According to the Arthritis Society, joint pain is Canada’s most prevalent chronic condition, one for which there is no cure, they say, and which has a devastating impact on health and wellbeing. Before giving up hope and relying solely on painkillers, homeopathy combined with an exercise program can reduce that reliance and in some cases, eliminate it altogether. The overall results of a systematic review on the research on homeopathy for osteoarthritis, for instance, showed that “homoeopathic complexes have a clear advantage in the treatment of osteoarthritis.” This review on the Clinical Trials of Homeopathy in Osteoarthritis involved over 1000 patients and was published in 2013 in the Journal Homeopathy.
While the above study was on homeopathy complex medicines containing a combination of homeopathy remedies, in my experience, the best results happen when medicines are tailored to the symptoms and the person, rather than a “one size fits all” approach; a personalized exercise program is also necessary. With over 100 different types of arthritis, it’s not surprising that everyone is unique, the symptoms and the treatment.
Here is my top list of homeopathic home remedies for joint pain. Choose the one that best suits the symptoms, and see how it works. Since homeopathy acts with the body’s ability to heal itself, the results depend on the intensity of symptoms and the length of time the problem has existed. If there’s no change within a few days – or sooner if the injury is new or the pain is intense – you may want to see a homeopath for a more accurate remedy prescription.
Arnica montana 30ch: If you know a little homeopathy, you won’t be surprised to see Arnica at the top of the list for joint pain and inflammation. If you’ve just injured a joint, or you’ve had past injuries, Arnica is the top choice. Arnica is the best fit when joints are achy and soreness on exertion, and touch aggravates the pain. Applying cold, resting up and rubbing may help relieve. Arnica is the classic anti-inflammatory remedy and studies show it can work well when it’s the right fit. It’s also the first homeopathy remedy after surgery, for instance one study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics in 2016 concluded: “Arnica montana is more effective than placebo when used for the treatment of several conditions including post-traumatic and postoperative pain, edema (swelling), and ecchymosis (bruising).”
Rhus toxicodendron 30ch often follows Arnica when the pain is aggravated on first getting up in the morning or rising from a seat but once the body gets moving, the pain and stiffness subside and the joint limbers up. Unlike for Arnica, the joint feels better after a hot shower or bath and there is a great deal of restlessness. The person typically can’t find a comfortable position. If you have to keep moving to limber up your joints or you feel restless, Rhus tox is the better fit. This 2011 study on Rhus tox. was done on rats – and while I personally don’t see the necessity of using animals for homeopathy studies, it does show less possible bias or placebo effect, as rats can’t be convinced to believe the pills are going to work for them. “Rhus tox protected against radiological joint alterations due to arthritis. Arthritic pain scores were also favorably affected by Rhus tox.”
Bryonia 30ch is another choice when the pain is sharp, stitching and worse from the least movement. Think of Bryonia after Arnica if the joint pain or bursitis continues to be intense and the least motion at all makes it worse, even being bumped or jarred. The person may just want to lie very still and be left alone, as immobilizing the joint or applying constant pressure may help. The joints may be hot, red and swollen, so warmth aggravates while cold soothes.
Finally, let’s not forget Ruta graveolens 30ch for repetitive strains, when tendons and ligaments are injured. Think of Ruta when the symptoms are similar to Rhus tox, with stiffness and pain improving on motion, for instance during tendonitis, like in tennis elbow or achilles tendonitis (for more tips on healing heel pain, see my earlier blog. I’ve seen it help resolve a long standing wrist sprain that refused to heal even with months of physiotherapy. Note that because these inflammatory conditions take a little extra time to heal, after starting the Ruta 30ch daily for 3 days, continue just three times a week for a few weeks until the condition subsides or use in a lower potency such as a 12ch daily.
Dosage: Adjust the dosage according to the intensity of symptoms rather than by body weight, hence the dosages are the same for children and adults. For intense pain or for immediately after an injury, take a dose – usually 3-5 pills – of the selected remedy in a 30ch potency every two to four hours for three or four doses, then three times daily until symptoms subside. For medium intensity in pain, repeat two to three times daily and for mild or lingering pain, repeat once daily. For symptoms that need repetition over weeks, as in repetitive strain, after three days, continue three times weekly or as needed for pain until symptoms resolve.
For optimal results: Couple homeopathic remedies with a physical therapy, whether you choose a physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor or other physical therapist for a personalized set of exercises and do them diligently. Natural anti-inflammatory relief from homeopathy is just that – it helps the body heal itself, but if joints are unstable or weak, no amount of rest and anti-inflammatory action can solve that problem – it’s the exercises and physical treatment that will prevent re-injury.
Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis? This study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, suggests homeopathy can help: “There was a significant improvement in subjective pain, articular index, stiffness and grip strength in those patients receiving homoeopathic remedies whereas there was no significant change in the patients who received placebo.” Note that since rheumatoid arthritis is a complex autoimmune disease, seeking the expertise of a homeopath for advice is the best course of action.