Homeopathy: Arnica for Pain ReliefChris de Barros November 1, 2007
In today’s fast-paced world, it is common for people to contract some form of pain-related issue. For people who work in offices where they sit in front of a computer all day long, the likelihood of developing arthritis or arthritic symptoms increases significantly. For manual labourers who put a daily strain on their spine and muscles, there is a good chance that they will eventually suffer from some sort of stiffness or muscle ache. For many pain sufferers, drugs such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen are often the solution. These drugs are tried and tested pain-relievers. However, there is an alternative.
In homeopathic medicine, the top pain-relieving prescription remedy is Arnica. This flowering plant is commonly referred to as Leopard’s Bane, and is easily found in natural health products stores, particularly as an ointment.
Arnica is prescribed homeopathically in any case where the individual has suffered a trauma. For example, someone who has fallen off of a bicycle would be a prime candidate for Arnica, as it would work quite effectively in quelling the pain, bruising and soreness. This remedy is effective because it stimulates healing in the venous system, muscles, tendons, as well as the surrounding tissue. In such cases, it is most effective as an orally ingested remedy. However, Arnica can also be applied locally on an injury in the form of an ointment or gel. Here, it can also be quite successful in treating bruises and scrapes.
Due to its tonic-like effects on the venous system, this potent remedy alleviates swelling in the extremities which can often occur after trauma. It is also the first prescription in cases of sprains anywhere on the body.
While Arnica is certainly the top homeopathic remedy for injuries, it is also critical in treating other conditions. A perfect example of this is headaches. Arnica is quite successful when used in the treatment of migraines. It acts upon the general traction or irritation of the nerves and blood vessels in and around the brain, which is the root cause of a headache.
Arnica is also useful in treating cases of stress and anxiety, especially since it tonifies nerves within the central nervous system that are often irritated or inflamed. While not associated with the same physical trauma that causes bruising or muscle strains, it is important to note that constant stress or anxiety can cause severe physical symptoms within an individual. People who are often exposed to copious amounts of pressure are likelier to have tense nerves and muscles, meaning that the body is under intense physical strain.
An overworked individual normally develops a weakened immune system, and subsequently becomes prone to contracting diseases more frequently. While this seems to be a more indirect form of trauma, it is still important to recognize the physical manifestations that mental stress can create. In such cases, Arnica would do well to treat these manifestations, as well as the overall mental congestion that excessive mental strain can produce. Stress and prolonged anxiety can also be responsible for the eventual development of exhaustion. These days, more people are suffering from a general lack of energy and we now see a higher incidence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
While stress and anxiety are not the sole precursors to these conditions, they can be the main contributors. In such cases, Arnica works quite effectively in treating excessive fatigue and lack of energy.
The main factor in the effectiveness of homeopathic prescriptions, and in this case Arnica, is the dosage of the remedy. A person suffering from a slight muscle strain after exercising would only require a low dose of Arnica, such as 12CH twice in one day. After this point, the pain will have dissipated, and no further medication is necessary.
Of course, there are circumstances where the injury is far more severe and requires more intensive treatment.
For example, a patient who had a history of osteoarthritis had taken a serious fall down six concrete stairs, landing on her chest, wrists and left hip. This person needed Arnica 30CH once every two hours for a 24 hour period. The main priority was preventing excessive swelling, and further joint damage. A higher dose (200CH or 1M) was not recommended because the patient had a history of sensitivity to high doses of medication, and it was important to avoid an aggravation within the body. With the help of Arnica, the patient experienced no bruising, pain, discolouration or swelling – which is particularly interesting considering the severity of the injury.
Homeopathic medicine contains an arsenal of over 2,000 remedies; Arnica remains one of the most popular and commonly used due to its versatility and general alleviation of physical symptoms. However it is still a good idea to consult a homeopathic professional to seek treatment of long-term and chronic health issues.