Spondyloarthritis (SpA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have a significant social and economic impact on ethnic Chinese patients. Western medicine, especially NSAIDs and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), are standard mainstream therapies for patients with SpA and AS. However, patient compliance with these medications is poor, due to the fear of side effects. In spite of their poor functional status and disease activity, less than 40% of AS patients are regularly treated. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is very popular in Asian countries like China, Korea, Japan, India and Taiwan. A Korean survey in university hospital rheumatology clinics showed that 155 patients (68.5%) reported using at least one form of CAM during the previous 12 months. Herbal remedies and acupuncture were the most frequently used categories of CAM. Compared to conventional Western treatments, CAM is seen to have advantages in terms of a lower incidence of adverse reactions, greater patient choice, psychological comfort, and an increased quality of the patient/ therapist relationship. Common symptoms treated by CAM were pain (80%), decreased functioning (43%), and lack of energy (24%). Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f. (Lei Gong Teng), Tetrandrine (Tet), acupuncture and Tai Chi are some examples of potential Chinese medicine treatments for spondyloarthritis. CAM usage is a worldwide trend. However, further study, including basic research and well-designed clinical trials, is warranted. Patients should be instructed to discuss treatment strategies for their disease, and the use of CAM, with their rheumatologists.
Keywords: Western medicines, alternative medicine, Herbal remedies, acupuncture
HLA-B27 and B27-Subtypes in the Pathogenesis of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current Rheumatology Reviews Bisphosphonates-Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Allergy Agents HLA and Non-HLA Genes in Ankylosing Spondylitis and Seronegative Spondyloarthritis in Asia
Current Rheumatology Reviews Ankylosing Spondylitis, HLA-B27 and Klebsiella - An Overview: Proposal for Early Diagnosis and Treatment
Current Rheumatology Reviews Ankylosing Spondylitis Among Familial Mediterranean Fever Patients
Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets Tumor Necrosis Factor Blocking Therapy and Congestive Heart Failure in Patients with Inflammatory Rheumatic Disorders: A Systematic Review
Current Medicinal Chemistry Which Biomarker is Useful to Evaluate as a Treatment Outcome in Spondyloarthritis?
Current Rheumatology Reviews Association of IL33 and IL1RAP Polymorphisms With Acute Anterior Uveitis
Current Molecular Medicine Functional Variants of the Interleukin-23 Receptor Gene in Non-Gastrointestinal Autoimmune Diseases
Current Medicinal Chemistry Antagonizing IL-6 in Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Short Review
Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets (Discontinued) Early Diagnosis of AS or Other SpA - From Clinical and Radiologic Viewpoint
Current Rheumatology Reviews Inhibitors of TACE and Caspase-1 As Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Current Medicinal Chemistry Excess Cardiovascular Risk in Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases: Pathophysiology and Targeted Therapy
Current Pharmaceutical Design Physiotherapy for Ankylosing Spondylitis: Systematic Review and a Proposed Rehabilitation Protocol
Current Rheumatology Reviews Genetic Susceptibility to Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current Molecular Medicine Management of Spondyloarthropathy in Asian Countries
Current Rheumatology Reviews Can We Extrapolate Data from One Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disease to Another One?
Current Medicinal Chemistry The Role of HLA-B27 in the Pathogenesis of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current Rheumatology Reviews The HLA Region and Autoimmune Disease: Associations and Mechanisms of Action
Current Genomics Rheumatic Manifestations Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Current Rheumatology Reviews