Homeopathy Papers Musculo-Skeletal

Arthritis

Santanu Maity
Written by Santanu Maity

Dr. Santanu Maity discusses three broad etiologies for arthritis and presents his personal experience in treating it.

pain.jpgAlmost all age groups are affected by this disease. It can be classified into three main catagories : from heredity, from infection, acquired by injury.  Let’s look first at the development of the disease. First the synovial membrane becomes hyperamic proliferative and swollen. There are the presence of numerous lymphocytes and plasma cells. An effusion accumulates and thus the joint becomes swollen. From the edge of the synovial membrane where it joins with the articular cartilage an inflammatory granulation spreads, called the ‘pannus’. This tissue gradually destroys the articular cartilage. Pannus adheres to and penetrates into articular cartilage and destroys the cartilage. Capsules and ligaments becomes stretched and lax in some cases. Surrounding muscles may go into spasm and cause joint deformities. When healing occurs, the pannus is replaced by fibrous tissues. This leads to fibrous ankylosis with permanent restriction of movement. This is why the joint cannot be restored to its previous normal condition. Thus it is true that arthritis cannot be fully cured.

Heredity

In many of my cases there is a tendency to get the disease among people whose relatives suffered from this disease. Onset of the disease is insidious. Patients always give a history of occasional pain with soreness, which subsides with acute treatment. The suffering increases in intensity and duration. Careful case taking will reveal that 80% of these cases have rheumatism in the background. This is the most difficult part of rheumatism to control and cure.

The background miasm must be found. It is important to assess the pathological condition of the disease. X-ray of the affected part and blood test for urea, uric acid, RA factor must be done, as it gives a clear picture where the disease stands and how much the patient is affected. This assessment is necessary to get a clear picture how much progress is possible. For example, sometimes x-ray gives the picture of loose bodies (usually found in knee joint x-ray). In these cases progress is not as good as in other cases. In 80% of these cases progress is satisfactory. In 20% of cases progress is negligible. Still, the sufferings of the people can be reduced. In these cases anti-miasamatic constitutional medicines help. But a follow up or intercurrent remedy is equally important. A carefully selected intercurrent medicine works firstly to reduce pain rapidly and secondly to boosts the action of the constitutional medicine.

An anti-miasamatic medicine works more rapidly and efficiently if a follow up medicine is prescribed carefully. Giving relief to the patient is very important. If the patient is relieved of his sufferings he will give whatever time the doctor needs to cure. But if he does not get relief, he will not spare even a month to his or her doctor for treatment.

Infection

In this variety, the patient suffers from arthritis because of infection of the sinovial membrane and periosteum. Pain is more severe than the chronic arthritis and fever always accompanies it. Movement of the joints becomes most restricted. Acute and superficial medicines are of help. I always prescribe superficial medicines at this stage. This acute medicines must be prescribed on the basis of homeopathic theory. Every dose must be perfect, that it does not cause any medicinal aggravation. Any medicinal aggravation will increase the suffering of the patient. I find Arsenicum album is the first and most effective medicine in many cases of infective arthritis. Pathology should be in mind. Sometimes a prescription on the basis of pathology helps to control the acuteness of the disease condition. Echinacea Angustifolia, and Secale cor, can be of great use in these conditions. 80% of cases are covered by Arsenicum album, Aconitum napelus, Belladonna, Apis mel, Sabina, Colchicum and Caulophylum. These medicines are of great help if given carefully and maintaining the relationship with the constitutional remedy. In my search of arthritis treatment I often prescribed Ferrum phosphoricum in the decimal scale and I find it very effective. I have seen Ferrum phos act as an anti inflammatory medicine. If there is too much inflammation with pain I prescribe Ferrum phos. along with the indicated remedy.  Ferrum phos is compatible with almost all medicines. The patient gets relief quickly from fever and pain. Inflammation of the sinovial membrane reduces quickly. Aconitum nap. reduces pain rapidly and it increases blood circulation at the affected part. Fluids accumulated at the area will drain quickly if Aconitum is given in controlled doses ( I uses Aconitum in lower potencies at frequent and short intervals but not more than 3 to 4 doses). Thus the oedema of the joint is quickly reduced. Berfore using Aconite nap I have to be sure that the joint is not infected with tuberculosis, or any other deadly infection. If it is, Aconitum will help metastasize of the disease.

