PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of jchiromedLink to Publisher's site
 
J Chiropr Med. 2005 Fall; 4(3): 152–161.
Published online 2005. doi:  10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60124-4
PMCID: PMC2647043
Effects of the homeopathic remedy arnica on attenuating symptoms of exercise-induced muscle soreness
Julie A. Plezberta* and Jeanmarie R. Burkeb
aAssociate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences, New York Chiropractic College
bAssociate Professor, Department of Research, New York Chiropractic College
Julie A. Plezbert: jplezbert/at/njcc.edu
*Submit requests for reprints to: Dr. Julie A. Plezbert, Department of Clinical Sciences, New York Chiropractic College, 2360 State Route 89, Seneca Falls, New York USA 13148, Tel: 315 568-3195, Fax: 315 568-3204 ; jplezbert/at/njcc.edu
Received July 27, 2004
Objective
To evaluate the clinical efficacy of Arnica at a high potency (200c), on moderating delayed onset muscle soreness and accompanying symptoms of muscle dysfunction.
Methods
Twenty subjects completed a maximal eccentric exercise protocol with the non-dominate elbow flexors to induce delayed onset muscle soreness. Either Arnica or placebo tablets were administered in a random, double- blinded fashion immediately after exercise and at 24 hours and 72 hours after exercise. Before exercise, immediately post-exercise, and at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours post-exercise, assessments of delayed onset muscle soreness and muscle function included: 1) muscle soreness and functional impairment; 2) maximum voluntary contraction torque; 3) muscle swelling; and 4) range of motion tests to document spontaneous muscle shortening and muscle shortening ability. Blood samples drawn before exercise and at 24, 48, and 96 hours after exercise were used to measure muscle enzymes as indirect indices of muscle damage.
Results
Regardless of the intervention, the extent of delayed onset muscle soreness and elevations in muscle enzymes were similar on the days following the eccentric exercise protocol. The post-exercise time profiles of decreases in maximum voluntary contraction torque and muscle shortening ability and increases in muscle swelling and spontaneous muscle shortening were similar for each treatment intervention.
Conclusions
The results of this study did not substantiate the clinical efficacy of Arnica at a high potency on moderating delayed onset muscle soreness and accompanying symptoms of muscle dysfunction. Despite the findings of this study, future investigations on the clinical efficacy of homeopathic interventions should consider incorporating research strategies that emphasize differential therapeutics for each patient rather than treating a specific disease or symptom complex, such as DOMS, with a single homeopathic remedy.
Key Indexing Terms: Homeopathy, Arnica, Muscle, Skeletal, Exercise, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Footnotes
Sources of support: Dolisos, Inc. donated the homeopathic remedy, Arnica, and the placebo tablets. There was no financial gain or arrangements with this pharmacy.
1. Kayne SB. Homeopathic pharmacy: an introduction and handbook. Churchill Livingstone; New York: 1997.
2. Vallance AK. Can biological activity be maintained at ultra-high dilution? An overview of homeopathy, evidence, and Bayesian philosophy. J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4:49–76. [PubMed]
3. Castro M. The complete handbook of homeopathy. St. Martin's Press; New York: 1991.
4. Tyler ML. Homeopathic drug pictures. Homeopathic Book Services; England: 2004.
5. Vermeulen F. Concordant material medica. 1st ed. Merlijn Publishers; Netherlands: 1994.
6. Bernard J. Potency in homeopathic prescribing: penetrating the mystique (part 1) Simillimum. 1999;XII:61–72.
7. Bernard J. Potency in homeopathic prescribing: survey results and conclusions (part 2) Simillimum. 2000;XIII:101–110.
8. Merrell WC, Shalts E. Homeopathy. Med Clin North Am. 2002;86:47–62. [PubMed]
9. Clarkson PM, Nosaka K, Braun B. Muscle function after exerciseinduced muscle damage and rapid adaptation. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1992;24:512–520. [PubMed]
10. Clarkson PM, Sayers SP. Etiology of exercise-induced muscle damage. Can J Appl Physiol. 1999;24:234–248. [PubMed]
11. Nosaka K, Clarkson PM. Changes in indicators of inflammation after eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28:953–961. [PubMed]
12. Nosaka K, Clarkson PM. Variability in serum creatine kinase response after eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors. Int J Sports Med. 1996;17:120–127. [PubMed]
13. Jawara N, Lewith GT, Vickers AJ, Mullee MA, Smith C. Homeopathic Arnica and Rhus toxicodendron for delayed onset muscle soreness. Br Homeopathic J. 1997;86:10–15.
