GANGLIONS, BURSAE, INFLAMED TENDONS.
TENDONS vaginitis is a trouble of the sheaths of the tendons, the existence of which is shown by a creaking sensation and noise noticeable when the hand is laid upon the part of the body concerned. The creaking noise is due to a deposit of fibrin on the inner wall of the sheath. This condition is due always to over-strain or over-exertion, and it is not due to any constitutional factor, except possibly weakness, it is scarcely mentioned in homoeopathic literature.
Orthodox medicine treats this condition by immobilizing the member affected by means of splints during the acute stage and endeavours are made to dissolve and carry away the deposits of fibrin by applying to the affected part hot air in various forms or by creating a local hyperaemia, a local plethora of blood, by the methods introduced by Professor Bier.
Tendo vaginitis is always accompanied by violent pain and it is aggravated by exertion and ameliorated by rest. There is pronounced redness and inflammation in the sick tendons, particularly in the tendon of the abductor longus and of the flexor brevis if the thumb is affected. The fact that pain is experienced on movement and that it disappears if the member is kept absolutely quiet makes one think immediately of Bryonia as a remedy.
Several years ago I had to handle a number of cases of tendo vaginitis crepitans, which means inflammation of the tendons accompanied by a crackling noise, as follows. Mr. M. of R. came to my consulting rooms with a very recent inflammation of the tendon sheath of the right hand which produced a creaking noise on pressure or movement.
I had the affected wrist wrapped round with a tight bandage and the arm was immobilized by putting the forearm into a sling. The patient was given internally Bryonia 3x, a dose every two hours. After a week the inflammation had almost disappeared and the patient could discard the bandage and the sling. After another week the man was absolutely normal and could do manual work.
The sooner this trouble is handled the better it will be for the patient. It is far more difficult to deal with this trouble if time is allowed to elapse. However, even old cases of tendo vaginitis can be treated successfully by homoeopathy, which is more effective than the orthodox treatment.
It is worth noting that when the bandage has been discarded the diseased and weakened tendon might be massaged with an ointment which contains the indicated homoeopathic remedy embodied in it in 10 per cent. strength.
Bryonia is not always the indicated remedy. Occasionally Rhus tox. should be prescribed, especially when pain is not relieved by keeping the member absolutely still but is relieved by movement, a leading indication of Rhus tox., although Ruta graveolens and Arnica must be considered.
Another disease of the tendon sheath is the ganglion or node, with which most people are familiar. I have seen this condition cured frequently by homoeopathic means. A ganglion is created by the elevation of part of the tendon sheath which is raised by a kind of jelly.
A ganglion is a soft swelling which is particularly frequently found on the wrists of pianists, typists, lawn tennis players, and others who overstrain the wrist. The routine treatment for this condition consists in surgery, and I hesitated a long time before trying homoeopathic treatment.
I had a characteristic case which ended in a cure some weeks ago. An elderly lady of 70 years of age consulted me and showed me a ganglion on her left wrist. The skin of the affected part was inflamed and tight. The ganglion itself was painful and the pain extended upward to the elbow and occasionally as far as the shoulder. This was undoubtedly due to the irritation of a nerve which was pressed upon.
Before the lady came to me she had consulted another physician who had advised her that the ganglion should be cut out and he told her that an operation would free her from her pain. She was afraid of an operation and therefore had come to me. Dr. Karl Stauffer in his well-known book on homoeopathic treatment recommends for ganglion Ammonium carbonicum 3x and Benzoic acid 3x. Dr. Nash says about Benzoic acid in his well-known volume: “The dark brown urine of the patient is strong smelling but does not deposit sediment.” The lady had told me that her urine was extremely evil smelling.
I asked her a few questions and her answers to them strongly pointed to Benzoic acid. Benzoic acid produces and therefore cures nerve pains which extend from the wrist. Obviously Benzoic acid, and five days afterwards the lady came to me and told me, full of joy, that the nerve pain which she had complained of had entirely disappeared. The ganglion itself was distinctly smaller, and the skin over it was no longer red, inflamed or very tight.
She visited me a third time and I found that the swelling had practically disappeared and a little after it had disappeared completely while using nothing but Benzoic acid.
Of course, it may be said that surgical treatment would have obtained the same result in a few days instead of in a few weeks. That may be true: however, surgery always implies risks, and most healthy people have an instinctive horror of the surgeons knife.
Bursitis is a watery swelling. It is produced not by a layer of jelly like the ganglion but by the accumulation of water. In December, 1935, the Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy published a long article on bursitis by Dr. Echtman. Curiously enough he did not mention homoeopathic treatment at all but only surgical treatment. Yet homoeopathy has obtained extremely satisfactory results by non-surgical treatment of this condition. I would illustrate my assertion by two cases of my own.
Some time ago a lady about 40 years old consulted me. She told me she had fallen on her knee a fortnight before and since then she had suffered from violent pain and there was a watery swelling. According to Dr. Stauffers suggestion contained in his book I gave Arnica 3x and Kali chloricum 6x in daily alternation. After a few days both swelling and ache had improved. After some further time the bursitis had completely disappeared.
The case of this patient was a comparatively recent one, but one can treat homoeopathically also cases of long standing. A little boy of 6 years old had injured his knee several months ago and had been treated by an orthodox doctor without any result. No special remedy was indicated and therefore I gave in alternation the two remedies which so often had proved helpful. I gave him Arnica 3x and Kali chloricum 6x in daily alternation. Improvement was rapid and in three weeks the knee was completely normal.
There is, of course, nothing very remarkable in the few cases described. They are interesting however because they show that conditions which are treated only surgically by orthodox medicine can be treated successfully by homoeopaths with their wonderful remedies.