Pin Me

Addressing Avascular Necrosis with Alternative Medicine

written by: BStone • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 5/11/2011

Avascular necrosis is a serious bone disease. Learn about avascular necrosis alternative treatment choices which you can discuss with your doctor.

  • slide 1 of 6

    Avascular Necrosis

    Hip Bones When bone tissue does not receive nutrient and oxygen-rich blood it cannot survive nor can new tissue form. The result is death of the bone where blood supply is blocked off. This is avascular necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis.

    It often affects the hip area and can lead to joint destruction and even the need for joint replacement. There are many factors that can lead to the impaired blood flow, although the excessive use of corticosteroid medications and alcohol consumption are the most common risk factors. Conventional treatment for avascular necrosis depends on the age of the patient and the severity of the disease. Medications, electrical stimulation and surgery are three options. It is possible to help address avascular necrosis with alternative and complementary medicine if you have been given permission by your doctor.

  • slide 2 of 6

    Homeopathy

    Homeopathy is an alternative form of medicine in which a very small dose of a natural substance is taken to stimulate the body's healing response. Homeopathic treatment can be helpful in the early stages of this bone disease; it cannot, however, reverse anatomical changes. Even in the later stages, homeopathy can be helpful for safe, natural pain relief for people who are living with osteonecrosis. Talk to your doctor about seeing a licensed homeopathic physician.

  • slide 3 of 6

    Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is another alternative treatment form that cannot cure avascular necrosis, but it can improve the body's healing response and help to manage the pain. Acupuncture is a safe form of therapy involving the use of tiny needles to unblock energy flow, thus releasing chi so it may flow properly through the body. An experienced acupuncturist can offer pain relief and an improvement in overall well-being for those living with this bone disease. Again, talk to your doctor about receiving treatment; they may even be able to refer you to a licensed acupuncturist.

  • slide 4 of 6

    Diet and Nutrition

    Diet and nutrition are a foundational part of any healing program. Supplying your body with the nutrients that it requires to thrive can possibly help to slow bone deterioration and support bone and cardiovascular health. Vitamin D, E, C, B1 and K are all important for bone health. Calcium, boron, magnesium, copper and zinc are all important minerals. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and lean proteins can help. Talk to your doctor about nutritional supplements that may help, and if possible, see a licensed naturopathic physician to guide you on a beneficial nutritional program.

  • slide 5 of 6

    What Is Right for You?

    Avascular necrosis alternative treatment options may be very helpful when used in the early stages of the disease. They may help slow the progression of the disease and the onset of severe bone deterioration. They can also be used in the later stages to improve well-being and reduce pain. While all of these alternative therapies are beneficial, it is so important to talk to your doctor about what is right for you and to find the right balance between conventional and natural care.

  • slide 6 of 6

    References

    NIAMS, http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteonecrosis/default.asp#b

    National Osteonecrosis Foundation, http://www.nonf.org/osteonecrosis.html

    Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).

    Dr. Rodger H Murphee II, DC, CNS. "Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and Osteonecrosis." (Douglas Laboratories, November 2007) http://www.douglaslabs.com/pdf/nutrinews/Bone%20Health%20NN%20%2811%2D07%29.pdf

    photo by Protohiro/Wikimedia Commons