Friday, December 10, 2010

Homeopathic Help for Osteoarthritis-

In simplest terms, osteoarthritis is nothing but failure of joint pattern. It is certainly a degenerative joint disease, characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage and proliferation of new bone, cartilage, and connective tissue at the same time. Often secondary inflammatory changes are observed in the synovium.

Sadly, the incidence of osteoarthritis seems to be on rise according to global surveys. The age onset of OA is reducing drastically over the period of last few years. Now the incidence is stated to start at the age of 30 years and by the age of 65, more than 80% people have degenerative changes in their joints. Older women are peculiarly affected more and certain geological variations are found too.

Causative and Risk Factors of Osteoarthirits-

(1) The primary etiology of OA is termed as idiopathic where no known cause can be determined.

(2) Secondary OA results due to some or the other systemic or local factors as below-

- intra-articular fracture

- trauma of any type

- occupational (elbows in pneumatic drill operators)

- Rheumatoid arthritis

- Gout

- Tabes dorsalis

- Diabetes mellitus

- Peripheral nerve lesions

- Metabolic diseases like Wilson’s disease

- Hip dysplasia

- Paget’s disease etc

(3) Sedentary habits, improper diet habits, sports injuries, absolute lack of exercise or overt exercise regimes, etc can be called as some of the modifiable risk factors of OA

Signs and Symptoms of OA-

  1. In most cases, joints of spine, hands, knees, and hips are involved
  2. At least initially, only one or a few joints are affected
  3. Knee and hand involvement is peculiar
  4. Characteristically the first few joints to be involved are distal and proximal interphalangeal joints, carpo-metacarpal joints of thumb, etc.
  5. Gradual onset of symptoms
  6. Intermittent pain and aching in joints typically is aggravated by movement of that joint and is better by resting it
  7. With the advancement of the disease process, limited movement of joints is noticed. Initially this restriction of movement is attributed to pain and spasm of muscles but later capsular fibrosis, osteophyte formation, and remodeling of bone set in.
  8. After minor sprains or twists, there are usually effusions into the joints when crepitus may be felt or even heard.
  9. Associated muscular wasting is noted, because of which there is loss of muscle control over the joint, resulting in recurrent injury.
  10. Due to hyperaemia of subchondral bone, there is usually nocturnal aching in bones
  11. Deformities like Heberden’s or Bouchard’s node formation, and finally osteoarthritis deformans may set in.

How Homeopathy Can Help in the Patients of Osteoarthritis?

Homeopathy is not a magic. It is a science and art of applying the nature’s principle while treating any disease with the natural drug substances aptly potentized to extract their curative properties. Therefore homeopathic principle is the most important one to be considered while treating any disease condition or the patient (more aptly).

The most important thing to remember while treating a case of OA homeopathically is that “Pay ample attention to characteristic symptoms of the disease and not to the common ones!”

It happens many times that a homeopath puts a common symptom of the disease as his priority while choosing the drug and as can be well judged, it leads to failure. Also paying good attention to the mental picture of the patient prior to catching the disease, during the disease process, and while on regime is one of the topmost priority while treating OA. You will observe that the “mind” is the organ that gives you good hint for appropriate remedial diagnosis in osteoarthritis patient.

Here we are listing top 10 remedies that may be of use during acute treatment phase of chronic osteoarthritis. Remember again that there is no alternative to homeopathic constitutional therapy to be formulated individually for every patient, to help him find relief on all planes, while reducing his OA successfully.

Homeopathic Remedies for OA-

(1) Calcarea fluor-

- Indurated feeling of joints with stiffness

- Stony hardness of joints

- Nodal swelling in fingers that are hard on palpation

- Chronic synovitis and bursitis affecting hip and knee joint

- Sluggish temperament

- Coldness about wrists and ankles

- May be associated with varicose veins

- Pain usually begins on left side

- Worse in cold wet weather and while beginning to move

- Acute attack of pain in joint usually sets after a sprain

(2) Sticta-

- Stiff, rheumatic diathesis

- Rheumatism usually beginning in upper extremities

- Diagonal pains

- Soreness and stiffness in joints of neck extending to shoulders

- Old-maid’s OA of knee

- Red spot on the affected joint

- Associated with restlessness of hands and feet and profuse sweats on hands

- Bursitis with cold moist limbs

- Incessant talking

- Worse by change in temperature, movement, night

- Better in open air

(3) Ruta-

- Bruised sore aching in all bones

- Nodal osteoarthritis

- Paralytic rigidity of joints

- Weak paretic feeling in the mornings in hip, small of back, lower limbs etc

- Deep felt pains in long bones

- Osteoporotic changes in bones in elderly women with frequent bone fractures attributed to brittleness of bones

