Top Five Homeopathic Remedies for Joint Pains in Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Dr. Vikas Sharma MD

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory joint disorder of autoimmune origin. In rheumatoid arthritis, the joints become inflamed, painful, swollen and warm with marked stiffness. Mainly the small joints of fingers, wrist, toes, and ankles are involved. In the long run, other large joints may also get affected.

Can Homeopathy treat joint inflammation?

Homeopathic mode of treatment is very effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Homeopathic medicines treat rheumatoid arthritis by moderating the overactive immune system. They help reduce joint inflammation and symptoms including pain, swelling and stiffness of joints. Homeopathy offers a wide range of medicines for rheumatoid arthritis. Yet, there is no one cure for all ills associated with this condition. The most appropriate Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis is selected based on an in-depth analysis of individual symptoms. Highly effective Homeopathic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis are Rhus Tox, Actaea Spicata, Bryonia, Causticum, Caulophyllum and Kalmia. When selected and used as per their characteristic symptom indications, these medicines are known to work wonders.

Besides stiffness, what are other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling, stiffness, warmth and tenderness of joints. The symptoms are majorly noted in same joint on both sides of the body i.e. bilateral and symmetrical involvement. Joint deformities are noted in advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis. Joint stiffness is mainly felt in the morning time and after periods of inactivity. To start with, small joints are involved, those of fingers, toes, ankles and wrist for example. As the disease advances, joints of elbows, shoulders, knees and hips get affected. General fatigue and weight loss are also associated with this condition. Apart from primary joint involvement, other organs such as skin, kidneys, lungs, eyes, heart and blood vessels may also get secondarily involved in rheumatoid arthritis at a later stage.

How can I tell I have rheumatoid arthritis, do I need to take some blood tests?

Yes, persons showing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis need to take certain blood tests to rule out the condition. These include rheumatoid factor, anti–CCP, anti-MCV tests. Rheumatoid Factor is the oldest of these tests. A positive test result shows rheumatoid arthritis. This test, however, is not precise enough. The rheumatoid factor test for diseases such as SLE, Sjogren’s syndrome and hepatitis C will also be positive. For more precise results, new tests such as anti–CCP or anti-citrullinated peptide test and anti-MCV or antibodies against mutated citrullinated vimentin are relied upon. In addition to these tests, X-ray of affected joints is done to rule out signs of joint damage in advanced stages.

My rheumatoid (RA) factor blood report is positive. Does that mean I have rheumatoid arthritis?

A positive rheumatoid factor in isolation does not indicate a person has rheumatoid arthritis. However, a person with clinical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis along with positive rheumatoid factor signifies rheumatoid arthritis. It is, however, best to take the anti-CCP and anti-MCV tests to be sure. These tests are rated high in terms of precision of results.

I show symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but my RA factor is negative. What does that mean?

It means that there is a possibility that you may have rheumatoid arthritis. In certain cases, even though the rheumatoid factor is negative, the presence of clinical symptoms hints at the presence of rheumatoid arthritis. This is referred to as seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.

How is elevated ESR linked to severity of rheumatoid arthritis?

ESR is not a diagnostic tool to confirm rheumatoid arthritis. However, ESR tells us about the severity of rheumatoid arthritis in a given case. A much higher level of ESR shows severe joint inflammation while slightly raised levels indicate mild joint inflammation.

Does rheumatoid arthritis run in families?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Yes, it runs in families and is believed to be genetically passed down generations. However, few risk factors that predispose a person towards rheumatoid arthritis are cigarette smoking and age (30- 60 years). Also, women are more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis than men.

Is rheumatoid arthritis an autoimmune disorder?

Yes, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are sets of disease in which the body’s immune cells that patrol for disease by circulating in the bloodstream start to destroy healthy body tissue due to a misdirected immune response. In rheumatoid arthritis, the seat of attack for immune cells is the synovial lining of joints.

Are there any complications to watch out for if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

The major complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis are joint deformity, inflammation in heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes and blood vessels; osteoporosis, rheumatoid nodules under skin and carpel tunnel syndrome.

If I’m on methotrexate or a DMARD, do I stop taking them before Homeopathic treatment starts?

