Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis which affects many people all over the world. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Though it affects all the joints, it most commonly affects the joints of hands, knees, hips and, spine. The symptoms of this condition can be managed to a limit but the damage to the cartilage and the joints cannot be reversed back to normal.
Homeopathic medicines along with certain measures such as staying active, regular exercises, maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis such as pain, swelling, movement of the joints, etc.
Signs and symptoms
- Pain and swelling in the affected joints
- Stiffness of the joint stiffness especially in the morning on waking up
- Soreness and tenderness in the affected joints with heat
- Restriction of movements due to pain and stiffness
- Loss of flexibility
- Crackling sound in the joints during movements
- Bone spurs or formation of osteophytes around the affected joint
The main cause of osteoarthritis is the wearing or thinning of the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the joint capsule and the bones end up rubbing on the other bone. This friction causes many changes in the bone and damages the connective tissues that hold the joint together and also the tendons and ligaments. These factors lead to inflammation and tenderness of the joints.
- Old age: the symptoms of osteoarthritis increases with age.
- Intercourse: women are more prone to develop osteoarthritis.
- Obesity: the more the weight, the greater the risk of osteoarthritis.
- Injuries, damage, bone deformities or frequent stress to the joints
- Hereditary: in many cases, osteoarthritis runs in the family,
- Some metabolic disorders such as diabetes, haemosiderosis, etc.
- Chronic pain causing difficulty in carrying out the day to day activities.
- Depression and insomnia due to severe and constant pain.
- Weight reduction
- Avoiding activities that exert excessive stress on the joint cartilage.
- Proper rest
- Regular exercises
- Diet control measures
- Reducing stress
- Intake of diet rich in vitamin C, K and vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium
Homeopathic medicines for Osteoarthritis
Homeopathic medicines act well and bring out a proper cure if given during the initial stages of the disease but most in cases, the patients visit a homeopathic physician in later stages. But it is still a good option in managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Some of the most commonly used homeopathic medicines for osteoarthritis are Bryonia, Rhustoxicodendron, Belladonna, Calcaria carbonicum, etc. The homeopathic medicines help in reducing the pain, swelling, stiffness and improve the mobility of the joints. It also prevents or slows down the progress of the disease. Some of the best-suited homeopathic medicines for the symptoms of osteoarthritis are given below.
Bryonia Alba: it is one of the best homeopathic remedies for joint affection where the pain gets worse with movement and is relieved by rest. The pains are associated with swelling and stiffness of the joints with difficulty in climbing the stairs. The pains are worse from the slightest motion, better after rest, from pressure or by lying on the painful side.
Calcarea Carbonica: it is indicated for arthritis with swelling and pain which gets worse when getting up from a seated position. The joints feel cold and painful. It is indicated for people who are obese and gets easily tired by exertion. Complaints are worse from cold and dampness, and weakness or cramping in the extremities.
Rhus Toxicodendron: it is one of the best and frequently prescribed medicines in homeopathy for arthritis. It is indicated for pains that get worse from movement such as in getting up from a seated position. This relieves muscular and joint pains at the beginning of motion and then improved by slow motion. There is marked stiffness in the joints. The pain is worse when at rest, with weather changes, especially during cold, damp weather and by initial motion. The pains are better by warmth and motion.
Pulsatilla Nigricans: it is indicated for arthritis with muscle stiffness and cramping. Pains move unpredictably from one joint to another. It is useful when the hips and knees are affected. Symptoms are worse from warmth, and better from cold applications and open air.
Benzoic Acid: it is indicated for arthritis with crackling sound when the parts are moved.
Aconitum napellus: it is useful in cases where the pain and inflammation comes on suddenly after exposure to cold wind and weather.
Arnica: it is indicated for chronic arthritis with bruised feeling and soreness of the joints. Pain is worse from touch. Joint affections after a trauma or injury.
Belladonna: it is useful for joint affections with sudden throbbing pains with a sensation of heat. The joints look red and inflamed, and the surface feels hot to the touch.
Calcarea phosphoricum: it is indicated when there is stiffness and soreness of the joints which are worse from drafts of cold. Aching in the bones feels worse from exertion. Tendency to formation of spurs.
Ledum palustre: it is indicated for joint affections that starts in the lower joints and extends to upper extremities. Pain and inflammation begin in the toes and spread to the ankles and knees. Pains relieved by cold applications and worse by warmth.
Caulophyllum thalictroides: it is indicated for pain in the joints of the fingers, hands and, toes. It is especially very useful for treating joint pains in women. Pain and stiffness alternate from one joint to another.
Causticum: it is indicated for joint pain with stiffness and a sensation of shortening of the tendons.
Dulcamara: it is indicated for joint pain and stiffness aggravated by dampness and cold weather.
Ruta graveolens: it is indicated for arthritis with great stiffness and lameness which gets worse from cold and damp weather and exertion. It is very useful when the tendons and the capsules of the joints are affected. Joint pains from overuse and repeated wear and tear. It is also indicated for arthritis after trauma. Sore, lame, bruised feeling in the joints. There is marked restlessness with constant change of position.
Colchicum: it is indicated for joint affections which gets worse during warm, wet weather. The complaints are worse during the change of seasons. The hands and fingers are most affected. The pains are worse from least motion.
Guaiacum: it is indicated for pain and swelling of the smaller joints, especially the wrists and fingers. The complaints are worse from warmth, and better from cold applications.
Kali bichromicum: it is the best remedy for arthritis with periodic episodes and for joint pains which alternates with other complaints. Marked periodicity where the symptoms appear at every change of seasons. Pain in one small spot, which radiates to different places. Pain come and go suddenly. The pain starts every day at the same time.
Rhododendron: it is indicated when all the symptoms of joint pains get worse before a thunderstorm. Restlessness in the legs crosses the legs in sleep due to pain.