Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

OF THE SENSITIVE NERVES. 
539 
YI. Æthongh pressure on a nerve gives rise to sensations which 
are felt in the peripheral parts, yet a stronger pressure produces 
pain in the nerve itself at the point to which it is applied.—We 
experience this but rarely, as when we suffer violent blows on the 
ulnar nerve. But the experiment may be made by pressing the 
ulnar nerve with gradually increased force against the bone above 
the internal condyle, when, in addition to the sensations excited in 
the parts which the nerve supplies, a pain will be produced at the 
seat of the pressure; not merely in the surrounding parts, but in the 
nerve itself. From the facts already detailed, and others that follow, 
this would not be expected; and there seems to be something here 
with which we are unacquainted, but which is important with rela¬ 
tion to the theory of sensation. Something similar is observed in the 
case of the tumours of nerves, of which the characteristic symptoms 
are pains in all parts which the nerve supplies; and violent pains in 
all those parts attend the division of the nerve above the tumour, as 
I observed on the occasion of the division of the ulnar nerve in the 
upper arm, above such a tumour, by Prof. Wutzer. But the gan¬ 
glion, or tumour, of the nerve is itself frequently sensitive and very 
painful. In cases of disease of the spinal cord, likewise, the pains 
are commonly felt in all the peripheral parts which lie below the 
point affected; but sometimes, though rarely, as in neuralgia dorsalis, 
there is pain along the middle line of the back. 
It is to be lamented that operating surgeons have hitherto neglected 
the excellent opportunities they enjoy of observing the phenomena 
which attend the division of nerves. 
The direction which the pain takes in cases of neuralgia, namely, 
along the course of the nerves, appears, likewise, not to agree with 
the theory of sensations above proposed. It must, however, be re¬ 
marked that neuralgic pains by no means constantly follow the course 
of the nerves. I have examined several cases of true neuralgia in 
Berlin, in which the pain did not pursue the course of the anatomical 
distribution of the nerves. 
We are are in want of information calculated to elucidate these 
apparent contradictions. The following facts are favourable to our 
theory. 
VII. When the extreme parts are completely deprived of sensi¬ 
bility by pressure on a nerve, or by its division, irritation of thepor- 
tionof thenerve connected with the brainstill excites sensations which 
are felt as if in the parts to which the peripheral extremities of the 
nerve are distributed.—Thus there are cases of paralysis in which 
the limbs are totally insensible to external stimuli; but in which, 
nevertheless, they are the seat of most violent pain. 
The innumerable cases showing that division of the nerve for 
neuralgic pain is generally attended with an unfavourable result, 
and that the pains frequently return with as great violence as 
before, although the nerves be divided, and even portions of them 
removed, afford another confirmation of the above statement. In 
fact, when the cause of the neuralgia is seated in the trunk of the 
nerve,—for example, of the facial or infra-orbital nerve,—division
        

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