Table 4

Evidence for osteoarthritis

ComparatorQualityPopulation sizeComplementary medicineSafetyCost-effectiveness
PlaceboGoodLargeAcupuncture92 94*Some evidence of harm91 92NR
Usual careModerateSmallTai chi99Some evidence of safety98–100§NR
  • *Compared to pulsed electromagnetic fields, muscle-strengthening or aerobic exercise, weight loss.

  • †Up to 45% frequency of minor adverse events.

  • ‡Only in the short term.

  • §Systematic reviews (SRs) concluded tai chi is safe.

  • NR, not reported (by SRs).