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Br J Sports Med. 1997 Dec; 31(4): 304-7.

Homoeopathy for delayed onset muscle soreness: a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial.

Vickers AJ, Fisher P, Smith C, Wyllie SE, Lewith GT.

Division of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Infirmary, United Kingdom.

OBJECTIVE: To pilot a model for determining whether a homoeopathic medicine is superior to placebo for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DESIGN: Randomised double blind placebo controlled trial. SETTING: Physiotherapy department of a homoeopathic hospital. SUBJECTS: Sixty eight healthy volunteers (average age 30; 41% men) undertook a 10 minute period of bench stepping carrying a small weight and were randomised to a homoeopathic medicine or placebo. OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean muscle soreness in the five day period after the exercise test, symptom free days, maximum soreness score, days to no soreness, days on medication. RESULTS: The difference between group means was 0.17 in favour of placebo with 95% confidence intervals +/- 0.50. Similar results were found for other outcome measures. CONCLUSION: The study did not find benefit of the homoeopathic remedy in DOMS. Bench stepping may not be an appropriate model to evaluate the effects of a treatment on DOMS because of wide variation between subject soreness scores.

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