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      Urtication for Musculoskeletal Pain?

      Pain Medicine

      Wiley

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          Most cited references 14

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          Herbal medications commonly used in the practice of rheumatology: mechanisms of action, efficacy, and side effects.

          To review the literature on herbal preparations commonly utilized in the treatment of rheumatic indications. Search of MEDLINE (PubMed) was performed using both the scientific and the common names of herbs. Relevant articles in English were collected from PubMed and reviewed. This review summarizes the efficacy and toxicities of herbal remedies used in complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies for rheumatologic conditions, by elucidating the immune pathways through which these preparations have antiinflammatory and/or immunomodulatory activity and providing a scientific basis for their efficacy. Gammalinolenic acid suppresses inflammation by acting as a competitive inhibitor of prostaglandin E2 and leukotrienes (LTs) and by reducing the auto-induction of interleukin1alpha (IL-1alpha)-induced pro-IL-1beta gene expression. It appears to be efficacious in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but not for Sjogrens disease. The antiinflammatory actions of Harpagophytum procumbens is due to its action on eicosanoid biosynthesis and it may have a role in treating low back pain. While in vitro experiments with Tanacetum parthenium found inhibition of the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon-gamma, IkappaB kinase, and a decrease in T-cell adhesion, to date human studies have not proven it useful in the treatment of RA. Current experience with Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, Uncaria tomentosa, finds them to be efficacious in the treatment of RA, while Urtica diocia and willow bark extract are effective for osteoarthritis. T. wilfordii Hook F extract inhibits the production of cytokines and other mediators from mononuclear phagocytes by blocking the up-regulation of a number of proinflammatory genes, including TNF-alpha, cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), interferon-gamma, IL-2, prostaglandin, and iNOS. Uncaria tomentosa and Urtica diocia both decrease the production of TNF-alpha. At present there are no human studies on Ocimum spp. in rheumatic diseases. The fixed oil appears to have antihistaminic, antiserotonin, and antiprostaglandin activity. Zingiber officinale inhibits TNF-alpha, prostaglandin, and leukotriene synthesis and at present has limited efficacy in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Investigation of the mechanism and potential uses of CAM therapies is still in its infancy and many studies done to date are scientifically flawed. Further systematic and scientific inquiry into this topic is necessary to validate or refute the clinical claims made for CAM therapies. An understanding of the mechanism of action of CAM therapies allows physicians to counsel effectively on their proper and improper use, prevent adverse drug-drug interactions, and anticipate or appreciate toxicities. The use of CAM therapies is widespread among patients, including those with rheumatic diseases. Herbal medications are often utilized with little to no physician guidance or knowledge. An appreciation of this information will help physicians to counsel patients concerning the utility and toxicities of CAM therapies. An understanding and elucidation of the mechanisms by which CAM therapies may be efficacious can be instrumental in discovering new molecular targets in the treatment of diseases.
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            C nociceptor activity in human nerve during painful and non painful skin stimulation.

             J Van Hees,  J Gybels (1981)
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              Randomized controlled trial of nettle sting for treatment of base-of-thumb pain.

              There are numerous published references to use of nettle sting for arthritis pain but no randomized controlled trials have been reported. We conducted a randomized controlled double-blind crossover study in 27 patients with osteoarthritic pain at the base of the thumb or index finger. Patients applied stinging nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) daily for one week to the painful area. The effect of this treatment was compared with that of placebo, white deadnettle leaf (Lamium album), for one week after a five-week washout period. Observations of pain and disability were recorded for the twelve weeks of the study. After one week's treatment with nettle sting, score reductions on both visual analogue scale (pain) and health assessment questionnaire (disability) were significantly greater than with placebo (P = 0.026 and P = 0.0027).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Pain Medicine
                Pain Med
                Wiley
                1526-2375
                1526-4637
                October 01 2008
                October 2008
                October 01 2008
                October 2008
                : 9
                : 7
                : 963-965
                Article
                10.1111/j.1526-4637.2007.00334.x
                © 2008

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