The effect of a topical homeopathic solution on nocturnal leg cramps and associated symptoms
Background: Approximately 33% of individuals age 50 years and older report Nocturnal Leg Cramps (NLC). NLC are associated with poor sleep quality, declining quality of life and depression. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a topical homeopathic solution dispensed as a foam on the frequency and severity of night-time cramps and associated symptoms including, sleep quality, quality of life, and depression.
Materials: A topical homeopathic solution dispensed as a foam containing magnesium sulfate.
Methods: 50 subjects who reported NLC volunteered to participate in a 4-week double blind clinical trial. Subjects self-reported their sleep quality, quality of life and depression upon entering into the study following two weeks of no treatment and again following 2 weeks of either topically applying a homeopathic solution dispensed as a foam or a placebo foam. Subjects also completed a daily diary indicating the frequency and severity of their night-time cramps. During the two week treatment period subjects were instructed to apply their assigned topical foam to their legs bilaterally before retiring to bed.
Results: The subjects who received the homeopathic solution exhibited declines (p<.05) in the frequency of cramps and the severity by frequency of cramps between weeks 1 and 4. Subjects receiving the homeopathic solution reported improvements (p<.05) in their sleep quality, quality of life and depression. Subjects receiving the placebo did not change on any outcome measures between weeks 1 and 4.
Conclusion: The homeopathic solution may provide a complimentary therapy to treating NLCs and associated symptoms.