Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sports Injuries and Homeopathy

All sports people push their bodies hard. Whatever their sport they usually strain every muscle and ligament to produce maximum performance. So after competing every athlete's body can ache and requires time to recover. In many sports there is also heavy bodily contact that can cause bruising, concussion, fractures and other injuries.

So sport injury is common, and any injured sports person want to recover as soon as possible, and get back into competition, particularly if sport is his or her livelihood. Homeopathy helps the body to cope with the stresses and strains of sporting performance, and deal with sport injury. Indeed, the use of homeopathy in sport has at least three major benefits:
  1. No homeopathic remedies are illegal as they do not ‘enhance' performance. What this means is that sports people do not have to live in fear of drug testing, they do not have to worry about inadvertently using banned and illegal 'performance enhancing' drugs. Remedies are not an issue for drug testing, they are a safe and legitimate way to soothe the aches and pains of sporting performance, and shorten recovery time from injury.
  2. No homeopathic remedies are harmful. Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted micro-doses of the substance that stimulates the body’s own healing response. They do not have side effects. What this means is that the body does not have to expend energy in coping with, and eliminating the toxicity of pharmaceutical drugs, or to overcome the harmful, and sometimes dangerous side effects they are known to cause. They are also entirely safe for children and young people. 
  3. Yet the most important benefit is that homeopathy works effectively, and can actually speed up recovery, including recovery from injury. Conventional medicine has no drug that can speed, or enhance recovery from injury. Indeed, conventional doctors do not even claim to have drugs that have any such effect! Instead, conventional medicine offers painkillers to help 'play through the pain' but this is also dangerous. Pain is a message to the body that something is wrong, that further exertion is not a sensible option. Hiding pain with pharmaceutical drugs can, and often does, lead to further, more serious injury. Also, painkilling drugs, even the most popular painkillers, also have the most extremely serious side effects.
So what does homeopathy offer to the sports person, especially at the time of injury, when the desire to get back into action is intense?

Injury trauma, and bruising.
Arnica Montana is the most amazing remedy. Arnica cream can also soothe sore muscles both before and after a workout. It is the first remedy called for after an injury, and thereafter in the treatment of most sports injuries. It deals with the immediate shock of the incident that has caused the injury, both at a mental and physical level. It can bring out and relieve bruising, swelling, and pain. It can speed recovery from muscle soreness after performance, and also from minor injuries. Homeopathy, in other words, offers a natural alternative treatment that can help your body heal instead of just covering up the pain.

Indeed, Arnica can relieve the discomfort of sore muscles far better than painkillers like ibuprofen, which are known to damage the gastrointestinal tract, and the kidneys, and increase the risk of high blood pressure. Conventional painkillers are often used to mask pain symptoms, so running the risk of more serious injury by over-using damaged muscles, tendons and cartilage.

Bellis Perennis is a remedy, particularly for 'deeper' bruising, perhaps resulting from a direct blow to the muscles, as in a 'dead leg'. sport. When this remedy is required there is often a feeling of 'tightness' and bruising may not be initially so apparent.

If, immediately after getting a minor injury, a homeopathic remedy is taken it can get the athlete back in action there and then. Yet homeopathy can also speed recovery from the most serious sports injuries. Indeed, healing is dramatically faster when using homeopathic. In his article “Homeopathy and Sports Medicine” published in American Homeopathy, as long ago as June 1984, A. Dwight Smith, MD, estimated that homeopathy can cut healing time for sports injuries by 50-85%.

Muscle and ligament strain
Strain injuries are common in sports that require the application of enormous or consistent force to the limbs, ligaments, and muscles that attach to the bones and joints. Strains occur when continual force or twisting movements are made, or when there is an awkward movement that pulls the joints in a way that is not expected or normal.

Ruta Graveolens is perhaps the most common and important remedy for this type of injury. It has traditionally been used for the relief of painful stiffness, especially around joints, and overstraining and sprains of the shoulders, wrists, knees. Tennis elbow is an example. Ruta is oven indicated when tight bandaging feels helpful, and when movement is not helpful, but the pain is worse after lying or sitting.

Ledum is another remedy useful in treating sprained joints, especially when the joint is heavily bruised, and there is a sensation of being cold, but which is made worse by applying heat, but better by applying ice. It is also good for black eyes.

Symphytum is a remedy made from Comfrey, the herb, one of whose medieval names was 'bone-knit'. And this is exactly what Symphytum does. If taken shortly after the bone has been reset, and is then taken regularly, it has been found to reduce the 'knitting' process by as much as one-third. So a six-week wait can be reduced to four-weeks. This website provides more details, and other remedies that can be used after a fracture.

The seriousness of concussion is becoming more widely recognised in most contact sports today. There are many remedies that will help speed recovery, both immediately after a blow to the head, and afterwards.

     Aconite is often used if there is acute fear following a head injury.

     Arnica is again the first, and most important remedy for concussion. It is particularly useful when there is bruising and swelling. The face might be hot, but the rest of the body is cold. When the individual is conscious, they may insist that they are "Okay" when they are clearly not, even to the extent of refusing to be examined. They may be sleepy, or drifting in and out of stupor. If asked a question they may answer correctly, but then go back to sleep. 

     Natrum sulphuricum is often used to treat the after-effects of concussion. The patient will often show symptoms of post-traumatic brain damage, such as cognitive thinking, concentration, memory changes, dizziness, convulsions, tinnitus. An important indication for this remedy is usual personality changes, with the individual showing signs of unusual irritability, confusion, and depression - even suicidal thoughts.

     Opium, in homeopathic potency, is used when there is stupor or coma following a head injury, when the pupils are constricted, the face is bloated and flushed, and normal reflexes are almost absent. There may also be rattling breathing, or snoring. The pupils are constricted and the face is bloated and flushed. Reflexes may be almost absent.

The Use of Homeopathy in Sports Injuries
Some big sport teams are now recognising the important role that homeopathy can play in the treatment of sports injury. The usual example given is the frequent and widespread use of homeopathy by German football teams. One study showed that most doctors working for football teams in the top two German football leagues (Bundesliga 1 and 2) use homeopathic remedies to keep their players healthy and fit, as does the German national football team.

The Administration of Remedies
Another advantage of using homeopathic remedies to treat sporting injuries is that it can be quickly and efficiently administered during a game, either by popping a remedy in the mouth, or by taking the remedy by water.

The only question is why more sports people are not taking advantage of the safe, effective and inexpensive medical therapy.

There are many more important homeopathic remedies that can be used in sports injuries, only the main ones have been mentioned here. Anyone who wishes to know more about the treatment of sports injuries with homeopathy should consult these two important books.
  • Sports and Exercise Injuries. Steven Subtonic. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley. 1991.
  • Homoeopathy for Sports, Exercise and Dance. Emlyn Thomas. Beaconsfield, Bucks. 2000.