Myron H. Adams, M. D., 1913
From: Practical Guide to Homeopathic Treatment – Designed and Arranged for the Use of Families, Prescribers of Limited Experience and Students of Homeopathy.
Nerve-pain is the literal signification of the word neuralgia, and wherever there is a nerve fibre in any organ or tissue of the body, there pain may occur. It matters not whether in the face or the feet, it is a live nerve giving a signal of trouble.
The different names given to neuralgia (Homeopathy for Intercostal Neuralgia) are due to location rather than to any essential difference in character, whether called sciatica or tic douloureux. All parts of the body are not equally susceptible to pain, owing to the difference in the supply of sentient nerves.
The causes of neuralgia are predisposing and exciting.
Hereditary influences constitute the chief predisposing cause. Impaired nerves of any form on the part of parents, begets the same in the offspring, and impaired nerves predispose to neuralgia. Anything which impairs the general health or exhausts the nervous system, prepares the way for neuralgia, requiring only some direct exciting cause to develop a paroxysm of pain. When the neuralgia is confined to one particular region it is often due to some local cause. If the pains shift to different parts, it is more apt to be due to the general condition of the patient.
The exciting causes are sometimes very obscure, as for instance a tiny decay in a wisdom tooth, or prolonged eye strain. Rectal disorders insignificant in appearance, are yet provocative of the most persistent and painful neuralgia, not always curable with medicine, but sometimes requiring local or surgical treatment.
Although it is not a function of the dental nerve to drive people to the dentist’s chair, yet how many have preserved not only their teeth but their health, by giving heed to the warning of an exposed nerve. A patient, suffering from neuralgia often recurring, is a proper subject for careful investigation, not only because of the suffering with all its ill effects, but because there is generally some abnormality that is even more serious, and often one easily remedied.
The pain of neuralgia is acute and piercing, shooting along the course of a nerve, intermittent or a paroxysm, sometimes periodically. As a rule, there is little change discernible on the surface over the seat of pain, except in some complication. The parts are sometimes very sensitive to slight touch and again the pain may be relieved by firm pressure. As a rule, regardless of the suffering, the pulse and temperature remain normal, which greatly aids in a differential diagnosis and in the selection of proper remedies.
Before attempting a diagnosis or treatment, all facts in the order of development are essential, and when obtained, the balance of the task may be comparatively easy. The prognosis, except in cases connected with some serious organic lesion, is favorable. The general management is important. In cases of broken health, everything that promotes recuperation, as generous diet, fresh air, change of climate, removal from a malarial region, will assist in curing the neuralgia.
Aconite – If the neuralgia is associated with a cold, or after riding in the cold wind, suppressing a perspiration, Aconitum, will relieve. The pain may be sharp, tingling, or burning and so severe as to drive the patient to despair. The patient is very restless and filled with all kinds of fear, even the fear of death.
Arsenicum – A favorite remedy with all schools of medicine, especially where the patient is pale, anaemic, or suffering from malaria. The pains are often periodic, burning and tearing, often relieved by heat or very hot applications. She is weak and exercise or pain produces complete exhaustion.
Belladonna – Pains about the teeth, face and head,throbbing and tearing, worse in evening or at night. Worse from noise, light or jar. Irritable and spiteful on account of the pain. Face flushed, head hot and throbbing, feet cold. Pains come and disappear suddenly.
Bryonia – The sharp, piercing pain, always worse from any motion or on deep inspiration is characteristic of Bryonia. It may be in a rheumatic, or one suffering from some acute disease in or about the chest. Cold applications ease the pain. The pains may be in the face, chest, or abdomen.
Cactus – Acute pain about the heart and left side with a feeling of constriction like a band about the chest.
China – Somewhat similar to Arsenicum. The patient has been exhausted from loss of blood or other debilitating causes. Pains return periodically and are sometimes relieved by firm pressure, yet very sensitive on the surface, and she cannot endure slightest touch.
Colocynth – Violent pain in the abdomen. Cannot straighten up, with relief from firm pressure. Sciatic neuralgia.
Cimicifuga – Pains about the small joints, fingers and toes, which may be rheumatic, shifting often. In neuralgia from uterine or ovarian irritations.
Gelsemium – Severe pain in the base of brain and neck, extending to the face and especially to the eyeballs, with inclination to draw the head backwards. From severe colds with marked weakness. Some fever but no thirst.
Ipecac – In some forms of neuralgia and pain about the stomach and abdomen, where the pain is clutching and tearing, with constant nausea or vomiting.
Lycopodium – When the pain is chiefly about the abdomen, associated with excessive flatulence. Pain about the kidneys, simulating a passage of renal calculi.
Nux vomica – Gastralgia with patients inclined to be intemperate, with excessive indulgence in highly seasoned food and coffee, or inclined to dosing and cathartics.
Pulsatilla – Often useful in children or young girls preceding or during menses, when the pain is attended with much chilliness, nervousness and weeping. Bad effects from getting the feet damp. The pains of Pulsatilla shift often from one place to another.
Rhus tox – Neuralgia or rheumatism from getting wet or working in damp places. Pain in left shoulder, back or hips, all worse when trying to move but better from continued exercise. Great restlessness.
Spigelia – Neuralgia over the left eye is excruciating – also through the eyeballs and about the heart, preventing motion or deep breathing. Similar to Cactus in angina pectoris.