November newsletter generated a huge amount of interest in the option of using research verified natural solutions for arthritis and sports injuries. As a result we have included a couple of others, again using comfrey, and also turmeric.
Efficacy and safety of a comfrey root extract ointment in the treatment of acute upper or lower back pain
Glannetti, B et al. Efficacy and safety of a Comfrey root extract ointment in the treatment of acute upper or low back pain: results of a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, multi-centre trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Br J Sports Meddoi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.058677
The objective was to examine Comfrey root extract ointment compared to placebo ointment in patients with acute upper or low back pain. The study was conducted as a double-blind, multi-centre, randomised clinical trial over a period of 5 ± 1 days. The 120 patients (mean age 36.9 years) were treated with active or placebo ointment 3 *4g times a day. The trial included four visits.
The primary measure was Visual Analogue Pain Scale on active movement at visits 1 to 4. The secondary measures were back pain at rest, pain on pressure algometry, consumption of analgesic medication, and functional impairment measured with the Oswestry Disability Index.
There was a significant treatment difference between Comfrey extract and placebo regarding the primary measure. In the course of the trial the pain intensity on active movements decreased on average about 95.2 % in the active group and 37.8 % in the placebo group.
The results of this clinical trial were clear-cut and consistent across all primary and secondary efficacy variables. Comfrey root extract showed a remarkably potent and clical relevant effect in reducing acute back pain. For the first time, also a fast acting effect of the ointment (1 hour) has been witnessed.
Tumeric for OA of Knee Joint
Kuptniratsaikul V et al. Clinical Intervention Aging. 2014 Mar 20; 9:451-8 Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study.
An impressive multicenter study completed and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging looked at the effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on knee osteoarthritis pain and function.
Methods: 367 primary knee osteoarthritis patients with a pain score of 5 or higher were randomized into two groups one group received turmeric extract, while the other group received the daily UL (upper limit) dose of the non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication ibuprofen. The study was conducted for 4 weeks and thorough questionnaires were given pre- and post-study completion to assess effectiveness.
Results showed that the turmeric group experienced pain relief to an equal extent as the ibuprofen group. The turmeric group, however, seemed to enjoy more relief from joint stiffness compared with the participants taking ibuprofen. Those taking turmeric reported significantly less side effects than those taking NSAIDs.
Conclusion: C. domestica extracts are as effective as ibuprofen for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. The side effect profile was similar but with fewer gastrointestinal adverse event reports in the C. domestica extracts group.
You can read other research reports looking at additional benefits of using turmeric here.
From all of us at Esperance Physiotherapy we wish you all the best over the Christmas and New Year period.