Osteoarthritis, sometimes called â??wear and tear arthritis,â? affects more than 23 million North Americans. While some joint deterioration and breakdown of cushioning cartilage in the joints is common as we age, debilitating arthritis is not inevitableâ??and itâ??s reversible with the right treatment.
“I think I must just be getting old,” Marion groaned, rubbing her hip and flexing her knee as she stood up to leave the restaurant.
When I asked if she had injured herself, she shook her head. “It’s just a little harder to get going when I’ve been sitting for a while,” my 50-year-old friend explained.
Osteoarthritis, sometimes called “wear and tear arthritis,” affects more than 23 million North Americans. While some joint deterioration and breakdown of cushioning cartilage in the joints is common as we age, debilitating arthritis is not inevitable–and it’s reversible with the right treatment, says naturopathic doctor Asa Hershoff, author of Homeopathic Remedies (Avery, 2000).
Choose What Works for You
Most of us have heard about glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), ginger, curcumin, and holy basil as natural ways to address joint pain. While these remedies can be very effective for some people, for others, they’re not as helpful.
Homeopathy is another option for relieving joint pain. Hershoff says, “Homeopathic therapy can promote tissue healing and reverse serious joint changes, helping the body to regenerate cartilage.”
Homeopathy uses the law of similars, taking tiny amounts of the toxins, or similar ones that may be triggering symptoms, to stimulate the body’s natural healing response.
For example, if you have a case of poison ivy, Rhus tox can help. This homeopathic remedy contains microscopic amounts of poison ivy, distilled in a specific way and at appropriate strengths, to help your immune system quickly heal that red, itchy rash.
Homeopathy refines remedies by looking beyond simple symptoms to include the time and manner in which the symptoms appear, the mood of the patient, and more.
For joint pain, a homeopathic practitioner might ask when your symptoms are strongest. If your pain is like Marion’s–worst when you first stand up after a period of rest but better after you move around a bit–you might want to take Calc fluor (calcium fluoride).
Mood Plays a Role
However, if your distress gets worse with increased movement and you have a burning, tearing pain, the recommendation might be for Guaiacum (lignum vitae) or Ledum (wild rosemary), depending on whether you’re feeling cranky and critical or wanting to avoid people altogether.
That’s right–your disposition is one of the clues your homeopathic practitioner uses to discover the correct remedy for you. There’s no “one size fits all” in homeopathy.
However, there is a general regimen that Hershoff recommends for anyone suffering from chronic joint pain:
- Calc fluor 6x (That is the strength it’s sold in.)
- Silicea 6x (quartz)
- Calc phos 6x (calcium phosphate)
Hershoff suggests that you take these three remedies together three times a day for as long as it takes to get relief. This can take three months or more, so stick with the regimen, even if you don’t think anything is happening.
My friend Marion decided homeopathy was worth a try and she’s glad she did. The last time we met for lunch, she jumped up from the table at the end of our meal, eager to meet her hiking group.