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OA is the most common form of arthritic affection, the other being rheumatoid arthritis [RA]. It affects millions of people worldwide — as a matter of fact, it seems to be more common than heart disease and diabetes. The disorder is marked by degenerative changes in the knee, hip, hand, elbow, ankle or spine. Obesity is a significant risk factor for OA — blame it on excess weight, or ‘fat load,’ on your joints. Heredity is, likewise, suggested to play a role, irrespective of one’s occupation.



  • The most common OA symptom is pain in the affected joint, or joints, after repetitive use
  • Pain is usually made worse by moving the joint or placing weight on it. It is usually relieved by rest. When the disorder progresses and inflammation develops, pain may become constant
  • Stiffness of the affected joint is frequently noticed first thing in the morning and after resting
  • Swelling, sometimes ‘warm to the touch,’ in the arthritic joint
  • Deformity can occur with OA due to bone growths and cartilage loss
  • Crepitus, a crackling sound, or grating feeling, may be noticed when an arthritic joint is moved. This is a result of the bone rubbing against the bone or ‘roughened’ cartilage.


OA is characterised by loss of cartilage and joint degeneration. It appears to be common in men at age 40-45; it becomes predominant in women over age 45.

OA robs you of your basic ability to get fully engaged in day-to-day activity. When it escalates, it may confine you to bed — even for days at a stretch. In its early stages, it may affect one joint, or multiple joints. Besides, it varies in its intensity or severity.



Rheumatoid arthritis [RA] is another form of joint disorder. It is an autoimmune disorder — a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints and surrounding tissues and gradually progresses to assault other systems and organs of the body, including the heart.


  • Symmetric joint pains, usually affecting more than five joints at one time — the small joints of the hands and feet, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees and shoulders. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joints may also be affected 
  • Morning stiffness. This can last up to a few hours
  • Marked swelling of the joints, with pain, heat, redness and limited mobility 
  • Joint pains are usually better after rest; they are worse on movement
  • Fatigue, fever and weight loss.

RA tends to affect more women than men, although no age-group is exempt. The disorder appears to ‘peak’ between age 35 and 55 in women and age 40 and 60 in men. It often affects the small joints of the hands, wrists, ankles, knees and cervical spine. The shoulders, elbows and hips may be less frequently involved, but the disorder can impinge on major tissues in the body, including the lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, spleen, kidneys, digestive system, heart, eyes, muscles and nerves. When not appropriately or adequately treated, RA can gradually lead to bone, cartilage and ligament damage, including joint deformity. 

Ever thought of one form of arthritis called juvenile RA that affects people below age 16? If your child has joint pain, swelling and stiffness, consult your doctor and start treatment promptly.


Homoeopathy treats arthritis on the basis of what makes the individual and his or her complaints unique — such as the nature of joint symptoms, personality, sensitivities and emotions. It not only relieves joint pain, safely and effectively, but also adds life to one’s overall wellness.

Some of the commonly used homeopathic remedies for arthritis are:

After injury Arnica

According to direction of pain

Ascending Ledum Pal

Descending Kalmia

Character of pain

Stinging Apis Mel

Stitching Bryonia

Throbbing Belladonna


Before stormRhododendron

Cold, dry weather Bryonia

Damp, wet weather Dulcamara

Night Kali Iod

Touch Colchicum


Cold applications Ledum Pal

Damp weather Causticum

Continuous Motion     Rhus Tox

First motion Bryonia

Homeopathy Case Study

Roma, a frail 40-year-old housewife, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis by her orthopaedic surgeon. No amount of medication, primarily painkillers, provided her tangible, long term relief. When we probed into her life, we found that she had a traumatic past with recurrent abortions and was now a mother of three children — this was sapping her energy and making her extremely ill-tempered. She would yell at her children, scream at her husband, and make everyone’s life, including hers, a living hell. Based on these symptoms and her skinny constitution, we prescribed her homeopathic remedy Sepia Officinalis, along with regular hot and cold fomentation and exercise. This helped her stand on her feet, slowly. It also restored harmony back into her family life.

Thus, homeopathy, which is based on the law of individualisation, saw the person behind the patient in Roma and not only her external symptoms.


  • Eat a well balanced diet with high-fibre foods, such as flaxseed
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight
  • Regular exercise helps strengthen the quadriceps muscle and potentially stimulates cartilage growth
  • Vitamin C is said to protect and enhance cartilage formation. Increase its intake
  • Vitamin E is another powerful anti-oxidant that protects the joints from free radical damage and increases joint mobility.

Essential fatty acids [EFA] are necessary to produce substances that lubricate the joints. The most important is omega-3, found in cold water fish, flaxseed, and other food sources.

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