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Leg pain is a frustrating problem that interferes even with basic activities like walking, kneeling or climbing stairs. It also affects a person’s ability to complete routine chores, as the pain can be distracting and disabling. Though not a disease in and of itself, leg pain can be a symptom of several conditions. Or It can be routine pain due to fatigue or dehydration. Here's a quick look at the most common reasons for leg pain:

  • Injuries, including overstretched or torn muscle (strain), inflammation of tendons, shin splints (pain along the shinbone) due to overexertion and hairline crack in bones. 
  • Muscle cramps caused by dehydration or reduced levels of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium in blood; as a side effect of medicines like diuretics and statins; or overexertion due to exercise or jobs that require holding the muscles in one position for a long time.
  • Diseases and conditions such as deep vein thrombosis due to prolonged bed rest; inflammation of the joints of legs (arthritis and gout); bone infection (osteomyelitis); varicose veins; and nerve damage due to excessive alcohol intake, smoking and conditions like diabetes.
  • Some of the more uncommon causes of leg pain include cancerous and noncancerous tumours in the bone, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (a condition in which poor blood flow to the hip stops or delays normal growth of the legs) and sciatica (pain along the sciatic nerve which runs from the lower back to the legs).

Many conventional over-the-counter and prescription medicines are available for the management of leg pain. However, these pain-relieving medications only treat the symptoms but not the underlying cause, and long-term use of these medicines may lead to side effects.

Homeopathic treatment not only focuses on healing the condition but also the tendency of the patient to suffer from a specific condition. Thus every individual gets a unique remedy. 

Homeopathy describes many medicines for the management of leg pain and its associated symptoms. Chief among them are capsicum annuum, carboneum sulphuratum, dioscorea villosa, gelsemium sempervirens, gnaphalium polycephalum, kalium carbonicum, phosphorus, plumbum metallicum, vipera berus, arnica montana, calcarea carbonica, rhus toxicodendron, kalium bichromicum, magnesium phosphoricum and baptisia tinctoria. These medicines are either given alone or in various combinations for the treatment of leg pain.

(Read more: Ayurvedic treatments, medicines and remedies for leg pain)

  1. Homeopathic medicines for leg pain
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a leg pain patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for leg pain
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for leg pain
  5. Takeaway
  • Capsicum Annuum
    Common Name: Cayenne pepper
    Symptoms: Spicy and flavourful, this remedy is primarily used to treat muscle pain, sudden jerks or muscle pulls and general chilliness. It is also useful in the management of:

The pain worsens when the person goes out in open air or keeps the affected area uncovered. Symptoms subside on applying warmth to the affected region.

  • Carboneum Sulphuratum
    Common Name: Alcohol sulphuris
    Symptoms: Carboneum Sulphuratum is a useful remedy for individuals with chronic rheumatism. It can also help manage the following symptoms:
    • Sciatica
    • Diminished sensation in limbs
    • Bruising pain in the extremities
    • Leg cramps
    • Pains that cease at one part and affects another part, appearing to be migrating; they return periodically and stay for a long time

The patient complaints of aggravated pain on being exposed to a warm environment. The pain also worsens on bathing. The pain gets better in the open air

  • Dioscorea Villosa
    Common Name:
    Wild yam
    Symptoms: Dioscorea Villosa is a common remedy for treating pains. It is an effective remedy for the management of symptoms like:
    • Stiffness and pain in joints
    • Sciatica

The symptoms worsen when the person is lying down, especially in the evening and at night. Symptoms get better on standing in an upright position and applying pressure on the affected area.

  • Gelsemium Sempervirens
    Common Name:
    Yellow jasmine
    Symptoms: Yellow jasmine is a useful remedy for individuals who have weak muscles and slow blood circulation. Following are a few other symptoms that can be treated using this remedy:
    • Weakness in limbs
    • Loss of muscle control in legs
    • Uncontrolled shaking in legs
    • The person feels tired even after slight exertion

All complaints worsen in damp or humid weather, on smoking tobacco, and when the person thinks about the symptoms. Symptoms improve after profuse urination and on moving about in open air.

  • Gnaphalium Polycephalum
    Common Name:
    Cud-weed, old balsa
    Symptoms: Gnaphalium polycephalum is primarily used to treat sciatica. It is also helpful in treating the following symptoms: 
    • Leg cramps, especially in calves
    • Pain and numbness 
    • Joint pain
    • Rheumatic pain in legs and ankle joints
  • Kalium Carbonicum
    Common Name:
    Carbonate of potassium
    Symptoms: Kalium Carbonicum is one of the most suitable remedies for sharp, throbbing and stinging pains. It is also useful in the treatment of:
    • Muscle twitching
    • Swelling and pain in legs
    • A feeling of heaviness in limbs
    • Knee pain

Symptoms aggravate on lying on the painful side, after sexual intercourse, in cold climate and after drinking coffee or soup. The feels better during the day, while moving about and in warm climatic conditions.

  • Phosphorus
    Common Name:
    Phosphorus
    Symptoms: Phosphorus is an effective medicine for osteomyelitis and bone fragility. Those who benefit from this remedy tend to stumble a lot as their joints give out a lot. It can also be used to treat:
    • Inflammation of the shinbone
    • Weakness in legs so they start trembling even with a bit of exertion

Symptoms worsen on touching the painful area, consuming warm foods and drinks, in the evening, and while lying on the painful side. Symptoms get better on consuming cold foods and drinks, on washing the affected area, spending time in open air, and while sleeping

  • Plumbum Metallicum
    Common Name:
    Lead
    Symptoms: Plumbum metallicum is effective in treating gout and arteriosclerosis, which are two of the common causes of leg pain. Following are a few other symptoms which can be treated with this medicine:
    • Cramps in the muscles of calves
    • Thigh pain
    • Leg pain associated with numbness and twitching
    • Difficulty in stretching legs
    • Swelling in feet

All symptoms get worse with motion, especially at night. Rubbing the affected area and application of pressure improve the symptoms.

