Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Pinched Nerve (Symptoms, Locations, Causes, Treatment, and Prognosis)

Pinched Nerve (Symptoms, Locations, Causes, Treatment, and Prognosis)

 

What is a pinched nerve?

A doctor points to an anatomic model of the spine and spinal nerves.

A “pinched nerve” is the name given to the uncomfortable sensation, pain, or numbness caused when increased pressure leads to irritation or damage to a peripheral nerve. (A peripheral nerve is one that is outside the brain and spinal cord.) Although this condition is often associated with back pain or a neck injury, almost any nerve is susceptible.

What are the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve?

 

A young woman suffering from carpal tunnel holds her wrist in pain.The most common pinched nerve symptom is a tingling sensation, which can be accompanied by some numbness. This may initially come and go, but over time becomes persistent. Pain may accompany the tingling sensation and is often described as being “sharp” or “electrical.” Some patients experience a burning sensation in the affected area.

In severe cases, muscle weakness may occur because the nerve that controls the muscle has been irritated. If present and not identified and corrected, those muscles may decrease in size and function.

Common areas where nerves are pinched include the following:

  • carpal tunnel (where the median nerve at the wrist is injured)
    • ulnar nerve at the elbow (frequently caused by leaning on elbows while sitting or driving)
    • lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (This is also known as meralgia paresthetica, caused by compression of the sensory nerve leading to the upper thigh. This may also be seen in pregnancy, when the enlarging uterus can also cause nerve compression.)
    • common peroneal nerve injury (associated with crossing the legs at the knee)
    • sciatic nerve problems or sciatica, pain which travels from the low back into the leg (This is frequently used to label the symptoms associated with a pinched nerve in the low back or lumbar spine. Patients with this condition describe pain which travels from the back into a leg or hip.)
    • cervical spine (A pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain or tingling in the spine to travel into the arm or shoulder blade region.)
  • Of note, although tennis elbow is a painful condition often associated with repetitive activities, the pain is caused by inflammation of the tendons of the elbow, not a pinched nerve.

What causes a pinched nerve?

 

An illustration of a pinched spinal nerve.Pressure on a peripheral nerve can irritate the nerve itself, its protective covering (myelin sheath), or both. When this occurs, the nerve is unable to conduct sensory impulses to the brain appropriately, leading to a sense of numbness. This inflammation associated with the damage or injury can also cause pain or paresthesia (a tingling or prickling sensation) signals to be sent to the brain. In its early stages, many people may describe this sensation as a body part that has “fallen asleep.” However, if nerve inflammation persists, this sensation persists rather than resolving after a few minutes.

If the nerve is compressed for a short amount of time, it is often able to repair itself but it may take several weeks or months for the symptoms to fully resolve. However, if the compression remains present for a longtime, permanent nerve injury may occur.

What are the risk factors for a pinched nerve?

A male worker with poor sitting posture works on his computer at his desk.Anything which increases pressure around a nerve can cause a pinched nerve. Common causes include body position such as leaning on elbows, habitually crossing legs, or poor posture. Over time this may lead to pressure injury to nerves in these regions.

  • Disc herniation or bulging discs and arthritis in the spine can cause pressure on nerve roots which leads to the nerve pain or discomfort associated with a pinched nerve.
  • Weight gain or water retention can predispose people to developing pinched nerves; thyroid disease (especially hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels) can contribute to both water retention and weight gain and can increase the risk of certain types of pinched nerves.
  • Pregnancy, which is associated with increased weight and occasionally associated with water retention, is also a common risk factor for developing certain types of pinched nerves.
  • Repetitive activities (typing and using certain tools) can also increase swelling around specific nerves and lead to symptoms of a pinched nerve.

What tests diagnose a pinched nerve?

 

A doctor conducts an EMG (electromyography) nerve study on a patient's wrist.The health care professional often makes the diagnosis of pinched nerve by taking a history of symptoms and performing a careful physical examination. Depending on the findings, the diagnosis may be made clinically or further testing may be required.

