A bad fall, a hard blow, an automobile collision, a sports injury, or an underlying medical condition such as osteoporosis can result in a broken bone.
When a bone breaks, it triggers not only pain, swelling, bruising, and immobility but also trauma and shock throughout the entire body. Fractures located near joints are sometimes misidentiﬁed as simply bad sprains.
There are varying degrees of fractures. Here are deﬁnitions and causes for the main types of fractures:
1. Partial (incomplete): The break across the bone is incomplete.
2. Complete: The bone is broken in two pieces.
3. Closed (simple): The broken bone does not protrude through the skin.
4. Open (compound): The broken bone protrudes through the skin.
5. Comminuted: The bone is splintered at the broken area and many smaller frag- ments of bone are found between the two main pieces.
6. Greenstick: This occurs only in children and is deﬁned by having one side of the bone break and the other side just bend, often seen on the radius (forearm bone).
7. Spiral: A breaking force twisted the bone apart.
8. Transverse: This occurs at right angles to the bone.
9. Impacted: One fragment is forcibly driven into the other.
10. Colles’: This is a fracture of the distal end of the radius (wrist), and the fragment is displaced posteriorly (behind).
11. Pott’s: This is a fracture of the distal (lower portion of leg) end of the ﬁbula, with serious injury of the distal tibia articulation.
12. Nondisplaced: The correct anatomical alignment of the bone is maintained.
13. Displaced: The correct anatomical alignment of the bone is not maintained.
14. Stress: This is a partial fracture, resulting from the inability of the bone to with- stand repeated stresses (such as doing aerobics on hard surfaces or running long distances for prolonged periods of time). Almost one-fourth of stress fractures occur in the ﬁbula.
15. Pathologic: This fracture is a result of normal stress on a weakened bone. It occurs in such diseases as osteoporosis, neoplasia, osteomyelitis, and osteomalacia.
If you have had an accident where you may have broken a bone, it is important to get immediate medical attention. For a more serious injury and if you have someone to help you, try to stay immobilized until medical personnel assess and move you. Oth- erwise, if you must move, it is important to have the fracture site immobilized with splinting materials. Even magazines or a towel can be used.
Once your fracture has been assessed and immobilized by medical personnel, it is very helpful to utilize the natural therapies in this chapter. They can help to speed heal- ing of the fracture and can reduce pain and swelling. Remember, our bones are liv- ing tissues that have the ability to repair themselves when damaged. They must be given the correct nutrients to do so. Many vitamins and minerals are required for healthy bones. Calcium is the obvious one, but magnesium; boron; silicon; strontium; vitamins D, C, and K; and others play important roles in bone metabolism.
• Bone pain
• Fall or injury
Eat foods that are high in calcium and the other nutrients needed for calcium’s assim- ilation. Sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables (except spinach), soybeans, nuts, molasses, salmon, oysters, sardines (with the bones), broccoli, and unsweetened cul- tured yogurt are all good sources.
Green vegetables, such as collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, and others, are important for their vitamin K content, which helps with bone formation.
Fermented soy products, such as tofu and miso, are good for the bones.
Essential fatty acids found in walnuts, almonds, ﬂaxseeds, and ﬁsh are important for healthy bones.
Food to Avoid
Eliminate sugar, reﬁned grains, and soda pop drinks from your diet, as they contribute to bone loss.
The following tests help assess possible reasons for people whose bones frac- ture easily:
Hormone testing (thyroid, DHEA, cortisol, testosterone, IGF-1, estrogen, progesterone)—saliva, blood, or urinem Intestinal permeability—urine Vitamin and mineral analysis (especially magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin D)—blood, hair Toxic metals—urine or hair
Digestive function and microbe/parasite/candida testing—stool analysis Food and environmental allergies/sensitivities—blood, electrodermal Bone resorption (pyridinium and deoxypyridinium)—urine
High salt intake is linked to bone loss. Do not eat processed foods, which are usu- ally loaded with salt, and never add conventional table salt to your meals.
Moderate your use of caffeine and alcohol, as they contribute to bone loss.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Bone Fracture
Super Prescription #1 Homeopathic Symphytum (Symphytum ofﬁcinale)
Take a 30C potency four times daily for two weeks. Symphytum is a speciﬁc rem- edy for healing bones and reducing fracture pain more quickly. Make sure to use Symphytum only after the fracture has been set, as it rapidly speeds knitting of the bone.
Super Prescription #2 Calcium
Take 500 to 600 mg twice daily in divided doses of well-absorbed calcium com- plexes, such as citrate, citrate-malate, chelate, or hydroxyappatite. Calcium is the main mineral that bone is composed of.
Super Prescription #3 Magnesium
Take 250 to 350 mg twice daily in divided doses. Magnesium is required for proper calcium metabolism and bone formation. Some researchers feel that it is as impor- tant as calcium. Note: Reduce the dosage if loose stools occur.
Super Prescription #4 Vitamin D
Take 800 IU daily for one month and then 400 IU daily. This vitamin improves intestinal calcium absorption and reduces the urinary excretion of calcium.
