I'm planning on competing in a triathlon, can you recommend any remedies for athletes and injuries? J.L.
In my office, I work closely with chiropractors, physical therapists and trainers in treating many sports related muscular-skeletal injuries. In our experience, we have found that on many occasions the use of homeopathic remedies along with therapeutics can be used successfully without having to resort to anti-inflammatories, including prednisone (steroids-the strong anti-inflammatory).
It is important to remember basic first aid for leg, ankle, heel and foot injuries. According to Dr. Steven Subotnick, "First aid treatment for most sports injuries is summed up by the short hand term, R.I.C.E.- rest, ice, compression and elevation."For moderate to severe symptoms always contact your doctor immediately.
Rest after an injury. Avoid all activity that causes pain.
Ice. Apply an ice pack (or frozen peas) to the injured area. Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. Repeat every 2-3 hours as needed. Use a towel to prevent ice burn.-Avoid heat for the first 36-48 hours after injury.
Compression or Pressure for visible swelling. Elastic bandages can be applied, preferably by someone who knows how to wrap. Avoid bandages that are too tight!
Elevate you leg and foot higher than your hip (or heart)on a pillow or chair. Don't forget to keep your leg elevated when you sleep.
The Homeopathic Sports Medicine Chest
The following medicine chest contains a sampler of some of the remedies that homeopaths use during physical activities and for injuries.
Arnica is the first medicine to use following all trauma and injuries. Arnica is useful for bruises, swelling, muscle soreness, sprains and strains, falls and blows, overexertion from lifting, sports and childbirth. During challenging training sessions and competitions, place 4 tablets of Arnica in water bottle. Sip as needed. In our office, we will use Arnica 30C (and the higher doses, 200C or 1M) as oftenas 4-6 times a day following severe injuries and pain.
Bellis perennis is used for trauma similar to Arnica. However, Bellis is indicated for deep tissue injuries. There is intense soreness, swelling and bruising.
Hypericum is excellent for injury to nerves, especially neck, back, fingers toes, nails, and brain. The characteristic pains are shooting and sharp, very sensitive to touch. Hypericum is also indicated for puncture wounds (including the site of an injection).When it is indicated following severe injuries, we will use Hypericum in conjunction with Arnica.
Sprains and Dislocations
Bryonia is useful for sprains, dislocations, injuries to tendons. The pains feel worse from the slightest movement, worse from being jarred or bumped and worse cold. Feels better keeping still and better with pressure. Bryonia keynotes also include irritability, desire to be alone and dry mouth.
Ruta graveolens is used for injuries and bruises to flexor tendons and the periosteum (the covering of the bone). Ruta is also indicated in the overuse of tendons (including tennis elbow), bursitis and nodular growths in the wrists. There can also be weakness, stiffness. Ruta works well after Arnica.
Magnesia phosphoricum is considered the great anti-spasmodic remedy. The cramps tend to be worse on the right side, worse with cold, touch and at nighttime. Improvement with heat. Magnesia Phosphoricum is also good for writer's cramp and menstrual pains.
Cuprum metallicum is also used for cramps of muscles especially legs, hands and calves. Cuprum symptoms are intense. Pains worse with touch, motion and during sleep.
Nervousness and Anxiety with Performance
Gelsemium is useful for athletes, performer or students who are nervous prior to a large event. (competition, audition, test, etc.) There is a fear of appearing in public, or of failure. Gelsemium is for the trembling, diarrhea and weakness that can happen from Stage Fright. Homeopaths also use Gelsemium for the flu.