HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES For Arthritis and Joint PainMahnaz Shahrzad Asr, D.H.M.H.S, H.D., C.B.P. March 1, 2012
The word arthritis comes from the Greek arthron meaning “joint” and the Latin itis meaning “inflammation.” Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints. It is the main cause of disability among people above 55 years of age in industrialized countries.
Arthritis is not a single disease – it is an umbrella term that covers more than 100 medical conditions. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and generally affects elderly patients. Some forms of arthritis can affect people at a much younger age.
Osteoarthritis – usually occurs with age, as cartilage loses elasticity. Risk factors include: old age; joint injury; poorly formed joints; excessive weight; genetic defects; stress on the joints from certain jobs or sports.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop slowly and get worse as time goes by. The most common affected joints are in the hips, hands, knees and spine. The joint become stiff sometimes swollen and loses its flexibility, especially first thing in the morning.
Rheumatoid arthritis – is an inflammatory form of arthritis. The synovial membrane (synovium) is attacked, resulting in swelling and pain. If left untreated the arthritis can lead to deformity.
Among the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are swollen, inflamed, stiff and painful joints. The fingers, arms, legs and wrists are most commonly affected. Symptoms are usually worse on waking in the morning but get better half an hour later. Weight loss is common.
Infectious arthritis (septic arthritic) – is an infection in the synovial fluid and tissues of a joint. It is usually caused by bacteria, but could also be caused by fungi or viruses.
Symptoms of infectious arthritis include fever, joint inflammation and swelling. Tenderness with joint pain is always noticeable. Usually symptoms are linked to injuries or other illnesses.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) – means arthritis that affects a person aged 16 or under. JRA can manifest in any of three ways:
1. Pauciarticular JRA, the most common and mildest. The child experiences pain in up to four joints.
2. Polyarticular JRA affects more joints and is more severe. As time goes by, it tends to get worse.
3. Systemic JRA is the least common. Pain is experienced in many joints. It can spread to organs. This can be the most serious JRA.
Sufferers of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis are often children with poor appetite, weight loss, anemia, and intermittent fever.
As one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine, homeopathy is a safe and permanent way of eliminating arthritis. A remedy is chosen based on the theory of individualization and symptom similarity. In this way, a state of complete health can be regained, removing all the signs and symptoms from which a patient is suffering.
A 57-year-old woman came to my office complaining of arthritis in her hands and knees. The situation in her left knee was so severe that her doctor had recommended knee replacement. She said her worst fear was not death, but becoming handicapped, because she had no one to help her. Her husband passed away a while ago and she had no kids. The mere idea of being handicapped put her on edge, because she is restless by nature and can’t sit in one place for too long. Her joint pain subsided, too, when she moved around.
At night, her joints became stiff and burned with pain, to the point that they woke her from sleep. She had lower back surgery 20 years before due to some damage to her vertebrae. Her recovery period, during which she couldn’t move, had been unbearable. She also had a very restless mind and had many vivid dreams where she was being chased by someone or was the victim of a great misfortune. These dreams were so realistic that she often cried in them, only to wake up and see that she had cried in real life as well.
Remedy prescribed: Rhus Tox – 200 C.
First follow-up: When the patient first took the remedy, the burning pains in her joints increased, but subsided a few hours later, allowing her to have a calm and peaceful sleep. Her joints were now more flexible but her knee still hurt, especially at night.
Remedy repeated: Rhus Tox – 1M.
Second follow-up: After taking this remedy, the patient contracted a very severe cold and fever, which lasted for three days. She used to suffer from constant sciatica pain, but now it only bothers her for half the day. Her joint pain had also lessened from 10 to 5 on a scale from 1 to 10.
Remedy prescribed: Waiting.
Third follow-up: The burning pain in her knee had returned, but it didn’t interfere with her peaceful sleep. Her digestion was also better; she used to take probiotics to avoid constipation, but recently decided that she didn’t need it anymore.
Remedy repeated: Rhus Tox – 1M water dose.
Fourth follow-up: All of the patient’s joint and knee pain is gone. She climbs up and down stairs to make sure there are no problems with her joints and knees. During the last four weeks she didn’t have any pain, except for a brief electric pain going through her knee on two or three occasions.
According to the 2000 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), arthritis and other rheumatic conditions affected nearly 4 million Canadians aged 15 years and older. That’s approximately one in six people. Two thirds of those with arthritis were women, and nearly three of every five people with arthritis were younger than 65 years of age. By the year 2026, it is estimated that over 6 million Canadians 15 years of age and older will have arthritis.
Homeopathy is one of the most effective ways of treating arthritis. It aims to cure and restore balance to the whole being, resolving the core issues at the heart of the disease. These core issues often stem from mental, emotional, or physiological trauma. By balancing the entire system, homeopathy not only treats the symptoms of arthritis, but also achieves equilibrium within the individual.
Below is a list of acute arthritis remedies, along with a description of the disease they treat. Keep in mind that these remedies may only act as immediate palliatives and will not permanently cure arthritis unless they are a constitutional match for the patient.
- Bryonia alba – Excellent arthritis remedy for pain with inflammation that is aggravated by movement and relieved by moderate pressure and rest.
- Ledum – Remarkable arthritis remedy for gout and ascending rheumatism. Works best by cold application.
- Rhus Tox – For pain aggravated by first movement and damp weather and made better by continuous motion.
- Colchicum – For pain made worse by motion, touch or mental effort, better by warmth and rest. Mostly for gouty pain.
- Kalmia – Well known arthritis remedy for descending pain, or pain with heart palpitation and slow pulse.
- Guaiacum – For gouty abscesses of joints, and pain relieved by cold bath and cold application.
- Calcarea Carb – For arthritic swelling and knee pain made worse by cold, especially in fleshy people.
- Benzoic acid – For gouty concretions of joints, and knee pain caused by abnormal deposition of uric acid.
- Hypericum – Remarkable arthritis remedy for rheumatoid arthritis; has outstanding action over nerve pain.