Complementary medicines hints and tips

Tips on arnica gel

I was put on Cuprofen for my Dupuytren’s-like trouble. My doctor is trying to prevent me from another operation on the same hand – one for the finger and one for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Cuprofen helped with the pain, movement and swelling but having tried arnica gel for other pain I tried it for this and found it excellent. My finger is now straight again and when I use the gel regularly, I have very little trouble with the finger. Also, arnica gel is splendid for my arthritic knee. The pain goes in no time. I had to cancel a holiday last year due to pain and stiffness. Had I used this, as it seems to be a minor miracle, it may have prevented the cancelling of my holiday.

I was told that headaches seem to disappear if the temples are rubbed with the gel. I haven’t tried this yet but my health shop owner thinks it's excellent for this.

Geraldine, Sherborne, Dorset

Tips on devil's claw

Devil's claw and green-lipped mussels combination

I must tell you of the incredible success I'm having with green-lipped mussel supplements and the herbal remedy devil's claw. Last year I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hips, with bone cysts and inflammation. My left hip was particularly bad. I started taking green-lipped mussel and Devil's Claw and within a couple of weeks noticed an improvement.

After several months of taking them I feel considerably better than I have for a couple of years! I've just completed an 18-km walk in the mountains of Crete and I was very tired and experienced stiffness afterwards but I did it!

I'm positive it's not just a psychological thing and I think more publicity should be given about them to arthritis sufferers.

Gill - 2015

Devil’s claw reduces my pain

I've tried every complementary medicine on the market – glucosamine, chondroitin – but until now nothing has worked. I started using devil’s claw over a month ago and it has significantly reduced my pain by about 30%.

I have osteoarthritis in my knees and hands and it has helped with my movements and also in relaxing the muscles that supports the joint. When you feel better you may feel the need to want to exercise and be active – but pace yourself.

Doreen, Saffron Walden, Essex - 2014

Tips on emu oil

I've been using emu oil on my arthritic hip and both knees for perhaps five years and have found it has given me considerable relief from pain. I would recommend it to anyone with arthritic joints.

Rex, Winchmore Hill, London - 2012

Tips on ginger

Ginger drinks for pain relief

I'd been suffering quite badly with arthritis this winter when I also caught a cold. I treated myself with a local alcohol-free ginger wine and found an extra benefit in that I became pain-free in my arms and hands.

As the cold receded, I cut back on the amount I drank and the pains started to return, so I'm back on tippling at a level that keeps them away – roughly a bottle a week.

It's so wonderful to be pain-free and not taking painkillers. I hope this may help others.

Keith, Poole - 2016

Ginger and cinnamon

I’ve found taking half a teaspoon of ginger and half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day on my porridge to be very successful in reducing the pain of arthritis. I no longer need to take paracetamol. Years ago ginger was used for period pain. Always check it's safe to use with any other medical tablets being taken.

Clarice, Alford, Lincolnshire - 2013

Tips on glucosamine

I suffer from osteoarthritis and have a hip replacement. I bought glucosamine as an aid to preventing further arthritis.

My ankle and foot became very swollen. I decided to cease taking it, and more or less immediately my foot and ankle returned to normal.

Mrs J. Wright, Cheshire - 2009

Tips on green-lipped mussel

Devil's claw and green-lipped mussels combination

I must tell you of the incredible success I'm having with green-lipped mussel supplements and the herbal remedy devil's claw. Last year I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hips, with bone cysts and inflammation. My left hip was particularly bad. I started taking green-lipped mussel and devil's claw and within a couple of weeks noticed an improvement.

After several months of taking them I feel considerably better than I have for a couple of years! I've just completed an 18-km walk in the mountains of Crete and I was very tired and experienced stiffness afterwards but I did it!

I'm positive it's not just a psychological thing and I think more publicity should be given about them to arthritis sufferers.

Gill - 2015

Green-lipped mussel

On reading one of your letters some time ago recommending rosehip to ease arthritis, I tried this with no improvement. However, I find that green-lipped mussels, recently suggested by a local doctor, has made my pain considerably better.

I've tried many different suggestions but this is the only one to have an effect. It's not however, available on the NHS.

Elizabeth, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Tips on rosehip

I've been taking rosehip extract for about a year now and the results have been amazing! I was able to walk and wear heels again without pain. I recommended it to my stepfather, who suffers from osteoarthritis in his hands and after three weeks he noticed a reduction in the stiffness and pain.

I bought the tablets from Boots, they often have a three-for-two offer, and have recommended rosehip to other people with positive results.

One friend suffered from a skin disorder which gave her great pain in her hands – she tried the rosehip and is now able to go back to gardening.

Joanna, Cannes, France - 2009