If you are already taking methotrexate or a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), continue to do so. It is not advisable to stop these medicines when you start Homeopathic treatment. Both these treatments can continue together. And in the long run, when the body starts to respond to Homeopathic medicines and the health improves, the dosage of methotrexate or DMARD may be gradually tapered.

Can I take pain killers once I’ve started my Homeopathic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?

Of course, pain killers can be taken in case symptoms worsen once you start Homeopathic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Homeopathic medicines majorly work toward treating the chronicity of rheumatoid arthritis and are not against a person taking pain killers in case of acute flare-ups.

How long do I have to take Homeopathic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis before I start feeling better?

Depends on how quickly your body responds. Duration and severity of symptoms are other factors. The course of treatment varies based on the severity and duration of symptoms. The body’s response, too, varies from person to person. In a majority of the cases, some improvement becomes noticeable within the initial months of treatment. For any major improvement to become visible, the treatment must be continued for a time varying from months to years. However, gradual changes on a smaller level continue to happen, building on the person’s confidence in Homeopathic medicines.

Can Homeopathy cure rheumatoid arthritis?

Homeopathic treatment shows remarkable results in mild to moderate cases of rheumatoid arthritis. Cures have also been reported in such cases. However, in severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis with advanced deformities, Homeopathic medicines play a management role. In such cases, Homeopathic medicines help manage pain and stiffness in joints, but the deformities cannot be reversed.

As my condition starts to improve, should my RA factor come down?

Yes, there are chances that the RA factor will come down if a person continues taking Homeopathic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis for a recommended period of time. Yet, the results will vary from person to person.

Why do doctors prescribe vitamin D supplements in rheumatoid arthritis?

Notable vitamin D deficiency has been observed in persons with rheumatoid arthritis. Whether this is a cause or result of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet clear. A person having rheumatoid arthritis is often advised to take vitamin D supplements along with other medicines, majorly to prevent osteoporosis.

Are there any foods that I must avoid to prevent rheumatoid arthritis from aggravating?

There are no specific food stuffs that can aggravate rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence, however, shows that certain food products can worsen symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. These include omega 6 fatty acids found in sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, fried food and protein source in dairy products.

Homeopathic Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Which Homeopathic medicines would you rate as best for rheumatoid arthritis?

The list is huge, but I find that Bryonia Alba, Rhus Tox and Actea Spicata are the most useful for rheumatoid arthritis. For acute inflammation of joints in rheumatoid arthritis, I suggest Bryonia Alba. Rhus Tox is most effective in cases where joint stiffness is intense. Where small joints like fingers, wrist, toes and ankles are involved in rheumatoid arthritis, which is usually the case at the onset of the disease, we prescribe Homeopathic medicine Actea Spicata.

My joints feel very stiff on getting up from sleep in the morning, which Homeopathic medicine would you prescribe?

Rhus Tox would work extremely well in such a case. It is one of the top grade Homeopathic medicines for morning joint stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis. A person prescribed Rhus Tox would have excessive joint stiffness on rising in the morning and after periods of immobility. The stiffness gradually disappears with movement.

I have severe pain, stiffness and swelling in my finger joints from rheumatoid arthritis. Which Homeopathic medicine can help?

In rheumatoid arthritis affecting finger joints, Homeopathic medicines Antimonium Crudum and Caulophyllum are the most suitable. Antimonium Crudum can be taken when all finger joints are painful and stiff. Caulophyllum is useful in case of shifting pains in finger joints.

My wrist joint is affected by rheumatoid arthritis. How can Homeopathy help?

There are several Homeopathic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis affecting wrist joint. However, in my clinical practice, I have found Homeopathic medicine Actea Spicata to be the most useful for rheumatic pains in the wrist joint. Actea Spicata is prescribed to persons with pain, redness and swelling in wrist joint. Touching or moving the wrist worsens the pain.

What is the ideal Homeopathic medicine for rheumatic pains in the elbow joint?

For rheumatic pains in the elbow joint, Homeopathic medicine Guaiacum Officinale shows remarkable results. It works fast to relieve pain in persons with intense stiffness in the elbow joint. Pressure may worsen the pain. Pain from elbow joint may also extend to the wrist. Weakness in the arm is also observed in some cases.

