Pain of the Nerves. Neuralgia.
This disease affects one tissue only, the nervous; and has one symptom, pain.
In apoplexy, the nerves, rendered powerless and senseless by an external force, are like a man under a bank of earth which has slid down upon him. In palsy, they are suddenly bereft of feeling and motion by a blasting scourge within, as one is smitten down by a pervasive charge from a magnetic battery. In epilepsy, the nerves are grasped and for a time held senseless by an unseen power, in which they struggle, as a man strives in the folds of the anaconda. In epilepsy, they are suddenly stiffened into senseless strings, for such automatic use as the bystander may, for the time, choose to make of them. In chorea, they are set to dancing by an invisible exhilaration, as a man is suddenly crazed by brandy.
In neuralgia, the nerves are neither crushed, nor collapsed, nor restrained for a time, nor stiffened, nor exhilarated. They simply have their sense of feeling intensely exalted; they are filled with pain. The pain is generally of a peculiarly darting, piercing character. The patient sometimes calls it tearing pain. It comes on in sudden paroxysms, with intervals of freedom between. The attacks are sometimes like an electric shock, and are so agonizing as to bring a temporary loss of reason. Occasionally there is great tenderness of the parts affected, and some fullness of the blood vessels in the neighborhood but generally the signs of inflammation are all absent, except paid.
Neuralgic pains occur in almost every part of the system. One of the most familiar forms of the disease is known under the name of Tic Douloureux.
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