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Source: Papers On Health
This arises from the undue contraction of some of the
muscles in the neck. It generally shows itself first in the evening,
after the day's fatigue, and if neglected, or treated with blistering,
iodine, etc., may become a chronic affliction. Yet it is not difficult
to cure by right means. Opium should never be used. We have seen
terrible suffering follow its use. The true cause must be attacked,
which is an undue irritation of the nerve which controls one of the
muscles, so that it contracts and pulls the head away. The nerves of
the muscles which counteract this pull are also probably low in
vitality, so that there is a slackening on one side and a pull on the
First of all, for a cure, there must be rest. Not more than three
hours at a time should be spent in an erect posture, and between each
spell of three hours let one hour be spent lying down. Avoid all
movement while lying, as far as possible. Secondly, soap the back
thoroughly with LATHER (see) at bedtime. Cover the well-lathered skin
with a large, soft cloth, leaving the cloth and lather on all night,
and covering over all with flannel in sufficient quantity to keep the
patient warm. If the spasmodic twitching comes on, apply cold cloths
repeatedly to the back of the neck for an hour in the morning. If this
is felt too cold, apply for a shorter time.
If the neck has become hard and fixed in a wrong position, rub as
recommended in Muscular Action. This treatment has cured many cases.
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