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Chiropractic Research Review

Alternative Management of Osteoarthritis

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol) are frequently prescribed for patients with osteoarthritic pain, despite their potential complications and the fact that osteoarthritis is not considered largely inflammatory in nature.

In a study designed to compare acetaminophen with a homeopathic remedy for treating osteoarthritis, patients randomly received a liquid preparation (10 drops, 4 times a day) and placebo capsules, or acetaminophen capsules (2,600 mg of acetaminophen daily) and a liquid placebo for one month.

The homeopathic preparation consisted of equal parts Rhus Tocicodendron 12X, Causticum 12X, and Lac Vaccinum 30X in a liquid base solution.

Patients were asked to keep a daily diary on average pain (using the VAS), note any unusual symptoms that developed, and record all medication use.

Results showed that the homeopathic preparation was slightly (but not significantly) more effective than acetaminophen. However, 55% of the patients using the homeopathic preparation reported pain relief of 40% or greater, compared with only 38% of the acetaminophen patients. No complications or significant side effects were noted in either group.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

Conclusion: The authors suggest that a homeopathic preparation can prove useful in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, and that "it should be considered a reasonable treatment recommendation in patients with osteoarthritic pain who are open to alternative medicine approaches to pain management."

Shealey CN, Thomlinson RP, Cox RH, et al. Osteoarthritic pain: a comparison of homeopathy and acetaminophen. American Journal of Pain Management, July 1998:8(3), pp89-91.
Reprints: Mail requests to Dr. C. Norman Shealy, The Shealy Institute for Comprehensive Health Care and Clinical Research, 1328 East Evergreen, Springfield, MO 65803.

Chiropractic Research Review

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