Monday, November 21, 2011

My first experience with arnica

homeopathic wonderings with a gimpy suburban greenmom...

Okay, so Saturday I'm walking out of the kitchen to the garage, down the 3 steps I walk down several times a day. Only this time I am one step down and have one of my "look! something shiny!" moments of distraction, cease to pay attention to my feet, and come down right on the edge of step number 2. Ankle turns out, I fall down the remaining step and somehow clock my hip on something (maybe my car's license plate holder? Whatever it is made a very small, very painful bruise.) and wind up on my butt on the floor leaning back on the car grille, with my legs facing the other way up the stairs.

I didn't actually hear anything go pop, but I felt these three little twin "give" moments in my ankle/foot somewhere. The pain was large but vague, all over the foot. And familiar--I sprained the hell out of my ankle a few years ago, and it was pretty much just like this.

The good news was that there was no place I had to go or be the rest of the day (unlike last time, when I was on my way to a gig, so it was another 4 hours before I got it elevated or iced), so I immediately was able to take care of it. A bag of frozen blueberries in a towel makes a great ice pack, I discovered. And when my husband went out to get me an Ace wrap for it, he also stopped at Whole Foods and got me some Arnica--both the tablets and the gel--on the advice of a friend.

I blogged about homeopathy in general a couple of years ago, and while it is still sort of a mystery to me, I have been using some of these remedies fairly regularly. The main one I keep around all the time now is oscillococcinum, which I now take at the slightest sign of any cold or flu symptoms. Whether it's actually that or if something else in my lifestyle has changed, this woman who two years ago normally averaged about 4-5 complete colds/flus per season has been able to cut that to maybe only one or two per year--and when I do get sick, and keep taking the stuff all the way through, the progress of the virus moves way more quickly than it ever used to. So...anecdotal evidence, as always, but there it is.

But I'd never tried arnica. And this time I did. Again, anecdotal, but there is almost no swelling on my foot this time, compared to sort of huge poofiness last go-round. Maybe it's just a milder sprain? Or maybe the arnica works pretty well? In any case, by 24 hours after the fall I was able to walk on one crutch, which involves putting partial weight on the bad foot, and by 36 I was able to walk on the foot without a crutch at all. Still hurts considerably, especially if I wiggle my toes or shift my weight on my foot once I'm down, but it's healing much more quickly than my last go-round.

So this is, at the very least, enough to give me a little confidence in keeping some arnica gel and tabs around the house.

Anyone else ever try it? What was your experience?
--Jenn the Greenmom

(p.s. yes, I know that if it still is hurting in a few days I should totally get it xrayed in case it's broken, and I will baby it well until I'm sure a sprain is all I've got...it just didn't seem worth it to rush to the ER on the weekend when my doc wasn't around, and it's so much better today I think I'd rather just wait and see what happens...)

6 comments:

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

There's a huge difference between homeopathic remedies, which are so diluted that they basically contain nothing of the original 'medicine', and herbal medicine. While I'm quite skeptical of homeopathy, I use herbal remedies frequently and am not surprised at all with your experience of using Arnica :)

Jenn said...

This is homeopathic arnica, though...

Dea-chan said...

... then I have no idea why the arnica worked. Arnica is excellent for swelling, bruises and sprains. It makes a world of difference. Water with the memory of arnica is still water. But the power of faith healing is ridiculous. (And it's not like I've never used things that "don't work" -- but as I've had to explain to my scientific fiance, I don't care if it's in my head, so long as it gets results. :-P)

I would actually consider investing in actual arnica. I used to work at LUSH and the ... um... I think it's Fair Trade Foot Lotion has peppermint and arnica to reduce swelling and bruising on feet, but us girls in the shop also used it for under eye circles. It works!

Dea-chan said...

"But the power of faith healing is riduculousLY STRONG" was what I meant to say. man, i have to learn to edit these posts...

Truffula said...

So sorry to hear about your injury! I had a very bad ankle sprain myself this past summer. I took 30x Arnica and used Arnica gel on the injury site. Did it help? Not sure. In any case, I think it could only have helped to support my healing. After a week, I was already walking much more successfully. I wish you the same type of success!

Lisa Sharp said...

I'm a big fan of homeopathic and Arnica! Use both often.

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