My shoulder joint feels very stiff and hurts due to rheumatoid arthritis. Which Homeopathic medicine would you suggest?

Homeopathic medicines Sanguinaria Can and Ferrum Met are very helpful in rheumatoid arthritis involving shoulder joints. Among these, Sanguinaria Can is effective in right-sided shoulder joint pain. For left-sided shoulder joint pain, Homeopathic medicine Ferrum Met shows best results in relieving arthritis symptoms.

Which Homeopathic medicines can I take for relief from pain in toe joints due to rheumatoid arthritis?

Homeopathic medicines Actea Spicata and Caulophyllum are most suitable prescriptions for dealing with pain in toe joints from rheumatoid arthritis.

My ankle joint is swollen and the pain radiates upwards to the leg. Which Homeopathic medicines provide relief?

In cases where the ankle joint is involved in rheumatoid arthritis, Homeopathic medicines Actea Spicata and Ledum Pal show remarkable recovery. Homeopathic medicine Actea Spicata is best prescribed where ankle pain is present together with swelling. Slight fatigue worsens the symptom. The pain may be tearing in nature. Ledum Pal is indicated for shooting pain and swelling in ankles. Motion may worsen pain and swelling. In some cases, the pain may radiate upwards to the leg.

Rheumatoid arthritis has affected my knee joints. The pain worsens from standing. Please suggest a Homeopathic medicine.

Homeopathic medicines Calcarea Carb and Kali Carb are very effective for rheumatoid arthritis of knee joint. Calcarea Carb is the best medicine for knee joint pain that gets worse from standing, walking. The pain may be tearing, shooting or drawing in nature. If the knee pain is coming in the way of climbing up or down the stairs, Homeopathic medicine Kali Carb will help. Extending the leg also worsens the knee pain.

What known Homeopathic medicines are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis involving the hip joint?

For rheumatic pains in the hip joint, Homeopathic medicines Ledum Pal and Causticum are among the better known cures. For right-sided hip joint pain, Ledum Pal is prescribed. If the left hip joint is in pain, Causticum will provide relief.

I have rheumatoid arthritis and my joints are constantly inflamed. What is the Homeopathic prescription for my condition?

Homeopathic medicine Bryonia Alba works wonders for acute inflammation of joints in rheumatoid arthritis. The person requiring prescription of Homeopathic medicine Bryonia Alba will have acutely swollen, painful joints. Even the slightest touch and pressure over the joints may be unbearable.

I experience shifting pain in joints. Do you think I will benefit from Homeopathic medicines?

Definitely. You could benefit greatly from Homeopathic medicines Kalmia Latifolia and Pulsatilla. They are considered the best remedies for shifting joint pains. These medicines have shown great recovery in cases where the joints are red, painful and swollen, and the pain shifts rapidly from one joint to the other.

My arthritis is impossibly difficult during the winter months. How can Homeopathic medicines help?

For rheumatoid arthritis that worsens or becomes more acute during the cold winter months, I recommend Homeopathic medicines Rhus Tox, Dulcamara and Calcarea Carb. All three are top rated prescriptions showing wonderful results.

I have already suffered deformities due to rheumatoid arthritis. Can Homeopathy reverse the damage?

In the initial stages of joint deformity, Homeopathic medicines can help by stopping further progression of the deformity. However in advanced cases with severe deformities, Homeopathic medicines will not be able to reverse the damage. In such cases, Homeopathy can at best help manage the stiffness and pain.

I have developed anaemia with rheumatoid arthritis. Does Homeopathy offer a solution?

Yes, Homeopathic medicines can help treat anaemia in rheumatoid arthritis. Ferrum Met and Ferrum Phos are top grade Homeopathic medicines often prescribed in such cases.

Homeopathic Medicines for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rhus Tox – Best Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis

Rhus Tox is one of the best Homeopathic medicines for treating rheumatoid arthritis. It proves helpful in rheumatoid arthritis involving any of joint. The guiding symptoms to look out for are pain and stiffness in joints. The stiffness is worse on rising in the morning. It also tends to worsen after a period of inactivity. Movement of joints makes the person feel more comfortable. Warm application over joints also relieves pain. Some may feel better by massaging the affected joint. Also, Rhus Tox is the ideal Homeopathic solution where exposure to cold air or winter makes the joint pain worse.

