10+ Historical Medical Methods That Are Painful Enough To Send Chills Down Your Spine

Modern medicine has given us some truly wondrous achievements. Anesthesia, the artificial heart, and even things as simple as aspirin have improved our day to day lives. But how did we get to the land of milk and honey?

It was a bumpy road for sufferers of these common ailments. Some of these “treatments” could double as torture tactics. There is a reason “getting medieval” is a term which explains punishment.

History of Medical Methods

Ever since man started trying to comprehend the biological nature of the human body, he has been trying literally the whole enchilada to cure diseases. Many among the humans have been subject to testing of some medical method so as to find out how to cure a certain disease. Many ingenious methods were discovered but at the same time, very painful. Historical medical methods were not as advanced as they are today, but they did serve the purpose in the past quite well. They have been found to so painful that the person who was having the treatment would have wished to live without a treatment and die rather than get treated.

Boar Bile Enemas Historical Medical Methods
Source: allday.com

Boar Bile Enemas

Enemas in Medieval times were performed using long metal tubes with a cup on the ends called Clysters. The tube was inserted into the anus and “fluid” was then poured into a cup and pumped into the colon. Today, soapy water is the common method in enemas but back then it was boar’s bile, hence the name.

Trepanning Medical Methods
Source: Wikipedia Commons


Preceding lobotomies, trepanning was a painful historical medical method in which a hole was bored into the patients Dura Mater. Used as a remedy for seizures, fractured skulls, and mental illness, trepanning had an unusually high survival rate with very little cases of infection.

Hot Iron for Hemorrhoids Historical Methods
Source: franciscojaviertostado

Hot Iron for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a painful ailment that troubles us today. Fortunately, a hot bath in most cases will take care of them but historical sufferers weren’t so lucky. This past medical method involved inserting a red, hot iron directly up the anus. The less painful (and probably less effective) method had the patient sit on St. Fiacre’s Rock who was originally cured of his hemorrhoids using the former method.

Needle Eye Surgery Historical Medical Methods
Source: Wikipedia

Needle Eye Surgery

Before the invention of fancy laser eye surgery, cataracts were dealt with by this painful historical medical method. A huge needle was used to push the cornea to the back of the eye before Middle-Eastern medicine showed Europeans the light.

Metal Catheters Medical Methods
Source: jornaldenisa.blogspot

Metal Catheters

Due to various STD’s and no form of antibiotics to speak of, blocked bladders were handled with this painful medical method. A small metal tube was inserted into the urethra, which would eventually unblock the bladder. The pain was described as excruciated and was sometimes fatal.

Bloodletting Historical Medical
Source: bbc


This painful historical medical method of the past not only caused the patient unnecessary pain but also didn’t make much sense. Based on the logic of the female menstrual cycle, a doctor or a barber (you read that right) would make small incisions on the patient’s body according to their age, health, current location and the weather.

Childbirth Historical Medical Methods
Source: dc224.4shared


Childbirth in medieval times was so painful. Mothers were told to prepare their soul in case of death due to this historical medical method. In the case of breech births, Midwives would attempt to move the child in Utero (a common practice today) or they would shake the bed in an effort to move the child externally. In the unfortunate case of a dead baby, the remains were cut up with a sharp instrument while the child was still inside the womb and removed with a “squeezer” while the placenta was removed with a counterweight.

Battlefield Surgery Historical Medical Methods
Source: google

Battlefield Surgery

During a battle, surgeons would often have to employ this painful historical medical method. When a soldier was shot with an arrow, one couldn’t simply pull the arrow out as the tip would get stuck and cause more damage. Upon the invention of the “arrow spoon”, the surgeon could extract the arrow without further damage. They would then cauterize the would with a hot iron to prevent infection.

Hemiglossectomy Medical Methods
Source: Buzzfeed


This painful historical medical method was the bane of stutterers. Half of the sufferer’s tongue was removed in an effort to treat the ailment. The procedure is still used today for oral cancer with the benefit of anesthesia, a luxury stutterers didn’t have.