Super Prescription #5 Vitamin K
Take 5 mg daily for one month and then 100 to 500 mcg daily to ﬁnish bone healing. Vitamin K is needed to form the protein osteocalcin, a substance that attracts calcium into the bone matrix. Low levels of vitamin K are associated with osteoporosis and fractures. Note: Do not use if you are taking blood-thinning med- ications.
Super Prescription #6 High-potency multivitamin
This provides a base of the nutrients required for healthy bones. Take as directed on the container.
study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that a low intake of vita- min K was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture. The data from the study came from the review of the diets of over 72,000 women. Stud- ies have also shown that vitamin K supple- mentation improves bone density.
Super Prescription #7 Essential fatty acids
Take 4 grams of ﬁsh oil daily, along with 3,000 mg of evening primrose oil. Stud- ies show that these essential fatty acids improve calcium absorption and deposi- tion into the bone.
Boron is a mineral that activates vitamin D for effective calcium metabolism. Take 3 to 5 mg daily.
Vitamin C is used to manufacture collagen, an important component of bones. Take 500 to 1,000 mg twice daily.
Silicon is a mineral that is involved in calciﬁcation and making collagen. Take 50 to 200 mg daily.
Zinc is required for enzymatic reactions that build bone. Take a daily total of 30 mg, along with 2 to 3 mg of copper.
Manganese helps with bone calciﬁcation. Take 15 to 30 mg daily.
A greens formula that contains super green foods, such as chlorella, spirulina, and others, has an alkalinizing effect and is rich in minerals. Take as directed on the container.
Soy protein powder has been shown to protect against bone loss. Take 40 grams daily; this amount contains 90 mg of isoﬂavones.
Strontium is a nutrient that was shown to be helpful in increasing bone density when combined with calcium. Take 340 to 680 mg daily.
Pick the remedy that best matches your symptoms in this section. For acute fracture pain, take a 30C potency four times daily. For chronic fracture pain, take a 6x, 12x,
6C, 12C, or 30C potency twice daily for two weeks to see if there are any positive results. After you notice improvement, stop taking the remedy, unless symptoms return. Consultation with a homeopathic practitioner is advised.
Aconitum Napellus is used when people are in shock from a trauma. They are restless and fearful. Aconitum will help calm them down as you seek medical attention.
Arnica (Arnica montana) is the ﬁrst remedy to give immediately after a fracture has occurred. This will help reduce pain, shock, and swelling. Give the highest potency available. Most health food stores carry a 30C potency; take it four times daily for two days.
Bryonia (Bryonia alba) is to be given during the ﬁrst week of a fracture, when the slightest movement aggravates the pain. The person exhibits great irritability from the pain. Bryonia can be alternated with homeopathic Symphytum (Symphytum ofﬁcinale).
Calcarea Carbonica is a remedy for people with signs of calcium imbalance, such as a slow-healing fracture, osteoporosis, aching bones, muscle cramps, and swollen joints. People requiring this remedy are generally chilly and ﬂabby and feel worse in the cold and the dampness. They are easily fatigued and get overwhelmed. There is a craving for sweets, milk, and eggs.
Calcarea Phosphorica is a good remedy for fractures that are slow to heal. This rem- edy stimulates bone building.
Hypericum (Hypericum perforatum) is for crushing injuries that result in nerve damage. There are sharp, shooting pains. It is especially good for fractures of the coc- cyx (tailbone).
Phosphorus is a remedy for weak bones or fractures that heal slowly. People requir- ing this remedy tend to be tall and thin. There is a strong craving for ice-cold drinks. The person tends to be very social and suggestible.
Silica (Silicea) is for people who have poor bone density and tend to be very thin. People who need this remedy are often nervous, easily fatigued, and chilly and have low resistance to infection.
Symphytum (Symphytum ofﬁcinale) is a speciﬁc remedy for healing and reducing fracture pain more quickly. Make sure to use it after a bone has been set.
• To increase your ability to absorb nutrients (including calcium), work Stomach
36. With regular practice, your digestion will improve, and you’ll ﬁnd that you
have more energy than before.
• If you have pain, work Large Intestine 4. Do not use this point if you are pregnant.
Massage is a good wellness measure after the fracture has been set, to encourage blood ﬂow and healing.
Acupuncture is recommended to help relieve the pain and the swelling from a fracture.
Magnets can be used by a knowledgeable practitioner to reduce fracture pain and stim- ulate healing.
Work the areas corresponding to the area of injury.
Black pepper and rosemary both have warming qualities that soothe aching bones and joints. Use them in a massage, a lotion, or a bath.
Alternate hot and cold towels over the opposite body part affected. For example, if the left arm is broken, alternate a hot towel (two minutes) with a cold towel (two min- utes) over the right arm, repeat three times, and perform twice daily. There is a reﬂex action whereby circulation will be increased in the opposite body part, which increases nutrition to the healing bone.
Bach Flower Remedies
Rescue Remedy is a good choice for the shock and the emotional stress brought on by a fracture. Take 10 drops twice daily.
• Start doing a regular weight-bearing exercise once you have been instructed to by your doctor, as it stimulates bone healing.
• Don’t smoke or expose yourself to secondhand smoke. Smoking makes bones brittle and weak.