The Homeopathic treatment of sports injuries:
A mixed systematic review exploring effectiveness
Uta Mittelstadt – BSc & MSc homeopathic medicine, University of Central Lancashire (UCL)
Rehana B. Issat – BSc Pharmacy, BSc Homeopathic Medicine, University of Central Lancashire (UCL)
Jean E. Duckworth – LLB, MSc, MA, RS Hom FHEA, University of Central Lancashire (UCL)
To systematically review in the form of a mixed, systematic review, peer-reviewed, randomized, double blind controlled trials and observational studies investigating the effectiveness of the homeopathic treatment for sports injuries. It is sought to identify flaws and weaknesses in the conduction and reporting of trials and to critically analyze issues underlying these implications. This paper seeks to extrapolate a synthesizing argument, and intends to point out in its discussion requirements to overcome potential inconsistencies in future research.
Studies were searched from 1990 until December 2012. Electronic databases that are accessible via the UCL an subscription were searched for trials and studies matching the inclusion criteria. Further studies were obtained from personal contacts at the Carstens-stiftung.
Studies had to come from peer-reviewed sources and had to have a placebo or a ˈother than placeboˈ control. Treatments had to be homeopathic; either a single remedy or a complex preparation. Pooled-results and systematic reviews were excluded. There were no exclusions by language.
Trial quality differed extensively. Few similarities and vast differences were noted which complicated a synthesizing conclusion. Therefore, synthesis was drawn from only four trials that were sufficiently similar in their quality of reporting, conduction and outcome.
Synthesis showed that the homeopathic complex preparation Traumeel, of ingredients in homeopathic mother-tincture and decimal potency, and the single remedy Arnica in X/D and low C potency are effective for sports related injuries, if applied topically following physical exertion or exercise. Homeopathic preparations are very well tolerated and have high patient compliance.
The outcomes reported by the individual trials and studies are inconsistent, and trials have substantial weaknesses. Studies are flawed by wrong application and ignorance of homeopathic principles, by weaknesses of reporting and quality of conduction. We propose that there should be a consensus on the reporting of trials, on a global level, and further postulate the need of a different approach to research when investigating homeopathic interventions.
Sports; sports injuries; homeopathy; homoeopathy; randomized controlled trials; observational studies; Arnica; Traumeel, effectiveness.
copyright Uta Mittelstadt 2020, Rehana B. Issat, Jean E. Duckworth