Arthritis (artho= joint, itis= inflammation) or joint pains is a common disorder affecting many a population. The pains are usually insidious in origin and involve more than one joint. It may be inflammatory in origin like in case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Septic arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, degenerative like in osteoarthritis, Spondylosis, metabolic causes like gout, reactive causes like psoriatic arthritis, enteropathic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Some systemic conditions like lupus vulgaris, Sjorgen’s syndrome, fibromyalgia, sarcoiodosis, etc can also cause joint inflammation.
Diabetic people are also more prone to develop joint pains or diabetic arthropathy due nerve damage leading to numbness and tingling sensation along with joint pains, another condition which is unique for diabetics is diabetic cherio arthropathy /diabetic hand syndrome in which the skin of hand becomes waxy and thick causing immobility of small joints and pain.
Persons suffering from hypothyroidism are also prone to more fat deposition in fingers and small joints leading to swelling and pain of finger joints and carpal tunnel syndrome. Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), is another systemic condition, in which there is a hardening of tendons and ligaments especially that of the spine leading to stiffness or decreased motion in affected parts of the bone. Injuries or trauma, certain occupations may also cause or aggravate joint pains.
Mechanism of pain: Any inflammation in joints leads to the production of inflammatory chemicals like bradykinin, prostaglandins, cytokines, etc which in turn sensitize the free nerve endings present in the joint which in turn stimulate a large number of neuromediators leading to spinal cord irritation and triggering the central pain pathway. The local and central sensitization of the nerve system causes chronic pain, factors such as stress, environment, and diet also influence the pain.
Diagnosis: is done with the help of X- rays, MRI, CT-scan. General blood tests like Blood count, C – reactive protein, Rheumatic (RF) and Anti nucleus factors (ANA), blood sugar levels, vitamin- d, serum calcium levels, and ESR, help to diagnose the type of arthritis.
Homeopathic treatment for arthritis: It is one of the best alternative treatments in not only managing arthritic pains but also stopping the inflammatory or degenerative process of the joints. Its medications are selected based on careful individualization by through case taking process which includes determining the cause for the pain, individual likes, dislikes, social behavior, emotions, general disposition, environmental susceptibility, past illness, family history, etc. Its medications are safe, not known to produce any side effects and are non-habit-forming. There are many medications in homeopathy which can be used to treat arthritis. Given below are selected few:
Abrotanum—One of the chief remedy for Rheumatism; Rheumatic conditions with heart irritation or metastasis of rheumatism to heart or spine. Rheumatic condition alternates with piles and dysentery. Pains worse in the cold season.
Actea spictata—acts on small joints, especially right side. Joints swell on least exertion. Tearing tingling pains aggravation touch, movements.
Bellis per—a remedy for muscular pains and ailments after blows, falls, and surgeries. It is useful in deep trauma or skeptic wound of abdominal or pelvic organs. Injuries to nerves causes’ intense soreness. Pains are better by cold baths
Benzoic acid—Suitable for gouty and rheumatic diathesis. Pains are tearing, and stitching type, especially in large joints of the big toe, the affected part is swollen and red showing signs of inflammation. Pains are worse at night. Dark brown urine, highly intensified urine is very important.
Bryonia—One of the well-known remedies for pain. Pains are worse by least movement including touch and better by applying pressure and lying on painful side.
Calcarea flour—suited for chronic lumbago, aggravated on the first movement. Chronic Synovitis of knee joints, gouty enlargements
Colchicum—indicated in persons of robust, vigorous constitution, diseases of old people mainly due to ailments from grief & misdeeds of others, patient screams with pain on touching a joint or stubbing a toe.
Rhus tox—Pain and stiffness of joints. The first movement aggravates but continuous movement ameliorates. Restless, much change position frequently for relief.
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