Clinical Cases

Cervical Spine Pain in a Woman of 43

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Homeopath Tiago Amorim shares a case of cervical spine pain in a woman of 43.

Danielle, 43, executive.

Mother of three daughters, all from her first marriage. She is currently married to another man, with whom she says she has a great relationship, and her home is quite harmonious, according to her, the daughters, and stepfather having achieved a peaceful and respectful coexistence.

Danielle has fair skin, a large head, and expressive eyes. Her voice is high-pitched and hesitant, the sounds come out staccato, and a slight tremor is noticeable. She oscillates between this apparent insecurity and professional conviction, of which she speaks objectively.

When asked about the reasons that brought her to the homeopathic consultation, she began to talk about a fact that had been bothering her for a few months (the date of the first consultation was November 29, 2022). According to her, eight months earlier, she had thrown a birthday party for her youngest daughter and invited several children and adults to her home.

It was a Saturday afternoon, the house is quite large, and during the party, one of the invited children was lost. Danielle said that the child’s mother noticed her absence, and everyone present began looking for her. This lasted almost an hour, and Danielle said she felt great anxiety and distress during the entire period when they were not sure if the child was okay.

There was also the fear that the child had managed to leave the house and go to the street, which increased Danielle’s anxiety. “It was a very difficult moment, Tiago, which seemed to have no end.” However, the child was found, and according to her account, the party was able to continue for a while longer.

Despite the feeling of relief that Danielle said she felt on the same day as the incident, the next morning she woke up with a very uncomfortable pain in her back that started in the cervical spine and radiated down to the lumbar region.

At first, she thought it was due to fatigue from the party at her house and took medication until those pains went away. However, Danielle said that the pain worsened as time went on, and no conventional medicine could alleviate the symptoms. She went to the doctor, had tests done, and found no apparent injury.

The doctor prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications, which she used for a few weeks without any results. According to Danielle, the symptoms worsened throughout the day and eventually were also felt in her feet (“in the soles of her feet”).

At one point in our conversation, she said, “It’s been eight months since I’ve slept properly. I live with pain, and it has already affected my marriage” (referring to the couple’s intimate life, which was practically nonexistent during this period).

I asked if she had tried any alternative treatments, such as homeopathic remedies or acupuncture, in addition to conventional medical treatment. Danielle said yes, including a few acupuncture sessions, but they provided only temporary relief for the day. She tried doing Pilates, systematic stretching, and other exercises that she could repeat at home, but according to her, they were all fruitless and caused terrible pain when performed.

“Is there anything that temporarily relieves these pains?” I asked. “When I’m standing at work, I get distracted and feel less pain, but when I sit or lie down at night, it feels like my bones are being crushed,” she replied.

I asked her to describe these pains a bit more, how she felt them. Her response was something like “I’m sure they’re not muscular, it’s inside, in my spine, and then mainly in the sole of my right foot.” I then asked about other symptoms or issues she wanted to bring up during our consultation. It was at this point that Danielle talked a bit about the emotional and psychological aspect, saying that she had been feeling unmotivated, a little sad, and unwilling to do most of her daily activities for some time.

I asked if this was associated with the pain or if it had been present before, to which she replied that she had been feeling this way for less time, three or four months, that is, within the period when her back began to bother her a lot.

Just to make sure, I asked her about her history in this regard, if she had gone through a depressive or melancholic episode in the past, years before or something like that. She answered affirmatively, a depressive phase she had faced three years earlier.

At the time, a psychiatrist had prescribed Sertraline, which she used for only two months, interrupting it on her own from then on. However, some symptoms, such as discouragement and sadness, persisted for a longer time, according to Danielle, until they apparently disappeared.

I noticed that at that moment, nothing limited and saddened her more than the continuous pain in her back, and I decided to take these urgent symptoms as a priority, seeking relief for the patient’s suffering. It was evident that something psychically afflicted her in the depths of her vital system, generating anguish and anxiety (two aspects that certainly influenced the way

Danielle responded to the trauma that occurred at her daughter’s birthday party). Taking this into account, I decided to consider medications with significant action on the physical structure (bone and muscle) to seek the immediate relief that Danielle needed.

To do so, I considered the following remedies and their respective materia medica: Kalium Carbonicum, Rhus Toxicodendron, and Calcarea Carbonica.

The materia medica of Kali carbonicum mentions signs such as weakness, generalized depression, and especially pain. They are acute and cutting (Boericke), from the inside out. In mood, discouragement, fear, and anxiety felt more in the stomach (which was not the case with Danielle). I also did not recognize in her a “stubborn” personality as mentioned in the same materia medica.

Looking specifically at the types of pains, Kali seems to express more swelling, weight, numbness in the limbs, pains in the hips and knees. However, it has a characteristic mentioned by Danielle, which was improvement during the movement of the day.

On the other hand, Rhus toxicodendron would act more on soft tissues, joints, and mucous membranes. It is well associated with tearing pains in various places and pains resulting from immense effort. Mentally, it manifests delirium, restlessness, and suicidal thoughts (none of which were found in Danielle, in principle).

It also expresses itself through swelling of the extremities, rheumatic pains, stiffness, and paralysis of the limbs. Tingling and numbness are also indicated, none of which were apparently manifest in Danielle. And from my experience, Rhus has been an excellent remedy for recent, intermittent, or continuous muscle pains, but not chronic and emotional ones like Danielle’s.

For this reason, I opted for Calcarea carbonica, in a lower potency, 7CH, with daily doses, 3 to 4 times a day (drops). Its physical descriptions match some of Danielle’s characteristics (large head, round face). According to Alan Horvilleur, Calcarea is taken from fears, various ones, about the future, nighttime terrors, fear of horrible things heard or witnessed, etc.