Ferrum phos.6x reduces hyperaemia. This hyperaemia is the basic change that occurs in arthritis. I have used it succesfully in case of fluid effusion.  Bones, tendons, ligaments and synovial membrane all come under the domain of this medicine. It works without disturbing the effect of anti miasmatic medicines. I applied this combination in 80 cases of which 75 responded positively. The other five cases responded, but very slightly. In those five cases the patient did not follow the guidelines as I had instructed.

Symphytum also helps in controlling the inflammation of the synovial membrane. To some extent it helps in remodeling of the bone periosteum. Symphytum increases the secretion of calcium. It helps even in advanced stage of arthritis where degeneration has startedand the tibia, femur and patella are involved. In these cases, careful use of symphytum restarts regeneration. Using Symphytum, 100%  of cases responded positively. I use this medicine in every case of arthritis but the time of use is different and it depends on the pathological condition of the patient, the anti miasamatic medicine and the effect of the anti-miasamatic medicine has had.  If applied correctly, symphytum can do great service. This remodeling also includes reduction of extra calcium deposits. In many cases I have found that where there is reduced space between the tibia and femur due to deposits of unwanted calcium – Symphytum dissolved the excess calcium and hence the space between the two bones is restored. Thus symphytum reduces the inflammation and at the same time reduces the friction between the bones.  A low potency given in rapid succession for two to three months as cognate or intercurrent remedy, it arrests further degeneration.

Regeneration depends on age of the patient, and how much damage the disease has inflicted.  Patients 50 years of age do not get much regeneration. If x-ray shows moderate to advanced stage of degeneration, the chance of regeneration is very  low. What is more important, degeneration is stopped by this type of treatment.

In a few cases I have seen progress come to halt. Constitutional, acute or pathological prescriptions do not work. I carefully looked at the cases for several months and found that thyroid obstruction plays an important role. Though I have done blood tests of those patients for T3,T4 and TSH, they revealed normal value. I watched a few patients complain of gaining weight rapidly, drowsiness, profuse sweating, alternate heat and chill. In cases of irregular menstruation or history of irregular menstruation, these patients were not responding to the constitutional medicine. I wanted to verify my theory. I divided some patients into two groups A and B. “A” group having the five symptoms mentioned above. “B” group is devoid of those symptoms. I gave thyroidinum 6x or 6c ( according to the condition of the patient) to group A before giving constitutional medicine. In group B I started constitutional medicine as the first prescription. Result was positive. “A” group patients responded towards development as well as group B patients. To those patients, who are taking eltroxin, thyronorm and similar medicines for their thyroid and not responding properly to the constitutional drug, I applied the same above mentioned theory and it worked.

Doing this experiment several times and on several occasions now I am sure that some kind of thyroid obstruction comes in the way of treatmen of arthritis. Secondly tuberculosis I suspect may be the cause of obstruction. Still I am not sure. But in some cases I have found that those patients who got tuberculosis before or have tuberculosis in their background do not respond to constitutional medicine properly,until a dose of tuberculinum or bacillinum is given.

Injury

While taking the case of arthritis I found a few patients who give a different type of history.  In these cases the patient got some injury to a joint and it was not treated properly.  The injured area begins to become sore after six months to one year. This type of arthritis is less severe than the previous cases. In this case I always begin with an anti-injury medicine. I first focus on the acute sufferings of the patient. I consider modalities mainly and the clinical findings I find at the affected area. When the severity of the disease is reduced I think of the patient’s constitution. But most of these cases do not require deep acting medicine. Only 10% of cases of these aquired type require anti-miasamatic drugs. If the symptoms present are studied carefully and individualized on the basis of modalities, that will cure the case. I divided these type of cases into two groups. In group 1 I treated them according to the above mentioned theory. In group 2. I treated them with the conventional constitutional medicines from the beginning. Both the categories responded positively. But it was obvious that group 1 patients were more rapidly relived.

About the author

Santanu Maity

Santanu Maity

Dr. Santanu Maity was studying 1st year B.Sc when he came to know about the D.H.M.S. course and its contents. He decided to leave B.Sc. and took admission for D.H.M.S.(four year course under homeopathy medical council of West Bengal affiliated with government of India.) He received his registration certificate on January 5, 2000 and has been in private practice since then.

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12 Comments

  • Dr. Maity deserves lot of praise for the excellent basic information. Homeopathic treatment of arthritis following such an approach will be effective in most cases and we need to follow in case of other problems. Thsis will add more followers in to the fold of Homeopathy as Allopathy does not offer any thing to the patients except steroids.

