Broken bones are more common than they seem. An average person is expected to have at least two fractures in a lifetime. A fracture is any crack or breaks in the bone that disrupts the continuity of the bone. Human bones are by nature strong and rigid and do not break easily due to external pressure. A fracture happens when a physical force (that is greater than the bone itself) is exerted on the bone. It can lead to a complete or partial breaking of the bone. The most common fractures are fractures of the clavicle (collarbone), ankle, hip, ulna, and radius. Homeopathic remedies for fractures boosts the proliferation (rapid increase) of osteoblast cells (bone forming cells) and helps speed up the bone-healing process.
Heal Broken Bones Fast with Homeopathy
Homeopathy helps in the formation of healthy callus, and they also boost the activity of proliferation of the osteoblast cells (bone forming cells). Certain medicines also help speed up the process of laying a new bone. These medicines are made of natural substances and can treat fractures effectively, without any side effects. These are usually used once the broken bone has been set in proper alignment. They then work to optimize the natural healing process of the body for a quicker, stronger bone healing.
Some of the best medicines for fractures include Symphytum Officinale, Arnica Montana, Calcarea Phos, Silicea, and Calendula Officinalis. These are natural remedies for the pain of broken bones.
Homeopathy for fracture help in reducing the pain and swelling at the site of the fracture. In fractures where there is slow bone healing, remedies like a dosage of Symphytum works well.
Homeopathic Remedies for Fractures
1. Symphytum Officinale – Top Remedy for Bone Healing
One of the best medicines for fractures is Symphytum Officinale. Also known as knit-bone, it is widely recommended as the first line of treatment of fractures. Symphytum Officinale is a natural and highly effective medicine that boosts the activity of fibroblasts cells and helps in healing the fractured bone. It also helps with the production of callous and treats irritability and pricking pains at the point of the fracture site. It is also a suitable medicine for hairline fractures.
Symphytum is a healing herb that is used in different potencies to help accelerate the healing of a broken bone. As a natural substance, it causes no side-effects and is used to treat fractures that cause immense pain.
2. For Fractures where there is Excessive Pain
Arnica Montana is a medicine for fractures which cause immense swelling and pain at the site of the fracture. The affected site is sore to touch and bruised. Fractures that occur from a fall or those caused as a result of an injury by a blunt instrument are treated with Arnica. This medicine is also used to treat old bone injuries.
3. For Fractures that Heal Slowly
Calcarea Phos is a medicine for fractures that are slow to heal. It is used to treat remote fractures and helps hasten the bone repair process in cases where the bone has not joined for a long time. Calcarea Phos provides calcium and phosphate, two elements required for quick union of the bone. It also promotes the formation of callus.
4. For Bone Fractures and Brittle Bones
Silicea is a medicine for fractures of brittle bones that get fractured often. Silicea strengthens weak bones and prevents them from getting fractured frequently. It is commonly used to treat and manage osteoporosis and other bone problems such as caries, necrosis, and exostosis.
5. For Compound and Suppurating Fractures
Calendula Officinalis is a medicine for fractures where the skin covering the fractured site becomes raw, red and inflamed. There may be a copious discharge of pus along with stinging pains. This medicine is used to treat compound fractures (where the broken bone pierces the skin) and also to prevent gangrene.
Causes of Fractures
Most of the fractures result from trauma, falls and accidents. In the case of athletes, fractures are caused by repeated stress and strains on the bones. These are known as stress factors. Children and older adults are also prone to fractures due to their age. There are growth plates (epiphyseal plates) present in a child’s bones located at the ends of long bones. These help with the length-wise growth of bones. Furthermore, a child’s bones are surrounded by the periosteum (thick fibrous sheath) which helps increase the thickness of the bones. These components make a child’s bones more ‘bendable,’ meaning that a bone bends a lot before breaking.
In adults, the periosteum is much thinner, and so the bones don’t bend under pressure and tend to break.
Older adults get fractures more often than young people because, with age, their bones become weak and brittle. Joint problems also lead to a high risk of falling and breaking bones. Apart from this, some medical conditions predispose a person to recurrent fractures. Certain types of cancers, osteoporosis, endocrine disorders, osteogenesis imperfecta (a genetic disorder where the bones are brittle, fragile and break easily).
Fractures: Risk Factors
Lifestyle factors like consuming excessive alcohol, smoking, and taking steroids also tend to make the bones brittle and are prominent risk factors that predispose a person towards fractures.
Link between Smoking and Fractures
Due to the impact it has on the hormonal levels, smoking is a risk factor for fractures. Research conducted decades ago still stands; smoking is a risk factor for bone loss.
Link between Alcohol and Fractures
Consuming excessive alcohol is known to influence the bone mass and bone structure and mass. Research indicates that chronic drinking can increase the risk of bone loss and fractures, even after the person quits drinking. Excessive alcohol also affects the metabolism of vitamin D in the body.
Link between Steroids and Fractures
Chronic disorders like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis are linked to bone loss since they need frequent doses of steroids for management. People with chronic inflammatory bowel disease also have low bone density, since such issues reduce the ability of the GIT to absorb calcium.
Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed to treat chronic inflammatory conditions like IBS (inflammatory bowel disease), rheumatoid arthritis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Frequent doses of these steroids lead to side effects like hindering the absorption of calcium in the GIT (gastrointestinal tract) and increasing the loss of calcium through urine. It is a research-based fact that corticosteroids induce accelerated bone loss.
Low-impact fractures in the past can double the risk of another fracture. Vertebral fractures in the spine can accurately predict future fractures and need to be monitored carefully.
Chronic Conditions and Fractures
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the cells and tissues around the joints, causing severe bone loss and damage to the joints. Certain steroids used for pain relief again trigger bone loss, and reduced physical activity as a consequence of the disease can further accelerate the risk of fractures.
Diabetes is another risk factor for fractures, although the exact causes behind this are not known. It is thought that high blood sugar levels can adversely affect bone quality due to metabolic changes.
Types of Fractures
Fractures are of different types. They are classified according to the severity, and whether the bone fragments are separated or joined together.
1. Open or Compound Fracture – A compound fracture is the one in which the bone breaks apart entirely and the ends of the fractured bones tear the skin, creating a wound. Open fractures are serious because they carry a risk of infection.
2. Closed or Simple Fracture – A simple fracture is a fracture in which the overlying skin remains intact and the broken bone does not tear through the skin.
3. Pathological Fracture – A pathological fracture arises from a weak bone, and there is an underlying disease or medical condition that causes the bones to be weak.
4. Complete Fracture – A fracture where the fragments of the broken bone separate completely is known as a compound fracture.
5. Incomplete fracture – A fracture where bone fragments remain partially joined is an incomplete fracture.
6. Hairline Fracture – A hairline fracture is the one where a thin crack appears on the bone, but it is not broken into fragments. The pain of a hairline fracture tends to intensify when the injured bone is strained. This restricts the amount of weight a person can put on the area around the hairline fracture.
Some common symptoms of a hairline fracture are tenderness, swelling and bruising.
7. Greenstick Fracture – A greenstick fracture is a fracture where the bone gets cracked and bent, but it does not break into separate pieces.
8. Single Fracture – A fracture where the bone breaks into two pieces at one place is known as a single fracture
9. Comminuted fracture – A fracture where the bone breaks into three or more pieces is known as a comminuted fracture.
10. Compression or Crush fracture – A fracture that occurs in the bones of the spine, often caused by osteoporosis, is known as a compression fracture.
11. Stress fracture – A stress fracture is common in athletes, and the bone breaks due to repeated stress and strains. Stress fractures are essentially tiny cracks in a bone caused by a repetitive force. Conditions like osteoporosis also can also cause stress fractures due to the weakening of the bones.
12. Transverse Fracture – When the line of the fracture line is perpendicular to the shaft of bone, it is known as a transverse fracture.
13. Longitudinal Fracture – A fracture where the bone breaks along its length is known as a longitudinal fracture
14. Oblique Fracture – An oblique fracture is a slanted break that occurs diagonally along the long axis of the bone.
Symptoms of a Fracture
Fractures are painful, and they usually come with swelling around the site where the bone is broken.
The main symptoms of a fracture include:
- intense pain and swelling at the site of the fractured bone.
- worsening of pain upon touching and moving the injured area.
- redness and bruising at the injured site.
- inability to move the affected area.
- inability to put weight on the affected area.
- bleeding in a case of an open fracture.
- dizziness, nausea, paleness in case of a long bone fracture.
How do fractures heal?
A broken bone starts repairing soon after a fracture. Immediately after a fracture, a blood clot (hematoma) forms around the broken bone. It acts as a temporary plug that fills the gap between the broken ends of the bone. Inside this clot, phagocytes (cells that protect the body) begin to clean the bone fragments and kill any germs that may have entered from the point of the bone breakage. This is followed by a proliferation of the chondroblast and fibroblast cells that transform the hematoma into a fibrocartilaginous tissue known as a soft callus. The soft-callus stage of the healing tissue lasts from the fourth day of the fracture to approximately three weeks. In the next step of the healing process, osteoblast cells begin to increase and create new bone cells that convert the soft callus into a hard bone callus. This stage of hard callus formation starts around weeks after the fracture and lasts for 6 – 12 weeks.
Following this, the process of bone remodeling begins, and the osteoclast cells break and absorb the extra bone. The bone remodeling process is long and can vary from 3 years to 9 years duration.
Tips to Manage a Healing Fracture
Broken bones tend to take a long time to heal, and treatment for fracture can help speed up the healing process. Some precautions that should be taken to help heal a fracture quickly include:
- Avoiding direct heat on the site of the fracture for pain relief till the cast has been set properly.
- Managing everyday movements carefully to prevent further injury. For example, crutches should be used carefully.
- The broken limb should not be moved too much, and adequate rest should be taken.
- Lifting heavy objects or driving should be avoided till the fracture has healed completely.
- Usually, the skin under a cast gets itchy, and it is a very common tendency to poke blunt objects inside it for relief. This should be prevented, as it can accidentally cause damage.
- The cast should not be allowed to get wet, as a damp cast tends to soften and does not provide adequate support. Damp plaster can also irritate the skin. While bathing or showering, the area can be kept watertight by wrapping the limb in a plastic bag.
- In case of swelling, loss of movement in toes or fingers, blueness, feeling of pins and needles, or increased pain, a doctor should be consulted.