Can I use arnica for arthritis?

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Many individuals all over the world have been diagnosed with arthritis which is considered as a debilitating disease if left untreated or incorrectly managed. Aside from the conventional treatment measures for arthritis, there are other treatment options that can be used. For many individuals who have arthritis, they have tried alternative and complementary therapies such as arnica gel combined with exercise and medications to manage the joint pain.

Arnica gel is made out of flowers and leaves of the arnica plant. This gel can be applied directly over the affected areas in the body to help reduce the discomfort. Arnica is a flowering plant that naturally grows in the mountains of Europe and Siberia, but has been cultivated in the United States for its daisy-like, cheerful orange flowers and medicinal qualities.

Close look on arnica gel

Aside from the conventional treatment measures for arthritis, there are other treatment options that can be used including arnica.

Arnica gel is made out of a formulation of arnica in gel, either a solution which is usually prepared with 70% ethanol or oil made with 15% arnica prepared with one part flower to five parts plain vegetable oil. Take note that the oil is available at medical suppliers, drugstores or can be bought online. It is applied directly over the affected joints when expecting arthritis pain.

Uses of arnica gel

Individuals who have arthritis can greatly benefit from arnica gel. Upon application, it helps minimize inflammation, reduce the pain and boost the immune system. It is important to note that arnica is also utilized in managing bruise-like muscle pain and inflammation as well as rheumatic pain that are linked with systemic forms of arthritis.

Even though its effectiveness has been reported, arnica gel is not commonly used in managing arthritis. Many individuals who have arthritis claim to use gel or cream in managing rheumatoid arthritis. Only a few with osteoarthritis claim that they utilize the gel or ointment. Remember that the risks of arnica outweigh the benefits for many individuals with arthritis.

Considerations to bear in mind

Even though arnica gel is generally safe when it is applied topically, if it is used for extended periods, it can cause irritation of the skin, resulting to blister formation and peeling skin. It is vital to be careful not to apply arnica gel to any open wounds or sores where it can lead to severe irritation and infection.

If pregnant or breastfeeding, a doctor should be consulted first before using arnica to treat arthritis. Avoid using arnica gel internally since it can cause detrimental effects such as miscarriage, heart palpitations, paralysis and even death.

Even though there are no known interactions with arnica and conventional medications for arthritis, a doctor should be consulted before adding arnica to the self-care routine. As much as possible, the individual should not use this gel unless a doctor has been consulted.

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