The Effect of Topical Arnica on Muscle Pain(October).
Summary of "The Effect of Topical Arnica on Muscle Pain(October)."
The herb Arnica montana, in topical formulations, has been reputed to decrease bruising and muscle pain. This claim has been inadequately and incompletely addressed.
To determine whether topical A. montana cream could decrease subjective leg pain following calf raises. Secondary outcomes were effects on ankle range of motion and muscle tenderness.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 53 subjects. Active range of motion was measured in both ankles, and then a series of calf-raises were completed according to a standardized protocol. Each participant received 2 tubes of cream, 1 with active arnica and 1 with placebo. The creams were applied to the lower legs immediately after the exercise, and again at 24 and 48 hours postexercise according to the "RIGHT" or "LEFT" labels. At 48 hours postexercise, subjects had their ankle range of motion and muscle tenderness measured. Subjects used the analog scale to rate pain in each leg at baseline, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours.
No significant differences in pain scores were seen before exercise (arnica: 0.07 vs placebo: 0.09, p = 0.32). Pain scores on legs treated with arnica were higher than scores on those receiving placebo 24 hours after exercise (3.04 vs 2.36, respectively; p < 0.005). Pain scores on day 3 (arnica: 3.44 vs placebo: 3.20, p = 0.66) and day 4 (arnica: 2.36 vs placebo: 2.31, p = 0.62) were not significantly different. There was no difference in muscle tenderness (arnica: 1.05 vs placebo: 1.05, p = 1.0). Ankle range of motion did not differ significantly on either day 1 (arnica: 64.70 degrees vs placebo: 66.15, p = 0.352 or day 3 (arnica: 63.32 degrees vs placebo: 65.94, p = 0.058).
Rather than decreasing leg pain, arnica was found to increase leg pain 24 hours after eccentric calf exercises. This effect did not extend to the 48- hour measurement.
Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program, Sugar Land, TX.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Annals of pharmacotherapy
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
A plant genus of the family ASTERACEAE. The dried flower heads of Arnica montana are used externally as a counterirritant and tincture for sprains and bruises, either as crude extract or in homeopathic dilution (HOMEOPATHY). Arnica contains volatile oils (OILS, VOLATILE), arnicin, arnisterol, FLAVONOIDS; TANNINS; and resin. The common name of Wolf's Bane is similar to the common name for ACONITUM.
A symptom complex characterized by pain and weakness in SKELETAL MUSCLE group associated with exercise, such as leg pain and weakness brought on by walking. Such muscle limpness disappears after a brief rest and is often relates to arterial STENOSIS; muscle ISCHEMIA; and accumulation of LACTATE.
Piriformis Muscle Syndrome
A chronic PELVIC PAIN characterized by pain deep in the buttock that may radiate to posterior aspects of the leg. It is caused by the piriformis muscle compressing or irritating the SCIATIC NERVE due to trauma, hypertrophy, inflammation or anatomic variations.
Myofascial Pain Syndromes
Muscular pain in numerous body regions that can be reproduced by pressure on trigger points, localized hardenings in skeletal muscle tissue. Pain is referred to a location distant from the trigger points. A prime example is the TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DYSFUNCTION SYNDROME.
An effect usually, but not necessarily, beneficial that is attributable to an expectation that the regimen will have an effect, i.e., the effect is due to the power of suggestion.
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