This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
Curvature of the spine is due to caries or destruction of the bodies of the vertebrae. There are several varieties of curvature; what is known as lateral curvature consists in the distortion of the spinal column either to the one side or the other. In this case there may be no caries of the spine. It consists in depression of one shoulder, the body being thrown out of its axis, by the curvature. This affection is caused by occupations which keep the body in a laterally distorted position, and tax one side of the body more than the other. It is produced in children who study their lessons at school, with one elbow resting on a high desk, etc. In Pott's Curvature of the Spine, the angular curvature is produced by caries of the vertebrae, or ulceration of the substance between the vertebrae, followed by more or less loss of power over the lower extremity. In examining the spine, one or more of the spinous processes is found to project beyond the others. Hump-backs are usually caused by curvatures of the spine, but they may also be caused by projection of the sternum, or deviation of the ribs.
TREATMENT. -- If associated with scrofula, the treatment for that disease should be instituted. In lateral distortion, calisthenic exercises should be engaged. In Pott's disease extensive counter-irritation should be made over the diseased part, and vigorous tonics given.
The treatment, however, best adapted to obviate all curvatures of the spine, is purely mechanical, and consists of braces, supporters, etc. Nothing else will achieve any satisfactory results. By mechnical appliances the spine is rendered straight, and compelled to maintain that position until a cure is effected. These mechanical appliances should be applied early, and be accurately adjusted and well fitted.
I am constantly applying such appliances in my office, and the results are excellent in nearly all cases. Those who cannot avail themselves of a personal consultation, may send age of patient, nature of curvature, height, and measure around the waist, and a suitable appliance will be sent. Preliminary correspondence free.