The Practice and Applied
Therapeutics of Osteopathy
Charles Hazzard, D. O.
SUNSTROKE AND HEAT EXHAUSTION (Heat Stroke; Insolation; Thermic
These two conditions are due to exposure to high
temperature. The former is brought on by exposure to the direct rays
of the sun. The latter is contracted by persons working in close,
confined places in high temperature.
The state of the patient in one of these conditions
is quite different from that in the other. In sunstroke there is
very high, temperature, 106 to 115 F., marked dyspnea, red or livid skin
over the entire body, lack of perspiration generally, a full unconsciousness
In heat exhaustion there is cold clammy and pallid
surface of body; the temperature is normal or subnormal, occasionally
slightly feverish; the pulse is full and small; consciousness is rarely
The TREATMENT differs some in these two conditions.
Sunstroke is much the more serious condition.
It must be treated promptly. The patient should be laid in the shade, the
clothing should be loosened, and the applications of cold water to head,
spine and surface of the body are made. Ice may be rubbed over the
surface of the body, or the patient may be put in an ice bath (ice in the
water). Ice water enemata may be used. After the temperature
has been reduced, the patient should be given much the same treatment as
described for apoplexy. It is especially important to relax all the
cervical muscles, which are found to be much contracted. The spinal
muscles should also be relaxed, and the abdominal treatment may be given
to draw the blood away from the brain and cord. The patient should
be kept quiet, and the heart should be inhibited. Cervical relaxation
and inhibition should be continuously applied.
Heat exhaustion calls for less treatment.
Usually the patient soon recovers if removed to a shady spot, with the
clothing loosened, and sprayed with cool water. The muscles of neck
and spine should be first relaxed, and the whole spinal system, heart,
and lungs, should be thoroughly stimulated. In case the temperature
be subnormal the patient should be placed in a warm bath.
After-treatment for the spine, neck and general
system prevents the sequelae that are so frequently the results of sun
or heat-stroke, such as headaches, brain affections, intolerance of heat,
Several cases have been treated osteopathically of persons
suffering from the effects of lightning stroke. Paralytic affects are
usually found. The case must be treated upon general principles, usually
as a case of paralysis. As a rule marked vertebral lesions and contractions
of cervical and spinal muscles are found resulting from the stroke. Good
results are gained by treatment.