Looking Back, Pt. 1

I recently “stumbled upon” a really neat site that allows the user to search through a database of old newspapers and my curiosity was piqued.

I am uncertain how long this might last, but I thought it would be interesting to look back on our culture’s beliefs and attitudes regarding pain and post some of my findings here:

From The Syracuse Herald Journal, 1940:

Talking About Health
By Dr. Logan Clendening

A patient writes: I have been told that my sciatica is due to a protruding intervertebral disk. Will you please explain what this means?

The backbone is composed of a series of superimposed separate bones. Between each one is a cartilaginous disk called the “intervertebral disk.” Recent studies have indicated that in certain cases low back pain and sciatica may be due to dislocation of this cartilaginous disk. The condition is known as “protruded intervertebral disk.”

A considerable difference of opinion has been expressed as to how often it occurs. Probably a very low percentage – not more than 2 percent of all cases of low back pain. Such cases of sciatica or low back pain as are caused by this condition are always preceded by injury or accident. Reports say that surgical removal of the disk is followed by relief.

It certainly indicated that whoever made this diagnosis is an alert and up-to-date physician, but it is to be hoped that gossip on this subject will not spread too rapidly among nervous patients.

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