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Osteoarthritis is an inflammation of the
joints, involving breakdown of the cartilage at the ends of bones.
Pain and inflammation, often from misalignment or overuse, can lead
to thickening or bony deposits in these areas. Homeopathic remedies
can be helpful during painful flare-ups. A constitutional remedy,
chosen by an experienced practitioner to closely fit the individual,
may help on deeper levels.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Aconitum napellus: This remedy may
be helpful for pain and inflammation that comes on suddenly after
exposure to cold wind and weather. The person is likely to feel
fearful, panicked, or agitated.
Apis mellifica: This remedy can be
helpful in acute conditions with redness, tenderness, and swelling.
Joints feel hot and have stinging pain. The hands and knees are
often affected. Warmth can aggravate the symptoms and cool
applications bring relief.
Arnica: Chronic arthritis with a
feeling of bruised soreness can indicate a need for this remedy.
Pain is worse from touch, and may occur in joints that were injured
in the past.
Belladonna: Sudden flare-ups of
arthritis with a sensation of heat and throbbing pain indicate a
need for this remedy. The joints look red and inflamed, and the
surface may feel hot to the touch.
Bryonia: This remedy can be useful
for tearing or throbbing pain that is worse from any motion. Rest
and pressure may bring relief (if the pressure adds stability), but
movement is intolerable. Cold applications often reduce discomfort.
Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is
often useful for arthritis in a person who is chilly, flabby or
overweight, and easily tired by exertion. Inflammation and soreness
are worse from cold and dampness, and weakness or cramping in the
extremities are often seen. Problems often focus on the knees when Calcarea
Calcarea phosphorica: Stiffness and
soreness of the joints, worse from drafts and cold, may be relieved
by this remedy. Aching in the bones and tiredness are common, and
the person feels worse from exertion. Calcium deposits or bone-spurs
may develop, especially in the neck. A feeling of dissatisfaction
and a strong desire for travel or a change of circumstances are
often seen in individuals who need this remedy.
Calcarea fluorica: This remedy is
often indicated for arthritic pains that are improved by heat and
motion. Joints become enlarged and hard, and nodosities or bone
spurs may develop. Arthritis after chronic injury to joints often
responds to Calcarea fluorica.
Cimicifuga (also called Actaea racemosa):
Severe aching and stiffness that is worse from cold may respond to
this remedy, especially if the neck or larger joints are affected.
Shooting pains or twitching can be felt in the area, and
inflammation may be worse around the menstrual period.
Dulcamara: If a person has a
flare-up of arthritis during cold damp weather, after getting wet
and chilled, or when coming down with a cold, this remedy may be
helpful. People who need this remedy are often stout, with a
tendency toward allergies and back pain.
Kali carbonicum: If the joints have
begun to get thickened or deformed, and discomfort is worse from
cold and dampness, this remedy may help to bring relief. People who
need this remedy are often dutiful and conservative, and tend to
feel anxiety in the stomach.
Kalmia latiflora: Intense arthritic
pain that appears quite suddenly may indicate this
remedy—especially when the problems start in higher joints and
extend to lower ones. Pain and inflammation often start in the
shoulder, moving to the elbow, wrist and hand. The knees are also
frequently affected. Discomfort is worse from motion and often worse
Ledum palustre: Arthritis that
starts in lower joints and extends to higher ones suggests a need
for this remedy. Pain and inflammation often begin in the toes and
spread up through the ankles and knees. The joints may make cracking
sounds and may be very swollen. Cold applications bring relief to
both the pain and swelling.
Pulsatilla: Pain that moves
unpredictably from one joint to another suggests a need for this
remedy. The hips and knees are often affected, and pain may be felt
in the heels. Symptoms are worse from warmth, and better from cold
applications and open air. A person who needs this remedy often is
moody and changeable, and usually wants a lot of attention and
Rhus toxicodendron: Arthritis with
pain and stiffness that is worse in the morning and worse in cold,
wet weather suggests a need for this remedy. The person may feel
extremely restless. Both warmth and motion improve the symptoms in
the joints, as well as the person’s general state.
Ruta graveolens: Arthritis with a
feeling of great stiffness and lameness, worse from cold and damp,
and worse from exertion often is relieved by this remedy. Tendons
and the capsules of the joints may be affected. Arthritis may have
developed after overuse, from repeated wear and tear.
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
The results reported may not necessarily occur in all
individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health
problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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