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I have been taking devils claw tincture for chronically sore muscles and joints for 10 days, but have not had any relief at all. I realise sometimes it takes time, but I had hoped for a small glimmer of relief. My condition has worsened after being taken off methotrexate last year, which kept a cap on my symptoms, but of course is a very toxic drug. I am delaying contacting my rheumatologist, as I know he would put me on steroids and then the methorexate as before. I am desperate to find something as an alternative to these scary drugs. I take vitamin D, vitamin B, gluchosomine/chondroitin, krill oil and marine phytoplankton plus devils claw at the moment. I still have no relief from the pain. I just have to resort to painkillers sometimes for relief. What can I do?

Devils Claw is a remedy you have to be a little patient with. I'd say a few weeks rather than a few days for results.

The other factors that cause an increased perception of pain are also worth considering. These include poor sleep, low mood and correcting any deficiency in omega 3 fats.

Sleeping better or improving mood both help reduce the perception of pain and should never be forgotten when one is trying to manage it.

As regards the supplements you are taking, glucosamine and Chondroitin are beneficial for osteoarthritis (OA) but less so rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RA affects the smaller joints such as the hands, wrists and feet and can creep up to the knees. It is characterised by reddened swellings.

OA tends to be worst after periods of inactivity, such as sleep or sitting, is typically one sided and affects the larger joints such as the hips or spine (and knees too, since they bear weight).

You may be able to recognise whether you have one or the other from that and decide if the glucosamine is worthwhile.

My 4 part pain blog - Dealing with pain should help set the scene and help you recognise what you need to change (if anything) in your diet to minimise the tendency toward inflammation.

Please give the Devils Claw another month or so and in the meantime start to alter the inflammatory influences inside and make sure you are starting each day positively.

Best wishes


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