In connection with a study of arthritis and rheumatoid conditions, analysis has been attempted of some of the measures known to benefit them. Conspicuous among these measures are exercise, the application of external heat and massage.
The use of massage and hydrotherapy dates from ancient times. The practice of each, however, has been mostly in the hands of persons untrained in medicine and not infrequently deficient in general education. Probably for this reason, in part, massage and hydrotherapy have received but little critical analysis as to the physiologic effects they produce, although their application to a host of disorders establishes them as among the most important and fundamental measures at our command.
The wide use of external heat in the form of "bakes," hydrotherapy, mud baths, vapor baths and the like in the arthritic or rheumatoid syndrome leaves no room for doubt as to their beneficial influence.
In a series
PEMBERTON R, CAJORI FA, CROUTER CY. THE PHYSIOLOGIC EFFECT OF MASSAGE. JAMA. 1924;83(22):1761–1763. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02660220037012
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