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Category: Diseases of The Nervous System
This is as a rule a neuritis of the sciatic nerve or of its
cords of origin. It is characterized by pain chiefly along the course of
the sciatic nerve.
Causes. It occurs most commonly in adult males. The person may have a
history of rheumatism or gout in many cases. Exposure to cold after heavy
muscular work or exertion, or a severe wetting are common causes. The
nerves in the pelvis may be compressed by large tumors of the ovaries or
womb, by other tumors, or by the child's head during confinement.
Occasionally hip joint disease causes it. The nerve, as a rule, is
swollen, reddened, and in a condition of "interstitial neuritis." The pain
may be most severe where the nerves emerge from the hip bone, behind, or
in the inner back, and middle part of the thigh.
NERVOUS SYSTEM 267
Symptoms. Pain is the most constant and troublesome. It is sometimes very
severe. The onset is usually gradual, and for a time there is only a
slight pain in the back of the thigh; soon the pain becomes more intense,
extends down the thighs, and leg and reaches to different parts of the
foot. The very sensitive spots can often be pointed out by the patient,
and on pressure these spots are very painful. It is gnawing and burning
in character, usually constant, but sometimes it comes in paroxysms, and
is often worse at night. Walking usually causes great pain. The knee is
bent and the patient treads on his toes. As a rule it is an obstinate
trouble, and it may last for months, or even with slight remissions for
years. In the severer forms the patient must remain in bed and such cases
are very trying for both patient and doctor.
(See Mothers' Remedies under Neuralgia above).
PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT. Cautions for Sciatica. Remove all causes if you
can. Rheumatism and gout, if the patient have them, should be treated. The
patient should not overwork or expose himself to wet, damp weather. Keep
every part dry. Rest in bed with the whole leg fixed is a valuable mode of
treatment in many cases. Hot water bags from the hip to the knee placed
along the painful nerve, sometimes gives great relief. Mud baths are
beneficial. Hot Springs baths relieve many cases. Fly blisters placed
along the track of the nerve relieve the pain in many cases. Fomentations
of smartweed and hops are good, but they must be changed often so as to be
hot. Wet or dry cupping is a help in many cases. It draws the blood from
the inflamed nerve. Morphine given hypodermically will relieve the pain,
but it is a dangerous medicine to use in a chronic case. The patient will
be very likely to form the habit, and that is worse than the sciatica. By
care and treatment most cases can be greatly helped and cured. Rhus tox
(poison ivy) is very good in minute doses in cases where it is impossible
to remain in one position for any length of time. Ten drops of the
tincture in a glass two-thirds full of water and two teaspoonfuls given
every hour. I have helped many cases with this remedy. The hot iron along
the track of the nerve is helpful. Electricity is better in a chronic case
where there is wasting of the legs, and it should be combined with
massage. The galvanic current should be used.
MOTHERS' REMEDIES. Nervousness. 1. Catnip Tea for. "A tea made of catnip
will quiet the nerves. This is good for women when they are apt to be
2. Nervousness, Hops Will Stop. "Purchase a small package of hops at any
drug store, and make a tea of it, drinking frequently in tablespoonful
doses." It is a harmless remedy, and should be used more freely by nervous
people. The hops are very soothing. Nervous mothers should never be
without this. It is surprising to see how few people know the value of
some of these simple home remedies.
3. Nervousness, Effective Remedy for.
"Spirits of Camphor 1/2 ounce
Comp. Spirits of Lavender 1/2 ounce
Tincture of Valerian 1 ounce
Sulphuric Ether 1/2 ounce
Mix. Dose, one or two teaspoonfuls every three hours."
The foregoing remedy is very effective, as spirits of camphor and the
tincture valerian quiet the nerves. The sulphuric ether also has a
soothing effect. This combination makes a fine tonic, but should not be
taken too long, as it is quite strong.
4. Nervousness, Five Ingredient Remedy That Relieves. "In extreme nervous
debility with tendency to fainting fits, use the following:
Spirits of Camphor 1/2 ounce
Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia 1/2 ounce
Spirits of Lavender Compound 1 ounce
Tincture Valerian 1 ounce
Tincture Castor 1 ounce
Mix. Dose. From one to three teaspoonfuls at intervals of from fifteen
minutes to three hours, according to urgency of symptoms. This mixture
should be kept on hand by all persons subject to fainting fits."
Spirits of camphor and aromatic spirits of ammonia stimulates the heart,
while the tincture of valerian quiets the nervous system.
5. Nervousness, "Lady's Slippers" Breaks up. "A decoction is made with
two ounces of the root, sliced, to two pints of water, boiled to one and
one-half pints. Dose: One tablespoonful four times a day. Has been used
with marked success in epilepsy and in other various nervous diseases."
This is used very extensively for nervous people, and has proven very
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