Sports-related Injuries

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. 1 The particular product tested contains a combination of the following 14 homeopathic preparations: Arnica montana, Calendula, Hamamelis, Aconite, Belladonna, Bellis perennis, Chamomilla, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purperea, Millefolium, Hepar sulphuris calcareum, Mercurius solubilis, Symphytum, and Hypericum . 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. 2 All of the approximately 100 participants in the trial had slight to moderate sports-induced injuries that had occurred in the past 4 days. The first application of ointment and a bandage was applied by the investigators on day 1 of treatment. Then, the participants applied the ointment themselves, twice daily, for 14 more days. The results were promising. By the end of the trial, participants using either form of the ointment experienced significantly superior improvement as compared to those taking placebo, according to some but not all measures. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested homeopathic Arnica (30X) in 519 long distance runners, but did not find positive results. 3 Participants took five pills twice daily, beginning the evening before a race and continuing for four successive days. Evaluation after the race showed that Arnica was no more effective than placebo for reducing post-race soreness or speeding recovery. Previous, much smaller studies had found some suggestion of benefit for long distance runners, but the results were, in general, not statistically significant. 4,5 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. 6 The remedy used was a combination of Arnica, Rhus tox, and Sarcolactic acid . The results showed no statistical difference between the treatment group and the control group.

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