In this section diseases of the joints will be dealt with, the most important being those of tubercular and rheumatic origin. (Lumbago and muscular rheumatism, although affections of the muscles and not of the joints, are also .included in this section, as they are of rheumatic origin.) There is no disease so prevalent today as rheumatism, and the inability of the medical profession to deal with it successfully lies simply and solely in the fact that they attribute its cause to everything but the right one, which is, most definitely and conclusively, wrong feeding habits.
At a medical conference at Bath in 1928, Sir W. Farquhar Buzzard, Physician to King George V., said that ” They – the medical profession – did not know the cause of rheumatism, a disease which was costing the nation £20,000,000 every year through loss of work, sick pay, etc.” Yet, do doctors refrain from treating the disease on that score ? Do they tell their patients that they are just as ignorant of the cause of the disease as the patient himself ? Oh no ; the said trusting patient is told to have his teeth out, or his tonsils removed, or prevailed upon to undergo an expensive course of inoculation or electrical treatment – all to no avail, as might have been expected in the first place. For if the cause of a disease is not known, how can it be treated successfully ?
In naturopathic circles, rheumatism is by no means the mysterious disease it appears to be to the medical profession. It is recognised as being purely and simply a disease of dietetic origin, and the most remarkable and gratifying results have been obtained in its treatment by Nature Cure practitioners the world over. (The same remarks apply to rheumatoid arthritis too, although in a lesser degree, as arthritis is a far more serious condition to deal with than simple rheumatism, and results are not obtained so quickly.) When the medical profession ceases to look to germs as the cause of disease, and casts its eyes upon the food men take into their bodies instead, and studies its action on the system carefully, it will perhaps begin to see the cause of not only rheumatism and arthritis, but of all the other dread diseases which beset our present-day humanity!
The foods modern man is most addicted to – meat, white bread, sugar, refined cereals, etc. – all leave a large residue of acid toxic waste in the system, which is ineffectually neutralised as a result of the absence of sufficient quantities of alkaline mineral salts in the food eaten (through obsolete cooking and modern food-refining methods). The result is a continual piling up of these acid impurities in the system, first in the mucous membrane, where they are expelled in the form of catarrh, and secondly around the joints and bony structures, where they form the basis of what we now call rheumatism. (The retention of these toxic substances in the vital organs and body structures is the starting-point for all disease, as already pointed out to the reader.)
Everyone has heard of the connection between uric acid (the name popularly given to these acid waste materials) and rheumatism. (Even the medical profession has !) Yet how very, very few indeed are they who can trace the formation of uric acid in the system back to its true source (which is, daily and persistent errors in diet continued over a period of many years) ? Which only shows how blind the world can be as regards the relationship existing between its own food follies and the diseases which are their direct outcome!
The reason why rheumatism and arthritis affect the bony structure of the body is quite simple to understand, once the underlying facts of the matter are made clear. These large quantities of acid waste matter which are steadily piling up in the unwise food-eater’s system have to be put away somewhere (if the body cannot throw them off), and they have a very great affinity for bony structure, because the organic lime which is the most prominent constituent of bony material is an alkaline substance, and, as such, attracts these acids to it, for their mutual neutralisation. The effect is to be seen in the rheumatic conditions so well known to all of us – those inflammatory acid conditions which affect all the joints of the body, making the joints swell and perform their natural action with less and less thoroughness as time goes on, until we arrive at the stage when arthritis appears (which is the complete or semi-complete calcification and deformity of the joints of the body as a result of the erosive action of these acid impurities on the body’s bony structure).
The chain of cause and effect resulting in rheumatism and arthritis having now been made plain to the reader (” the weather ” is not the guilty party !), we can now turn to tubercular affections of the joints and say a few words about these before beginning on the actual treatments themselves. Tuberculosis is essentially a calcium deficiency disease (see the remarks re Consumption farther on in the book, in the section on Diseases of the Heart, Lungs, etc., for fuller details as to what this means) ; and the fact that the bony structure of the body which contains a great deal of organic lime (or calcium) is sometimes affected by diseases of a tubercular origin should be easy to account for from this one thing alone.
