This is the fifth and final article I’ve written on homeopathy and musculoskeletal conditions. My previous articles were on rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative arthritis, gout, and finally tendinitis and bursitis.
This article will cover the topic of back pain, sciatica, and how homeopathy can help people experiencing it. I’ll first document the nature of back pain and suggest lifestyle changes one can implement to relieve their pain. I will also describe the etiology and signs of sciatica. Then I’ll cover how homeopathy works with people experiencing this condition. This will be followed by recommendations of a few homeopathic remedies that may help.
Back pain can occur in the upper back, mid-back, and low back. It affects approximately 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. This staggering number also makes back pain one of the leading causes of absenteeism from work and disability claims. What makes back pain so common in our culture?
There are several risk factors associated with having low back pain that are common circumstances in our culture. Some risk factors you can do something about include:
- Infrequent or inadequate exercise
- Sedentary lifestyle (less than 30 minutes of activity daily)
- The nature of your job (that involves long periods of sitting, heavy lifting, repetitive motions, bending and twisting motions, or constant vibration that occurs with using heavy machinery).
- Smoking (believe it or not, smoking increases the risk for low back pain)
- Being overweight (as a result from poor physical condition, weak back and abdominal muscles, and minimal flexibility)
- Poor posture
- Stress (chronic stress induces chronic tensing of muscles)
- Taking medications chronically that may weaken bones, such as corticosteroids
What can you do about low back pain? For starters, get active! Begin getting at least 30 minutes of moderate, light-intensity activity on a daily basis. This could include brisk walking, stair climbing versus taking elevators, playing sports at a moderate intensity, etc. Implementing routine strengthening and stretching exercises related to your low back and abdominal muscles will also help. If you are overweight, implement healthy dietary changes to lose weight and sustain it.
Sciatica is a form of back pain that refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal, which compresses the spinal cord and sciatic spinal nerve roots together. This extremely painful condition is brought on by some form of trauma, degeneration (arthritis or bone spurs), or rupture (herniated disc) in the back.
Signs and symptoms of sciatica include:
- Severe, sharp pain that radiates from the sciatic nerve down the leg and to the foot
- Pains may be intermittent (off and on) or continuous
- Numbness and tingling of the skin supplied by the affected nerve.
- Low back pain
- Inability to stand or sit on account of the pain
- Radiating pain may go down the legs and in the buttocks, thighs, or calves.
- Weakness in legs
Homeopathic treatment is very effective at helping people experiencing sciatica. Its role will be to assist in increasing muscle tone, improving general health, and decreasing inflammation of muscles and nerves. Because homeopaths view health as a condition of the entire individual, rather than in terms of isolated symptoms from specific locations of the body, sciatic pain is just one aspect a homeopath will need to know in order to help you. That said, below is a list of homeopathic remedies and their indications for various aspects of sciatica and back pain. For comprehensive and individualized care, please contact me.
Belladonna: Sudden onset of severe low back pain or sciatica. Pain is so severe that it prevents any movement. Pain is worse from motion, being jarred, mis-stepping, from the direct pressure of laying on it, and from long sitting. Generally affects the right side more than the left.
Calcarea Carbonica: Low back pain from the slightest exertion, especially lifting. Back feels weak; person easily slumps in the chair. Worse from the cold, damp weather; from lifting; exerting; or ascending (stairs).
Kali Carbonicum: Low back pain that drives them out of bed at night. Worse at night, often at 2 or 3 am; also from the cold or drafts. Usually affects the right side. Pains that extend into the buttocks or into the sole of the foot.
Nux Vomica: Severe sciatica down either leg with great sensitivity and is often accompanied with anger. Worse in the morning that worsens the longer they stay in bed; from the cold; from turning in the bed. Better from heat.
Tellurium: Severe pains that travel down the sacrum and into the sciatic nerve and thigh. Worse from coughing; laughing; sneezing; when pressing during stool; anything that induces the valsalva maneuver (forcible exhalation against a closed airway).
In this fifth and final article on homeopathy and musculoskeletal disorders, I covered the topic of back pain and sciatica. I covered important lifestyle changes one can make to relieve low back pain, I described the etiology and symptoms for sciatica, and suggested several homeopathic remedies that may help people who experience this condition.
Thanks for reading!
Noel Peterson is a Classical Homeopath practicing in Austin, Texas. He is the founder and practitioner for the Austin Clinic of Homeopathy. His goal is to make homeopathy more widely available and accessible for residents of the greater Austin community, as well as the greater state of Texas. He maintains values of professionalism, integrity, and is committed to you as your practitioner. Noel intends on keeping homeopathy a viable and easily accessible solution for your health needs.
You can learn more about him and his practice on his website: http://www.austinclinicofhomeopathy.com
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