How About Taking A Placebo To Treat Joint Pain?

A number of supplements are available that are evidenced to benefit joint pain. These include anti-inflammatory compounds such as curcumin, ginger and glucosamine, as well as vitamin C and essential fatty acids. However, studies consistently show that tangible pain relief benefits are obtained from taking a placebo tablet. For example, in one study researchers analysed the literature to identify randomised control trials that used an active component to treat osteoarthritis. The researchers were however interested in the benefits of the subjects who were administered the placebo, to see if it had a significant effect on the symptoms of osteoarthritis. The results of the study showed that taking a placebo tablet was significantly effective at relieving pain, and was also significantly effective at relieving stiffness and improving function. Studies such as this demonstrate the power of the mind in the healing process, and show that an active treatment is not always necessary in order to cause health effects.

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Zhang, W., Robertson, J., Jones, A. C., Dieppe, P. A. and Doherty, M. 2008. The placebo effect and its determinants in osteoarthritis: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 67(12): 1716-1723

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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