The child who is suffering from calcium deficiency, as a result of a defective diet cannot have such a good bony structure as a child who is adequately supplied with calcium for bone building. The result is that when such a child injures a bone (usually a joint) as the outcome of a knock or fall, there is quite a possibility that tubercular bacilli will become active there, because of the child’s generally impaired state of health combined with defective bone formation. Thus it is not the injury itself as such which is the predisposing factor towards the appearance of tubercular affections of the joints, as is popularly supposed, but the underlying lack of tone of the whole organism, due to faulty nutrition. Tubercular affections of the joints can only arise in a system depleted of organic lime and deficient in vitality, both conditions the direct outcome of defective nutrition.
Having, it is hoped, paved the way somewhat for a clearer understanding of the matter both with regard to rheumatic and tubercular affections we can now proceed with the actual treatments.
This is tuberculosis of the ankle-joint, and is characterised by puffiness of the ankle and a slight limp. The child walks upon the toes, when walking is necessary, and there is pain and muscular spasm. Occasionally the joints in the arch of the foot are involved. The cause of the trouble, as already explained in the introduction to this section, is defective nutrition, although injury of some kind or other may appear to be the predisposing factor in the case.
Treatment. The treatment for conditions of this nature should always be in the hands of an experienced Naturopath. Home treatment can never be completely successful, although a great deal can be done to improve the condition. The first essential is correct diet, the child must be fed on a fresh fruit, raw salad, fresh milk, and wholemeal bread diet similar to that given in the Appendix (foods rich in organic calcium and other valuable mineral salts), and skilled manipulative treatment to the affected joint, together with artificial sunlight treatment, are the next requisites. The tone of the whole body must be improved by proper hygiene, such as the adoption of the daily dry friction and sponge given in the Appendix, together with the daily performance of the breathing exercises given therein ; and (where possible) sun and air baths can both be fully recommended as being of the highest value. The full Epsom-salts bath and the Epsom-salts foot-bath are both very useful too. (For the foot-bath, about ½ lb. to 1 lb. of Epsom salts should be dissolved in a foot-bath of hot water, and the foot bathed therein night and morning.) The full Epsom-salts bath should be taken two or three times weekly. Up to a week on the all-fruit diet, to begin the treatment, with a period on fruit and milk to follow, would be very good indeed (together with the use of the enema to ensure proper bowel action) ; but, as already stated, the treatment should be placed in naturopathic hands, if at all possible. Rest of the affected joint is a very important factor in recovery. (For the fruit arid milk diet, from two to three pints of fresh unboiled milk are taken daily with the three fruit meals.)*
Suppressive medical or surgical treatment should be avoided at all costs. Operations cannot effect a real cure, and may cause the formation of a permanent disability for life with wasting of the tissues of the surrounding parts. Natural treatment can only be in the highest degree effective if the case is taken in hand at once, and not after it has been in medical hands for a prolonged period.
Disease of the Shoulder – Elbow and Wrist-joints
The joints of the upper part of the body are rarely affected with chronic disease as compared with those of the lower. This is probably due to the fact that the circulation of the blood in these joints is very active, and also to the fact that they have no heavy body-weight to support and are less exposed to injury. Tubercular disease in these joints invariably develops as a result of injury, and swelling, pain, and tenderness are the first symptoms observed. This is followed by wasting of the muscles, of both the arm and forearm. The trouble has always defective nutrition as its underlying cause, and for treatment the reader is referred to the treatment for Ankle-joint Disease, above.
Gout is popularly supposed to be a rich man’s disease, but it is just as much in evidence amongst the poor. It is essentially a disease of wrong living whether of “high” or “low” does not really matter. In addition to faulty diet, the gouty individual stands convicted of a tendency to drink far too much intoxicating liquor, to take far too little exercise, and generally to undermine his constitution in various ways. The disease consists in a great excess of urates and uric acid in the blood and tissues – impurities collected there as a result of the above-cited bad habits and shows marked preference for the joints of the feet in particular. In many cases chalky deposits (lime salts) appear in the joints, and also in the skin of the ear and other parts of the body. The disease usually begins between the ages of thirty and forty and any special bout of over-indulgence or overwork may precipitate an attack, which is very painful indeed. In an attack the big-toe joints are always the first affected, thus sharply characterising the disease from ordinary rheumatism, to which it is very closely related. Heredity is sometimes given as a predisposing cause, but without many years of wrong living on his own account, the sufferer from gout would have little cause to blame his ancestors for his trouble.