14. Tuten C, McClung J. Reducing muscle soreness with Arnica montana. Alternat Complement Ther. 1999;5:369–372.
15. Vickers AJ, Fisher P, Smith C, Wyllie SE, Lewith GT. Homoeopathy for delayed onset muscle soreness: a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 1997;31:304–307. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
16. Tveiten D, Bruset S. Effect of Arnica D30 in marathon runners. Pooled results from two double-blind placebo controlled studies. Homeopathy. 2003;92:187–189. [PubMed]
17. Tveiten D, Bruset S, Borchgrevink CF, Lohne K. Effect of Arnica D 30 on hard physcial exercise. Tidskr Nor Loegeforen. 1991;111:3630–3631. [PubMed]
18. Tveiten D, Bruset S, Borchgrevink CF, Norseth J. Effects of the homoepathic remedy Arnica D30 on marathon runners: A randomized, double-blind study during the 1995 Oslo Marathon. Complement Ther Med. 1998;6:71–74.
19. Vickers AJ, Fisher P, Smith C, Wyllie SE, Rees R. Homeopathic Arnica 30x is ineffective for muscle soreness after long-distance running: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin J Pain. 1998;14:227–231. [PubMed]
20. Gulick DT, Kimura IF, Sitler M, Paolone A, Kelly JD. Various treatment techniques on signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. J Athl Train. 1996;31:145–152. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
21. Cheung K, Hume P, Maxwell L. Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 2003;33:145–164. [PubMed]
22. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of homeopathic Arnica: a systematic review of placebo-controlled clinical trials. Arch Surg. 1998;133:1187–1190. [PubMed]
23. Freeman LW. Homeopathy: Like cures Like. In: Freeman LW, Lawlis FG, editors. Complementary and alternative medicine: a research based approach. Mosby; St. Louis: 2001. pp. 345–360.
24. Tonelli MR, Callahan TC. Why alternative medicine cannot be evidence-based. Acad Med. 2001;76:1213–1220. [PubMed]
25. Ernst E. The benefits of Arnica: 16 case reports. Homeopathy. 2003;92:217–219. [PubMed]
26. Thomas KJ, Fitter MJ. Evaluating complementary therapies for use in the National Health Service: ‘horses for courses’. Part 2: alternative research strategies. Complement Ther Med. 1997;5:94–98.
27. Verhoef MJ, Casebeer AL, Hilsden RJ. Assessing efficacy of complementary medicine: adding qualitative research methods to the “gold standard” J Altern Complement Med. 2002;8:275–281. [PubMed]
28. Carter B. Methodological issues and complementary therapies: researching intangibles? Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2003;9:133–139. [PubMed]
29. Sayers SP, Clarkson PM, Rouzier PA, Kamen G. Adverse events associated with eccentric exercise protocols: six case studies. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999;31:1697–1702. [PubMed]
30. Byrne C, Twist C, Eston R. Neuromuscular function after exerciseinduced muscle damage: theoretical and applied implications. Sports Med. 2004;34:49–69. [PubMed]
31. Proske U, Morgan DL. Muscle damage from eccentric exercise: mechanism, mechanical signs, adaptation and clinical applications. J Physiol. 2001;537:333–345. [PubMed]
32. Clarkson PM, Hubal MJ. Exercise-induced muscle damage in humans. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;81:S52–S69. [PubMed]
Articles from Journal of Chiropractic Medicine are provided here courtesy of
National University of Health Sciences