Further observations on the lateral or serpentine curvature of the spine, and on the treatment of contracted limbs

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Page 111 - An eminent surgeon was consulted by a gentleman who became one of our first tragedians, as to the best mode of correcting a stoop which he had acquired. The surgeon told him that neither stays nor straps would do him any essential good, and that the only method of succeeding was to recollect to keep his shoulders braced back by a voluntary effort. But the tragedian replied that this he could not do, as his mind was otherwise occupied. The surgeon then told him that he could give him no further assistance....
Page 79 - We can conceive the bad effects that must have ensued from wearing such machines: indeed, .the consequences are well described by an eminent author, who wrote about sixty years ago. His observations are so just and so applicable to the present question, that they are worthy of being quoted: — " *Some nations have fancied that nature did not give a good shape to the head, and thought it would be better to mould it into the form of a sugar-loaf. The Chinese think a woman's foot much handsomer, if...
Page 4 - In consequence," says Mr. Shaw, " of the alteration in the state of the shoulders being the first symptom of deformity observed, it is generally but erroneously supposed that the dorsal part of the spine is the first distorted. Indeed those who have lately written on this subject have fallen into this error, and have described the curve at the loins as the last which is formed. " In cases of diseased vertebrae there may be a curve only between the shoulders, but it invariably happens in the common...
Page 79 - We laugh at the folly, and are shocked with the cruelty of these barbarians, but think it a very clear case that the natural shape of a woman's chest is not so elegant as we can make it, by the confinement of stays. The common effect of this practice is obstruction in the lungs, * See a " Comparative View of the State and Faculties of Man with those of the animal World.
Page 5 - ... that the dorsal part of the spine is the first distorted. Indeed, those who have lately written on this subject have fallen into this error, and have described the curve at the loins as the last which is formed. In cases of diseased vertebrae there may be a curve only between the shoulders, but it invariably happens in the common lateral curvature, that where one shoulder is protruded, there is also a curve at the loins; and I have shown by diagrams in the preceding volumes that this curve is...
Page 97 - ... for they may be recognised as much by their miserable sardonic grin, which is caused by the constant excitement of the platysma myoides muscle, as by their stoop. Such results may, perhaps, be thought scarcely worthy of notice ; but the very worst consequences may ensue from any system of treatment where a constant resistance to the muscles of the fore-part of the neck is kept up. — A gentleman had for many years worn one of the collars invented by Mr. Chesher. By using this machine two very...
Page 171 - It is there stated that their occasional success seems to arise from pressure, thumbing, &c. calling into action parts which, from lying long dormant, have become feeble and useless. The cases where this practice is most likely to be attended with benefit are those of stiff and contracted joints, after rheumatism, or any chronic inflammation. But, to do good even in such cases, great perseverance is necessary ; and a degree of boldness, which a priori we should almost consider dangerous. The professed...
Page 175 - Proceeding on these views, I have always insisted on the application of some means to prevent the contraction after the limb has been shampooed, and have been particularly careful to keep the limbs in a proper position during the night. Happily there are few cases where this cannot be done, and the means of doing it, are generally so simple, that even irritable and restless children forget the restraint after one or two nights. If the limb be kept constantly encased in a machine, and no exercise...
Page 80 - ... is not so elegant as we can make it by the confinement of stays. " The common effect of this practice is obstruction in the lungs, from their not having sufficient room to play, which, besides tainting the breath, cuts off numbers of young women in the very bloom of life. But nature has shown her resentment of this practice, by rendering above half the women of fashion deformed in some degree or other.
Page 102 - ... exercises as tend to strengthen those muscles of the back which support the shoulders and head. But so completely do I differ from the opinions commonly entertained as to the means of counteracting an habitual stoop, that I would almost recommend the position of a tailor sitting on his shop.board, as more advantageous than the systems generally followed. This at first appears ridiculous ; but the manner in which a tailor holds his body when he walks, proves that there is something in his habits...

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