Treatment. For an acute attack of gout there is nothing to equal the fast in its curative effects. The sufferer should undertake a fast of from four to seven days (as directed in the Appendix), on orange juice and water, and the warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels. The feet should be bathed in Epsom-salts foot-baths twice daily ( ½ lb. to 1 lb. of salts to a footbath of hot water), and full Epsom-salts baths should be taken three or four times during the week if possible (being reduced to two weekly later). Cold packs at night to the affected joints will also be beneficial. As the attack subsides, the all fruit diet may be adopted for a few days, and then the full weekly diet given in the Appendix can be gradually begun. This diet should be adhered to as closely as possible from then on. All intoxicating liquors should be avoided in future, and enervating habits dropped. The daily dry friction and sponge given in the Appendix should be carried out daily as soon as convalescence is reached, as also the breathing and other exercises given therein. Fresh air and outdoor exercise are essential. If constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication given in Section 9, should be faithfully followed out. Spinal manipulation will be very helpful in all cases of gout. For the treatment of chronic gout, see treatment for Rheumatism farther on in the present section.
As usual in all tubercular affections of the joints, injury is the predisposing cause cited, but without a general underlying state of malnutrition due to defective diet the trouble could not develop. One of the first noticeable symptoms is a limp or stiffness early in the morning, which wears off later on in the day. As time proceeds the limp tends to develop greatly, together with eversion of the leg and foot, pain in the great toe and knee, and spasm of the muscles controlling the hip-joint. There is sure to be atrophy following the development of the above symptoms, and sometimes an abscess forms in the joint. There are also inflammation and pain of a severe nature. Medical methods by opening the joint to drain abscesses, and generally interfering with the joint structure, always result in the affected leg being shortened. The real treatment should be in the hands of a competent Naturopath along the lines already indicated for Ankle-joint Disease.
Housemaid’s Knee (Bursitis)
This condition, popularly known as ” housemaid’s knee,” is technically known as bursitis, and is really inflammation of a bursa, which is a sac or cushion containing fluid, in this case that placed between the knee-bone and its skin covering. An injury to this bursa, or constant scrubbing necessitating the knees being on the ground frequently may lead to its inflammation, and may cause great pain and discomfort, through the amount of fluid. in the bursa greatly increasing in quantity.
Treatment. Although the predisposing causes generally given are those cited above, without a system full of toxic material, bursitis could never develop. The real underlying causative condition is therefore systemic toxemia due to wrong feeding and wrong living generally. For the treatment for bursitis, the reader is referred to that for Synovitis later on in the present section, these conditions being very similar in nature and identical in treatment from the Nature-Cure point of view.
Knee-joint Disease: White Swelling
Tubercular disease at the knee begins in two ways. If it is the large capsule about the joint which is attacked at the outset, the first thing usually noticed is swelling, which has come on gradually without pain. There is no redness, but, on the contrary, the joint has a white, smooth appearance. There will be only slight pain and limp following fatigue. If, on the other hand, the disease begins either in the lower end of the thigh bone or the upper end of the leg bone, the symptoms are entirely different. Pain is usually present quite early, and there is a pronounced limp, which is most marked after rest. Motion is greatly restricted, and generally the leg is slightly bent back and is impossible to straighten. There is also wasting of the muscles of the surrounding parts. For treatment, which should always be in competent naturopathic hands, see the treatment given for Ankle-joint Disease in the present section.
Lateral Curvature of the Spine
The cause of this condition is a weakened spinal structure due to malnutrition in early infancy and youth. The deformity is slow in its development, but insidious and progressive, unless checked early by proper treatment. The main curve in this deformity is in the middle region of the spine, with its convexity to the right, and with a compensatory or second curve to the left, in the lower region ; but occasionally the curves are reversed. In addition to the spine itself, the ribs, shoulder, and hip on the side of the convexity are all affected, leading to general malformation. There is no pain or tenderness, as in Pott’s disease, which is tuberculosis of the spine, but muscular weakness is generally present, and the patient tires easily. The longer the condition is allowed to continue without proper treatment, the less possibility is there of correcting it, as the whole spinal structure becomes less and less flexible as time goes on.
