NERVOUS SYSTEM – Neurological problems
Nerves help us to feel/recognise all types of sensations, i.e., touch, temperature, pressure, position, movements and all types of pain (stabbing, pricking, lightning, burning, itching, irritating, etc.). With these feelings brain can accommodate the situation and environment to comfort our body. Any problem arising in the nerves (neurological problem either persistent or temporary in nature) will make one feel frustrated.
Unlike other complaints, neurological problems are difficult to cure and take a longer time to attain
the state of cure, i.e., one needs to wait to feel a marked improvement for at least a week, most often, 20-40 days. In recent days, our mental and physical stress and strain, additive habits, sleeplessness, etc., seem to cause more and more neurological problems.
Common neurological problems and causes
The common nerve disorders causing neurological complaints are neuritis, herpes, polio, ganglion, epilepsy, Parkinson’s diseases, sclerosis, tetany, degenerative brain disorders, etc. Other than nerve disorders, other systemic diseases can also cause neurological complaints i.e. diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, SLE, leprosy, gout, diphtheria, tuberculosis, syphilis, etc.
Any disturbances in the nerve conduction of impulses/signals causes nerve twitchings or jerks.
- Increased transmission of impulses / stimulation of nerves causes – spasms / stiffness
- Decreased transmission of impulses / stimulation of nerves causes – paresis
- Loss of transmission of impulses / stimulation of nerves causes – paralysis
Most often, the ultimate cause(s) remain unknown. Also, neurological complaints can arise due to various reasons i.e. infection, inflammation, injury / compression / entrapment / disease, degenerative changes, de-myelination, loss of blood supply due to vascular diseases / obstruction, toxins (foods / drugs / sniffing insectisides or dyes or glues or metal powders / poisons (curare/cyanide/venums) / addictives), exhaustion, sleeplessness, habits (alcohol / smoking), malnutrition, exposure to extreme temperatures, etc.
The common symptoms arising from neurological problems are twitching, tremors (chorea athetosis), numbness / paresthesia, paresis / paralysis, weakness, cramps, sensitiveness, burning pain, shooting / lightning pain, referred pain, radiating pain, headache, vertigo, fainting, dizziness, confused thinking, sleeplessness, muscular wasting disorders, etc. Symptoms usually vary from person to person in type, intensity and suffering period depending upon the affected nerve(s). Sometimes, patients will be even blamed for complaining about pain by hallucinating or out of fear or just to get attention or care.
The complaints (pain / altered sensations / loss of functions) may last for days or weeks or months or years. Neurological problems of vascular origin and tumour usually occur slowly and gradually get worse in due course. In case of infection, remission and flare up usually alternate. In case of de-myelination or degenerative disorders, symptoms vary in the intensity according to the extent of the disease process.
Twitching – arises as a flickering in conduction of impulses to cause involuntary muscular contraction. It is otherwise called fasciculation. It can commonly be seen in the arms, calf muscles, eyelids, etc. Its incidence seems to be more in cases of dehydration, malnutrition,vitamin and
mineral deficiencies (especially magnesium deficiency), in bedridden persons, undue loss of vital fluids (blood / menses / semen), etc.
Tremors – are rhythmic involuntary movements occuring in skeletal muscle fibres. It is supposed to arise from weakness of nerves or loss of proper coordination in it. Even though tremor is not a fatal disorder, it disturbs the sufferer in communicating and in actions. Most often, tremors will be seen in hands / fingers. Fear, anxiety and nervousness often intensify the tremor.
Numbness – is an altered sensation of the touch. It is otherwise called as paraesthesia or sleeping nerve. It is commonly felt in hands and legs. It produces a tingling sensation or feeling of pin and needles. Everyone could feel the numbness or benumbed sensation when there is any swelling or when we happen to sit in a particular position for a long time or with unusual sleeping posture. It happens because of compression of nerves or pressure over the nerves. It can also occur in pathological conditions (i.e., due to the diseases like diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, carpel tunnel syndrome, leprosy, tumours, etc. So one should not be careless with the feeling/symptom of numbness.
Neuritis means inflammation / irritation of the nerve(s). It can occur in any places / nerves, i.e., Optic neuritis (in eye), Brachial neuritis (in hand), Trigeminal neuritis (in face), Polyneuritis, Peripheral neuritis, etc. The incidence of neuritis will be more with diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism and exposure to extremes of temperature.
