Bonesetter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A bonesetter is a practitioner of joint manipulation. Before the advent of chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists, bonesetters were the main providers of this type of treatment.[1] Traditionally, they practiced without any sort of formal training in accepted medical procedures.[2] Bonesetters would also reduce joint dislocations and "re-set" bone fractures.

History[edit]

The practice of joint manipulation and treating fractures dates back to ancient times and has roots in most countries. The earliest known medical text, the Edwin Smith papyrus of 1552 BC, describes the Ancient Egyptian treatment of bone-related injuries. These early bonesetters would treat fractures with wooden splints wrapped in bandages or made a cast around the injury out of a plaster-like mixture. It is unknown if they performed amputations as well.[3]

In the 16th century, monks and nuns with some knowledge of medicine went on to become healers and bonesetters after the dissolution of monasteries in the British Isles. However, many bonesetters were non-religious and the majority of them were self-taught. Their skills were then passed on from generation to generation, creating families of bonesetters. Notable families include the Taylor family of Whitworth and the Matthew family of the Midlands.[4]

With the advancement of modern medicine beginning in the 18th century, bonesetters began to be recognized for their efficiency in treatment but did not receive the praise or status that physicians did. Some of these self-taught healers were considered legitimate, while others were perceived as "quacks". In Great Britain, one of the most famous was the bonesetter Sally Mapp (d. 1737).[5] Known as "Crazy Sally", she learned her skill from her father and was known for her arm strength[6] and ability to reset almost any bone. Though she lacked the medical education of physicians, she successfully treated dislocated shoulders and knees, among other treatments, at the Grecian Coffee House in London and in the town of Epsom.[5][6]

Bonesetters treated the majority of the common people since they were cheaper than licensed physicians. Royal families would employ bonesetters when the court physicians were inadequate or inefficient.[7]

The Apothecaries Act 1815 in Great Britain called for surgeons to take courses similar to physicians – a move that would raise the status of surgeons to be more in line with that of the elite physician. This allowed for some bonesetters to transition into the medical profession and encouraged interest in bone and joint surgery. As a result, surgical instruments and tools for bone-related injuries were then developed.[8]

21st century[edit]

In developing parts of the world, traditional bonesetters are widely popular and often the only address for treatment of bone-related injuries. Most often it will be the case that there is a shortage of orthopedic doctors and surgeons in the country and so the two practitioners coexist in the same setting. In parts of South America, Asia, and Africa, traditional bonesetters treat musculoskeletal injuries in general, not just fractures and dislocations.[9] Traditional bonesetters are also known to offer cheaper services and allegedly faster treatment options.[10]

In Japan, bone-setting is known as sekkotsu. In China, it is known as die-da, and is practiced by martial artists.[11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pettman, E (2013-08-12). "A History of Manipulative Therapy". The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 15 (3): 165–174. doi:10.1179/106698107790819873. PMC 2565620Freely accessible. PMID 19066664. 
  2. ^ Agarwal, A; Agarwal, R. "The Practice and Tradition of Bonesetting". Education for Health. 
  3. ^ Phillips, S-A; Biant, L.C. (2011). "The Instruments of the Bonesetter". The Bone & Joint Journal. 93–B: 115–119. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.93B1.25628. 
  4. ^ Phillips, S-A; Biant, L.C. (2011). "The Instruments of the Bonesetter". The Bone & Joint Journal. 93–B: 115–119. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.93B1.25628. 
  5. ^ a b Hartley, Cathy (2003). A Historical Dictionary of British Women (Revised ed.). Psychology Press. p. 297. ISBN 1857432282. 
  6. ^ a b The Cabinet of Curiosities: Or, Wonders of the World Displayed, Forming a Repository of Whatever is Remarkable in the Regions of Nature and Art, Extraordinary Events, and Eccentric Biography. J. Limbird. 1824. pp. 187, 189–190. 
  7. ^ DiGiovanna, Eileen (2005). An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-0-7817-4293-1. 
  8. ^ Phillips, S-A; Biant, L.C. (2011). "The Instruments of the Bonesetter". The Bone & Joint Journal. 93–B: 115–119. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.93B1.25628. 
  9. ^ Nwachukwu, Benedict (2011). "Traditional Bonesetters and Contemporary Orthopaedic Fracture Care in a Developing Nation: Historical Aspects, Contemporary Status and Future Directions". The Open Orthopaedics Journal. 5: 20–6. doi:10.2174/1874325001105010020. PMC 3027080Freely accessible. PMID 21270953. 
  10. ^ Agarwal, A; Agarwal, R. "The Practice and Tradition of Bonesetting". Education for Health. 
  11. ^ Aries MJ, Joosten H, Wegdam HH, van der Geest S (2007). "Fracture treatment by bonesetters in central Ghana: patients explain their choices and experiences". Trop Med Int Health. 12 (4): 564–74. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01822.x. PMID 17445148. 
  12. ^ Huber BR, Anderson R (1996). "Bonesetters and curers in a Mexican community: conceptual models, status, and gender". Med Anthropol. 17 (1): 23–38. doi:10.1080/01459740.1996.9966126. PMID 8757711.