Osteoarthritis of the knees
Osteoarthritis of the knees can be particularly painful and complex due to the nature of the knee joint. It is is a synovial joint that connects three bones; the femur, tibia and patella. A complex hinge joint, it is composed of two articulations; the tibiofemoral joint and patellofemoral joint.
Cartilage, the dense, lubricated gristle that facilitates smooth movement of bones and cushions shocks, begins to deteriorate as the underlying bone begins to change and erode.
Both the Connective tissue which holds the joint together and the Meniscus (the fibrocartilaginous structure which partly divides the joint cavity), are damaged by inflammation and the whole joint is affected.
Common symptoms are: Stiffness, pain, tenderness, audible crackling, limited range of movement, weakness, bony nodules, loss of muscle bulk.
As cartilage deteriorates, small bony outgrowths called osteophytes may occur in the bones on either side of a joint. These can cause considerable pain and tenderness.
Homeopathic remedies can help with pain and maintain the health of the surrounding tissues. There are a wide range of remedies available depending on your unique symptoms and on the precise location of your pain (bone, tendon, muscle).
Those with particular affinity for the knee joint include :
Benzoic Acid: This remedy is often used for joint pains that are associated with gout or rheumatism. There will be cracking, pain and swelling in the knees. The pain may be sharp, tearing, and shifting from joint to joint. It's typically worse at night and in damp weather.
Belladonna: Used for sudden and intense joint pains. There may be spasm, jerking and trembling in the joints. The affected joints may be hot, red, shiny and swollen, and the pain is throbbing and aggravated by touch (jarring) or movement.
Bryonia: Indicated for joint pains that are aggravated by any movement. Knees are stiff and painful with a feeling of tottering as if they will give way.. The joints are hot, swollen, and red. The pain is typically stitching or tearing and is relieved by rest, warmth and pressure.
Calcarea Carbonica: This remedy is often prescribed for joint pains in individuals who are overweight or have a tendency to become so. The pain is aching, with a sensation of coldness or dampness in the affected joints. There is trembling, weakness, awkwardness and cramp in the calves. The knees are swollen and the feet cold.
Causticum: Used for joint pains that are tearing, burning, and sore. There is unsteadiness walking, cracking and tension in the knee joint. The pain is typically worse in the morning, better with heat, and may be associated with stiffness in the hollow of the knee joints.
Chelidonium: Indicated for joint pains that are associated with liver problems. The pain is stitching, burning, tearing, and may be felt in the right shoulder and right knee, in particular. The whole flesh is sore to the touch and there is a heavy feeling in the limbs with rigid muscles. Often one foot is cold and the other hot.
Kali Carbonicum: This remedy is used for joint pains that are sharp and aching, typically worse at night and with cold weather. Limbs go to sleep easily and there is a feeling of the legs giving out. Pain travels from hip to knee and is worse climbing stairs. There can be white swelling of the knee. The pains of Kali carb are often worse at night.
Ledum: Used for joint pains that are shooting and ascending, with a feeling of stiffness. There is edematous swelling, cracking in the joints and they feel cold and are markedly better for cold applications. It is best known for puncture wounds and insect bites that lead to joint pains.
Natrum Muriaticum: Prescribed for Housemaid's Knee, the joint pains are stitching and tearing, and may result from suppressed grief or emotional issues. The knees feel weak and there can be urticaria about the joint. The pain is typically worse for the heat of the sun, humidity, damp, the seashore and better with open air and cool bathing.
Phytolacca: Used for joint pains that are wandering with swelling and redness. Pains fly like electric shocks, sharp and cutting. There is muscular soreness all over. The pain is often associated with stiffness, a dread to get up, and cold hands and feet.
Rhus Tox: A commonly used remedy for joint pains that are worse on initial movement but improve with continued motion. The joints may be swollen and stiff, and the pain is often accompanied by restlessness. There is muscular stiffness in the joints which are better for warmth and massage. The knee is tender with a wooden feeling of deadness and cramp in the calves.
Ruta: Indicated for joint pains that are aching and bruised, often due to overexertion or strain, the knees give way and it can take several attempts to rise up from a seat. It's particularly useful for ligament or tendon-related joint pains.
Sulphur: With marked stiffness in the knee joints, Sulphur is most often prescribed for joint pains that are burning, stitching, and aggravated by heat, warmth, and at night. The affected joints may be red, swollen and itchy, there is an unsteady gait.
Please note that homeopathic remedies are highly individualized and should be chosen based on a complete understanding of your overall health and the specific symptoms they are experiencing. Arthritis is a chronic condition and you will benefit greatly from professional support. Book a free chat with me today to discuss your options.