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.
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.
The Basic Principles of Homeopathy
Homeopathy ( ‘ hoh-mee-OP-uh-thee’ ), also known as homeopathic ( ‘ hoh-mee-uh-PATH-ik’) medicine, is a whole medical system that originated in Europe and has been practiced in the United States since the early 19th century.
Homeopathy is based on three principles:
- Like Cures Like. Homeopathic treatment involves giving extremely small doses of substances that produce characteristic symptoms of illness in healthy people when given in larger doses. To choose the right homeopathic medicine, you need to match your symptoms to those that active ingredients address.
- Minimum Dose. Unlike conventional medicines, a homeopathic medicine is believed to be more effective when its active ingredient is diluted. An active ingredient is diluted through a special preparation process called dilution and succession. Data indicate that the homeopathic medicine gains increased effectiveness as dilution is increased. At the same time, the safety profile of the medicine increases with increased dilution.
- Individualized Medicines. Ideally homeopathic treatment is tailored to each person. In this case, practioners select medicines according to a total picture of the patient, including not only symptoms but also lifestyle, emotional and mental states, and other factors.
To make the process of selecting the right remedy easier, you can purchase a combination remedy- which is several homeopathic ingredients to treat the most common symptoms of an ailment.
The HPUS is the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States
Homeopathic medicines are regulated by the FDA as drugs. Legalization and standardization of homeopathy began in 1897. An ingredient is considered homeopathic when it meets the standards specified in the HPUS. The HPUS is a ” a non-governmental, non-profit scientific organization composed of experts in the fields of medicine, arts, biology, botany, chemistry and pharmacy who have had appropriate training and experience and have demonstrated additional knowledge and interest in the principles of homeopathy.”
The description of arnica montana in the HPUS is:
Name in contemporary use: Arnica montana L
Latin: Doronicum oppositifolium Lam., D. arnica Desf.
Eng: Mountain arnica, Leopard’s bane, Mountain tobacco
Family Compositae (Composite Family)
A perennial herb, with a slender, blackish rhizome 2.5 to 5 cm. long, from which are given off numerous filiform roots. The stem, 25 to 30 cm high, is erect, pubescent, rough, striated, either simple or with one pair of opposite branches. The leaves, 4 to 8 cm. long, are few, entire, sessile, opposite, obovate; the radical ones crowded at the base, the upper smaller than the rest. The heads, 5 to 6.5 cm. wide, are large and solitary at the summit of the stem and lateral branches. The involucre is cylindrical, dull green, with purplish points and hairy. The disk flowers are yellow and numerous, with tubular corolla with five spreading teeth. The ray flowers are about fifteen in number, yellow in color. It flowers in July and August.
Range and habitat:
moist, grassy upland meadows in the hills and mountains of northern and central Europe and Siberia. It is also found sparsely in the northwestern United States.
Preparation & Classification:
Tincture of the entire plant, including the root (Class C). Alcohol content: 45% v/v