Treat Sprains & Strains with Arnica
Effective Homeopathic Treatment of Sprains & Strains
By Dr. Thaddeus Jacobs
Regardless of the season, injuries are a common occurrence in sports and everyday life. High-level athletes, weekend warriors and the sedentary –who might consider simple household chores a workout- all succumb to occasional traumas, aches and pains. Homeopathy use for these problems and others is increasing in popularity here in the US because of its unique, safe, drug-free qualities.
The great popularity of homeopathic medicine worldwide is largely because it acts rapidly and without the side effects often encountered with conventional drugs. Homeopathy is a medicine of choice for many physicians throughout Europe and Asia and a growing number of doctors, athletes and families in the US. This article’s aim is to discuss a few key remedies every household should have on hand for quick first aid self-treatment of strain and sprain injuries.
Strains and sprains represent the most common causes of pain and impaired function. A strain is a “pull” or tear, resulting from overstretching a muscle or its attaching tendons. Strains can occur during sports or normal day-to-day activities involving sudden, heavy lifting. Strains often cause damage to small blood vessels, causing bleeding, bruising (secondary to bleeding), swelling, and pain (from local nerve irritation).
A sprain involves damage to ligaments; the thick, strong, fibrous tissues that hold bones together around joints. When a ligament or ligaments are overstretched, they may tear partially or completely. A common sprain injury example is a ‘twisted ankle.’ Similarly, sprains cause swelling, bruising and pain in the affected joint.
Arnica montana represents the #1 homeopathic medicine any household should have on-hand. It is the first remedy to think of for any type of trauma or injury and is particularly helpful for sprains, strains and other muscular traumas. Remember arnica when there is: bruising; muscular soreness and fatigue; injury from falls, accidents and blunt trauma.
In addition to Arnica, there are a few key remedies one’s medicine chest should not be without in order to be prepared for sprains and strains. While arnica can be used as a general first-line remedy for all injuries, the following medicines can be very helpful in specific situations when Arnica doesn’t provide complete relief.
Ruta graveolens –ligament and tendon injuries; overuse injuries; bursitis; stiffness from exposure to damp and cold that is relieved by heat applications
Bellis –works like arnica, but for deeper muscular pains in the legs, abdomen and pelvis; excellent for repetitive strain injuries that are better with rubbing or massage
Hypericum –neck, back and hip strains and sprains involving the joints of the spine accompanied by shooting and sharp, pinching pains; numbness and tingling sensations; injuries to densely innervated body parts such as fingers, toes, spine and the tail bone.
Ledum –dark bruising that does not respond to arnica, particularly when injuries feel cold to touch and are also alleviated by cold applications
Rhus tox –severe stiffness that is worse with initial movement, but is relieved by continued movement; stiffness improved by warm applications and aggravated by cold applications, sitting and lying
Bryonia –any pains that are worse with even the slightest movement, even deep breathing; sprain or dislocation injuries around rib attachments
Symphytum (aka knitbone) –assist healing of broken bones; injuries to tendons and cartilage
Homeopathic remedies come in different potencies -6c, 12c, 30c, 200c, 1M and up. Most acute problems, such as twisted ankle or muscle pulls, respond well to using Arnica 30c potency every 15 minutes until there is improvement. If improvement is only partial, then give a single dose of either a 200c or 1M potency or switch to one of the other remedies discussed in this article if the symptoms match more exactly. As symptoms improve, less frequent dosing can then be given as needed.
The homeopathic medicines covered in this article are key players in any household’s medicine chest or athlete’s training bag. Trainers, athletes and the general public all over the globe utilize these important medicines because of their safety, lack of side effects, low cost and ability to support and speed the body’s own healing processes.