Yesterday I couldn’t put any weight on my freshly sprained foot. The pain was horrendous when I tried to use it and I was wishing for a pair of crutches.
Today….well, today I am amazed! I’ve gone from doing a very ungainly hobble upon waking, to being able to walk around the house with only a relatively mild limp and not much pain at all this evening.
It occurred to me that I should write up exactly what happened and how I treated it. Be warned…this comes complete with ugly foot photos. However by the time you read this, you will know exactly what to do in a similiar situation and therefore be able to accelerate the healing of your sprain within the first 24 hours.
Being a homeopath, I make a living taking care of others. I am terrible at taking care of myself. I am not a first aider and in this instance used no standard first aid care after my accident. However, if you add the homeopathic care into the standard first aid protocol for sprains then you may even have better results than me.
Standard First Aid calls for the acronym RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. I did not much of this. Instead I’m going to share what I did do, to recover from my sprain. I will give you my own homeopathic acronym for you to remember and use in a similar injury. My acronym is ARTHIB. Bear with me and all will become clear.
Wandering Off The Garden Path
The actual scene of the accident is not remarkable. What is remarkable was my complete lack of finesse as I tumbled off my garden path. It was a sunny day, I can’t even blame the rain. I wasn’t trying to dodge my dog or any other imminent danger. I was just standing on my garden path by the rubbish bins and next minute my foot just decided to tumble off the side of it, sending me into a crumpled heap.
My left knee looked like it had so many times before in childhood when I had come off my bike. There were deep dents as entire patches of skin were ripped off and it pretty much covered my entire kneecap. I had been wearing long pants so it was clean but bleeding profusely.
Left Big Toe
My big toe on my left foot had a small chunk ripped out of the side of it, right by the toenail. Bare foot is my preferential way to traverse the world, so I had not been wearing shoes.
But the main subject of this article was my right foot. It had been the culprit and the victim as it had been the one to roll outwards off the side of the path and as I lay there in the aftermath, I could feel that I had done something a little more serious than just tripping over myself. The outside of the foot just in front and below the ankle bone was the part that felt sprained.
Homeopathy To The Rescue
I am going to tell you exactly what I used to help accelerate the healing of my injuries and why I used them. I want to help you to understand the useful application of remedies in an acute situation.
Firstly…I was in shock. And pain. I could not place any weight on my foot but managed to hobble inside and straight to my remedy cabinet. I immediately took the following remedies….
This is the Arnica of the Nerves.
This is the remedy you would think of to use instead of Arnica for a physical wound that is bleeding. Hypericum is a specific to help staunch the flow of blood in a wound and it helps to prevent infection. Not only that, I can attest to it’s ability to take away the pain of a fresh gash. I used a 200c because it was strongly needed and I was in an acute situation. A 30c would have been fine, but you would have needed to repeat the dose more frequently.
This is known as the “homeopathic voltaren”.
My foot was my main worry so the very next remedy was to deal with any potential sprain. Rhus tox is the first remedy to think of for acute injury to the ligaments or tendons. Where an anti-inflammatory cream can only help the inflammation and pain, Rhus tox may actually do that and help begin to heal the ligament itself. I have used this remedy many times in the clinic to heal old and acute injuries of the ligaments and tendons. There is another remedy, Ruta grav, which is indicated for tendons specifically and is a good one to try if Rhus tox doesn’t work. With this information in mind, I took a dose of Rhus tox 200c just in case it was sprained.
I wasn’t sure if it was sprained or broken.
Because it was very sore and I couldn’t put any weight on it, I took the Rhus tox 200c every couple of hours on the first day. Each time I took it, it reduced the pain and there didn’t seem to be too much swelling.
Next, I was still in shock. I felt a bit wobbly within and I was concerned with any bruising and swelling I might develop due to soft tissue damage. So just to be sure I took an Arnica 200c. Why 200c? Because this was an acute accident and I had it on hand. If you only had 30c in these remedies, that would be fine. The problem with taking Arnica when you are bleeding profusely from a knee scrape, is that it may inhibit the quick clotting.
After my first dose of Arnica, I certainly felt more centred in myself but I did notice my knee was not very willing to clot and remained quite oozy. I did take a second dose that day, about 3 hours later, just to help the healing of the sprain as I was getting very worried that I might have broken or torn something. Again I noticed my knee become a little more oozy but by bedtime that evening it had started to dry up. My foot wasn’t very swollen yet but the pain was very centred on the outside of my foot between my ankle and little toe.
Notice I didn’t use ice, I couldn’t elevate it because I had to work at my desk and it just wasn’t feasible…but I did rest it as much as possible. (Please don’t do as I did here…do use RICE). I was very concerned that it was broken or torn and fully expected to take myself to the hospital after I finished the next day in my clinic as it was so sharply painful, just to get it checked.
If it was simply sprained, then the Rhus tox would work overnight and the pain would be greatly reduced in the morning. If it wasn’t, then there was a good chance I might have torn the tendon or damaged the bone as the tendon ripped away from it.
Day 2 – Upon waking, my foot was stiff and very sore. I could not put weight on it very easily but it wasn’t as painful as the night before. I continued the remedies and as the afternoon rolled around, the pain had begun to reduce and I could put a little weight on it.
By that evening the foot was slightly swollen overall and it was sore but it was so much better than it had been the day before that I knew I did not need to go to the hospital to get it looked at.
How did I continue to support the accelerated healing of myself today? Rhus tox 200c when sore about 3x today and Hypericum 200c whenever the wound on my knee was sore (3 x also).
Day 3 – By the end of Day 3, I could put a lot more weight on my foot and I was able to begin to flex it a wee bit. I still needed to rest it and couldn’t walk too far on it but it was definitely healing fast. It was no longer swollen. Today I had dropped the Hypericum to 2x daily and the Rhus tox was also down to 2x daily.
Day 4 – Today my foot was so much better I was able to walk quite well on it for short periods of time. I only have a small limp. In fact it had improved to the point that I actually forgot to take my Rhus tox today. I definitely regretted that the following morning as my foot was far more tender than it had been but getting back on the wagon of dosing myself whenever I became aware of it being tender soon had it feeling better again.
Day 16 – I am able to walk about now but am still having to favour my foot. Yesterday I walked on it while shopping for about 2 hours for the first time since I sprained my ankle. I went to bed that night with sharp pain and throbbing. However, today it feels stronger but still tender.
I think the key takeaway for me is that I must remember to take my Rhus tox regularly. It is the consistent dosing that may help to accelerate a ligament or tendon to repair. They tend to be slow healing since the blood supply is much reduced to these fibrous tissues.
In general though, my foot has regained all planes of motion and just needs time for the ligaments to repair and strengthen.
It may be very helpful to accelerate the healing of a sprain in the first 24 hours with homeopathy. Just remember my acronym: