What is Arthritis? Any pain in joints and bones need to be evaluated by the symptoms, physical examination and diagnostic techniques if required. There are different types of bones and joints in the body with different functionality and hence all the diseases of joints and bones do not have similar symptoms. The function of bones and joints is to give protection, provide structure, give strength, enable movement etc.
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Whenever a patient with pain in joints visits a homeopathic doctor, the history of the patient is given importance with regards to the nature of pain, stiffness etc. Here are ways by which a homeopathic doctor assesses the patient with joint pains to reach to final diagnosis.
The history of the pain in bones and joints is known by the following questions: whether it is a joint pain? Whether it is acute or chronic? And if it is joint pain, how many joints involved? Is inflammation present?
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Once it is known that it is not a joint pain, the disease is classified under Trauma or Fracture, Firomyalgia, Polymyalgia, Bursitis and Tendinitis. This exercise helps the homeopathic doctor to elicit the sphere of action to match with the homeopathic remedy to be prescribed which brings about immediate relief to the patients.
Or, if it is known that pains are due to involvement of joints, articular pains, it becomes important to know the duration of pain. If the pain is from less than 6 weeks it is classified as Acute articular pain and if since more than 6 weeks, Chronic articular pain. This is important to know because in homeopathy the philosophy of acute and chronic diseases stand tall and there are remedies selected based on the duration of sickness. This is another aspect of homeopathy which makes homeopathy the best treatment method for arthritis and diseases of bones and joints.
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Some of the Acute articular diseases are Acute arthritis, Infectious arthritis, Gout, Pseudogout, Reactive arthritis. All these acute kind of arthritis have permanent and fast relief with homeopathic medicines.
Furthermore, the homeopathic doctor would like to know whether the chronic pains due to joints involvement(articular) is inflammatory or noninflammatory. Such a step-wise elicitation and evaluation leads the homeopathic doctor to the correct diagnosis and also helps in drug selection for instant cure. Therefore, the patients are supposed to give entire history which may be a time-taking procedure but for the betterment. The chronic noninflammatory joint pains can be due to Osteoarthritis(if knee joints or hip, distal finger joints are involved) or Osteonecrosis and Charcot arthritis.
Chronic inflammatory arthritis is further probed by the homeopathic physician to know the number of joints involved. The diseases which fall under chronic inflammatory arthritis involving one to three joints are termed as monoarthritis / oligoarthritis. Such diseases are Psoriatic arthritis, Reactive arthritis, Pauciarticular JIA.
For the category of chronic inflammatory arthritis involving more than 3 joints, it is imperative to know whether there is symmetry in the affection of joints. If there is no symmetry seen, Psoriatic arthritis and Reactive arthritis may be considered. But if there is symmetry prominently noticed, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus(SLE), Scleroderma, Polymyositis are identified by the doctor.
By now, it will be obvious to the homeopathic doctor the probable diagnosis. He/She may send for further diagnostic techniques if required based on the history and physical examinations.
Therefore, it has to be understood by the patients with arthritis that a thorough history is required from them by the doctor in addition to the initial co-operation in the examination procedures. Such an extensive and elaborative method of assessing a patient with joint pains is essential to the homeopath for early diagnosis and screening. In addition to the nature of the arthritis disease the patient may be suffering from, a homeopathic doctor further continues the second part of consultation to know the constitution of the patient with arthritis.
A constitution is the physical make-up of the patient, the dietary habits, the thermals, the previous history, the emotional characteristics, the social life , life-span investigations along with the mind thought process which is individualistic. Such a complete case-taking enables a homeopathic doctor to bring about complete cure from arthritis in majority of the times barring few cases. Therefore, homeopathy is considered to be a complete science covering the disease characteristics and diseased person’s individuality to ensure the health is restored. All these values make homeopathy as the best treatment method for arthritis conditions.