A chronic systemic disease characterised by inflammatory
changes in joints & related structures that results in crippling
deformities. Diseases primarily affecting the synovium & adjacent
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic inflammatory
disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally
attacks the joints producing a inflammatory synovitis
that often progresses to destruction of the articular cartilage
and ankylosis of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also produce
diffuse inflammation in the lungs, pericardium, pleura, and sclera,
and also nodular lesions, most common in subcutaneous tissue under
the skin. Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown,
autoimmunity plays a pivotal role in its chronicity and progression.
Cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Exact cause is not known.
- Evidence points to autoimmune etiology.
- Genetic predisposition common.
- Precipitating factors:
• Physical or emotional stress.
• After childbirth (remission during pregnancy)
- Hormonal disturbance:
- Age: 20 – 45 years
- Sex: common in females.
Pathogenesis: Joint deformity occurs in RA because the cartilage
& then the bone is eroded by the proliferative synovial tissue.
This process leads to increased laxity of ligaments around the joints,
subluxation of tendons & subsequently of joints & inflammation
of many other tissues in the body.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Joint stiffness more marked in morning.
- Pain in joints
- Limitation of movement of joints.
- Night sweats.
- Loss of grip strength.
- Weight loss.
- Joint deformities.
- Joints involved:
• Small joints.
• Bilaterally symmetrical.
• Joints swollen, hot & tender.
• Limitation of movements.
- Subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules present on extensor surfaces.
- Muscle wasting above & below affected joints.
- Ulnar deviation of wrist.
- Swan neck deformity of fingers.
- Boutonniere deformity of fingers.
- Z-thumb deformity.
- Tender prominent metatarsal heads with secondary corns.
- Lateral deviation & over-riding of toes with pressure sores.
- Baker’s cyst: - Herniation of synovial cavity into back
of knee causing pain & tenderness of calf.
Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis
1) X-Ray joint.
2) Synovial biopsy.
4) Synovial fluid analysis.
5) Rheumatoid factor.
Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Subluxation of atlanto-axial joint.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Fibrosing alveolitis.
- Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Septic arthritis.
Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Bed rest.
- Well balanced, high protein, easily digestible diet.
- Local rest to joints with splints (to prevent deformity)
- Physiotherapy to avoid contractures.
- Local infra-red radiation or short wave diathermy for relaxation
of muscles & relief of pain.
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic
treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological
condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing
examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history
of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic
tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into
account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The medicines given
below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete
and definite guide to the treatment of this condition. The symptoms
listed against each medicine may not be directly related to this
disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional
indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy.
To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit
our Materia Medica
section. None of these medicines should be taken without professional
Repertory - Synthesis
Rubrics - • Extremities-pain-joints-rheumatism
• Generals-inflammation-joints of
Sudden onset after exposure to cold dry air. Pains, with formication
Rheumatic inflammation of joints; pains intolerable. Intense bright-red
swelling of parts. Sensitive to contact. High fever. Worse at night.
With the rheumatism anxiety, fear, restlessness is well marked in
aconite. Arthritic and rheumatic drawing and tearing pains, especially
in the limbs. Acute and violent pulling in the joints and the bones,
mitigated by the heat of a bed. Contraction of the tendons, and
stiffness in the flexor muscles of the limbs. Cramp-like contraction
of several limbs.
Aconite is generally indicated in acute or recent cases occurring
in young persons, especially girls of a full, plethoric habit who
lead a sedentary life; persons easily affected by atmospheric changes;
dark hair and eyes, rigid muscular fibre.
Acute drawing pains in the arms and in the hands. Swelling of
the arms, with blackish pustules of a putrid smell. Acute drawing
pains in the night, beginning from the elbow and extending to the
armpits acute pulling and shooting in the wrists. Cramps in the
fingers. At night, sensation of fullness and swelling in the palms
of the hands. Excoriation between fingers. Hard swelling of the
fingers, with pain in the finger-bones. Cramp in the legs. Acute
drawing pains in the hips, extending to the groins, the thighs,
and sometimes even to the ankle-bones, with uneasiness, which obliges
one to move the limb constantly. Tearing and stinging in the hips,
legs, and loins. Tearing in the tibia. Rheumatic pain in the legs,
and especially in the tibia. Paralytic weakness of the thigh. Pain,
as from a bruise in the joint of the knee. Affections of the shin-bones.
Fatigue in the legs and in the feet. Pains in the fleshy part of
the toes, as if they were galled by walking.
Great Prostration, with rapid sinking of the vital forces; fainting.
The disposition is:
a. Depression, melancholy, despairing, indifferent.
b. Anxious, fearful, restless, full of anguish.
c. Irritable, sensitive, peevish, easily vexed.
The greater the suffering the greater the anguish, restlessness
and fear of death. Mentally restless, but physically too weak to
move. Indicated by its periodicity and time aggravation: after mid-night,
and from 1-2 a.m. And by its intense restlessness, mental and physical:
its anxiety and prostration.
Joints swollen, red, hot, shining. Exquisitely sensitive to touch
or jar. Red streaks radiate from inflamed joint. Recurrent fever
with pains attacking nape of neck.
Pains in the joints and bones. Rheumatic pains (in the joints) flying
from one place to another. The pains are aggravated, chiefly at
night, and in the afternoon towards three or four o'clock. The least
touch, and sometimes also the slightest movement, aggravates the
sufferings. Some of the symptoms are aggravated, or make their appearance
after sleep. Jerking in the limbs, muscular palpitations and shocks
of the tendons. St.Vitus dance. Sensation in the muscles, as if
a mouse were running over
them. Cramp, spasms, and convulsive movements, with violent contortion
of the limbs, convulsive fits, with cries, and loss of consciousness,
epileptic convulsions, drawing back of the thumbs. Renewal of the
spasms by the least contact, or from the glare of light. Burning
in the inner parts. Attacks of immobility and of spasmodic stiffness
of the body, or of some of the limbs, sometimes with insensibility,
swelling of the veins, bloatedness and redness of the face, pulse
full and quick, with copious sweat. Spasms in single limbs, or of
the whole body, in children, during dentition.
