This is a pain beginning at the Iiip, and following the course of the sciatic nerve. Occasionally it is an inflammatory complaint; sometimes is connected with an affection of the kidney; but frequently it is a purely neuralgic or nervous pain; and I have therefore thought it best to place it here, with nervous diseases.
Besides the various forms of neuralgia now noticed, the disease occurs, sometimes with great severity, in the female breast, in the womb, in the stomach, in the bowels, in the thighs, in the knee, and even in the feet. In many of these cases the disease is not where the pain is felt, but in the brain or spinal marrow, and consequently the true source of the complaint very often escapes detection. An excellent Episcopal clergyman in Northern New York, the Rev. M. B , with whom I studied Latin and Greek preparatory to college, had a neuralgic pain in the knee so intense, persistent and exhausting, that the limb had to be cut off at the thigh to save his life.
Treatment. This must be as diversified as the causes of the disease. For a general l~ use 368.
For tic douloureux, and some other forms, give internally, valerianate of ammonia (88); also 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 316, and 84, as tonics.
For external use in tic douloureux, and other neuralgic affections, the prescriptions 188, 196, 197, 198.
For the face ache, above mentioned, muriate of ammonia (134), in half dram doses, is a very valuable remedy.
When the disease is caused by miasm, and has a periodic character, like ague, it must be treated with quinine (67), (79), and if there be a low state of the blood, iron (72), (93) must be given at the same time. The galvanic battery often acts little magic in neuralgia.
The shower bath, exercise in the open air, and whatever else will build up the general health, must be used according to circumstances.
Neuralgic pain of various kinds often yields readily to some one of the many coal tar products like phenanthrene, antikamnia and ammonal: say 10 grains of either every two to four hours according to the intensity of the pain. The last named product is quite harmless and produces no numbness or faintness which is said to follow at times the use of some of the others.
Avoid rich or fatty foods. Live on a plain nourishing diet. Take exercise out of doors as much as possible.
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