By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Arthritis can be extremely painful and, although there are many prescription treatments available, people with arthritis often turn to other options.

Each year, Americans spend about $1 billion on alternative treatments.

Although little scientific evidence backs these treatments, many people find relief when using them. In many cases this works very well but for people looking at other options, alternative therapies can interact with conventional treatments.

Arthritis is not unlike other conditions where there is no doubt that less traditional options might be effective but there needs to be communication to come up with the best possible plan for the most effective treatments without potential side effects.