Homeopathic Arnica 30x is ineffective for muscle soreness after long-distance running: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Clin J Pain. 1998 Sep;14(3):227-31. doi: 10.1097/00002508-199809000-00009.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arnica*
  • Female
  • Homeopathy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Running / physiology*


  • Plant Extracts