Arthritis is a condition where joints become inflammed. There are several forms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis which happens from over exertions of joints, old age and possibly joints not in proper positions. Osteoarthritis is basically a painful inflammation of the joints. Another form of arthritis which is especially disabling is rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune diesease that where the body's own defense system attacks its joints. This causes painful inflammation and possibly joint destruction. Other forms of arthritis are gouty arthritis, psosaris arthritis and septic arthritis.
In this article, we are going to examine 3 homeopathic arthritis trials. Two trials are using classical homeopathy where each homeopathic remedy is individualized for the person depending on their personality traits. Each participant is examined by a trained homeopath and given a specific remedy for their rheumatoid arthritic condition. The third trial is done using a combination of homeoapthic remdies
In the first trial, there were 46 patients with rheumatoid arthritis taking anti-inflammatory drugs. Half the patients took additional homeopathy and half took a placebo. The trial followed a conventional design. There were improvements in pain, joint tenderness and stiffness in patients receiving homoeopathic remedies. Patients taking placebo showed no benefits. Researchers concluded that larger studies are needed to determine if homeopathy may help patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
The second trial that we will look at is the follow up trial to the initial trial. This trial had 112 participants with 58 participants completing the trial. These patients were also taking antiinflammatory drugs. Both the placebo and homeopathy groups showed an improvement in thier pain levels. However, it was discovered that the placebo group and the homoepathy group show no statistical significance between one another. The researchers concluded that there is no evidence from this research that homeopathy can help treat rheumatoid arthritis.
The final study we will look at did not use classical homeopathy. This study used a homeopathic combination formula to treat osteoparosis. This study was double blind and examined how homeopathy compares to acetaminophen when treating osteoarthritis. The study examined 65 patients. The study found that homeopathy offer better pain relief than acetaminophen. The pain relief offer by homeopathic remedies were not statistically siginificant. The researchers concluded that homeopathy remedies seem to be as same as acetaminophen in treating osteoarthritis without the added side effects. Larger trials and more research is needed.
The research is fairly inconclusive. Classical homeopathy for treating rhumatoid arthritis does not consistiently show that it offers additional pain relief for people taking prescription drugs. Homeopathy treatment of osteoarthritis not using classical homeopathy shows that the treatment works as well as acetaminophen. More research in homeopathy is needed with arthritis in general to determine if homeopathy can be effective in treating arthritis.
1) (Gibson, R. G., S. Gibson, et al. (1980): "Homeopathic therapy in rheumatoid arthritis: evaluation by double-blind clinical therapeutic trial." Br J Clin Pharmac 9: 453-459)
2) A randomized controlled trial of homeopathy in rheumatoid arthritis. P. Fisher and D. L. Scott. Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3HR and
1 Department of Rheumatology, GKT School of Medicine, Kings College Hospital, East Dulwich Grove, Dulwich, London SE22 9PT, UK
3) (C. N. Shealy, MD, R.P. Thomlinson, V. Borgmeyer: “Osteoarthritic Pain: A Comparison of Homeopathy and Acetaminophen”, American Journal of Pain Management, 1998;8:89-91)
Why are combination homeopathic medicine showing fairly good results when treating osteoarthritis? Why are researchers having a hard time duplicating their results with classical homeopathy?