Q. I fractured my left tibia over six months ago, and find I am still feeling sore and stiff in that leg.
I was in a cast for almost 14 weeks which may account for the pain. Walking seems to be okay, but anything that involves more impact seems to set me back for two to three days. Is there anything that I can do to strengthen the bone and help with the pain?
A. Six months is still relatively recent for a fracture, particularly since you were in a cast for over half of that time. Ideally, you will need to work on strengthening and rebuilding the bone as well as the supporting muscles.
First, make sure you are not inadvertently doing things that will inhibit or delay the repair of your leg. Smoking can cause bones to take nearly twice as long to heal, fizzy drinks are well-known for leaching valuable minerals from bones, alcohol inhibits calcium absorption as well as suppressing immune function, and anti- inflammatory medications (particularly new generation NSAIDs/non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs) can prevent the bone from ever fully being repaired.
To rebuild the bone, one of the best products on the market is the Complete Tissue & Bone range available from Dr Christopher. Complete Tissue & Bone is a combination of the herbs comfrey, black walnut, wormwood, white oak bark, marshmallow root, mullein, lobelia, and skullcap. You can take a two-pronged approach by taking the capsules as an internal remedy, and also apply the healing ointment externally.
Complete Tissue & Bone has been formulated to help with injury or degeneration in the deep tissue, bone, cartilage, muscle, veins, and skin. I would recommend that you take three capsules, three times daily, for three months, and then reduce this dosage to three capsules, twice daily for a further three months. As a maintenance dose for chronic conditions, take three capsules, twice daily.
One of the key herbs in this blend is the comfrey (symphytum officinale), also known as ‘knitbone’ and ‘boneset’, which is popular with many orthopaedic surgeons in helping to heal complicated fractures.
It is crucial that you also work with a physiotherapist, if you are not already, who can show you specific exercises which will help you regain strength and movement.
Dr Christopher’s range of products can only be ordered in from the US (www.vitalerbs.com).
Q. I am due to travel on a cruise ship this summer, and I am concerned about the possibility of getting seasick. What should I do to prepare for this, and how long before I leave should I start taking something?
A. One of the best remedies to prevent sea-sickness is ginger root.
Studies have shown that taking ginger capsules of 1000mg (1g) strength works to prevent vomiting in around 70% of motion sickness sufferers. Even better, you will only need to take this about two hours before you board the cruise ship.
If, after an hour or two, you feel that you are having trouble finding your sea legs, then take another 1000mg of ginger. Continue to take this dosage up to three times daily with your meals each day you are on the cruise. Ensure you have food taken first.
You can also pack a thermos of fresh ginger root tea to take with you. Simply chop or grate an inch of fresh ginger root and infuse it in with three cups of boiling water and a tablespoon of raw honey.
It is common for people to feel somewhat ‘unbalanced’ when back on steady ground, in which case you should continue taking the ginger supplement daily until you feel rebalanced.
As a back-up invest in Sea Bands, which work on the acupressure points in the wrists. Available from most chemist shops.
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