Arnica Montana for Runners

Running Injuries: Tips & Inspiration
Arnica Montana for Runners

Arnica Montana (commonly known as Arnica) is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies, and has made its way into many households. It is used to treat bruising, muscular strains, wounds and swelling.

As we all know, these are common problems experienced by runners and by people practising sports. Arnica has proven to be a great help in this field and has made it into many gym and sports bags! With a minimum amount of homeopathic instruction, many trainers, coaches, and athletes themselves, are successfully treating and curing many of the most common athletic injuries. Arnica works quickly to repair damaged blood vessels, to reduce swelling at the site of the injury, and to eliminate pain.

What is Arnica and how does it work?

Derived from the European plant, Arnica Montana, the little white tablets contain Arnica solution which is watered down hundreds of times, to form a homeopathic 'ultra-dilution'. Made from a yellow daisy-like flower, the active components of Arnica include sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids, which are known to reduce inflammation and ease pain. It also contains thymol, an essential oil that fights infection, and carotenoid, a powerful antioxidant. It is believed to work by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and dispersing fluid that accumulates around damaged, swollen joints. Its effect is to boost immunity, accelerate healing and fight inflammation. It also helps the body combat bacterial infection.

Sports and Homeopathy

Homeopathy comes through with flying colours in the sports arena. More and more athletes are embracing homeopathy, because it is the most ethical way to treat and prevent injuries. You'll never fail a drug test due to Arnica, and it is very effective. As a complementary treatment, it succeeds in preventing and treating many sports conditions naturally. "Homeopathy can be effective in treating almost anything short of what needs surgery," says Kate Schmidt, a two-time Olympic medalist in javelin throwing. It is effective in treating everyone, from the weekend warriors to professional athletes, giving relief to tired, achy, overused and injured muscles and joints.

Using Arnica

When to use Arnica?

  • After a run or workout. It will minimize any bruising, muscle strain or trauma.
  • Before a big workout or a long run to minimize muscle aches and bruising.
  • When injured as part of your First Aid.
  • After a trauma.

How to use or give the remedy?

  • Use 30c potency (strength) - it is the most common strength to use for home care.
  • Typically you would use/give two pellets every four hours as long as the symptoms are INTENSE (injury just happened, really hurts).
  • Twice a day when the person is on the mend.
  • STOP using/giving the remedy as soon as you/they are feeling better.
  • In an emergency, give as often as every 15 minutes.

Can I overdose or get side effects?

With homeopathic dosing there is no threat of an overdose, or conflict with other types of medication. Arnica extract can be toxic when ingested, which is why it needs to be diluted first when taken orally, but as a homeopathic remedy it comes as a diluted capsule which is absolutely safe to use. Also there is no risk of it being habit forming or affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. In addition, homeopathic dosing with Arnica does not override the body's own healing processes, or suppress symptoms for problems later.

Forms of Arnica

Arnica cream or gel

There are quite a few creams and gels on the market, which contain a tincture of the herb Arnica Montana. Creams with Arnica extract have been utilized to treat bruises for a long time, and people are now beginning to see its different benefits such as relief from muscle pains, swelling, strains, sprains, joint pains, superficial phlebitis, inflammation caused by an insect bite, chapped lips and acne. Some doctors who deal in plastic surgery advise their clients to utilize arnica to lessen the inflammation and also to mend the bruised tissue, because it will make the recovery quicker. Arnica cream should never be applied to broken skin or wounds that are open, nor taken internally, as it may cause toxicity.

Combining Arnica tablets and Arnica cream in sports

  • For best results it is good to use both Arnica tablets and Arnica cream together to assist the body's natural response to shock, injury, fatigue and bruising. This would also help normal muscle recovery after strenuous exercise or exertion, and aids normal defence mechanisms in times of trauma and after surgery.
  • Follow with "Rest Ice Compression Elevation" for any soft-tissue injury. Avoid activity or sport until healing occurs, but exercise that does not stress the injured part, or cause pain, would be encouraged.
  • A health professional should always be consulted if the injuries are serious. See the Run and Become Clinic.
  • This wonderful remedy in both forms also helps the body's natural ability to cope with long distance air travel, and helps restore normal sleep patterns, so it can prove to be extremely helpful when travelling abroad to participate in a race, for example.

Arnica spray

Another way to soothe muscles and joints is to apply Arnica spray topically. This is a liquid containing a percentage of extract of Arnica Montana flowers, and is an excellent way to get Arnica into the system directly. It's easy to apply, fast acting, non-staining and it has moisturising effects.

Is Arnica easy to get hold of?

Yes! You can find it in many pharmacies and health-food stores.

These are tips that we've found very useful and want to share with our customers. But we're not healthcare professionals. Always consult your specialist before beginning any exercise programme. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription.

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