Sprains Or Racks

Sources: Papers On Health

A sprain is usually the result of some involuntary

stress coming upon the part. If the injury be to the muscular substance

only, it is easily healed; hot fomentations should be given to the

sprained parts, with perfect rest and every possible ease and comfort

by position, etc., and nature will soon effect a cure. If the injury be

really to the nerves which control the muscles, as is generally the

case, the matter is more difficult. The muscle swells, but this is

primarily due to the overstrain of the nerves in the sudden effort they

make to bear a crushing load on the muscle. The pain is from pressure

in the swelling, and also from inflammatory action.

The cure, then, must be applied to the motor nerves controlling the

muscles, and is best applied at their roots in the spinal cord. If the

arm, hand, or wrist be sprained, rub gently the upper spinal region

with warm olive oil, continuing the rubbing gently down the arm to

the injured part (see Rubbing) until the whole shoulder and arm glow

with comfortable warmth. But all rubbing such as causes pain must be

avoided. If such rubbing cannot be managed, then a hot BRAN POULTICE

(see) must be placed between the shoulders, and a warm fomentation

given to the shoulder and arm. The treatment should be given once a

day, and ere many days the sprain should be cured. For ankle and knee

sprains, the lower back and leg must be treated on similar principles.

Where the chest muscles that cover the ribs are sprained, rubbing and

moist heat should be applied over the back and round the side where the

sprain is, paying especial attention to the spine opposite the sprain,

and using hot olive oil before fomentation and after, as well as to rub


If the belly be sprained, similar treatment should be given lower down

the back.

If the back muscles are sprained, then the same treatment should be

applied, taking special care to stimulate with moist heat and rubbing

the part of the spine on a level with the injury, where the roots of

the nerves lie which supply the sprained muscles. Care must ever be

taken to avoid giving pain--to give pain is to increase the injury. To

produce a glow of heat all through the parts is to cure it. (See

Muscular Pains.)

For a sprained heel, when there is some degree of inflammation about

it, we should pack the whole foot in fine soap lather. Let it be in

this all night, and also during the day when resting. Wash the foot

with a little weak acetic acid, after being packed in the lather, to

keep it quite clean. Now rub the whole limb from the ankle upwards in

such a way as to press the blood onwards in the veins. Use a little

oil, so that the skin may not suffer till a fine heat is raised in the

whole limb. This may be done for a quarter-of-an-hour twice or thrice a

day. It relieves the heel of all congestion, and lets good arterial

blood flow to it, as it would not otherwise. An elastic bandage, not

very tight, put on above the knee will help the cure. Sprained joints

and muscles should have perfect rest for a fortnight, and be used

very cautiously for some time longer.