Treatment. In the natural treatment for curvature of the spine, nothing is so effective as spinal manipulation and properly regulated exercise. Correct diet is also essential, but in this trouble gives place to manipulation and exercise as the measures of first importance. The case should be placed in the hands of a “competent Naturopath as soon as the trouble is detected (never wait till the condition develops), but an ordinary Osteopath would do almost as well if no Naturopath is near by. The exercises given in the Appendix both breathing and physical— will be found most helpful, as also the morning dry friction and sponge.
Lumbago is a disease of rheumatic origin which affects the muscles of the lower part of the back—that part known as the lumbar region : hence its name. It is a very painful disease, coming on in periodic attacks which get worse as the patient grows older – under orthodox medical treatment, that is ! For such treatment, omitting altogether, as it does, the diet factor, overlooks the real source of the trouble and the only possible avenue along which curative treatment can be directed.
Treatment. As regards the effective treatment for his case, the sufferer from lumbago is directed to the treatment for Rheumatism given farther on in the present section, In addition to such general treatment, in all cases of lumbago, spinal manipulation is in the highest degree beneficial. Cold packs, to the painful area, are also very useful.
Muscular Rheumatism (Fibrositis)
Although in rheumatic affections it is more often the joints which are affected, the muscles of the body are also sometimes subject to the disease. The sufferer from muscular rheumatism will find all he wants to know regarding the treatment for his complaint from a study of the treatment given in this section for Rheumatism of the Joints, page 149. The same treatment is equally efficacious in both types of the disease, as their underlying cause is exactly the same, although the superficial symptoms and manifestations are somewhat different. It is manual workers such as bus drivers, mechanics, etc., who do a fair amount of hard muscular work in one position, without sufficient walking and other exercise to help throw off the acid waste products thus formed as a result of their activities, who are most prone to the muscular type of rheumatism.
This disease, named after a distinguished surgeon of a century and a half ago, is really tuberculosis of the spine. The spinal vertebrae are attacked as a result of a fall or injury, but, as already pointed out in the sections on Tuberculosis of the Ankle-joint, Hip, etc. without a predisposing underlying factor in the shape of defective nutrition, the disease could never develop. It is a serious malady, and requires the most careful attention at the hands of a competent natural practitioner.
All that has been said with regard to the treatment for other tuberculous affections in this section applies equally to the treatment for Pott’s disease. And if the disease is taken in the early stages, there is every possibility of good results being secured. The longer the delay in securing adequate natural treatment, or the more the case has been tampered with by orthodox medical practitioners, the less likelihood is there of securing beneficial results from the treatment.
Rheumatism is a disease of such widespread range and ” popularity ” that a detailing of its symptoms is hardly required here. In the acute form, rheumatism is found oftenest among children and young people, but in the chronic form that most commonly seen it is confined to adults generally. Either the joints or the muscles may be attacked by the disease, but the muscular variety is far less common than that affecting the joints. All that has already been said about rheumatism (and arthritis) in the opening remarks to the present section should be carefully studied by the sufferer from rheumatism, because once he realises that the basis of the trouble is wrong feeding and wrong living generally, he will have gone a long way toward a satisfactory solution of his health problem.
Medical Science, by throwing the blame for rheumatism on to ” the weather,” or ” germs,” or what-not, has led the rheumatic subject far, far away from any possibility of a real understanding of the true nature of his complaint, and of its subsequent cure. In short, the popular medical view as to the cause of rheumatism as with that of all other disease, in fact does nothing to help the sufferer in his quest for a cure ; it merely succeeds in throwing him right off the scent and delivers him up a ready prey to any pill-monger or patent-medicine vendor (or electrical massage ” specialist “) who can promise him a ” cure,” which, by the very nature of things, can never materialise. It is safe to say that more money is spent every year by the public on so-called ” cures ” for rheumatism both orthodox and quack without avail, than on any other one disease. If only these same people could be made to realise that their cure lies in their own hands, through the medium of the food they choose to put into their mouths, what a difference there would be!
