Conventional anti-inflammatories are notorious for side effects such as ulcers and low immune function - problems that can be avoided using homeopathy. Reduce inflammation and facilitate healing quickly and gently according to the age-old principle: like remedies cure like diseases.

Soothing Sprains and Strains

Homeopathic anti-inflammatory relief for injuries usually begins with Arnica, along with ice and plenty of rest. When Arnica no longer helps, there are other remedies.

Rhus tox is excellent for painful injuries that develop stiffness. Like a rusty gate, the pain is worse on first movement, but improved while moving about. The pain returns from overuse, typically at the end of the day. Rhus tox also alleviates uneasy restlessness that develops when trying to relax or sleep.

Ruta is used in similar circumstances, but long after the initial swelling and heat are gone. It is the main remedy for stubborn and repetitive strains, such as tennis elbow.

Signs for Bryonia or Ledum are entirely different. Use Bryonia when even the slightest shift in movement causes sharp, stitching pains. Ledum helps treat a sprain with swelling that becomes a bruised, mottled purple and feels cold and numb. Despite the chill, only ice can be applied to the injury, as warmth aggravates the pain.

Alleviating Arthritis and Gout

Are you in the throes of an attack of arthritic pain or gout inflammation? Many of the same remedies are useful, keeping in mind that constitutional treatment by a homeopath can reduce the number of attacks and improve overall health.

Bryonia is excellent for sharp pains that come on from the littlest movement. Colchicum has similar indications for use: exquisitely sensitive joints, aggravated by the littlest movement, but in this case the pain wanders from joint to joint. Use Apis for very swollen, red, hot joints that sting or burn.

Whenever marked stiffness accompanies the pain, remember Rhus tox for joints that tolerate continued motion and hot baths, but forbid rest and overuse. Arnica ameliorates sore achy joints when there is a fear of being jarred or touched, particularly if an injury has been the cause.

Battling Back Pain and Sciatica

Rhus tox relieves stiffness and aching in back strains occurred while lifting. Alternatively, use Nux vomica for cramped backs that are worse in the morning. Also consider Kalium carbonicum when stitching pains drive you out of bed in the middle of the night. For aching soreness after a fall, use Arnica, unless the pain is from an injury to the tailbone, which responds well to Hypericum.

These remedies are excellent anti-inflammatories, as long as the symptoms fit and your lower back pain is not due to a herniated disc or kidney infection, which require professional assistance.

Next time you injure yourself, note the type of pain and look at the inflammation. The closer the remedy suits your symptoms, the better it will work and without the side effects.

Use three 6C pills, three times daily until the problem is better. Or take three of the stronger 30C pills, 12 hours apart, only as needed. Do let symptoms guide you: if the inflammation appears to improve, reduce and/or stop the remedy.

About the Author

Nicole Duelli is a certified classical homeopath and naturopathic practitioner. She can be reached at 604-512-9243.