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Source: Papers On Health
This results from severe damp chills, usually
following exhaustion from some cause. Its best treatment at an early
stage is by heat applied to the spinal nerves. If the trouble be
chiefly in the legs, treat the lower back; if in the arms, treat the
upper back. The heat is best applied by a large BRAN POULTICE (see).
A teaspoonful of tincture of Guaiacum may be given before each
poulticing, which may be done twice a day for an hour. We have known an
illness that threatened to last six weeks cured in one week by this
means. Give also teaspoonfuls of hot water from time to time.
Where the trouble has advanced to severe fever, and swelling of the
joints, an entirely different treatment is best. Let a lather of soap
be made (see Lather), and spread over the chest first, and afterwards
gradually over the whole body. After four or five coats of lather have
been put on, wipe off with a dry cloth, and proceed to lather again. We
have seen half-an-hour of this treatment, well done, greatly relieve
the fever; it was continued twice a day, and in three days the trouble
was conquered. Care must be taken not to chill the patient. The soaping
can be accomplished with only a small part of the body uncovered at
once, and, with proper precautions, the bed can be kept perfectly dry.
If a proper liniment is procured and lints sprinkled with it wrapped
round the joints, the pain will be wonderfully relieved. But such
liniments are only to be had on the prescription of a really good
medical man, who will not, if he really seeks to heal, and knows his
business, object to our treatment being applied.
Sometimes, after rheumatic fever, one or more of the joints become
stiff. This stiffness varies in different cases from an apparently
complete solidifying of the joint to only a slight inconvenience in its
use. We have seen many such joints, even very bad cases, completely
cured by a proper use of heat and massage. It is, however, no
trifling matter to undertake the necessary work, and perseverance is an
absolute requisite. Even very obstinate stiffening will in time be
overcome by frequent and strong fomentation, followed by rubbing with
olive oil in such a way as to squeeze gently all the muscles and sinews
of the limb, and move them under the skin. This should be followed by
gentle bending of the joint, back and forward as far as it will go
without pain. It may need to be done twice a day for many weeks, yet
the result is worth even more trouble, when you literally make the
"lame to walk" (see Rheumatism).
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