Studied Homeopathic Remedies
Although vigorous exercise is one of the most important steps toward good health, it can also have “side effects,” ranging from muscle soreness to injury. While these adverse consequences of exercise can be minimized by graduated training and careful activity, problems may develop anyway.
Homeopathic treatments (especially topical creams) are quite popular for such sports-related conditions, and, as we shall see, they have shown some promise in studies.
Scientific Evaluations of Homeopathic Remedies for Sports-related Injuries
There is some evidence to support the use of homeopathic creams for the treatment of sports injuries.
However, studies of oral homeopathic remedies for exercise-induced muscle soreness have not been promising.
Topical Combination Homeopathic Treatments for Sports Injuries
Investigators performed a
double-blind, placebo-controlled study
of 69 people with sports-related ankle sprains to test the efficacy of a combination homeopathic ointment.
During the 2-week trial, all of the participants received electrical muscle stimulation. The investigators also applied cream—either the treatment cream or another cream without any medicine in it—a total of seven times during the study. The results showed that people given the real treatment recovered more rapidly than those given placebo.
In another double-blind, placebo controlled study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of the same homeopathic ointment, as well as a modified version of the ointment, for the treatment of various mild to moderate sports injuries, including sprains.
Oral Homeopathic Remedies for Sports-related Muscle Soreness
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested homeopathic Arnica (30X) in 519 long distance runners, but did not find positive results. 3
Previous, much smaller studies had found some suggestion of benefit for long distance runners, but the results were, in general, not statistically significant.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted in the physiotherapy department of a homeopathic hospital in England, evaluated the efficacy of an oral homeopathic preparation in the treatment of muscle soreness caused by stepping exercise.
Traditional Homeopathic Treatments for Sports-related Injuries
If you have an injury that is very sensitive to touch and you would describe the pain as shooting, violent, tingling, or cutting, and you feel worse at night and in the cold, then you may match the
If you feel worse when exposed to motion, drafts, and heat, and during the afternoon, and if you are experiencing spasms, shooting pains, tearing sensations, jerking, trembling, swelling, redness, and heat, possibly with cold extremities, then you may fit the classic symptom picture for homeopathic Belladonna .
If you have a sprain with a great deal of swelling and inflammation of the soft tissue around a joint, the homeopathic remedy Arnica might be recommended. Arnica is also commonly used as a remedy for exercise-induced muscle soreness.
If you have an injury to a bone, cartilage, or tendons, and if touch, motion, and pressure all aggravate you, while warmth helps you, you may fit the symptom picture for homeopathic Symphytum . Many homeopathic practitioners use Symphytum after Arnica if deep pain or soreness remains after the initial soreness has cleared.
If you have stiff, painful muscles brought on by straining, overlifting, or getting wet when already hot and perspiring, and if your muscles seize up with rest but loosen with exercise and heat, then you may fit the traditional homeopathic indications for Rhus tox .
1. Zell J, Connert WD, Mau J, et al. Treatment of acute sprains of the ankle joint. Double-blind study assessing the effectiveness of a homeopathic ointment preparation. Fortschr Med . 1988;106:96–100.
3. Vickers AJ, Fisher P, Smith C, et al. Homeopathic Arnica 30X is ineffective for muscle soreness after long-distance running: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin J Pain . 1998;14:227–231.
5. Tveiten D, Bruset S, Borchgrevink CF, et al. Effects of the homoeopathic remedy Arnica D 30 on marathon runners: a randomized, double-blind study during the 1995 Oslo Marathon. Comp Ther Med . 1998:6:71–74.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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