Treatment. As rheumatism is such a common disease, and as there are so many stages of the complaint ranging from just slight affection of the joints to the most crippling and agonising manifestations of the trouble it would serve readers best, I imagine, if I give examples of the treatment for, say, three stages of the complaint, instead of contenting myself with just dealing with it in one broad survey. This will give every reader who is suffering from rheumatism, and who is anxious to start right away-and prove for himself what natural treatment can do for him, the best possible working basis for treatment. He can gauge his own treatment by a study of the treatments here given in relation to the severity (or otherwise) of his own case.
Case 1. This is a mild case of rheumatism, in a young man of twenty-six. He has been living all his life on the usual kinds of food, eating plenty of white bread, boiled potatoes, meat, bacon, eggs, fish, tinned foods, jams, etc., etc., washed down with large quantities of strong tea and coffee, dosed with a plentiful supply of denatured white sugar. His doctor (who confesses to being a sufferer from the disease himself !) has done nothing at all to alleviate his trouble, except to give him various bottles of medicine, and to talk vaguely about having his tonsils removed, as being the possible ” likely ” seat of the trouble !
He comes under natural treatment having been advised to by a friend and he is treated as follows : He is placed on an exclusively fresh fruit diet for a week (as detailed in the Appendix), and then on to the full weekly diet (also described in full in the Appendix). He is told that further short periods on all-fruit, say two or three days may be required at monthly intervals during the next few months, according to the progress he is making. (It is a curious thing, but the sufferer from, rheumatism is generally warned off fruit by his medical adviser, as it is supposed to increase acidity. It does just the reverse ! It is bread, meat, sugar, etc., which are the acid-formers.)
The patient is made to use the warm-water enema nightly to cleanse the bowels during his week on all-fruit, and to undertake every morning the dry friction and sitz-bath and exercises (detailed in full in the Appendix). The hot Epsom-salts bath which is invaluable to the sufferer from rheumatism, he is told to take twice weekly for the next three months, and once weekly thereafter, and to have as much fresh air and outdoor exercise every day as he can manage. Smoking he is told to cut down to the very minimum, as being in no way a healthy practice ; and with regard to tea and coffee drinking, he is made to realise that these beverages are harmful in their after-effects upon the system (slight to begin with, but cumulative with time), and is made to give up coffee altogether, and to reduce his once very pronounced tea-drinking to two cups of weak China tea, without sugar, every day, taken in the afternoon.
As regards diet in general, he is told to read a good book on diet, to make himself thoroughly conversant with the details of this most important subject, and is made to realise that only pure foods – foods, that is, which have not been processed or refined, or had the life boiled out of them are the foods for him to eat in future. Fruits and salads, instead of being eaten as a luxury or novelty, as in the past, he is made to understand must be the major portion of his future daily dietary ; whilst bread to be eaten only once a day, not at every meal, as formerly must be one hundred per cent. wholemeal and nothing else. He is told to avoid all fried foods, all highly flavoured dishes, all seasonings, sauces, pickles, etc., and to have everything of the plainest and simplest nature. It seems rather a wrench to the patient at first, but, having sense enough to realise what an asset real health will be to him, he perseveres, and in six months is a different person altogether, with a degree of health he never dreamed possible in such a short space of time.
Case 2. This is the case of a woman, aged forty-five, who has had rheumatism for many years now, but is only troubled with it rather seriously at times. At other times she gets along without much trouble generally. Having undergone all manner of medical and spa treatment, and having had a perfectly good set of teeth out (on medical advice) with no avail, she decides to give Nature Cure a chance to show what it can do.
She is told to have a short fast for three or four days on orange juice and water (as described in the Appendix) to begin the treatment, and is then placed on the restricted diet (also given in the Appendix) for a further fourteen days. After this short fast and period on the restricted diet, she is then allowed to commence on the full weekly diet, and told she must adhere to this as closely as possible from then on. As she is chronically constipated – constipation being a very common predisposing factor in the setting up of rheumatism, in conjunction with wrong feeding – she is told to use the warm-water enema nightly for the time being, and to resort to the principles for the overcoming of this condition as outlined in the section dealing with Constipation and its Cure
Hot Epsom-salts baths are prescribed three times weekly, and she is told to make a regular habit of the morning dry friction and sponge, and to do the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix in conjunction with them. In addition, the need for a certain amount of regular daily outdoor exercise, such as walking, and regular habits of living generally such as regular meals, early hours, etc., etc. are impressed upon her, as all these play a big part in regulating the health, or otherwise, of the system. As regards her future diet, she is told the same as the young man in Case 1, and is, in addition, warned against the drinking of alcoholic liquors, in which she sometimes indulges.
