Cranky, achy joints are a common complaint in America. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 50% of all adults will complain of things like a sore knee or sore hip by age 85.
What do we mean by joint pain or simple arthritic pain? The typical symptoms include pain of various descriptions that is often accompanied by stiffness and possibly a bit of swelling around the sore joint.
If you are someone who suffers with simple arthritic pain, it may be comforting to know that homeopathy can help. In fact, here are a few of the remedies often used for acute episodes of discomfort:
- Arsenicum album: Someone needing this remedy would find their pain much worse after midnight and from 1-2:00AM. This peculiar characteristic is one of the keys to choosing Arsenicum for almost any ailment. An Arsenicum patient is also intensely restless (both mentally and physically), anxious and often feels exhausted.
- Bryonia: A person needing this homeopathic remedy is fairly easy to spot. For almost any ailment, a Bryonia patient is worse from the slightest movement and feels better when they keep perfectly still. They tend to be worse from cold, dry weather and they also tend to be irritable and desire solitude with their complaint. The pains tend to be of a stitching nature. The joints affected can also feel a bit warm to the touch. These folks tend to be thirsty for large quantities of fluid at intervals and can suffer with constipation that includes hard, burnt looking stools. They may also be a bit better from perspiration.
- Ledum: A person needing this homeopathic remedy will find the joint that is sore is cold to the touch but feels better from cold applications rather than warm ones. Despite being generally chilly by nature, they are also generally worse from warmth – including the warmth of the bed. Motion of any kind makes the joint pain worse – and jarring the joint can cause great pain. A Ledum joint is often a bit bloated and discolored.
- Pulsatilla: Someone needing this homeopathic remedy is again a bit easy to spot. With simple arthritic pain – the pain seems to shift rapidly from part to part and can be intense one minute and mild the next. The symptoms are very changeable. The joints can be a bit red and swollen as well. The pains can be of a tearing or drawing nature that are a bit better from motion and after motion. The pains are typically worse in a warm room and better from cold applications. A sense of chilliness increases with the pain and yet, as I mentioned above, they are worse from heat of any kind – particularly at night in bed. They often feel better uncovering, from cool open air and in some cases from cold drinks. They are also sensitive to being jostled or jarred and to touch or pressure. Another key indication for Pulsatilla – the patient cannot talk about their symptoms without weeping – and in general – they tend to be thirstless.
- Rhus toxicodendron: The person needing this homeopathic remedy presents with fairly clear characteristic symptoms. They tend to have pain that is aggravated on beginning to move – the pain gets better during motion. They are also better from warmth and aggravated during change of position though changing position gives temporary relief. These folks are very definitely aggravated by cold, wet weather and worse from cold air and cold applications. The pains tend to be drawing, pulling, contractive, sore – at times the pain causes the patient to feel weakness in the joint. Joints may even feel a bit sprained. Rhus tox patients tends to be a bit sad and anxious – somewhat like Arsenicum, also a chilly remedy. Symptoms tend to be worse late at night and towards morning. What is the absolutely critical symptom of Rhus tox?? The Rhus tox patient has to be affected by weather… if you or your patient are not affected by the weather - you probably need to seek a different remedy.
Once you have chosen a remedy that appears to match your symptoms (remember – homeopathy is individualized medicine – the remedy you need must match your symptom profile) dose with either a 30C or 200C potency to start - placing one pellet under the tongue or one pellet in water, stirring vigorously and taking teaspoon doses as needed. Always cease dosing when relief begins and only redose if symptoms again worsen. As with any medical condition, consult with your physician if you have any concerns about the severity of your problem as it may first require medical diagnosis and/or intervention and monitoring.
Options to consider in support of homeopathy in these cases includes massage, physical therapy, and hydrotherapy to name a few.
About Dr. Samet:
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as remotely using Skype. Learn more here: Dr. Lisa Samet