RHEUMATISM. Acute general rheumatism, or rheumatic fever, is inflammation of the muscular system. There is, however, a rheumatic affection sometimes met with, in which the joints are affected ; generally, 1 believe the hock joint; but probably the other joints are equally liable to this affection. It is sometimes accompanied with a morbidly irritable state of the stomach and bowels, and, if a strong or even a common purgative is given in such a case, there will be danger of its producing inflammation of these parts. The same irritable state of the stomach and bowels is sometimes observable also in chills, as they are termed, and when the hind leg is suddenly attacked with inflammation and swelling, after violent shivering and fever. In all such cases, though physic is often necessary, that is, when the bowels are in a costive state, yet it is likely to do great harm unless in a moderate dose, and guarded with cordials or opium. The following ball may be given on such occasions: it must be observed, however, that copious bleeding is the essential remedy, and must precede every other. Purgative with opium, or cordial cathartic :—Barbadoes aloes four to five drachms, ginger one drachm, hard soap three drachms; sirup enough to form the ball. The affected parts may be fomented and rubbed with some stimulating liniment or embrocation.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835
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