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Source: Papers On Health
This is often an adjunct of old age, and sometimes
occurs in the young and middle-aged as the result of chills. In
neither case is it incurable, but for a cure rest is a first
necessity. If there be standing and working for twelve or fourteen
hours a day, we should not expect a cure at all. Rest must be had, at
least twelve hours out of the twenty-four, and it is well if sixteen or
even eighteen hours' rest can be taken (see Rest). Then there must be
heating the spine with moist heat (see Fomentation). This is done to
revive the organs which supply oil to the joints, by giving fresh
vitality to the roots of the nerves which control these organs. But the
heating requisite to do this must be gently and persistently applied.
An hour's gradual heating is worth far more than half-an-hour's
half-burning. Then, after the spine fomentation, which must be
applied in bed, rub (see Massage) the back with hot olive oil for a
considerable time--say half-an-hour, if the patient can bear it (see
Exercise). Then the joints may be similarly fomented and rubbed at
another time, back and joints being treated, say, every other day. If
there be costiveness, treat as in Constipation, and give easily
digested food (see Assimilation; Digestion; Nourishment). Such
treatment daily should remove stiffness, even in very bad cases.