Check out this great video from Dr. Oz recently advocating the use of arnica!
Treating Shoulder Pain and Injuries With Homeopathy
Dr. Thaddeus Jacobs
With its shallow ball-and-socket joint surface and thin, albeit, very strong layer of muscles and tendons, the shoulder could be considered a natural wonder of engineering. It possesses the greatest range of motion of all the joints in the body, allowing us to position our hands in a multitude of ways. Its strong ‘rotator cuff’ muscles enable us to accomplish a great deal of work involving complex pushing, pulling and lifting motions.
With amazing capabilities come some unfortunate drawbacks. The shoulder’s flexibility-optimizing design requires smaller supportive muscles and thinner stabilizing ligamentous connective tissue. This leaves the shoulder joint particularly prone to injury. Sudden overstretch or overuse leads to sprains and strains. When this occurs either chronically or acutely, joint inflammation (synovitis) as well as bursitis and tendonitis often results. Also, when inflammation exists in and around the joint, one could wind up with a debilitating ‘frozen shoulder.’
As always, the first remedy to consider for all musculoskeletal pain and inflammation is Arnica. This is particularly true in cases of acute injuries or joint dislocation. Every home’s medicine chest or car’s glove box should stock this versatile remedy in order to be prepared to not only treat shoulders, but any number of other problems involving pain and injuries.
For acute injuries and pain, begin treatment with Arnica, taken every hour. If the problem steadily diminishes with Arnica, then continue using it for several days until the problem is completely resolved.
The shoulder’s complex structural make-up likely contributes to the wide variety of possible symptoms encountered with shoulder problems. This means that a greater number of homeopathic remedies must be considered when choosing a medicine. Among the many possible remedy choices, three main ones are discussed here.
Ruta graveolens is a classic ligament and tendon injury remedy either with or without bursitis. It is better with heat applications, with pain and stiffness following exposure to cold. Clear cases of ligament and tendon injury can be effectively treated using this remedy alone.
Thiosinaminum is the #1 remedy for frozen shoulder. Bryonia is also a good frozen shoulder remedy, especially when even slight movement causes pain. Bryonia is particularly well-suited for cases where extreme dryness is felt, ‘as if there were no fluid in the joint.’
The medicines discussed in this article effectively treat many shoulder problems. For greater success, readers should refer to articles on this site, such as “Effective Homeopathic Treatment of Sprains and Strains,” and other sources. When shoulder pain and dysfunction persist, it may be an indication that a more serious health issue exists. A health care professional should be consulted so that co-existing health problems are addressed and supportive therapies implemented.
Dr. Thaddeus Jacobs
Homeopathic remedies pose a significant advantage over most over-the-counter and prescription medications in the treatment of knee injuries and pain. The knee is notorious in its ability to heal at a drawn-out pace. Steroid injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, while potent in suppressing inflammation and pain, are known to greatly hinder cartilage and joint connective tissue repair. These drugs ultimately cause weakening of the joints and a higher likelihood of subsequent injury and arthritic changes. Armed with that information, sufferers should consider therapies that support a return of structural integrity as well as pain-free function. Homeopathy can be the ticket to fast-track recovery.
Because the knee joint is “boney” (i.e. not covered by thick muscle) and endures tremendous repetitive weight-bearing forces, it is particularly prone to trauma and injury. In particular, its hinge design is not conducive to twisting motions, and excessive torsion readily causes injury to ligaments and the boney cartilage surfaces. Structures often afflicted by damage and inflammation include the patella tendon (Jumper’s knee), bursae, collateral and capsule ligaments, femoral and meniscus cartilage, and the periostium bone sheath – from direct blows to the bones.
People familiar with homeopathic healing will not be surprised to read that Arnica is the first remedy to give for any acute injury to the joints. Mild to moderate pain should respond well to Arnica. Severe pain or trauma –such as a torn meniscus or cruciate ligament- will be treated better with a higher potency. Rhus tox very often will be a good remedy to give a day or two after the trauma and initial treatment with Arnica. With improvement, Rhus can be given to ensure healing momentum is maintained within the joint. Apis is particularly indicated when there is a significant amount of swelling, as in bursitis.
Ruta graveolens is a classic ligament and tendon injury remedy either with or without bursitis. It is better with heat applications. Pain and stiffness follows exposure to cold. Rhus tox is also a good remedy for conditions that are worse with cold and ameliorated with heat, but is better indicated when the pain is present upon initial movement and gets progressively better as the joint continues to move and limber up. As a course of treatment, Ruta may be taken morning and night along with the tissue salts, Calc carb, Calc phos and Silicea. After a couple weeks, substitute Ruta in the above regimen. Two week later, discontinue the tissue salts and take single daily dose of Ruta for a week or two.
Other remedies to consider include Bryonia, for severe pain with slightest movement, and Ledum, which is beneficial for dark bruising that is unresponsive to arnica. Ledum is well suited when injuries feel cold to touch and are alleviated by cold applications.
The medicines discussed above should cover most cases; however, some chronic knee pain sufferers may need to seek the care of a professional homeopath. Treatment utilizing homeopathy requires that we do not ignore the whole person. It is therefore important in cases of persistent knee pain and dysfunction to obtain a remedy and other therapies to addresses co-existing health problems and treats one’s entire constitution.
