Whether the patient is experiencing osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, I have found that an arthritis pain formula can be most effective when administered correctly. In homeopathy, it is not the amount of the dose, but rather the frequency of dose that makes the therapeutic difference. A good rule of thumb I use in my practice is the more intense the symptoms, the more frequent the dose. Taking a dose 6-8 times during an active symptomatic state is most effective.
When symptoms have decreased by 50%, I decrease dosage by 50%. When symptoms have decreased by 80%, I decrease dosage by 80%. As symptoms are eliminated, the patient may only require a dose anywhere from 1-3 times a week.
You may have other pieces to your patient's overall health problems that may require homeopathic treatment. If results are not being attained, look at other homeopathic formulations that may relate to the overall health of your patient. Good formulas to try for solving the puzzle of muscle, bone and joint problems may include ones for: back pain; muscles/joints; allergies to food and chemicals; lyme disease; detox and drainage; indigestion; circulation; menopause; and mental/emotional conditions.
Homeopathy added to your chiropractic management program will effectively broaden your scope of practice. However, when dealing with arthritis and muscle/joint treatment, and many other conditions, your patient's lifestyle management is essential to your successful management of their health.
Here are some helpful hints which you may want to distribute to your patients. I hope this will be helpful to you and your patients.
Lifestyle Management ProceduresAre your patients having trouble sleeping at night due to joint pain, or awaking in the morning with joint stiffness? Do they feel better after moving around awhile? They may be experiencing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, which means a breakdown and loss of joint cartilage. When cartilage breaks down, bones begin to rub against each other, causing inflammation, hardening of the bones, and bone growths around the joints known as bone spurs.
With age and "wear and tear," the cartilage may simply break down. As with any condition, incorporating good lifestyle management steps in everyday life can help prevent disease and maximize good health. At the end of this article will be a list of helpful management steps, but first some further information about other forms of arthritis, joint and muscle conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) isn't as easy to explain. Some doctors believe RA is a metabolic disorder caused by stress. Through years of unhealthy living -- poor eating habits, little or no exercise, negative outlook, or chronic physical or emotional stresses -- a breakdown of important functions may occur within the body: digestion, circulation, and elimination, to name a few.
When the body's elimination process is hindered, toxins may accumulate in the joints. When this happens, the body releases inflammatory cells to the joints to help reject the toxins. Obviously, over time, the inflammation can cause damage to the joints and ultimately the body, generally beginning with the smaller joints of the hands, wrists, and ankles.
The joint condition called gout is a metabolic disorder of the production of more uric acid than the bloodstream can handle. The result is crystal-like deposits around the joints that causes severe pain, usually in the big toe. Gout is usually seen in overweight people who have a tendency to regularly indulge in rich foods and alcohol.
Osteoporosis is of course a condition where the bones lose their density and become more brittle, a result of a lack of certain minerals, mainly calcium. Osteoporosis seems to affect mostly women, particularly those who are underweight.
Here is a list of lifestyle management steps designed for your patients to integrate into their lives to help them live, move and celebrate a life free of disease.
- It's not too late! Start now to implement a lifestyle of healthy eating. Healthy foods to eat are raw foods such as fruits and vegetables, along with fishes rich in good oils like salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna. Drink plenty of good water and minimize sugar and refined foods. Allow it to become a lifestyle, not just a passing phase!
- Keep on the move! A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to disease. Maintaining movement in your body is crucial. A good brisk walk while swinging your arms is one of the best forms of exercise.
- Be flexible! Flexibility exercises help to gently stretch the muscles. Some good exercise to try would be any that gently help stretch the muscle and exercise the joints through their full range-of-motion. Your local arthritis foundation should be able to send you some good exercise suggestions.
- Pool time! If you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis, and find even the simplest of movements to cause pain, then a good way to gently move your body is in a pool. The warm water is soothing, while the buoyancy helps reduce strain on your joints.
- Keep warm! Warmth seems to soothe the aches and pains of arthritis. Keep warm while sleeping. Try a sleeping bag which traps heat and keeps it circulating throughout the night.
- Watch your weight! Being overweight not only puts stress on your joints, but on your entire body. Losing weight will help you improve joint function and free your body to function in its intended good health and free of disease.
- The following herbs can be beneficial for arthritis: alfalfa leaves; black cohosh; cayenne; celery seed; chaparral leaves; comfrey; parsley tea; valerian root; and yucca extract.1
1. Balch JF, Balch PA. Prescription For Nutritional Healing, 1990.For further information, please contact this author at 1-800-543-3245, from 9 to 5 EST.
Frank J. King Jr., ND, DC
Asheville, North Carolina
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