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Sprains Or Racks
Source: 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
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
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.
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