To determine whether homeopathic Arnica 30× can reduce muscle soreness following long-distance running more than a placebo.
Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
Long-distance runs taking place in the community.
A total of 519 runners anticipating delayed-onset muscles soreness after long-distance races.
A homeopathic medicine (Arnica 30×) and an indistinguishable placebo.
Subjects completed a visual analog scale and Likert scale of muscle soreness every morning and evening for the 5 days following their race. Race time was also recorded. The main outcome measure was mean 2-day visual analog scores.
Results were obtained from 400 subjects. Groups were well matched at baseline. Mean 2-day visual analog soreness scores for Arnica and placebo were 45.2 mm and 41.0 mm, respectively. The 95% confidence interval was between 8.81 mm in favor of placebo and 0.51 mm in favor of Arnica. No differences were found for Likert scores or race time.
Homeopathic Arnica 30× is ineffective for muscle soreness following long-distance running.
*Research Council for Complementary Medicine, London, England; †Division of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Oxford, England; and ‡Royal London Homeopathic Hospital NHS Trust, London, England
Manuscript submitted January 20, 1998; accepted for publication April 15, 1998.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Andrew J. Vickers, Research Council for Complementary Medicine, 60 Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JF, England.