Arnica gel relieved pain and improved physical function in those with osteoarthritis of the hand, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed 204 participants from 20 Swiss clinics whose X-ray results confirmed osteoarthritis of the fingers or hands and who had applied anti-inflammatory topical treatments of ibuprofen 5% gel or arnica gel (50 grams arnica 5% tincture per 100 grams gel) three times per day for three weeks. Participants left a 4 cm gel strip on the arthritic joints for an hour before washing hands. At the end of the study, those who had used arnica reported 26.6% less pain compared to 23.9% for the ibuprofen group. Topical anti-inflammatories avoid the internal side effects of taking oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).