Sources: Papers On Health
The heart is the most important of all muscles.
Sometimes the action of this is so weak that the pulse in the right
wrist is imperceptible, and that in the left extremely feeble. The
heart may be beating at the usual rate, only its stroke is much too
feeble; and the effects are found in enfeebled life generally,
sometimes shown in fainting fits. If such come on, lay the patient flat
on his back, and if consciousness does not return shortly, apply a hot
FOMENTATION (see) to the spine.
Sometimes this heart weakness is only a part of a general muscular
failure. Muscles elsewhere in the body may even swell and become
painful. If strychnine be prescribed, refuse it. It has only a
temporary power for good, soon passing into a wholly bad effect.
Thoroughly good vapour baths will effect some relief, and may be taken
to begin with. The best remedy is found in gentle rubbing and squeezing
the muscles in every part, specially attending to any that may be
swollen and painful. Squeeze gently the muscular mass, so as to press
the blood out of it. Relax the pressure again so as to admit the blood.
Where no help can be had, we have known a patient so squeeze herself as
to restore action to a useless limb. But of course it is best if it be
well and frequently done, say twice a day, by a really careful operator
who has some idea of anatomy. This may seem a simple remedy, but we
have known two inches added to the length of a shrunken limb by its
means, and the patient restored from apparently hopeless lameness to
fair walking power. See Massage.