By: Dr Lauri Grossman
What is a bruise?
You get kicked on the soccer field, drop something heavy on your toe, or bang your head on a low entryway. It might seem like nothing at the time, but all too often, you wake up the next day with a discolored bruise that is so tender to the touch, you want no one to come near. When this happens, you might reach for an ice pack or consider running to the medicine cabinet, but before you do, let’s talk about bruises and learn what causes the rainbow of colors that appears as days go by.
Bruises (or what medical doctors call “contusions”) occur when you get injured and break tiny blood vessels in the skin. These blood vessels or “capillaries”, leak into the surrounding tissue and as red blood cells gather, you can see discoloration in the area. What starts off as a red-purple injury becomes green or yellow as the body works to heal the region and metabolize or gobble up the mass of escaped red blood cells.
The tendency to bruise varies from one person to another. Despite all their falls, young children bruise less readily. They have resilient blood vessels that don’t break easily. Older people, especially those on certain medications, have delicate vessels; some find black and blue marks so frequently that they are forever wondering where the injuries come from and what it was they last bumped into. Medications that prevent blood clotting (like Coumadin) and prescription drugs that make blood vessels more fragile (like Prednisone) often contribute to the number of bruises one has.
After two to three weeks, most people find their bruises healed and their skin color returned to normal. Sometimes, however, the body will wall off the region instead of sending cells in to do the clean up work. When this occurs the blood pools and the area swells and becomes tender. If calcium is deposited, a bony condition called myositis ossificans can occur and the tissue becomes sensitive to touch and hard.
The natural chemicals found in Arnica help to heal or prevent these unwanted complications. Flavonoids decrease the permeability of the blood vessels and polysaccharideas stimulate the process by which helper-cells clean the tissue of unwanted debris.
When using Arnica, the best results occur when you match the severity of the injury with the strength of the homeopathic medicine. A lower potency is all you need when you bang your toe into a table or get a blow to the nose in a basketball game. For more minimal injury, topical Arnica is all you need for relief.
Remember that serious trauma and spontaneous bruising calls for a complete medical evaluation. Be sure to get checked for signs of internal injury and fracture. In addition, the word “RICE” can help to remind you of other valuable tips for bruising: REST, ICE, COMPRESS, ELEVATE. The application of a cold compress and elevating the body part reduces the blood flow to the area. This lessens the amount of bleeding in the skin and reduces that size of the bruise.
Even with the utmost caution, accidents will happen at home, on the field, in the gym, and in the workplace. However, with Arnica on hand and these tips in mind, you can speed the healing and prevent long-term disability that often accompanies bruises and physical trauma. So be sure to have a supply of Arnica in your kitchen cabinet, desk drawer, purse and gym bag. Then, you too will be able to experience the beneficial healing effects that Arnica has provided since mountain climbers discovered it centuries ago.
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.
Dental pain! A trip to the dentist is commonly associated with a painful memory of a prior dental experience. The throbbing, swelling, bleeding, and aching pain vividly stands out in your memory. This typically does not occur during semi-annual cleanings or simple cavity fillings, but when the dental procedure involves an extraction, surgery or treatment for a dental emergency (most commonly from an accident with a blow to the mouth or head). This is when there is real value from using arnica.
Healing energy normally flows through the nervous and circulatory systems in the body. Under normal circumstances, this process occurs naturally. However, a trauma disturbs this normal flow and can create a visual sign (blood) as well as a very real sensation of pain. This is common to dental trauma.
When a dental procedure creates this type of trauma, the body typically creates inflammation as a natural defense mechanism to the trauma. The inflammation, although unsightly and painful, is just part of the natural healing process of the body.
A standard pharmaceutical approach to dealing with inflammation and pain is by using anti-inflammatory (examples include over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen) and pain-medications, like codeine. The anti-inflammatory medicine has both pain-killing response as well as the anti-inflammatory activity. Pain medication acts only on the brain, deceiving our perception of localized pain while doing essentially nothing to actually help heal the wound.
Arnica, on the other hand, effectively helps the body to overcome the trauma through the natural mechanisms already in the body to reduce the pain and inflammation, rather than by using man-made chemicals.
A good suggestion is to consider arnica for all dental traumas. The remedy will help the body control the inflammation and the perception of pain, naturally working with the body. Taking arnica after a dental trauma can help speed the healing process overall.
The most effective dosing with the arnica is to take a dose:
1. The evening before the procedure,
2. While waiting in the dental office immediately PRIOR to the procedure,
3. Immediately AFTER the procedure,
4. Then continue to dose the remedy every 6 hours AND as needed.
4.1. These additional as needed doses are practical to address potential break-thru pain that would normally be addressed by taking the “as needed” dose of the
pain or anti-inflammatory medication.
*IMPORTANT! Medications may be prescribed with specific dosing instructions AND/OR “as needed”. Arnica can ALWAYS be taking “on top” of any prescribed regime,without causing complication or interruptions with the prescribed treatment plan .However it is always best to include your practitioner on YOUR treatment plans. Never change the plans the dentist gives you without consulting with the prescriber.
