Sports Injuries and Homeopathy
by Len Torok, MD

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that was founded over 200 years ago by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, M.D. This remarkable therapeutic tool is widely used in Europe, Asia and Latin America and is now making a comeback in the United States. Research in prestigious medical journals like the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, Rheumatology, Pediatrics and others is helping fuel interest in this subtle, but very powerful form of natural medicine.

If you are wondering whether homeopathic remedies can help you recover from an injury or strain, my answer is an emphatic yes. I introduced homeopathic remedies into my orthopedic surgery practice in Ohio in 1998. The benefits to my patients were simply amazing. Patients recovered from both injuries and surgery faster and with less pain, swelling and bleeding.

I continue to see homeopathy do remarkable things in my practice. Homeopathy not only speeds recovery and minimizes suffering associated with injury, but also increases strength and function of the injured part. This fact is in contrast to the effects of anti-inflammatory medicines. Inflammation is one of our body's mechanisms of healing. If the inflammatory process is interfered with, this interference can limit the quality of recovery and lead to weakness and susceptibility to repetitive injury. None of this compromised healing occurs with homeopathic remedies.

The absence of side-effects is a huge advantage in using homeopathic remedies. They do not cause the common adverse reactions that one has to worry about with anti-inflammatory medicines. It's quite unlikely that you will have any adverse reactions when taking a homeopathic remedy and this is one of the reasons why the FDA allows for its over-the-counter sales. If you take the correct remedy for your symptoms, you feel better. If you do not take the correct remedy for your symptoms, nothing happens.

Homeopathic remedies are dispensed according to precise and completely different laws or guidelines as compared with other conventional treatments. The "Law of Similars" is the guiding prescribing principle in homeopathy and all treatments are individualized, not standardized, according to this principle. The Law of Similars states that "like treats like." In other words, all conditions and symptoms are evaluated and treated with substances that in their natural or crude state would cause the exact symptoms that you are attempting to cure. Patients who are new to homeopathy will often report that treatment often produces a sense of overall strengthening and well-being that comes in the recovery phase. In addition to these advantages, homeopathic remedies are quite inexpensive.

If you are considering trying homeopathy, you have several options. The proprietary combination remedies, available in most health food stores, is the easiest way to start. These combinations contain several different remedies and can be quite helpful 75% of the time. They are appropriate for the person who has a minor problem and is not interested in investing much time in learning about the vast array of homeopathic remedies available. This option affords the easiest and quickest fix for common injuries while introducing you to a new type of healing power you may have never experienced before.

The person who has a more serious or chronic injury problem would be better served investing a little more time and effort in consulting a certified homeopathic practitioner or naturopathic doctor. These patients will likely get better results from an individually selected remedy, used for a longer period of time and with specific potencies. For anyone interested in exploring homeopathy further, try reading "Homeopathy for Sports, Exercise and Dance" by Emlyn Thomas. Using the information in this book, you can learn about the various remedies that can speed your recovery time and alleviate swelling, soreness and pain. The book covers remedies, individual injuries and provides actual case histories.

The serious athlete who wants to gain a competitive edge can consult a professional homeopath who can suggest certain homeopathic remedies that maximize the athlete's musculoskeletal strength and endurance potential. At this level, you need more than book knowledge to gain that extra edge. Finally, I recommend that everyone have Arnica 30C around the home, with easy access to it in the event of an injury. This one remedy covers a wide range of injuries including muscle strain, pain and bruising. You can experience the benefits I am talking about by taking it shortly after an injury occurs.

The National Center for Homeopathy is a great resource and has a referral list of homeopathic practitioners in the United States. For more info, visit: www.homeopathic.org or call 1-877-624-0613. Len Torok, MD is a member of The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery; The American Board of Holistic Medicine.Visit his website at: www.Trilliumcreekohio.com