HEALING TRAUMATIC INURIES AND BROKEN BONES
with Eastern Medicine
By Dr. Rachelle Tetreault
With Fall sport’s season fast approaching, we will see more injuries and fractures on and off the field. Eastern Medicine has long been used to treat traumatic injuries in the temples relating to martial art broken bones or fractures and even post-surgical recovery. Post-surgical recovery treatments help prevent both scar tissue formation and adhesions allowing optimal healing. Acupuncture has for over hundreds of years been used to treat severe pain, swelling, and inflammation with fractures and broken bones. Traumatic injuries may also include external and physical injury such as sprains, contusions, and bruising. The therapeutic goals for treating these type of injuries include improving the blood circulation to facilitate natural healing, removing blood stagnation, eliminating pain, and facilitating the regeneration of both bones and soft tissues. Annually, there are over 10 million clinic visits in the United States alone due to both connective tissue and musculoskeletal injuries. These may be due to trauma, motor vehicle accidents, sports, or internally secondary to weakened joints and bones.
One of the tools for assessing injuries is to differentiate between acute and chronic types which can have different phases. Acute pain is usually categorized by sharp, more severe pain, swelling, and inflammation. In some cases, even internal bleeding. The goals for action in acute injury is to relieve pain, and reduce both swelling and inflammation, and stop bleeding if present. Chronic pain is usually presented with dull or achy pain which comprises of stiffness, weakened muscle area, and even numbness. The goals for chronic injuries of this sort would still consist of pain relief but also restoring overall function of the area.
In the Western world, injuries are normally treated with drugs which reduce inflammation and pain such as opioid analgesics and NSAIDs such as Motrin or Ibuprofen. These are often effective but have serious side effects. Some NSAIDs like Celebrex have been associated with significantly higher risks of heart attacks and strokes. With Eastern Medicine, the focus is not only relieving acute symptoms but also promoting long-term recovery and functionability.
Along with acupuncture, herbal formulas are used to help expedite healing which is done by invigorating blood circulation and naturally reduce inflammation and swelling. There are wonderful formulas for post-surgical recovery to help facilitate the recovery of wounds, soft tissue, and broken bones. Herbs such a yan hu suo is one of the most potent herbs to treat pain. It is often used in the pain management of chest, abdominal, and even menstrual pain. It has even been compared to morphine without the side effects. Yan hu suo has also been found to be effective in both acute and chronic stages phases of inflammation. Other analgesic herbs often used are ru xiang and mo yao. These along with acupuncture have been used successfully to treat various types of trauma and injuries. Some of these include trigeminal neuralgia, neck, back, gastric, and sciatica pain to name a few.
Food therapy for injuries would be to avoid spicy foods which may aggravate an inflammatory condition. Also, avoid cold foods and drinks to deter further blood stagnation which may impede the healing process. Avoid foods with preservatives which can lead to bone loss. Consume good amounts of foods high in calcium like leafy greens, and organic dairy foods. Eating half of a fresh pineapple on an empty stomach daily has been shown to reduce inflammation and even swelling. This is due to the bromelain existing in high amounts in the pineapple. Bone broth soups keep the immune system working optimally to further enhance the healing process. Leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce, and collard greens are rich in calcium as well as vitamin K content to help with bone regeneration. Even soy such as miso and tofo are vey good for the bones including flaxseed, fish, and walnuts which are high in essential fatty acids.
Other tips include avoiding reinjury which is a major concern especially during the recovery phase of healing. Proper rest and nutrition is needed to ensure health. Supplements which specifically help with recovering from bone fractures include calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and K, and essential fatty acids. Calcium is recommended at dosages of 500-600mg twice a day due to the fact that it is the major mineral which comprises bone itself. It is best to take well-absorbed calcium complexes such as citrate, chelate, or hydroxyapatite. Magnesium is just as important due to ensuring proper bone formation and calcium metabolism. Magnesium dosage is 250 to 350 twice daily in divided doses preferably. Vitamin D can be started at 800 IU for one month and then titrated to 400 IU daily. Vitamin K helps form the protein osteocalcin which helps in the bone matrix. Taking 5 mg daily of vitamin K for one month then reducing to 100 to 500 mcg daily for bone healing is recommended.
So whether you or a loved one has suffered a trauma, or suffer from brittle bones or inflamed joints, come see what Eastern Medicine can do to improve overall bone and joint health. Call 772-626-6419. Or to get through quicker, you may text this number as well. Here is to a blessed journey towards health and wellness!