- Affections of wrists and ankles

- Feeling of heat on skin face etc

- Sometimes burning neuralgic pains about the joints

- Worse by over-exertion, sprains, cold wind

- Better by motion, lying on back and warmth

(4) Bryonia-

- Right-sided complaints

- Slowly advancing osteoarthritis

- Stitching pains in joints

- Irritable constitutions

- Inflammatory joint diseases affecting knee, shoulder, hips, etc

- Associated with absolute constipation, no desire

- Dry heat aggravates all complaints including joint pathology

- Congestive synovitis

- Worse by motion, stooping, exertion, morning

- Better by rest, cool open air, bandaging, damp days, lying on painful part

(5) Belladona-

- Acute inflammation of joints

- Marked redness and heat over the affected joint

- Congestive constrictive pain in joints

- Excessive restlessness with incessant talking

- Joint pains with spasms of muscles

- OA starting at young age

- Worse by heat, checked sweats, pressure, touch, movement

- Better by light covering, rest in bed

(6) Rhus tox-

- Paretic weakness in and around joints

- Recurrent sensation of dislocation of joints

- Sore, bruised or stiff pains about joints

- Swelling in joints with burning pains

- Principally left side is affected or the pain goes from left to right

- OA set after recurrent sprain of a joint or after overexertion

- Paralytic pains in elbows and knees

- Legs feel as if made of wood

- Wakes up with pain in limbs

- Edematous swelling of limbs

- Worse by wet, cold, beginning motion, rest, sprains, etc

- Better by continued motion, wrapping the joint, rubbing, and fomentation

(7) Rhododendron-

- Fibrous tissues are affected

- Small joints of hands are principally affected, also those of forearm and lower limbs

- Extreme sensitivity to windy stormy and wet weather

- Rapidly changing pains, zigzag variety

- Descending pains

- Confused stupid feeling prevails

- Affections of wrists

- Worse before storms, rough windy weather, night, rest

- Better by heat, in sun, motion, wrapping up

(8) Pulsatilla-

- Venous constitutions

- Swollen joints with dull aching

- Associated with numbness of extremities

- Acute periostitis

- Pains down the limbs alternate sides, with heaviness of legs

- Sticking pains in tibia with heaviness and cold sweat on legs

- Associated with foul foot sweat

- Chilly patient, yet averse to heat in any form

- Associated with digestive disturbances

- Worse by warmth, rest, beginning motion, evening, lying down, in bed

- Better by moving about slowly, cold, open air, after a good cry

(9) Ledum pal-

- Affection of small joints

- Tendons, ankles affected

- Left-sided affection of joints

- Ascending type of arthritis

- Purple, swollen (puffy) joints

- Shifting tearing pains

- Cold and edematous joints

- Gout

- OA resulting from recurrent sprains, especially of ankle joint

- Pain associated with coldness of joints

- Profuse night sweats

- Worse by injury, motion, night

- Better by cool air, cold bathing

(10) Actea spicata-

- Affection of small joints, especially wrist and finger joints

- Tingling pains with numbness and weakness

- Paralytic weakness in all joints

- OA set in old age, in people with debilitated states

- Swollen joints that cannot be moved

- Deformed joints

- Extremely sensitive joints to cold in any form

- Worse by cold, slight exertion, night, and touch

Auxiliary Line of Treatment-

In any case of osteoarthritis, one must suggest certain exercise regimen for early recovery. Rather, any regime without it is of no use in the long run. Also it is stressed that unless the pain is lessened, one should not exert the affected joint beyond certain limits. Therefore, seeking professional advice before you embark on any exercise regime is must!


  1. Homeopathy can bring big relief for pains that are chronic in nature.There are those diseases which can not be treated with medicines and the long and patient treatment of homeopathy really helps.

  2. Dear Dr. Shreya

    I am highly impressed with your blog and the information given therein also for the services of homoeopathy. I have put up some of your articles on my Facebook page so that more people can read them to get benefits of your knowledge and experience.

  3. dear dr Shreya

    nicely written article on OA

    OA is a syco-syphilitic menifestation

    we should treat it as chronic disease and should consider miasm and constitution of indivisual during selection of chronic simillimum

  4. dr shreya
    is there any treatment available for wilson's disease in homeopathy?