The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    An academic allopathic view of CAM options for arthritic pain

    Arthritis pain includes a range of ailments, from acute musculoskeletal injuries to degenerative osteoarthritis (OA) to chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    Dr. Eric Ruderman, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago has published a review on Medscape, with lots of space devoted to CAM: exercise, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements.


    • A meta-analysis showed that weight loss greater than 5% reduced disability in patients with knee OA, although the effects on pain were less predictable.
    • Many patients are concerned that exercise might further damage involved joints.
    • Healthcare providers should address this issue.
    • These patients may benefit from structured exercise training with a physical therapist.


    • 2 meta-analyses of the benefits for peripheral joint OA and for chronic knee pain concluded that acupuncture significantly improves both pain and function.
    • The marked differences among studies preclude recommendations for a specific treatment course.


    • There’s evidence that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids might be beneficial for inflammatory arthritis pain.
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are proposed as disease-modifying therapies in OA because of their potential ability to increase proteoglycan synthesis in articular cartilage, thereby stabilizing or improving its structure.

    The bottom line?
    It’s an instructive look at how mainstream medicine views the value of CAM to treat arthritis pain.

    Dr. Ruderman concludes, “In most cases, patients will benefit from a combination of several approaches, typically including both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic options.”

    8/29/07 20:26 JR

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