* Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.

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Homeopathy for Sports and Exercise Injuries

"Homeopathy cures a larger percentage of cases than any other system or school of medicine.”[1]

With injury comes the responsibility to care for the body without causing further harm.

A Disturbing Trend in Sports Medicine

“First, Do no Harm”[2]

There is a disturbing trend taking place in the field of sports and exercise medicine today.  That trend includes the use of a class of drugs that not only complicate recovery but also increase the risk of developing sports-related injuries. Athletes are using these so-called “harmless” drugs with greater frequency than ever before.  These drugs are even recommended by physicians and physical therapists as an aid in the recovery process, even though they have been shown to have the opposite effect.

Many athletes choose to use a group of medicines called NSAIDs, or Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory medicines, to enhance performance, pre-medicate to avoid pain and to treat existing injuries.  This group of medications includes  Ibuprofen (Motrin, Aleve), Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Salicylic Acid (Aspirin).  They are far from benign. On the surface these medicines appear harmless since they help fight inflammation and numb the pain, but they:

Are the leading cause of Kidney Failure in the U.S. today
Cause GI bleeding in ALL users.
Cause gastritis, and Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) in many long-term
Suppress the immune system.
Slow down the healing process.
Promote chronic injury.
Dull the perception of important pain signals.
Increase the risk of new injuries.
Increase the risk of worsening existing injuries.
Directly oppose the maxim:  “Listen to your body.”

Athletes using NSAIDs before, during and after exercise increase their risk of all these complications.  Even in the absence of vigorous physical exercise, these agents are known to damage the body, but during vigorous exercise, the body is at even greater risk of injury from these agents.

During exercise, the body typically experiences mild to moderate dehydration and hemoconcentration. This volume reduction increases the concentration of all medicines in the body.  As a result, the kidneys, stomach, liver, intestines, and muscles all experience higher than normal concentrations of these drugs.  As concentration increases, so does the risk of injury.   The toxic effects of these substances are magnified during exercise, resulting in an increased risk of developing one or more side effects.

Not only are the toxic effects of drugs increased during exercise, but the analgesic and immune-suppressing effects are also magnified.  As a result, small injuries and microscopic tissue traumas are more likely to go unnoticed.  The cumulative effect of this can lead to a spiral of diminished body-awareness and aggravations of existing injuries.

Pain is not only an important message from the body indicating physiologic limits to activity, but it is also a key component in the healing mechanism. These medicines directly interfere with the inflammatory response which is part of the body’s healing mechanism.

NSAID’s should never be used routinely by athletes either to prevent injury, enhance performance or to treat an existing injury.  A far safer and more effective tool for management of sports injuries is homeopathy.

Specific Remedies to Consider in Sports Injuries:

Some generalizations can be made about when certain homeopathicmedicines are indicated and for whom. Self-care can be utilized in the homeopathic system and it is extremely forgiving with an excellent safety profile.  Some of the following homeopathic medicines have proven track records for being extremely helpful in preventing and treating certain sports injuries.  Remember that if treatment is not successful within a reasonable amount time, then further definitive care by a specialist should be considered.

Arnica montana: Leopard's Bane

Arnica is the sine qua non for all forms of TRAUMA, including soft tissue injuries, falls, blows, bruises, contusions, sprains, strains, broken bones, overexertion, mental stress, shock, and PTSD.  Arnica is an essential addition to any sports first aid kit.  Arnica can be helpful acutely at the time of injury or even years later for injuries that have failed to completely heal.  Arnica is also helpful post-operatively for many types of surgery where bruising, injury and tissue trauma are expected.

Ruta graveolens:   Garden Rue

 Ruta is highly effective in cases of injured or bruised bones, joints, and tendons that present with sore, aching pains and restlessness.  Ruta has special affinity for the flexor tendons of  the ankles and wrists.  It is helpful in cartilage injuries, and bruises of the periosteum (the sensitive tissue that surrounds bones).  Ruta helpful in sciatic pain that is worse lying down at night, and for persistent lameness and weakness after sprains or strains.  Ruta can also be helpful for eyestrain.

Symphytum:  Comfrey

Symphytum is particularly helpful in cases of injuries to bones, cartilages, and periosteum when there is excessive pain. It is good for old painful injuries that have failed to heal properly. It is useful in fractures and broken bones where there is a pricking, or stitching sensation that remains after the wound is “healed”. Symphytum is known for its affinity to help heal the non-union of fractures.

Hypericum perforatum:  St John's Wort

Hypericum is one of the best medicines for injured nerves, especially in sensitive areas like the fingers, toes, and under the nails. It is useful in crush injuries, painful lacerations, and when intolerable, violent, shooting and sharp pains are present. It is helpful in cases of brain and spinal cord injury.   Hypericum can be used in cases where wounds feel more tender than they look.  It can also be helpful post-operatively for nerve injuries or after tooth extractions (in cases of “dry socket”).

Rhus Toxicodendron: Poison Oak

Rhus tox is helpful in cases where there is pain and stiffness of muscles and joints known as the “Rusty Gate” phenomenon.  Rhus tox is helpful in strains and sprains caused by over-lifting or overexertion.  One of its keynote characteristics is rheumatism that is worse in cold, wet, rainy weather. The pains are typically worse at night, and the person cannot find any comfortable position in which to rest. Rhus tox helps in cases where muscles twitch excessively, and where there is a sensation of “crawling” or numbness of the affected parts.   Rhus tox may help cases of sciatica that are better by warmth and from continued exercise.

Bryonia alba: Wild Hops

Bryonia patients want to be left alone.  They don’t want to be touched.   They have severe pain with red, hot swollen joints or muscles.  The affected structures feel worse with any motion and the person is inclined to keep the injured areas absolutely still.  Every little motion is met with stitching, tearing pains.  Bryonia is helpful in cases of bursitis where the entire joint capsule in involved and is intensely painful with even the least motion.  Bryonia is helpful in cases of sciatica that are better lying quietly on painful side. It is helpful in cases where knees are stiff and painful and worse from the least motion.

 Source article: Sports and Exercise Injuries,Ronald D. Whitmont, M.D, CCH

[1] Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

 [2] Hippocrates


*This information is intended for professional use only. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of TxOptions, Standard Homeopathic and Hyland’s. These statements are based upon traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.