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Diseases of Muscle

disease, arm and exercise


Wasting (atrophy, Greek a, not, and tre pho, I nourish) may arise in muscle from changes in the nourishment of the part, from want of exercise, or from a nervous disease. Thus an arm that has been kept up for sonic weeks in splints because of fracture will, when unbound, be found very much thinner and weaker than its neighbour, owing to the enforced want of exercise. Sometimes, after a fever, cold, or other disease, one arm or leg or both legs be come chilly, benumbed, and thin, and, in the case of children, cease growing in proportion to the rest of the body. Au injury to an arm or leg, involving a nerve of the limb, may lead to wasting of the muscles to which the nerve pro ceeds. There is a disease of the spinal cord which causes rapid wasting. (See Progressive Muscular Atrophy under DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM.) food and exercise and the use of quinine and iron and similar tonics are the general remedies ordered for muscular wast ing. Rubbing the affected parts with stimulat ing liniments, such as the liniment of camphor and ammonia (see APPENDIX OF PRESCRIPTIONS) is of value. Massage, Swedish movements, and

electrical treatment are important.

Overgrowth (hypertrophy, Greek huger, beyond what is usual, and trepho, I nourish) is a condition of increased nutrition. The arm of the blacksmith, for example, has muscles which exhibit greater growth than usual, owing to the stimulus of exercise ; and this is quite natural.

In children there sometimes occurs a ner vous disease which produces apparent increased growth of muscle, particularly of the buttocks and back of the legs. The increase is only apparent, however, so far as the muscles are concerned. They are actually wasted, and the increased bulk is of fat and connective tissue. Weakness is a marked symptom of the disease, paralysis ensues, and death results.

Electricity is the only remedy that seems of advantage. (See Pseudo - Ilypertrophic Para lysis, under DISEASES OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM.)