Source: susangyoung

The Tooth Man

Children may love the Tooth Fairy, however, the Tooth Man is quite a different story. they were historical dentists who traveled with the circus, wearing a pointy hat and a necklace of his “trophies”. Patients in need of an extraction would have to wait for the circus to come to town before they could find any relief. It is unknown why these tooth men would travel with the circus, however, the sound of the musicians would cover the sound of the screams emanating from the victims…er…patients.

Erectile Dysfunction Historical Methods
Source: fusion.kinja

Erectile Dysfunction

Viagra was nowhere near being invented when this painful historical medical method was being employed. In an effort to restore “men’s power”, electroshock therapy was employed as a cure. Electrified beds or even belts were used to get a man’s little soldier to stand at attention.

Lobotomies Historical Medical Methods
Source: Wikipedia


In the first half of the 20th century, a lobotomy was considered the bee’s knees. This painful historical medical method was performed for cases as serious as schizophrenia and as little as depression. The process involved driving a spike into the patient’s brain via the eye socket.

Lack of Anesthesia Historical Medical Methods
Source: Wikipedia

Lack of Anesthesia

The lack of anesthesia has been largely a myth over the centuries. Despite what films will tell you, anesthetics were around back then, however, patients often died due to lack of antibiotics. Some doctors would purposefully not use them as to not hear a patient scream was to imply that the doctor was weak.

Source: google

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This could not be a more true or painful lesson. Man’s naivete or perhaps his sadistic nature is presented in this list. So remember the next time you’re in your local pharmacy, thank you the deity of choice that they don’t carry rod irons.

Sometimes the same historical medical methods are applied today but they are less painful versions of what they once were; like Hemiglossectomy and Childbirth. You ought to be thankful to science that you won’t need a Needle Eye Surgery or to have your tooth removed without getting an anesthetic first. Even the thought of it would give you goosebumps! You’d rather live a miserable life than have such a painful method used on you.

Such historical medical methods are somewhat used for torturing purposes now a days, like tooth removal, hot iron and various other forms of medical methods. Pretty creative though, these medical methods. The inventors were indeed had a brilliant mind and a taint of madness in their head because these methods were so brutal. You might have to experience such a painful medical method, don’t feel too propitious!

9 Premonitions That Really Make You Wonder

Call it luck or some higher power, this sort of intuition cannot be denied. Here are nine examples of premonition that are sure to make your skin crawl.

1. Coal Spill

It’s one thing to predict your own death, it’s another thing to predict it down to your cause of death and where you will die. However, that’s exactly what Eryl Mai Jones did. A few days prior to the incident she had a nightmare that her school was destroyed by something large and black. This, just like most other things on this list was a disturbing omen for what was to follow. Reports go that a few days after this nightmare a coal pile from a nearby faculty spilled down the hill gathering massive amounts of debris and speed along the way. At the bottom of the hill was Eryl’s school and you can guess what happened next. The school, Eryl, and 143 of her classmates were wiped out that day yielding no survivors.

Source: staticflickr

2. Friendly Fire

War can be stressful, stressful to the point of not knowing what you or the people around you are capable of. In 2012, a Marine stationed in Garmsir was training Afghan soldiers as a part of NATO withdrawal program. Months prior to this withdrawal program a Marine named Greg Buckley Jr. had a bad feeling about the future. He told his father that if he wasn’t home before November he would be dead. A few weeks into the training of other the foreign soldiers, this very bad feeling became a reality. During the training, a specific trainee developed a problem with Buckley and a few other Marines. Days after this problem, the trainee shot and killed Buckley and his men while in the guard post.

