Pain Relief Items for your Gym Bag

Arnica has a place of honor in our first aid kit, right next to the Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment. Here is the story that demonstrated to me the effect of homeopathic arnica.

When Matthew was four years old, he had two speeds. Stop and Run. Walking was not part of his movement repertoire.  That boy was, and still is, fast.  One day while running up a stone stairway he tripped and smashed his forehead on the edge of a step. While being examined for a concussion, a lump emerged in the center of his forehead the size of half a boiled egg.  When I saw that, I was certain there would be a large dark bruise to follow and possibly two ‘black eyes’.  Matthew was given an ice pack to the forehead with pressure to prevent further swelling, and a single dose of homeopathic arnica montana 200C.

Within the hour, Matthew was unstoppable. There were no complaints of headache or pain on his face.  The following day a small, yellowing dime-sized bruise was noted on his forehead.  No lumps, black eyes, or dark bruises.

Its true that most children heal quickly.  However, since this episode occurred I have used arnica in a similar fashion with pleasing results. It dramatically reduces healing time of trauma with bruising.

Here are some other time-tested remedies worth keeping around:

1. Fheng Gu Shui. Chinese herbal liniment

  • Excellent for bone bruises. ‘Gu’ means bone in Chinese

2. Emergen-C. Vitamin C and mineral packets

  • Feeling dizzy or weak from too much exertion? This will help, with plenty of water of course

3. White Flower Balm. Chinese herbal liniment

  • Great for muscle aches that are close to joints

4. Zinc oxide cream. Aka diaper rash cream

  • Apply to skin irritation of all sorts
  • Also controls body odor

Dr. Tabitha Werblud is the resident musculoskeletal pain specialist at the Tahoma Clinic North Seattle.  Dr. Werblud is an expert in a modality called Pain Neutralization Technique (PNT), a gentle, non-invasive approach for chronic pain syndromes.