Homeopaths will often see clients suffering from back pain as part of their presenting symptoms, or as a secondary symptom as the homeopathic treatment progresses. Musculoskeletal problems are one of the most frequent and disabling conditions affecting 80 per cent of people at some point in their lives.
Poor posture is a primary contributing factor to this problem because when the lower back is held for prolonged periods in an arched position; stress and strain is placed on the discs jamming the small joints of the spine together causing inflammation. Muscle tension, lifting badly, poor diet and nutrition further weaken the tissue that supports the vertebrae. The lumbar region is the one of the main areas for gradual thinning and deterioration of the discs (arthritis is often associated with this thinning).
The neurological connections of the spine to all the internal organs, especially the liver, uterus, kidney etc have a reflex impact on the lower back, while nerve compression in the spine can have far-reaching effects on the function and health of related organs. With acute symptoms there is extreme pain, spasms, and possible nerve pressure.
The common allopathic treatment tends to be physiotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and local corticosteroid injections, with surgery in more extreme cases, which all have limited effectiveness. Any long-term drug use or surgery can cause more problems than they cure and clients often come to see a homeopath as a last resort especially for acute back pain for which there are many therapeutic remedies from Arnica, Bryonia, Rhus-tox, Ruta etc…
It is very important to establish the causes of your client’s symptoms as therapeutic remedies will not hold if they are not prescribed within the context of the cause of the symptoms. Taking a time line helps the homeopath to see if there has been a history of physical traumas, emotional shock or toxicity as a result of drug use.
It is important to address these as they can have a major impact on the body and may act as a block to the indicated remedy. Clients may have to be treated on two levels, on an acute level for the pain, (as this can often prevents the client from healing on a chronic level) and then on a chronic level bearing in mind the cause of the symptoms.
From an energetic perspective, (using the Chinese five elements model), the musculoskeletal system is seen as being governed by the kidneys and liver energy. The kidneys store Jing, which is seen as the root of vital energy and the source of life and supports the development and repair of bones.
Disharmony and insufficient storage of Jing leads to weak legs and knees, brittle bones or stiffness of the spine. The kidneys are also considered to be particularly concerned with fear connected to relationships, unexpressed grief or emotional insecurity. Emotionally this is considered to be a condition that is about resentment, feeling victimised, bitterness and lacking in love.
If there are clear aetiologies for physical traumas or emotional shock in a client’s time-line, one can treat these first before going onto a detox programme, particularly if the client has a history of allopathic drug use. Coming off the synthetic hormones/cortisone and other drugs as soon as practically possible will ease the load on the liver.
Remember that weaning people of steroids takes time and should be done very gently, step by step, with help from their GP. Whilst doing the detox programme it is useful to use herbal tinctures to support the liver, spleen and lymphatic system.
Homeopathic remedies can support clients with acute pain, stimulate the body to repair damage and promote changes in patterns of tension and stress. Prevention is better than cure so exercise is helpful with postural changes and this is a good time to consider referral to or joint-working with other alternative practitioners – from body workers to psychotherapists.
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© For further information, contact the College of Practical Homeopathy on 0208 445 6123.
Written for Choice Health Mag.
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