A Closer Look At Homeopathic Modalities For Joint Pain

Author(s): 
By John Hahn, DPM, ND

Since I was trained allopathically, I thought it necessary to know the mechanism of action of this homeopathic medicine in regard to treating chronic joint pain. Several authors have demonstrated the dual inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase by a reconstituted homeopathic medicine. These articles also explained the possible mechanism for the clinical efficacy of this medication and noted its favorable gastrointestinal tolerability over the use of traditional NSAIDs.

Produced in Germany, Zeel-T (Heel, Inc.), the homeopathic medicine used in these studies, contains 15 homeopathic medicines in a diluted form consistent with standard homeopathic principles. The individual ingredients are formulated to work synergistically to show distinct inhibitory effects on the production of LTB4 by 5-lipoxygenase and on the synthesis of PGE-2 by COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.12

I have used the injectable form of this antiinflammatory mixed with either bupivacaine (Marcaine) or lidocaine for the treatment of degenerative joint disease in the first metatarsophalangeal joint (first MPJ), subtalar arthritis and other degenerative joint disease pathology in the lower extremity. It also works well for psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Zeel comes in 2 mL glass ampoules and I mixed this with 1 or 2 cc 0.5% bupivacaine or 2% lidocaine plain, depending upon the size of the joint and whether I am going to perform a periarticular injection or an intraarticular injection. Since the homeopathic medicine is isotonic in nature, there is very little pain with the injection if one uses the modality without an anesthetic. Patients tolerate these injections very well.

When it comes to first MPJ degenerative changes with chronic pain, I perform an intraarticular injection of 1 cc of the Zeel medication. If there is acute pain associated with the joint, I will perform a periarticular injection of the medication and mix in a local anesthetic in the syringe.

There is no precipitation or flocculation that occurs when mixing Zeel-T with lidocaine or bupivacaine. One can give these injections weekly without any danger of adverse reactions or soft tissue instability that one may see with steroid injections.

I usually follow up with these patients by prescribing an oral form of the homeopathic medicine (Zeel oral tablets) and a topical cream (Zeel ointment), which have similar homeopathic constituents that are in the injectable form.

One can give this homeopathic medicine concomitantly with NSAIDs without any additive adverse reactions involving the gastrointestinal or cardiovascular or renal systems. A study by Makio demonstrated that the combined allopathic and homeopathic treatment utilizing Zeel-T and diclofenac produced greater and longer lasting improvement in symptoms. Makio noted that the combination of these modalities proved especially effective in treating periarthritis and mild to moderate synovitis in 80 patients with advanced osteoarthritis of the knee.11

How Traumeel Can Be Beneficial For Lower Extremity Pain

Another homeopathic injectable medication that I use on a regular basis is called Traumeel (Heel, Inc.). It is a combination of 14 homeopathic medicines in a synergistic ratio. Physicians can use this modality for the treatment of arthritic pain, inflammation, bruising and muscular pain. Traumeel is also excellent for the treatment of sports injuries such as tendonitis, sprains, strains and contusions.

I will sometimes use Traumeel injectable in combination with Zeel-T for acutely swollen and painful arthritic joints. Why do I do this? The antiinflammatory and analgesic component of the Traumeel is geared more toward acute inflammation whereas the Zeel-T is geared more toward chronic inflammation and degenerative changes within the joint.

Traumeel is an excellent stand-alone homeopathic medicine for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bursitis and for the prevention of postoperative bruising and swelling.

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