What is Tetanus?
Tetanus is a medical condition that is characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscles. The primary symptoms are caused by tetanospasmin.
Infection generally occurs through wound contamination, and often involves a cut or deep puncture wound.
What are the Symptoms of Tetanus?
Call your GP Immediately if you have a cut or wound and any of these things occur:
- Stiffness of the neck, jaw, lock jaw, and other muscles.
- Uncontrollable spasms of the jaw and neck muscles.
- Painful, involuntary contraction of other muscles.
This bacteria can also live in animal manure, house dust and the human intestines. If you incur any injury tetanus spores can be implanted into the skin.
Regardless of how small or insignificant the accident or injury is, tetanus spores can still enter the broken skin.
The bacteria survive in areas with no oxygen. The bacteria make a toxin which is dangerous.
From the wound where the bacteria entered, the toxin travels via the blood to the spinal cord and the brain.
If the toxin reaches the nervous system, it cannot be controlled by any treatments. Some people may experience only pain and tingling at the wound site and some spasms in nearby muscles.
Most people however, suffer stiff jaw and neck muscles, irritability, and difficulty swallowing.
What are the Causes of Tetanus?
Bacteria enter the body via wounds to create a deadly toxin which travels to the spinal column and the brain.
Traditional Medical Treatments for Tetanus
If you suspect you may have tetanus: Go immediately to a hospital. The best method of avoiding this disease is by being adequately immunized.
Also if you are wounded, clean the wound but if you are worried about contracting tetanus, only use a light dressing as the bacteria will die upon exposure to the oxygen in the air.
Always dress wounds properly: this means all cuts, abrasions and punctures.
If the object which contributed to your wound came from the ground: dress the wound as best you can and see a doctor immediately.
He or she will advise you further and possibly give you an updated tetanus shot if you haven’t already been immunized in the last 5 years.
Make sure you have your whole family immunized against tetanus and keep records.
Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Tetanus
As traditional medical treatment revolves around drug therapy, Traditional Chinese medicine herbal remedies are the most common alternative treatment for tetanus.
Herbs that have sedative effects should be given to reduce the frequency of convulsions, along with herbs to fight the bacteria.
Tetanus and convulsions can be treated with a concoction made from the dried body of a long-noded pit viper, called this drug Qi She in Mandarin.
Chan Tui, or cicada slough (the skin the cicada sheds) is also helpful. Also helpful are the dried root of the Saposhnikovia divaricata, called divaricate saposhnikovia root, and jack-in-the-pulpit tuber, if it is treated so it is not poisonous.
There are several alternative treatments aimed at prevention of the disease.