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Sprains & Strains

Joint Sprains & Strains

A sudden jump in physical activity is inevitable when the air turns warm and inviting. I often find myself achy from overdoing or straining something if I haven’t used those muscles in a while or haven’t warmed up well.

The most common complaints with increased physical activity are sore muscles and soft tissue strains. The current theory around sore muscles is that we get micro-tears in the muscle when we work it hard and an enzyme called creatine kinase leaks out, causing us to feel sore, stiff and achy. A muscle strain occurs when we over-stretch our ligaments or tendons. (Ligaments connect bone to joint; tendons connect bone to muscle.) There is usually pain, weakness of the area and swelling. Sore muscles are temporary but a strained ligament or tendon can take weeks to heal completely.

The #1 homeopathic remedy for sore, overworked muscles is ARNICA (Arnica montana). Arnica is great for any kind of bruising or for any time you overuse your body and feel stiff, sore and achy. A stiff, sore back often responds very well to this very basic remedy. Unless a description below sounds exactly like what’s going on for you, try Arnica first.

If you’ve strained or sprained a muscle RHUS-TOX (Rhus-toxicodendrum) is a wonderful remedy when correctly indicated. You’ll know this is your remedy if you feel worse upon initial movement, and then better with gentle continued movement. Rhus-tox is also good to use after Arnica if you have any residual soreness or strain left.

If you’re suffering from tendonitis, the best remedy to try is RUTA (Ruta gravolens). This remedy has a strong affinity for tendons and connective tissue. If you’ve been dealing with tennis elbow, for example, try Ruta. This remedy is especially indicated if the symptom feels worse from cold and damp. Because of its affinity for connective tissue, it’s also a good remedy for eye strain. Ruta is the second remedy to try for fractures and bone bruises.

SYMPHYTUM is the first remedy to reach for if you bruise or fracture a bone. Surfers sometimes jump off their boards in water shallower than they anticipate, and land hard on the sand below, which can cause bruising of the heel bone (I know of this personally). Any blunt blow to a bone, or any fracture, can be helped with Symphytum. If you still have pain from a broken bone that hasn’t healed all the way, try this remedy.

Until next time. Wishing you health and joy in all your daily adventures.

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