Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Hippocrates
Pages of On The Articulations



Previous | Next
                  

On The Articulations   


properly with the board, sufficient force might be applied in this
way. Such powers, then, are excellent which admit of being so
regulated, that they can be made weaker and stronger as required.
And the forces are applied in the natural way; for the pressure
above forces the displaced parts into their place. Natural extension
restores parts which have come too near one another to their natural
position. I, then, am acquainted with no powers which are better or
more appropriate than these; for extension along the spine downward
has no proper hold at the bone called the os sacrum; and extension
upward, along the neck and head, has indeed a hold; but extension thus
made is unseemly to behold, and, besides, if increased, may occasion
much mischief otherwise. I once made trial of the following plan.
Having placed the patient on his back, I put below the hump a bladder,
not inflated, and afterward introduced air into the bladder by means
of a brass pipe connected with it. But the experiment did not succeed;
for, when the man was fairly extended, the bladder yielded, and the
air could not be forced into it; and, besides, the hump of the patient
was apt to slip off the distended bladder when they were pressed
together. But when I did not extend the man strongly, the bladder
was swelled up by the air, and the man became more bent forward than
proper. I have written this expressly; for it is a valuable piece of
knowledge to learn what things have been tried and have proved
ineffectual, and wherefore they did not succeed.

48. In curvatures forward of the vertebrae from a fall, or from some
heavy body falling upon them, in general no one of them is displaced
far beyond the others, but if one or more be so displaced, the case
proves fatal; but, not withstanding, as formerly stated, the
displacement is circular, and not angular. In such cases, then, the
urine and faeces are more apt to be retained than in displacement
outward, the feet and the whole inferior extremities are colder, and
the symptoms are more fatal than in the former case; and if they do
survive, they are more subject to retention of the urine, and to
loss of strength, and to torpor in their legs. But if the displacement
be in the upper part, they experience loss of strength and torpor of
the whole body. I know no mechanical contrivance by which such a
displacement could be reduced, unless that one might be benefited by
succussion on a bladder, or any other similar plan of treatment,
such as extension, as formerly described. I am not aware of any mode
of pressure which might be applied along with the extension, like that
of the board in displacement backward; for how could one apply
pressure from before through the belly? (internal cavity?) The thing
is impossible. But neither coughing nor sneezing has any power so as
to cooperate with the extension, nor would the injection of air into
the bowels have any effect. And to apply large cupping instruments
with the view of drawing back the vertebrae which have protruded
forward, shows a great error of judgment; for they rather propel
than attract, and those who apply them are not aware even of this
fact, for the greater will be the inclination forward the greater
the instrument applied, the skin being forcibly drawn into the
cupping-instrument. I could tell of other modes of succussion than
those formerly described, which one might fancy would be more
applicable in such an affection; but I have no great confidence in
them, and therefore I do not describe them. On the main, it should
be known, respecting the accidents which I have briefly described,
that displacements forward are of a fatal and injurious nature; but
that displacements backward, for the most part, do not prove fatal,
nor occasion retention of urine nor torpor of the limbs, for they do
not stretch the ducts leading toward the intestines, nor occasion
obstruction of the same; but displacements forward produce both
these bad effects, and many others in addition. And truly they are
more apt to lose the power of their legs and arms, to have torpor of
the body, and retention of urine, who experience no displacement
either forward or backward, but merely a violent concussion along

Previous | Next
Site Search