Dr. Peter Wannigman
Micro-doses of the plant are used to make homeopathic Arnica. In this form, Arnica restores health with no side effects and is safe for children, adults, pregnant women, and seniors. Like other homeopathic medicines, Arnica has been regulated as a drug by the FDA since 1938 and manufactured according to the guidelines in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. Homeopathic Arnica has no reported drug interactions and is safe for individuals who require other medications.
In recent years many research studies have been carried out to explore the effectiveness of Homeopathic Arnica. In medical clinics and hospitals, physicians are turning to Arnica to relieve the soreness and bruising that can follow accidents and surgery. Especially helpful after orthopedic and plastic surgery, Arnica relieves inflammation and bruising and speeds recovery. Experts in emergency medicine recommend it to reduce pain and mend tissues associated with traumatic injuries. Fitness coaches rely on it to ease the soreness that comes from overexertion and muscle sprain.
Homeopathic Arnica is available in two forms: Topical gels and creams that can be applied to the skin and medicated pellets that dissolve under the tongue. For minor, local complaints, the topical form is recommended. For more severe general symptoms, the pellet form is more effective.
Herbal preparations of Arnica are not the same as the homeopathic medicines made from the plant. In fact, they are very different. In herbal form, the amount of plant extract is substantially higher. This can cause adverse effects when taken internally. Home brewed teas and tinctures can cause dizziness, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat and even death. Topical herbal applications can cause reactions as well. For this reason, professional practitioners recommend Arnica only when used in homeopathic form. Just take care not to apply the cream or gel to broken skin where it can cause irritation.
Keep a supply of Arnica in your home first aid kit for bruising or soreness associated with:
Accidents and injuries
Wounds with Swelling
Surgery (especially Orthopedic and Plastic)
Dr. Lauri Grossman, DC CCH RSHOM(NA)
Arnica montana is a plant in the Compositae or Daisy family. It grows in high mountain meadows where it takes in massive amounts of sunlight and radiates a strong fragrance and bright yellow color. Mountain climbers were the first to discover its use in healing when they observed the way it helped repair injuries that resulted from accidental falls. Over the next few centuries, others confirmed Arnica’s ability to heal bruises, sprains, and muscle aches. And today, physicians from over 80 countries around the globe acknowledge its effectiveness in reducing pain and swelling.
Arnica has numerous common names. Many reflect the plant’s ability to heal. “Wound herb”, “fall herb”, and “well-bestow” are some of the most common nicknames. In the mountains of Germany, it is best known as “Stoh up ungoh hen” or stand up and go home.
Dr. Lauri Grossman, DC CCH RSHOM (NA)
A homeopathic medicine is believed to be more effective when its active ingredient is diluted: this is the minimum dose approach of homeopathy. The purpose of potency is to dilute the active ingredient until it can do no harm and to invigorate the base substance with energy such that the qualities are preserved while the substance itself is diluted out.
On a homeopathic drug product, the drug strength or potency appears directly after the name of the active ingredient. Unlike conventional medicines that typically report drug potency in milligrams, homeopathic potency is indicated by a numeral followed by an X or C. the potency of a medicine such as 6X or 30C says how many times and by what ration the base substance has been diluted. While counterintuitive, the potency is higher though the concentration of an active ingredient is lower.
Anyone of any age, or in any state of wellness or sickness, strength or weakness. Among its generations of users, there is not a recorded case of bad side effects from using homeopathy’s safe doses of Arnica.
Below is a general description of Arnica, from 1-800-Homeopathy’s Single Remedy Catalogue. For more extensive descriptions, click on Materia medica listings on this website:
• First Aid - Bruising, bleeding, trauma, pain and swelling after injuries, blows, dental work, surgery, childbirth, etc. Backache, joint & muscle pain from strain or exercise.
• Modalities - Better lying with head low. Worse touch, jarring, exertion.
This premier first aid remedy has brought many converts to homeopathy by minimizing bruising, bleeding, swelling, shock, pain and recovery time following strains, injuries, dental work, surgery, childbirth, exercise… Even without bruising or obvious signs of injury after trauma, Arnica relieves the aftershock, soreness and pain that follows.
Whenever backs are lifting and joints are twisting, Arnica can minimize the swelling, bruising and pain. In homeopath Asa Hershoff’s book on Musculoskeltal Healing, his perfect formula for sprains begins with Arnica to reduce swelling, bruising and trauma.
Arnica given in the first stage can minimize the swelling and get you in the final cast much sooner. Once the bone is well set, low doses of Symphytum should take Arnica’s place.
On the skin and soft tissues everywhere, Arnica can help the body reduce bruising, minimize bleeding of minor cuts, plus ease tender sore spots like boils, acne or blood blisters.
For aches and muscles, Arnica can bring much comfort when a strong cough has your ribcage feeling sore, or a flu has your muscles aching. A dose before and after a workout can minimize the next day’s stiffness and help the muscles heal.
Arnica is an excellent all-around remedy, but please remember to consult a licensed medical professional for serious injuries.