29th August 2014, Volume 127 Number 1401

Excerpt from an article by Dr Douglas published in NZMJ March 1914;13(49):21–7.

A few selected cases will illustrate the application of the air injection treatment. Cases are chosen where the action of aspirin or other drug did not confuse the result. Most of the cases were doubtless amenable to other forms of treatment, and we are all familiar with immediate and striking results in certain cases of fibrositis by the injection of drugs, counter-irritation, and so on.

It remains to be judged whether the method of air injections gives a larger proportion of cases of decided and lasting relief than other methods. It is certainly no panacea; it may require to be repeated several times at intervals of a week or ten days and only as an adjunct to the treatment of such conditions as constipation, gout, tobacco-poisoning, and arthritis; but proof of the comparative value of the method is forthcoming when patients who have undergone a variety of forms of treatment, return during subsequent attacks, months or years after, for a repetition of the air injection treatment which they found so effectual.

A thick-set man of thirty, living fifteen miles away, sent for me on account of a sudden disabling pain in the back, which seized him while washing. He had had attacks of lumbago previously. I found him lying on his side, apparently unable to move. He had felt discomfort in his back for a day or two before the sudden acute seizure. Treatment by air injection was carried out, and in a few minutes the patient was able to stand up and pick up articles from the floor. Some weeks after he called to say that some pain continued for a few days but not sufficient to prevent him from moving about freely,

Mrs F., at 45, had been suffering from pain in the occipital region and back of the neck for a fortnight. She was unable to hold up her head. Great relief was afforded by air injection, but there was considerable soreness and discomfort about the neck and throat for several hours during the night.

A young man of thirty-two had been suffering for a few days from a pain in the outside of the leg, from the knee to the ankle. The pain was getting worse and made him lame. Air injection gave relief at once and the pain did not return. This patient is subject to attacks of sciatica which have occasionally continued for several weeks or months, sometimes with intervals of many months of complete freedom from pain. He has visited Rotorua and undergone various modes of treatment, such as high-frequency-currents and electrical baths. For the last few years, when attacked by his old enemy, he always returns for the air-injection and atropine treatment. The attack sometimes requires several applications, but is more effectually relieved by this treatment; than any other. Aspirin and iodides appear to be valueless in this case.