  • DEAR DR,
    MY WIFE GOT KNEE PAIN WHEN SHE WAS 50. I TREATED HER WITH SYMPTOMATIC, CONSTITUTIONAL AND MIASAMATIC REMEDIES IN VARIOUS POTENCIES. HER MOTHER ALSO SUFFERED WITH SAME PROBLEM. ALL HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES COULD ONLY HELPED HER TEMPORARILY. HER PAIN LESSENED FROM TO TIME FOR 20 YEARS. ULTIMATELY SHE GOT KNEE REPLACEMENT. FOR 6 MONTHS SHE EXERCISED WITH THE SUPPORT OF QUALIFIED PHYSIOTHERAPIST. AFTER 6 MONTHS SHE WALKED WITH STICK. AFTER THAT SHE IS WALKING FOR 1/2 AN HOUR WITHOUT STICK AND ATTEND TO HER DAILY WORK BEING AN HOUSE WIFE. SO MY VIEW IS THAT WHEN PAIN GIVES HURDLE EVEN IN GOING TO TOILET WITHOUT HELP, HE MAY CONSULT FOR KNEE REPLACEMENT.

    • Every patient who is suffering from advanced stage of arthritis feels pain when going to toilet. That does not mean that he/she needs knee replacement. You treated her in the right way. But I think there must be a demerit in the processo that lead her to knee replacement. Most advanced stages of arthritis can be controlled. I have treated many cases of arthritis even with degeneration and loose bodieso around the joint. Even patients who has been advised to do a knee replacement has responded to homeopathic treatment. And is now doing fine.

  • DEAR DR,
    PROBABLY YOU HAVE CONFUSED MY LAST SENTENCE. THE CORRECT MEANING OF THE SENTENCE CONSISTS OF 1] PAIN, 2]HURDLE AND 3] HELP OF SOME PERSON WHEN ALL THE THREE CONDITIONS ARE THERE THEN ONLY CONSULTATION FOR REPLACEMENT IS NECESSARY. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR EVERY PATIENT TO ALWAYS DAY NIGHT HAS HELPER BESIDE HIS/HER BED. SOFAR THE RECOVERY IS 100 % AFTER REPLACEMENT
    YOU IN YOUR ARTICLE STATED THAT ARTHRITIS IS NOT CURABLE. ?

  • Before I said arthritis can not be cured, I tried to explain the pathology of arthritis. Perhaps you missed that. Every one in the medical world know that. I said nothing new. Last seven years I have treated I have treated more than 200 patients suffering from arthritis. I have seen patients with pain, hurdle and dependence on other person. I have seen a woman is being carried by her son because she can not straighten(locked knee). And pain through the 24th ours? I have seen a woman writhing in pain so that she can not explain her suffering at a stretch. Because she has to pause to take time to tolerate her pain. Every joints of her body is,whether small or large, is swollen red and sensitive to touch. She can not move a inch untill her husband and daughter supports her from both sides. Which one joint of her body will be replaced? These patients do response to homeopathic medicines. Only homeopathic medicines can control this grave condition. I have seen this several several times that would not believe on anything else.Sir probably you know what is done in knee replacement. A polyethylene or metal cap is placed to cover the weight bearing surface of femur and tibia(in case of knee replacement). Disease is there as it was but only it is covered such a way that patient can not feel the pain. What comes after replacement? Deep vein thrombosis,persistent pain and stiffness,nerve injury,prosthetic failure(knee cap dislocation). And with all these chances of complication 135° knee movement is not achieved. Do you want to call it cure. “The highest ideal of cure is rapid gentle and permanent restoration of health or removal and annihilation of disease in it’s whole extent in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles”. In replacement the disease is not annihilated in shortest extent.

  • DEAR DR
    PL TELL ME THE REMEDIES WITH POTENCIES USED IN THE CASE OF A LADY WHO COULD NOT MOVE AN INCH WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF TWO PERSONS REFERED ABOVE. HER AGE AND YEARS OF SUFFERING AND % OF CURE. I WILL BE GRATEFUL TO YOU
    REGARDS

  • Dear Dr. Maity,
    For last one month I have knee pain(left). An allopathic doctor who I visited, asked for an X-Ray and concluded that I have osteopathic arthritis. The knee is swollen, initially it was red. Doctor gave me pain killer tablets . As long as I used them, there was reduction in pain. But I do not want to continue with the prescribed tablets(Diclofenac) . In fact, I have been having the pain in the left knee occasionally for last several years but the pain is substantially more for last one month. Could you suggest suitable homeopathic medicine/s for me ? I shall be much obliged to you.