help reduce the chance of avoidable health conditions developing later in life. If a person has a family history of arthritis, for example, the practitioner might be proactive in recommending lifestyle adjustments, like dietary improvements, stretching exercises, and other techniques to reduce the risk for, and severity of, arthritis. Ultimately, “having a partner you can really talk to is a huge part of healing,” says Dr. Chiasson and Integrative Medicine physicians pride themselves on working closely with their patients to develop personalized treatment plans that take factors like family medical histories and lifestyle into consideration in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for their patients.
In recent years, Integrative Medicine has become one of the most sought-after medical specialties in modern healthcare, and with good reason. At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we recognized the growing popularity of this field and developed the nation’s first certifying body – the ABOIM– to recognize highly experienced and trained Integrative Medicine physicians with board certification. If you are interested in learning if a physician is board certified in Integrative Medicine through the ABOIM, you are welcome to visit our free online physician verification tool here.