Actea Spicata – Prominently indicated Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis affecting small joints

Actea Spicata is a wonderful Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis affecting small joints. The small joints include fingers, toes, wrist and ankles. The affected joints are in severe pain, hot and swollen. The pain is of violent, tearing type. Touch worsens the pain in joints. Movement of affected joints also aggravates pain in cases where Actea Spicata will work best. Where the slightest fatigue worsens pain in small joints, Actea Spicata is the medicine to prescribe.

Pulsatilla and Kalmia Latifolia – Significant Homeopathic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis with shifting/wandering pains

Pulsatilla and Kalmia Latifolia are excellent Homeopathic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis with wandering joint pains. These medicines work wonders where the pain passes from one joint to another in quick succession. Now the pain is experienced in one joint, the next moment in another. The joints are also very swollen and inflamed.

Caulophyllum – Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis of small joints where stiffness accompanies pain

Caulophyllum is a most effective Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis affecting small joints which are both stiff and in pain. Joints of fingers, wrist, ankles and toes are affected. Caulophyllum is recommended where joint pain is attended with marked stiffness. The joint pain is aching, drawing in nature. Pain wanders from joint to joint every few minutes. The symptoms become majorly worse at night. Finger joints in particular, so that the person has trouble folding his fingers. Nodes may also be observed on finger joints. Significantly, in case of joint pains that start in women especially during pregnancy or childbirth, Caulophyllum is the Homeopathic cure.

Antimonium Crudum – Top grade Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis in finger joints

Antimonium Crudum is the most suitable Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis affecting finger joints. In some cases, specific drawing pain is noted in finger joints. Cold application may worsen this pain. Warmth is soothing. Chronic indigestion or gastric complaints may be found in addition to joint pains in persons who need prescribing Antimonium Crudum. A symptom unique to prescription of Antimonium Crudum is that joint pains worsen when taking wine.

Bryonia Alba – Best Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis with acute inflammation of joints

Bryonia Alba is a most remarkable Homeopathic medicine for treating rheumatic pains in joints that are acutely inflamed. People who require Bryonia Alba have markedly swollen, red, hot, painful joints. The slightest movement, touch or pressure worsen pain in the affected joint. Warm applications relieve pain.

Causticum – Excellent Homeopathic medicine for hip joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis

Homeopathic medicine Causticum is recommended for hip joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis. The hip joint feels dislocated in persons who will need prescribing Causticum. Standing and walking worsen pain. The gait (walk) is unsteady due to hip pain. Marked stiffness and tension are observed in hip joint. Causticum also works well in cases where the joints are deformed and shortened, contracted tendons are observed.

Ledum Pal – Homeopathic medicine for ankle joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis

Ledum Pal is majorly indicated for ankle joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis. The ankle is swollen. Movement worsens pain. Cold applications may offer some relief in such cases. In addition to this, right-sided hip joint pain also recovers well under Ledum Pal. It is also the Homeopathic remedy for rheumatic pain in joints that start in the feet and then rise upward to the knee or hip.

Sanguinaria Can and Ferrum Met – Homeopathic medicines for shoulder joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis

Sanguinaria Can and Ferrum Met show the most wonderful results in rheumatoid arthritis affecting the shoulder joint. Sanguinaria Can helps right-sided shoulder joint pain. Ferrum Met is most useful for left-sided shoulder joint pain. A person prescribed these medicines will have shoulder pain on raising the arm, which gets worse at night. Marked stiffness is also observed in the shoulder. Homeopathic medicine Ferrum met is best indicated for treating anaemia in rheumatoid arthritis.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Can Help Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis

Daily exercise is a basic lifestyle measure to be taken along with medicines to maintain muscle strength. Meditation can help deal with everyday stress. Physiotherapy will support all the above measures and go a long way in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Including omega-3 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid and olive oil in the diet are recommended as another step towards better management of rheumatic pains even though medical evidence in support of this claim is not very strong yet. Fish oil is a source of omega-3 and is thought to play anti-inflammatory role. Include more fruits and vegetables in the diet. Quit smoking and alcohol consumption.