But the most important point in the case, and what helped me decide on it in Danielle’s initial treatment, was indeed the issue of stiff joints, bony nodules, and sweating of the feet. Calcarea’s ability to heal bones and muscles is well known, the most urgent need for Danielle (not the deepest, and I remained aware of that during the first steps of her treatment).

 

On December 29th, Danielle and I had another consultation. Right from the start, I noticed a lighter demeanor, a more “illuminated” face, despite the still present dark circles, and the voice still trembling a bit. I asked her about the treatment, what she had felt, possible improvements and worsening, and let her speak freely about her own perceptions.

The first thing she said was about her disposition, which seemed to have increased. During the period, she had returned to practicing Pilates, which she considered very good. She felt less sad and stuck. She also started doing physiotherapy once a week because she felt less daily pain and believed that this step was already less uncomfortable to take.

“The pain improved considerably after the second week of medication,” she said. She also talked about new symptoms that appeared after the start of homeopathic treatment. They would be: heartburn, but the patient also believed it to be related to end-of-year eating (Christmas and New Year’s parties); headaches in the late afternoon; twinges in the right foot upon waking up, numbness in the left. After doing Pilates, for example, she said she began to feel numbness in her chin.

I took everything into consideration, and according to what I could gather from the information, the treatment was doing what was expected, with improvement in Danielle’s most limiting pain and disposition. However, her case was becoming clearer to me, and I began to consider, as her constitutional remedy, Silicea or Medorrhinum, and I thought, in Danielle’s specific case, of adopting the dual strategy, maintaining Calcarea carbonica in 7ch, in daily doses (drops), and using a single dose of the constitutive remedy to ally with the treatment.

So, I considered the two remedies, Silicea and Medorrhinum, weighing their materia medica. Boericke describes Silicea as someone cordial, submissive, and anxious. Nervous, excitable and sensitive, suffering from brain fatigue (most of these characteristics could be said of Danielle, it’s true).

 

However, Danielle is not slow in her actions, nor does she have intolerance to certain beverages or cowardice in the face of life. The descriptions of the urinary, genital, sleep, and stomach apparatus of Silicea were not very compatible with Danielle’s, and only a few points were similar regarding the extremities and pains in the limbs. For this reason, I preferred to indicate Medorrhinum.

Boericke says that this is a medication with deep action, and it acts on chronic rheumatism, irritation of the nervous system (something that I believed was happening with Danielle), and a history of sycosis. Another very important point: intensity of all sensations, which, in my opinion, was also behind Danielle’s reaction to the disappearance of the child at her daughter’s party.

Danielle, like Medorrhinum, also cried frequently, felt a hurry to get out of this, to live, but did not show great hopes in the first consultation. Restless, nervous, melancholic: characteristics of Medorrhinum that I easily identified in Danielle.

As for the pains, there was also action in this: back, legs, worsened at night; burning of hands and feet, sensitive heels, “solar soreness.” As it is a medication with deep action and requires high doses, I decided on the following: a single dose of 200CH, and I would wait for Danielle’s response in the coming weeks, maintaining Calcarea in drops during the days.

On January 25, 2023, I received the following message from Danielle on my cellphone:

“Just passing by to give news and thank you, I am cured of the problem in my cervical spine. I no longer feel any pain, complete movements. I already believed in homeopathy but I still am surprised.”

I replied to this message, congratulating her, to which she returned: “I would like to continue with homeopathy, although the problem in my spine was what led me to seek help, the greatest benefit was in my emotional aspect.”

Then I realized that the choice of Medorrhinum had indeed been the most accurate, and that the cure was occurring from the deepest and most essential level (psychic/spiritual) to the most superficial or apparent (bones and muscles).

I needed to meet Danielle one more time to, through video, perceive if this balance and harmony were really being achieved through homeopathy, and if I could maintain only her constitutional remedy from there.

On February 2, we had the third consultation, and Danielle showed great relief and hope. In fact, the physical pains had completely disappeared, to the point of interrupting physiotherapy and starting to practice weightlifting. I took the opportunity to guide her on nutrition, as I firmly believe in the power of food to recover or maintain our health.

I suggested that Danielle follow an anti-inflammatory diet, with lots of protein and without gluten or lactose. I also asked her to avoid processed foods as much as possible, and to truly seek a natural diet, so that the body would have this additional help in relation to the inflammatory processes that had probably happened inside her in recent times since the traumatic event described.

Also recognizing Danielle’s melancholic personality, the possibility of the return of depression, I suggested ketogenic and low-carb diets as routines, due to the scientific evidence we have today that associates these diets with better neurological responses and less inflammation of organs and tissues.

She also asked me to keep the treatment specifically for emotional and psychological issues, which she recognized as more important and had greatly improved in the last month. So I prescribed Medorrhinum 200ch drops, daily. The latest news I have from Danielle is the best possible: healthier, more energetic, and with plans for her health. In March, I started treating her daughters, and today the whole family is my patient.

About the author

Tiago Amorim

Tiago Amorim is a homeopath, psychoanalyst, and writer, a member of the Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis and the Faculty of Homeopathy (UK). He holds a Master's degree in Anthropology from the University Institute of Lisbon and is the author of four books (essay and fiction). He publishes weekly texts in his newsletter, sent every Monday to four thousand people.Since 2013, he has been working online, offering courses on symbolism, philosophy of health, anthropology, and autobiography. As a homeopath and therapist, he primarily provides online consultations to people from Brazil and other parts of the world. Married and a father of two children, he currently resides in Curitiba.

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