Clinical Cases

A Case of Lumbar Pain Illustrating That We Treat the Cause, Not the Result of Disease

Written by Ajay Aserkar

Dr. Ajay Aserkar presents a case of lumbar pain to illustrate that we treat the cause, not the result of disease.

back painOne of the most frequently asked questions to a Homoeopathic Physician is, “Do you have any medicine for asthma/cancer/pain in the back/……?” The list is almost unending. The answer is ‘NO”, we do not have medicines for ‘conditions’, we have medicines for ‘PATIENTS’ suffering from various conditions.

What we are talking about is the diagnosis of the ‘disease’. As homoeopathic physicians, we believe that ‘diagnosis’ is not useful in selection of the medicine.  It is the ‘PATIENT’ who is suffering and not his parts or organs. The ‘PATIENT’ is his ‘WILL’ and ‘UNDERSTANDING’. Dr. Kent has very truly said that ‘SICKNESS STARTS IN THE MIND’.

The body always follows the mind.  It is of prime importance to know the ‘CAUSE’ of the sickness. It is comparatively easier in acute cases but very difficult in chronic cases. The main difficulty in finding the ‘CAUSE’ in chronic diseases is, patients tend to forget events that had occurred many years ago. At times, the patients feel that the event was not so important, so fails to mention it to the physician. It is up to the physician to correlate these events with the symptoms of the patient.

As homoeopaths, we need to find out ‘WHY’ the symptoms appeared. High cholesterol, high uric acid levels, low hemoglobin levels are all the ‘RESULTS’ of the disease process that started long ago. Trying to treat these end results will not ‘cure’ the patient in the true sense. In Homoeopathy, we rectify the cause. The results get automatically rectified.

Let us try to understand this with the help of this example. This is a real life case.

A 76 year old lady, complained of pain in the lower back, shooting down the right thigh posteriorly since 5 – 6 years. She had already visited an orthopedic surgeon and was diagnosed to be suffering from ‘sciatica’. The MRI scan of her lumbar spine showed “Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc” (PID – commonly known as ‘slipped disc’). She was advised surgery to get rid of the pain. The pain was < rest, night, initial motion in the morning, cold air and cold applications, > continued movement, hot fomentation, stretching. Obviously, the first medicine that comes to mind is Rhus tox. I gave Rhus tox in all potencies, but with only temporary relief. In the mean time, she also kept telling me her life story during at each visit. From that, I came to know that the lady had been taking care of the sick people from her family for many years. She was constantly under the effect of anxiety from nursing the sick. She had to make the rounds of the hospitals, in addition to her regular household duties. Recently her daugher-in-law was diagnosed as suffering from cancer. She had to be admitted to the hospital off and on for chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions. So, the anxiety and mental ‘tensions’ were at the peak. She became extremely exhausted and weak over the period of treatment of her daughter-in-law. After that, this lady started suffering from sciatica. Dr. Kent has very nicely described such a personality in “Cocculus Indicus”. One dose of “Cocculus Indicus 1M” followed by SL for almost 1 month was enough to ‘cure’ the patient in the true sense. There has been no pain or discomfort since then.

Conclusion – Try to reach the ‘root’. Just cutting off branches of the ‘tree’ of disease is not enough. You destroy the ‘root’, and the branches die automatically.

This may appear to be a simple case. But it will give an insight into what to look for, while treating patients suffering from chronic diseases.

About the author

Ajay Aserkar

Dr. Aserkar Ajay Prabhakar works as a Reader and has been teaching Organon and Homoeopathic Philosophy in Dhondumama Sathe Homoeopathic Medical College, Pune, (Maharashtra State), India, for the last 26 years. He is author of Organon and Homoeopathic Philosophy for everyone, a book approved by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences as a standard reference work for the UG and the PG courses in Homoeopathy. Dr. Prabhakar has also conducted English language classes for students, for the last eight years. In his spare time he as followed his passion of trekking and mountaineering for almost three decades.


  • Dr Aserkar,
    Very nice case – brief and simple. You have shown that taking into consideration the life experience and story of the person are important, even though we may be able to get only small portions of these at each visit. From these little snapshots, you have put together your patient’s whole case that reflects the remedy profile of ‘Cocculus’ and this remedy cured her of the ailment for which surgery was being recommended.

    Well done. Thank you.

  • Dear Dr. Aserkar,
    Thanks for the great case! I have always tried to make this case for people–that etiology over-rules symptomatology and this is a good example. I have said that the etiological remedy may have no symptoms of the current complaint and yet it will still work! We have a hierarchy of symptoms and etiology is right at the top. Even so, there’s nothing wrong in what you did by giving Rhus tox first, as you had a very clear indication for it! But when a case keeps relapsing, then you have to ask yourself, “OK, there is some sort of maintaining cause here, what is it?” and that’s when you found out that she was really in a Cocculus state! Ailments from night-watching, ailments from nursing the sick! And there you had it, a perfect example of etiology solving the case!

  • Many foreign doctors and researchers in youtube challenges that Homeopathic medicine are just placebo? Is it true sir?

  • Saccharum Lactis Dilution is effective for diuresis, amblyopia, and cold pains. It helps in diuresis, amblyopia, cold pains, frost bites, physical exhaustion, constipation.

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