Objective: To determine whether homeopathic Arnica 30X can reduce muscle soreness following long-distance running more than a placebo.
Design: Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Long-distance runs taking place in the community.
Subjects: A total of 519 runners anticipating delayed-onset muscles soreness after long-distance races.
Interventions: A homeopathic medicine (Arnica 30x) and an indistinguishable placebo.
Outcome measures: 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: 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.
Conclusion: Homeopathic Arnica 30x is ineffective for muscle soreness following long-distance running.