  • Vipera Berus
    Common Name:
    The German viper
    Symptoms: This remedy is mainly used for treating impairment of sensory and motor functions of legs. It also helps treats the following symptoms:
    • Varicose veins
    • Swelling in veins
    • Leg pain that worsens on hanging the legs down
  • Arnica Montana
    Common Name:
    Leopard's bane
    Symptoms: This medicine is used for treating traumatic injuries and bruises. It can also be used in treating the following symptoms:

Symptoms worsen on touching or moving the affected area. Damp cold weather also aggravates the symptoms. The pain gets better on lying down.

  • Calcarea Carbonica
    Common Name:
    Carbonate of lime
    Symptoms: Calcarea carbonica is primarily useful in the management of abscesses that occur in deep muscles. It can also be used to treat:
    • Sharp pains as if from a sprain
    • A feeling of coldness in knees along with cramps in calves
    • Weakness in limbs
    • Swollen knees
    • Muscle tear
    • Rheumatoid pain
    • Old sprains

Symptoms worsen while standing and from exertion (both physical and mental). Cold in any form, such as washing the affected area, exposing it to moist air and monsoon season, also aggravates the symptoms. Symptoms get better in dry weather.

  • Rhus Toxicodendron
    Common Name:
    Poison-ivy
    Symptoms: Poison-ivy is an effective medicine for treating rheumatism and tearing pains. Following are a few other symptoms that can be managed using this remedy:
    • Swollen and painful joints
    • Stiffness in limbs
    • Numbness in limbs after overexertion
    • Tearing pains in tendons and ligaments
    • Sciatica

Symptoms worsen in humid weather and when the person is sleeping, especially on lying on the back. Symptoms get better in dry and warm weather, with warm applications and on stretching out limbs.

Homeopathic medicines are highly diluted preparations. Their action can get easily affected by a number of dietary and lifestyle factors. So, homeopathic doctors recommend patients to be mindful of the following if they want to get the most out of these medicines:

Do’s: 

  • Eat nutritious and healthy food.
  • Stay in clean and hygienic surroundings and maintain good personal hygiene.
  • Keep yourself active by including some physical activities in your routine.

Don’ts: 

  • Do not drink beverages that contain caffeine and drinks with strong odours.
  • Do not consume foods and drinks that may have medicinal properties. Such as soups and sauces that are made from specific herbs and roots.
  • Avoid living in marshy and damp areas.
  • Don't overexert yourself either physically or mentally. 
  • Avoid excess of salt, sugar and spices.

Homeopathy is an effective mode of treatment for several underlying conditions of leg pain. Scientific evidence suggests the efficiency of some of these remedies.

Experimental studies have shown that Rhus toxicodendron possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. Homeopathic remedies have also been found to be effective against neuropathic pain such as in sciatica.

According to an observational study published in the Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy, homeopathic medicines can be used in the management of osteoarthritis of knee and to slow down the progression of the disease. The study included 131 osteoarthritis patients, who were given individualised homeopathic medicines for at least a year. By the end of the study, all patients observed a reduction in pain and stiffness.

Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances like animal products, herbs and minerals that are extensively diluted before use. This dilution makes them free of toxic effects but retains their medicinal properties. So, these remedies are safe and effective in the vast majority of the population and do not cause any adverse events when taken as per the direction of a qualified homeopathic physician. A doctor prescribes the most suitable remedy for the patient based on the overall clinical condition of the individual including both their mental and physical health.

Leg pain is not a condition but a symptom of an injury or a disease. It may also occur due to fatigue and dehydration. Conventional treatment of leg pain involves massage, rest and medication to treat the underlying cause and may have side effects in the long term. 

Homeopathic medicines are much safer and don't usually have side effects. Many remedies are available for the effective treatment of leg pain. Homeopathic doctors prescribe a medicine based on patient's symptoms, underlying causes and their tendency to suffer from a condition. These remedies can be safely used for a long time when taken under the guidance of a qualified doctor. Never take any homeopathic remedy on your own.

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References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [Internet] US National Library of Medicine; Leg pain
  2. Oscar E. Boericke. Repertory. Médi-T; [lnternet]
  3. The European Comittee for Homeopathy. Benefits of Homeopathy. Belgium; [Internet]
  4. FF Motiwala, Tapas Kundu, Kamlesh Bagmar, Vijay Kakatkar, Yogesh Dhole. Effect of Homoeopathic treatment on Activity of Daily Living (ADL) in Knee Osteoarthritis: A prospective observational study. Year : 2016 Volume : 10 Issue : 3 Page : 182-187
  5. Wenda Brewster O’Reilly. Organon of the Medical art by Wenda Brewster O’Reilly . B jain; New Delhi
  6. Magar, S., Nayak, D., Mahajan, U.B. et al. RETRACTED ARTICLE: Ultra-diluted Toxicodendron pubescens attenuates pro-inflammatory cytokines and ROS- mediated neuropathic pain in rats. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep; 8:13562.
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