Homeopathic Help for People Experiencing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Homeopathy has a great capacity to impact people in profound ways who experience rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first article in a series that will address disorders of musculoskeletal system. In future articles, I will publish information related to tendinitis and bursitis, degenerative arthritis, back pain/sciatica, and fibromyalgia; as they all have unique symptoms and require their own treatment plans.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory disorder primarily of the synovial joints, but can also affect other systemic organs. RA affects over 2 million Americans, with women being 3 times more susceptible than men.
The Arthritis Foundation states this disease progresses through three stages:
1) First is swelling of the synovial lining, causing pain, warmth, stiffness, redness and swelling around the joint.
2) Second is the rapid division and growth of cells, which causes the synovium to thicken.
3) In the third stage, the inflamed cells release enzymes that may digest bone and cartilage, often causing the involved joint to lose its shape and alignment, more pain, and loss of movement.
Eventually, if left untreated, RA has the capacity to destroy cartilage, deform joints, and destroy adjacent bones. And because it is a systemic disease it can affect the entire body. RA can cause generalized inflammation in the cardiac muscle, in blood vessels, and within layers of the skin. The exact cause of RA is unknown, but it is considered an autoimmune disorder (the body attacks itself). Genetic predispositions, or viral infections are thought to increase risks of RA.
People experiencing rheumatoid arthritis can be best helped the earlier it is caught, especially before excessive suppression has taken place from conventional methods of treatment. In homeopathy, health is viewed as a condition of the entire individual, rather than in terms of isolated symptoms from specific locations of the body. In this way, a homeopath will consider not only a detailed description of the physical RA symptoms, but the overall mental and emotional disposition and character, as well.
The following homeopathic remedies, and their specific indicators, can be considered for people experiencing RA:
Causticum: Stiffness of the joint that is so severe, it feels as if the joint is paralyzed. Generally worse from cold, dry weather. Better in rainy weather. Affects the fingers predominantly.
Rhus Toxicodendron: The main homeopathic remedy considered from rheumatism with pain and stiffness. The pain and stiffness causes the person to shift and stretch. Worse in the morning upon rising; in the cold, damp, rainy weather; storms; and sitting for long periods of time (such as in a movie or a car ride). They feel better from heat, hot bathing, or showers; and continued, gentle motion.
Arnica: Great soreness all over. Even the bed feels too hard. They feel bruised or beaten. Worse from being jarred or touched; they fear being touched. Pains are usually symmetrical.
Aurum Metallicum: Rheumatism with stiffness or spasms of the chest wall. This is an important remedy to consider for people who also have ankylosing spondylitis. Generally worse at night.
Ledum: Swelling, coldness and pallor (sometimes blueness) in the affected joint. Worse from heat. In general, the pains ascend during the course of the illness to more proximal joints.
Pulsatilla: Wandering arthritis; changeable symptoms and pains. Worse in the evening and with heat. Better from the cold; uncovering the joint; cold applications; and in the open air.
Homeopathic treatment will best assist people experiencing RA from constitutional, long-term care and, as mentioned, in the earlier stages of the illness. Even if medications have already begun, homeopathic treatment can help boost vitality and strengthen the healing intelligence of the body enough where the allopathic medications can eventually be discontinued altogether.