Adapted to bilious, lymphatic, plethoric constitutions; persons
who are lively and entertaining when well, but violent and often
delirious when sick.
Over-sensitiveness of the senses to external impressions. Rheumatic
and gouty pains in the limbs, with tension, worse from motion and
contact. Tension, drawing pains, acute pullings and shootings, especially
in the limbs, and chiefly during movement, with insupportable pains
on being touched, sweat of the part affected, and trembling of that
part when the pains diminish. Stiffness and shootings in the joints,
on being touched and when moved. In the evening, pain, as from fatigue,
in the limbs, with paralytic weakness. Torpor and numbness of the
limbs, with stiffness and pain of fatigue. Pale, tense, hot, swelling.
Red, shining swelling of some parts of the body, with shooting during
movement. Pain, as from a bruise, or of subcutaneous ulceration,
or as if the flesh were detached from the bones. Dragging, with
pressure, on the periosteum.
It is best adapted to persons of a gouty or rheumatic diathesis;
prone to so-called bilious attacks. Bryonia patients are irritable,
inclined to be vehement and angry; dark or black hair, dark complexions,
firm muscular fibre; dry nervous, slender people.
A "worse cold, dry weather" remedy. Acute articular rheumatism;
Worse slightest movement. Wants to lie still. White tongue; dry,
dark, hard stools.
Thirsty for large drinks. Perspiration relieves. The characteristic
pains of Bry. are stitching. Affects especially synovial membranes
(joints, pleura, pericardium, meninges). Local inflammation violent,
parts very hot.
Arthritic and rheumatic drawing and tearing pains, especially in
the limbs. Acute and violent pulling in the joints and the bones,
mitigated by the heat of a bed. Contraction of the tendons, and
stiffness in the flexor muscles of the limbs. Cramp-like Contraction
of several limbs. Torpor and paleness of some parts, or of the entire
left side of the body. From cold dry weather. Better wet weather:
warm wet. Burning pain in joints. Rheumatism of articulation of
jaws. Stiffness, hips, back; rises with difficulty.
Adapted to persons with dark hair and rigid fibre; weakly, psoric,
with excessively yellow, sallow complexion; subject to affections
of respiratory and urinary tracts.
Arthritic pains; a jar makes patient scream. Affects periosteum
and synovial membranes. Redness, head, swelling of affected joints.
Worse cold, wet weather; checked sweats. Worse autumn. Better warmth.
Patient is cold, weak, sensitive, restless. Loathes the smell or
sight of food.
From a chill when hot; suppressed sweat or eruptions. From cold
wet weather. Sudden change to cold weather. Neck stiff, back painful,
loins sore and lame.
Better moving about. Tearing, shooting, or drawing pains in the
limbs. Sufferings, as from a chill in various parts. Rheumatic pains
and other complaints, from a cold. Aggravation of sufferings, chiefly
in the evening or at night, an during repose, better by movement.
Pains with coldness of the body.
Rheumatic pain in top of left shoulder, worse from motion, occasional
little darts of pain if kept still. Rheumatic pain in (right) shoulder
and arm. Cracking of joints, especially elbows. Much pain in left
arm, cannot hold a paper, veins become enlarged, worse raising arm.
Trembling of arms and hands.
For persons suffering from gout, rheumatism, neuralgia and diseases
of the spinal cord and its membranes - even organic lesions ending
in paralysis - which can be traced to a sycotic origin.
"Whole body burning hot, especially face red and hot, yet
cannot move or uncover in the least without feeling chilly."
"Rheumatic fever: vertigo, chilliness alternating with heat,
pains in head, back and limbs; thirst; dry skin; scanty, dark urine;
delayed stool. Evening fever < towards morning." Lumbago;
pains drawing and spasmodic. Must sit turn over. Attacks especially
trunks of muscles and large joints; pale tensive swellings. Worse
motion; dread of motion. Worse least jar, and cold.
Very chilly; cannot bear to uncover. Better for warmth, hot things,
Nux is irritable, sullen, surly. Is worse in dry, better in wet
Acute rheumatism which is prolonged; worse at night. Worse from
warmth of bed, and warm applications. Restlessness; pain unbearable.
Like Rhus. Worse cold, wet, stormy weather. Better motion. But
pains shift more than those of Rhus. Move from above downwards.
Hot, painful swelling of joints. PAINS TEARING IN TENDONS, LIGAMENTS
AND FASCIAE. Rheumatic pains spread over a large surface at nape
of neck, loins, and extremities; better motion. Soreness of condyles
of bones. LIMBS STIFF, PARALYZED. THE COLD FRESH AIR IS NOT TOLERATED;
IT MAKES THE SKIN PAINFUL. Tenderness about knee-joint. Loss of
power in forearm and fingers; crawling sensation in the tips of
fingers. Tingling in feet.
Adapted to persons of rheumatic diathesis; bad effects of getting
wet, especially after being over-heated. "Worse cold, wet".
Worse wet; bathing; washing; strain. Drawing, tearing pain, especially
fibrous tissues; joints; round joints. Restlessness; must move,
though first movement painful. Better from dry, warm application.
Acute, inflammatory rheumatism of one or more joints, especially
elbows or knees.
Great swelling and redness. High fever. Very sensitive to least
jar. Motion impossible.
Acute inflammatory rheumatism, esp. of knee. Worse from motion.
Loquacity; must talk. Levitation; limb as if not resting on bed.