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.