She does as she is told, but as her case is rather a chronic one, her progress is not so rapid to begin with as Case 1, but, although slow, is nevertheless sure. She has a further short fast and period on the restricted diet three months after she commenced treatment to help on the cleansing process and increases her progress greatly by so doing. Her weight, which was far above normal when she began treatment, is now down to average, and her general health is far better than it has been these twenty years or more. In fact, she feels a new woman, thanks to natural treatment, which has revolutionised not only her health but her whole life too.
Case 3. This is a case of an elderly man aged sixty-three, who is almost crippled with rheumatism. He comes to Nature Cure in despair, having spent a small fortune on his case, with no results whatsoever. As he is fairly advanced in years, and not very strong, a drastic scheme of fasting treatment which he really needs, and which would be given him if he were younger, cannot be put into operation in his case. He has to carry on as follows:
He is made to fast for a day, and is then put on to an all-fruit diet for a further three days, after which he is placed on the full weekly diet given in the Appendix. This diet he is told to adhere to rigidly from then on, with a day’s fast and period on the all-fruit diet say two or three days every month or so. He is made to use the enema nightly to cleanse the bowels for the first week of the treatment, and uses it every other night thereafter, until constipation, which was habitual with him, is overcome (the simple rules for its eradication, given in the section on the cure of Constipation, , having been explained to him). Epsom-salts baths are prescribed two or three times weekly, at a temperature not too hot for him to stand them, and he is given the morning dry friction and sponge and breathing exercises to perform daily. A course of spinal manipulation is also prescribed for him, together with a course of artificial sunlight treatment, as well as treatment in the form of general massage and manipulation of the joints, to aid in the work of loosening them up, as they are in a very crippled condition.
After six months of this treatment his condition shows great signs of improvement, although he is still far from completely well; but with perseverance he feels sure he will go forward to better and better health, the success achieved by the treatment thus far having given him this confidence.
SPECIAL NOTE. All sufferers from severe rheumatism should read the following section on Rheumatoid Arthritis, as it is really impossible to say exactly where severe rheumatism leaves off and arthritis begins, in many cases.
FURTHER NOTE. Where the rheumatic sufferer has swelling and pain in the joints, he should bathe the affected parts twice daily in hot water containing Epsom salts ( ½ lb. of salts to a bowlful of hot water; 1 lb. of salts to a foot-bath of hot water, etc.), after which some olive oil should be applied.
When rheumatism has progressed so far in the system that the joints have become fixed and distorted and incapable of much movement, rheumatoid arthritis has appeared. (Arthritis may also be produced by the suppression, i.e. wrong medical treatment, of previous disease of many kinds, in conjunction with a rheumatic tendency.) All that has been said in the previous section on Rheumatism should be read carefully by the sufferer from arthritis, and taken to heart; and although, by the very nature of the case, such quick and definite results as those which follow the treatment for simple rheumatism cannot be expected, natural treatment holds out for the sufferer from arthritis the only hope of cure – or even partial cure – that exists for him in the world to-day. Orthodox medical treatment, by means of injections or otherwise, is worse than useless where real cure is concerned.
Treatment. Unless taken in hand promptly and thoroughly, arthritis is a very difficult condition to deal with, and the sufferer should place himself at once under competent naturopathic advice where at all possible. For those who cannot avail themselves of personal treatment, the following resume of natural treatment is given as a guide to self-treatment :
Fairly simple cases of arthritis can undertake the treatment given in the previous section on Rheumatism for Case 2, with good results. But in addition to all the various measures advised there, they should bear in mind to try to get some movement into the affected joints by moving them about gently for a few minutes several times a day. This attempting to move the affected joints by gentle manipulation daily is essential to real progress, as it prevents further stiffening, and gives the treatment a better chance to operate. If the patient cannot move the affected joints for himself, someone should be got to do it for him. Where possible, spinal manipulation and general manipulative treatment should be sought, in conjunction with the general treatment here outlined.