Source: pinimg

3. DC-10 Crash

It seems like every couple years a story comes up about a plane disappearing or crashing and it becomes a tragedy. However back in 1970, David Booth had the same nightmare of a plane careening off a runway bursting into flames. This nightmare went on for tens days straight. Feeling compelled, he decided to inform the FAA of this. The agents listened and resolved that this was probably a DC-10. On the last day of the nightmare, a DC-10 plane crashed just after takeoff because of engine failure. The crash had no survivors.

Source: staticflickr

4. World Warfare

In 1914, studies into the psyche began to take its first step and Carl Jung is no outlier. He was a doctor that studied psychoanalysis and became quite good at it. However, he began to have strange dreams with increasing frequency. He saw seas of blood, bodies drowning in yellow waves and an entire country freezing over. As time went on, these Nightmares got more vivid and frequent. To his relief, the dreams stopped in June of 1914 and a little over a month later World War 1 began. This was the worst war for its time causing the death of 16 million people worldwide. Ironically, Carl Jung specifically interpreted other people’s dreams as a part of his day to day job, too bad he could see what he see his dreams meant.

Source: thinmarker

5. Broadway Dreams

When it comes to becoming a star, some people will do just about anything. However, if someone tells you that they have a bad feeling about something, nine times out of ten they are probably right. In the later parts of her life, Rose Gilbert was going to pursue her dream of becoming an actress on Broadway. Her vocal coach had an overwhelming feeling of dread when it came to this and tried to convince Rose otherwise. Rose chalked this up to be jealousy and ignored her, she should have just listened. In June of 2005, Rose was found beaten and stabbed to death in her New York apartment along with her roommate.

Source: hercampus

6. Hurricane Foretold

In an omitted section of The Monk’s Alphabet describes the visions of a monk named Jeremy Driscoll. He describes his vision as seeing the state of Louisiana for a northern direction. He could tell that state was unprepared for any sort of disaster. The vision supposedly continued to show a hurricane destroying an empty state. When upon seeing this vision Father Driscoll was left confused on whether to reflect on the past destruction or warn of the impending disaster. He soon got his answer when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. The reason why this was omitted from the book was it was said by the editor that this story would be too hard to believe.

Source: apopka

7. The Death of Sharon Tate

Celebrities seem to be a constant source of rumor and questioning. So when one thinks that they saw the ghost of the house’s former owner, you take it with a grain of salt. Sharon Tate, an actress of the late 1960’s was overwhelmed with a feeling of dread all day and then, tried to sleep it off. This is when she woke up to see the previous owner of the house in ghost form with its neck cut open. She was convinced that she was gonna be like the previous house owner. Three years later and weeks before she was to give birth, she was the victim of Charles Manson and especially his cult. She has stabbed to the death in her the living room and the twist is that she was murdered a mile from the house where she saw the haunting ghostly presence.

Source: dailymail

8. One Year to Late

If you are unaware of Joe Meek, he was a music producer from the 1950’s. While this did make him famous for his producing, it is was also on good accounts that he was very much involved in the occult. He was known for his weird warnings, one of which sort of came true. While talking to Buddy Holly, Joe Meek warned him that he would die on February 3rd, 1958. When the 4th of February, 1958 came, Buddy told him that he was still kicking. I would say, don’t speak so soon. 364 days later, on February 3rd of 1959, Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. The day is now known as ‘The Day Music Died’.

Source: woodstockwhisperer

9. Two for Luck

Sometimes having one life-saving premonition isn’t enough, sometimes you need two to really help convince you. Barrett Naylor was a wall street executive during this time of his first premonition was in 1993. While on the subway to the World Trade Center he had a bad feeling about the day so he turned around and went home. He later received a call asking if he was in the trade center because it had been bombed. If that wasn’t enough though, 8 years later he had a similar feeling and decided to listen to it again. This was the right idea because upon his arrival back home he turned on the TV to witness the collapse of the twin towers. Now this is a good example of when you get those gut instincts, you stop and listen to them.

Source: cbsistatic