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Simple Neuritis

Categories: Diseases of The Nervous System

This means that a single nerve of a group of adjacent
nerve trunks is affected. If a number of nerves are affected at the same

time it is called Multiple Neuritis or Polyneuritis.

Causes. (a) Exposure to cold. This is a very frequent cause, as for

example, in the facial (face) nerve. (b) Traumatism,--that is, wounds,

blows, injuries caused by fractures and dislocations; pressure from

tumors, sleeping with the he
d resting on the arms. Pressure from

crutches, "crutch paralysis." (c) Diseases involving the nerves due to

extension of inflammation from nearby structures, as in neuritis of the

facial nerve due to decay of the temporal bone.

Symptoms. The constitutional or general symptoms are usually slight. The

pain is the most important symptom, being of a boring in the parts to

which it is distributed. This pain may be very distressing, or of a

stabbing character, and is usually felt in the course of the nerve; or it

may cause little inconvenience. Sometimes the skin is red and swollen over

the affected parts. There is impaired nerve function and as a result of

this the muscles supplied by these nerves become weak, and occasionally

paralyzed. In severe cases they may become atrophied and an eruption often

appears along the course of the nerve. Sometimes the hair and nails are

not properly nourished, causing falling out or grayness of the hair and

loss of the nails. This neuritis may extend from the peripheral (external)

nerves and involve the larger nerve trunks or even reach the spinal cord.

This rarely occurs in neuritis from cold, or in that which follows fevers;

but it occurs most frequently in neuritis caused by blows, wounds, etc.,


Duration. This varies from a few days to weeks or months. If the primary

cause can be remedied it usually ends in full recovery. Sometimes it is

followed by the chronic form.

PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Neuritis. The first thing to do is to try to

remove the cause. Then absolute and continued rest of the affected part.

If one has a sore hand it will be rested, if possible; so it must be with

the sore and inflamed nerve.

For the Attack. After having placed the part in absolute rest, moist heat

applied to it frequently brings great relief. Sometimes a mustard plaster

applied along the sore part does good. This produces a counter irritation

and thus draws some of the congestion from the congested, inflamed nerve.

Ice is more effective in some cases than heat. The bowels should be kept

open daily with salts. Build up the general health with tonics; no alcohol

can be used. If it shows a tendency to become chronic, use massage,

electricity or change of climate. Atrophy (shrinking) of the muscles is

likely to follow if the disease continues long and for this massage and

electricity must be given.

Treatment. Preventive. A person who has once had neuritis must exercise

all care to keep from taking cold or exposing themselves to severe cold

winds and storms. Wet clothing will be apt to cause its return. Damp

houses are bad. The climate should be dry and not changeable. There should

be enough and proper kind of clothing to keep the body heat at the normal

point. Plenty of rest and sleep are required. These cautions also apply to

rheumatism and neuralgias.