For more serious cases of arthritis a fast of from a week to two or three weeks will be needed to get the treatment into full operation. This is best conducted in a Natural-Cure home, of course, and in any case should not be attempted by the sufferer without proper guidance or advice. After the fast, the restricted diet given in the Appendix should be adopted for a few days, and then the full weekly diet can be begun. A further fast or series of fasts may be required from the patient, according to the severity of the condition, the progress being made, etc., and in every case the diet given in the Appendix should be returned to and adhered to rigidly thereafter. Only in this way can a real cure be effected, if cure be possible in any given case. The sufferer from arthritis, more so than any other, can afford no longer to tamper with his diet if a cure (or even a partial cure) is wished for.
Constipation, which is almost an invariable accompaniment of arthritis, must be dealt with according to the rules for the use of the enema, etc., given in the section dealing with the cure of Constipation, and the morning dry friction and sponge, together with the breathing exercises given in the Appendix, must not be left out of the treatment. The hot Epsom-salts bath is an indispensable feature of all treatment for arthritis, and the sufferer should have three at least every week; whilst if spinal manipulation and general naturopathic treatment are not possible, the daily gentle self-manipulation of the affected joints “already referred to in this section should not be omitted from the regime of treatment. With perseverance and patience a cure in many cases is possible ; whilst in others if a complete cure is not effected, at least a great improvement should reward the efforts of the sufferer.
SPECIAL NOTE. To all sufferers from arthritis and severe rheumatism, the need for a sufficient daily supply of organic alkaline salts in the dietary must be obvious from what has been said in the opening pages of this section as to the causes of the trouble. Although the dietetic treatment here advised will give this to them, they can always do with more, so to speak. Accordingly, a very good thing for all such sufferers is to drink plenty of carrot and tomato juice, and the liquor from simmered green vegetables, as these juices and liquors are very rich in desirable alkaline properties.
FURTHER NOTE RE FASTING. Where heart trouble complicates rheumatism or arthritis, care should be taken not to undertake too long a fast or period on all-fruit at any one time. It is better to carry on for shorter periods and at frequent intervals as for the treatment for Case 3 in the section on Rheumatism, for instance.
The membrane which forms the lining of all the joints of the body is known as the synovial membrane, because it secretes a peculiar fluid called synovia. When this membrane becomes inflamed, through any cause whatever, the resultant condition is called synovitis. Of all the joints likely to be affected the knee-joint is the one most prone to synovitis, and the condition is often called ” water on the knee.” Synovitis may result from injury, but most frequently it follows in the wake of diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, typhoid, and other infectious diseases as a result of wrong, i.e. suppressive, medical treatment. In any case the sufferer from synovitis can take it for granted that unless his system had been in a highly toxic condition, the trouble could never have developed. It is this underlying toxemia due to wrong feeding, general wrong living, and previous suppressive medical treatment—which has made the appearance of synovitis possible in his system.
Treatment. The treatment for synovitis is primarily a detoxicating regime, with only secondary attention to the actual place of affection. The sufferer should begin with a fast for from three to five or seven days, or with from five to seven, ten, or fourteen days on the all-fruit diet (according to the severity or otherwise of the condition), and then go on to the full weekly diet given in the Appendix. The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels ; and if constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication given in should be carefully studied and put into operation. The affected leg should be rested whilst the inflammation is severe, and cold packs (as described in the Appendix) should be applied frequently during the day, and one kept on all night. The hot Epsom-salts bath will be extremely beneficial, and should be taken three times a week if possible, the patient being carried to the bath and placed in it if necessary. Gentle massage of the surrounding parts is useful.
If the above treatment is carried out faithfully, the trouble should soon begin to disappear, but the patient should guard against trying to use the affected leg too quickly. It is always wise to rest it for a day more rather than a day less. As convalescence continues, the morning dry friction and sponge or sitz-bath should be taken, together with the physical exercises given in the Appendix. The diet factor must never be overlooked when once the condition has been overcome, as this is the only way to prevent further trouble of the same kind recurring. Painting with iodine or other similar suppressive treatment is absolutely WRONG.