Periarthritis refers to an inflammation of tissues surrounding a joint. Thus, it is not to be considered a rheumatic disease, but rather painful damage to muscles, tendons and bursae. Almost all tendinitis are periarthritis and both terms are often used interchangeably to identify a painful sensation occurring around a joint. In most cases, it is the shoulder joints that are most affected by periarthritis. It is for this reason that this condition, which affects muscular and tendinous humerus tissues as well as the chest and neck muscles, is known as shoulder periarthritis or shoulder tendinitis. The causes of shoulder periarthritis are numerous and can appear after a trauma, surgery or senescence of tissues.
Periarthritis has the particularity of being painful when the affected joint is subjected to physical effort. At first the pain is not very noticeable and does not prevent the patient from performing movements. During its evolution, periarthritis subsequently attacks the tissues located around a joint and severe pain occurs, particularly when the joint is subjected to a certain level of stress. Later, and even at rest, the joint becomes painful and, if left untreated, the pain caused by periarthritis could evolve into a chronic inflammation. In more serious cases, periarthritis could be disabling, that is to say, the pain becomes so unbearable that it does not allow for any movement of the affected joint.
Depending on the symptoms and the location of pain, a number of remedies can be combined to treat shoulder periarthritis. If the pain affects the right shoulder, it is advisable to take five granules of Sanguinaria 6 CH three to four times a day. This remedy is also prescribed, in the same dosage, in case of nocturnal periarthritis. If the pain affects the left shoulder, it is recommended to take 5 granules of Ferrum metallicum 6 CH three times a day. However, if both shoulders are simultaneously subject to painful sensations, Lycopodium 6 CH is the indicated remedy, of which three 5-granule doses need to be taken daily. Finally, if the diagnosis shows a bit of calcification in the joint, a daily 5-granule intake of Solanum malacoxylon 6 CH is recommended.
In case of periarthritis, the pain is usually triggered by physical effort. Treatment and to prescribe depends on the severity of pain in the muscles or tendons, as well as the inflammation’s frequency and duration. In regard to superficial pain that occurs during physical effort, Arnica montana 5 CH, Symphytum 5 CH and Ruta graveolens 5 CH are all indicated during treatment, in addition to which rest is compulsory. Two granules of one of these remedies should be taken every hour until the pain dissapears. If the pain occurs during physical effort and persists, even at rest, it is recommended to take 4 or 5 daily intakes of Rhus toxicodendron 5 CH, knowing that a single dose consists of 3 granules. The same prescription should be used in combination with Bryonia 5 CH and Hypercium 5 CH if periarthritis persists for several days.
In some cases, periarthritis is accompanied by a painful oedema. Some factors including heat, cold, and movement may alleviate or worsen the pain. Treatments must take the oedema’s severity and related symptoms into account . If the pain becomes throbbing and the oedema flushes, one or two daily intakes of Aconite 7 to 15 CH are indicated. If the pain worsens with movement of the joint, one can take Belladonna 9 CH, of which the intakes need to be renewed until improvement is noticed. If the pain stemming from the oedema can be relieved by the cold, the repeated use of Apis 5 to 7 CH is recommended. On the other hand, if the cold worsens the pain, Arsenicum album 5 CH will need to be taken repeatedly.
In most cases, the diagnosis of periarthritis is difficult to establish without resorting to arthroscopy or MRI. A medical examination is necessary in order to determine the most suitable form of treatment to be undertaken. It is also advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible when one becomes sensitive to pain. Similarly, if the treatment proves to be ineffective, it is important to seek medical attention, especially if the pain tends to worsen.
• Ferrum Metallicum
• Ruta Graveolens
• Solanum Malacoxylon
Good to know: Homoeopathy has already proven its usefulness in pain management. Phytolacca 5 CH is, for example, very efficient in case of pain that spreads to the elbow.