*Topical Arnica Better than Ibuprofen in Alleviated Pain and Sped Up Muscle Healing, Scientists Say

By Kyle J. Norton

Arnica may have a profound and positive effect in reduced pain and numbness caused by inflammatory muscles, some scientists suggested.

The results were demonstrated in some research papers conducted by numbers of institutes, including University of Exeter.

Muscle pain is a natural reaction of human brain that protects our body against muscle damage and injure by activated immune response in signalling systemic inflammation in the acute phase of infection.

However, over production of pro inflammatory cytokines may cause damage to the nearby healthy cells and death of injure cells in the area, leading to irreversible scars of the skin and tissue.

Most common causes of muscle pain are localized with tension, stress, overuse,…… and minor injuries. However Systemic muscle pain caused by infection and side effects of medication intake can induce pain throughout the entire body.

According to Safe Medicine, people who are taking medicine that treat high blood cholesterol such as atorvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, pitavastatin and rosuvastatin are likely to experience muscle pain.

Chronic muscle pain caused by complications of chronic diseases such as chronic exertional compartment syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia,…. and  claudication dermatomyositis are associated to increase psychological symptoms such as depression and physical symptoms of sleep disorder such as insomnia and reduced quality of life.
Arnica is a herbaceous species, genus perennial, belongings to the family Asteraceae, antive to Europe and Asia, used in herbal medicine for centuries to treat strains, sprains, and bruises.
Wound healing is process of repairing after damage of skin, tissues, organs, etc.

The ingredients
Helenalin, chamissonolid, Sesquiterpene lactone, lignans of the furofuran, dibenzylbutyrolactone, dibenzylbutyrolactol types, pinoresinol, epipinoresinol, phillygenin, matairesinol, nortrachelogenin, and nortracheloside, six dibenzylbutyrolactol derivative.

In the study to evaluate the arnica patch effect in a 55-year-old female patient with pain in the right hand and numbness in the fourth finger after cellulitis in the palmar area, after failure of antibiotics to alleviated pain observed by reading the indication 0-to-10-point visual analog scale (VAS).

The pain symptoms remained at 7 points after injection of ibuprofen, the conventional pain medicine.

According the result of the study topical administration after 3 days of Arnica patch stripped  to cover all painful areas of the hand and applied them at night exerted a pain and numbness relief and reduced size of a tender nodule on the third metacarpal area.

The self report pain scale reading of 1, also marked a significant reduction and efficacy of the topical herbal Arnica.

Furthermore, the tested patient was able to sleep through the night without being awakened by the pain.

Moreover, all symptoms declined even more during the next 2 days.

Dr. Barkey E, after taking into account of other co and con founders said, ” after a relatively short period of time, the administration of the Arnica patch on the hand provided a marked reduction of pain and recovery of functionality of the hand”.

These results suggested that Arnica may have a therapeutic effect in inhibited particular pro inflammatory cytokines in initiation of persistence of pathologic pain by directly activating nociceptive sensory neurons without reducing the activities of immune activity in protected the body tissues against infectious microorganisms.

Some researchers suggested that these results may also attributed to Arinca ability to inhibite over expression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in duction of inflammation through its antioxidant bioactive phytochemicals and stimulation of the production of antioxidant defense in the host body and tissue.

Truly, by balancing the ratio of ROS and levels of antioxidants in the body, and inhibited production of pro inflammatory factors, Arnica may have potential effect to alleviate pain and numbness of infectious muscles, joints and hands of the patients.

Interestingly, in a double-blind, randomized comparison of Arnica administration versus placebo of a total of 37 patients undergoing bilateral endoscopic carpal-tunnel release between June 1998 and January 2000 at the at the Queen Victoria NHS Trust. researchers found that there was no group differences on the primary outcome measures of grip strength or wrist circumference.

However, Arnica treatment group showed a significant reduction in pain experienced after 2 weeks in compared to control.

Although Arnica application displayed a strong properties in reduced pain symptoms of the tested patients, due to the small size of the sample, Dr. Stevinson C, the lead scientist said,”The role of homeopathic and herbal agents for recovery after surgery merits further investigation”.
Taken together, topical herbal Arnica may be considered as a potential secondary therapeutic treatment in alleviated pain and numbness, particularly, in patient who experience some intolerant adverse effect induced by intake of conventional medicine.

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Kyle J. Norton, Master of Nutrition
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) A Homeopathic Arnica Patch for the Relief of Cellulitis-derived Pain and Numbness in the Hand by Barkey E1, Kaszkin-Bettag M.(PubMed)
(2) Homeopathic arnica for prevention of pain and bruising: randomized placebo-controlled trial in hand surgery by Stevinson C1, Devaraj VS, Fountain-Barber A, Hawkins S, Ernst E.(PubMed)
(3) Use of Arnica to relieve pain after carpal-tunnel release surgery by Jeffrey SL1, Belcher HJ.(PubMed)