Sources: Papers On Health
In the case of an overstretch, or
sprain, which has resulted in a hardened, swollen, and painful state of
the muscles of the arm, bathe the arm in hot water, using plenty of
SOAP (see). While the arm lies in this bath, gently squeeze it with
both hands, so as to make the muscles work gently over one another, and
the blood run out and in to the stiff parts. Care must be taken to
avoid hurting the patient. No such effort is needed as to require great
strength--only so much squeezing as urges the blood out of the part
squeezed, and lets it in again when the pressure is taken off.
Persevere in this for half-an-hour, dry, and rub with warm olive oil.
Do this twice daily until the arm is restored.
In the case of a broken or disjointed arm, FOMENTATION (see) should
be vigorously applied until proper surgical aid can be had to set the
bones. Even where a joint has been a long time out, such fomentation
persevered in will soften the part, and permit of proper setting of the
bones. Cold is unfavourable--cold water a decided mistake in such a
Of course a surgeon should be employed; but if no medical aid can be
obtained, a person who understands anatomy may replace a disjointed
limb by fomenting and oiling the muscles thoroughly, and then watching
for a time when they are relaxed, and when the patient's attention is
not fixed on the joint. This is the moment to slip the bone into its
place. If medical aid can be obtained, it is always safe, while waiting
for the doctor, to foment the broken or disjointed limb. Also a wet
compress worn over the disjointed limb will, with the fomentation, make
it much easier for him, when he comes, properly to set the bones.
When two bones in any part of the body are disjointed, the cords and
muscles which tend to keep them firm in their ordinary position usually
draw the ends past each other so that they overlap. To get the joint
right, the bones must be drawn until the ends can pass each other, and
then they must be brought into their proper position. Compare the
disjointed bones with those same bones in a right position in some
one's body, and thus you will see how they may be drawn right. There is
a way of manipulating the muscles and tendons that in most cases
renders it unnecessary to use much force, therefore the inexperienced
should never draw forcibly. Sometimes a joint will repeatedly fail in
this way. In such a case it may be supported; but means must be used by
hot fomentations to strengthen the joint, and general rubbing,
especially on the spine, must be used to increase vital force.