Neuralgia is a painful nerve disorder. It follows inflammation / irritation of nerves (neuritis). Pain usually radiates in the particular pathway of the affected nerve(s). The pain of neuralgia usually comes and goes in flashes. Some may be persistent and long-lasting. The common neuralgias are brachial neuralgia (pain in hands), trigeminal neuralgia (pain in face), sciatica (pain in legs), optic neuralgia, and post herpetic neuralgia (persisting nerve pain in the healed spot of old herpes ulcer – shingles).
Paresis is said to be a pre-paralytic condition or mild paralysis, where muscles seem to be very weak, but work. One should be more cautious in this state and undergo treatment immediately with proper diagnosis, since paresis could progress to paralysis anytime.
Paralysis means total loss of function(s) in the affected part(s) / nerve(s). Here nerves abruptly quit their functions due to the compression or damage or diseases (polio, stroke,etc). The affected part will become flaccid without any muscle tone or strength.
Diagnosis – It is a must to diagnose a complaint before starting treatment or suppressing it with a
pain-killer / anticonvulsant / anti-depressant. Nerve functions and diseases are usually analysed with history of the complaint i.e., incidence, nature of disease, weakness, coordination of movement(s), reflexes, muscle thickness / wasting, spasticity, strength, alteration in sensations, gait, aggravating factors with respect to posture, pressure, etc. Not only the symptoms but also the time factor and progress or regress of the diseases can provide clues to the diagnosis of the nervous complaint. Most often these can outline the diagnosis. To pin point a nerve lesion, a compression or disc degeneration or disc prolapse, one can do X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
The other common tests required to detect and treat neurological complaints are
- Routine blood tests and urine tests
- Electroencephalography (EEG) / Electromyography
- Nerve conduction velocity test
General treatment – Reassurance is the first line of treatment in all nervous complaints irrespective of any systems. Since finding the ultimate cause is difficult, treatment also seems to be difficult. ‘Wait-and-watch’ approach with supplements will be the answer in most cases. Also, the routine mode of treatment is based on symptoms and their intensity. If one happens to have pain, pain-killers will be prescribed. Sometimes, just as a start-up, the patient will be provided an anti-inflammatory course of medicines followed by vitamins and mineral supplements.
In extreme cases, steroidal drugs and anti-depressants will also be prescribed to manage the situation temporarily. Also, one will be advised to depend on massage and exercises (physiotherapy) for complete cure or recovery. Likewise, posture corrections and traction will also be part and parcel of the treatment procedure in case of compression or degenerative changes. If complaints seem to be persistent with twitching and spasms even after trying these medicines, anticonvulsants or surgical dissection or desensitisation of nerves will be tried.
Other than paralysis, where the part is functionless without any movements or reflex, most nervous complaints resemble psychological complaints with subjective feelings. Also as one cannot stipulate the physical changes / disease factors in case of nervous complaint, the world of medicine finds difficulty in treat it. Most neuralogical complaints take a long time to show response. Considering all these factors, Homeopathy works well, caring for patient’s feelings and sensations. The only point is, the patient may need patience for its result.
Neuritis or neuralgia or any neurological complaints should not be treated just with anti-inflammatory drugs and pain-killers, since their action is temporary and the situation will often get worse with time to lead to surgery. One should be aware that “Instantly killing pain with a pain-killer tablet is just like putting off the light when you don’t want to see the things around. Surely, the day will come when / where you cannot switch off the pain”. Here pleasure with pain-killers is nothing else but the intermission of pain.
The goal of treatment should not only be relief but also to prevent recurrences. Homeopathy can provide miraculous relief from nervous pain / complaints without any recurrence. The well-selected medicine prescribed to the core of the disease will certainly calm the suffering nerve(s) and to remain in endurance. Homeopathy can ensure cure / better relief from nervous disorders without any side-effects.
Homeopathic medicines commonly used in cases of Neurological complaints are Aconite, Agaricus, Arg nit, Ars alb, Belladonna, Bryonia, Calc carb, Cannabis indica, Causticum, Chamomilla, Colchicum, Colocynthis, Cuprum met, Dioscorea, Gelsemium, Glonine, Gnanphalium, Hypericum, Kali bich, Lachesis, Lathyrus, Lycopodium, Mag phos, Medorrhinum, Natrum mur, Nux vom, Opium, Phytolacco, Plumbum met, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, Ruta, Sangunaria, Secale cor, Spigelia, Stramonium, Tarentula, Viscum alb, Xanthoxylum, Zinc met, etc. These Medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homeopath.
Dr. S. Chidambaranathan, BHMS, MD (Homeo)
24 E. New Mahalipatti Road
Tel: +91-452-233-8833 | +91-984-319-1011 (Mob)
(Disclaimer - The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.)