Electromyography (EMG) is a nerve conduction study to help confirm the diagnosis of a pinched nerve and to determine the extent of nerve damage.

If the pinched nerve is in the neck (cervical spine) or back (lumbar spine), an MRI or CT scan may be considered to make the diagnosis and look for the cause (herniated disc, arthritis, or fracture).

What are pinched nerve treatment options and home remedies?

A physical therapist works on the neck and shoulder of a patient with a pinched nerve.The treatment of a pinched nerve depends upon the location and the cause. Resting the affected area is often very effective, especially in cases of injury caused by repetitive activities. Physical therapy is frequently beneficial when a pinched spinal nerve is caused by problems in the neck or low back. Exercises may strengthen the back or core muscles and decrease or eliminate pressure on a nerve root. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen may be helpful. Injections of corticosteroids (an anti-inflammatory medication) may also be beneficial for many types of pinched nerves.

For cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, splinting or bracing the wrist is often used. In cases of ulnar neuropathy or common peroneal neuropathy, learning to change body positions may be required to achieve the best outcome.

Weight loss can be of benefit for many types of pinched nerves.

Surgery may be required to release pressure on the nerve if it fails to respond to medication, splinting, physical therapy, or injections. The specific type of surgery depends upon the nerve involved. However, the goal of the surgery is the same, to eliminate or relieve the pressure on the affected nerve.

 

Can a pinched nerve go away without treatment? Can nerve damage be permanent?

In many cases, once a pinched nerve has been identified, the symptoms can be resolved when treatment allows the nerve to recover. There are instances where the nerve damage is permanent, and a patient may be left with permanent numbness or pain in the affected area. Many patients fall in between. Because nerves can regenerate (regrow) very slowly over time, it’s important to seek evaluation for symptoms which persist or recur over a number of days or weeks.

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Bi-polar of Shizophrenic

bipolar

What are signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder and of schizophrenia?

 

To qualify for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, a person must experience at least one manic episode. Symptoms of mania include

 

elevated, expansive, or irritable mood;

racing thoughts;

pressured speech (rapid, excessive, and frenzied speaking);

decreased need for sleep;

grandiose ideas (for example, false beliefs of superiority or failures);

tangential speech (repeatedly changing topics to topics that are hardly related);

restlessness/increased goal-directed activity; and

impulsivity, poor judgment, or engaging in risky activity (like spending sprees, promiscuity, or excess desire for sex).

While a major depressive episode is not required for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, depression often alternates with manic episodes and tends to occur more often than mania in many people.

 

Symptoms of schizophrenia may include

 

delusions (beliefs not at all based in reality),

hallucinations (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting something that is not really there),

catatonia,

negative symptoms, like not talking (mutism, low motivation, and movement), and

disorganized speech or behavior.

 

What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?

Since there is no one test that determines that someone has bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, health care professionals diagnose these conditions by gathering medical, family, and mental health information. The mental health professional will also either perform a physical examination or request that the individual’s primary care doctor do so, including lab tests to assess the person’s general health and whether he or she has mental health symptoms that are due to a physical condition.

 

 

What are treatments and medications for bipolar disorder and for schizophrenia?

 

People with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia can expect their mental health professionals to consider several interventions, including medications, psychotherapies, and lifestyle advice. Medication treatment of bipolar disorder tends to address relieving already existing symptoms of the illness and preventing symptoms from returning. For schizophrenia, medications have been found to be effective in treating the positive symptoms (for example, delusions or hallucinations).

 

Antipsychotic medications that treat the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and the manic and mixed symptoms of bipolar disorder include olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel), ziprasidone (Geodon), aripiprazole (Abilify), paliperidone (Invega), asenapine (Saphris), iloperidone (Fanapt), lurasidone (Latuda), and brexpiprazole (Rexulti). Older medications, like haloperidol (Haldol), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), and thioridazine (Mellaril), are more likely to cause muscular side effects, rarely one that can be permanent.

 

Mood stabilizers like lithium (Lithobid) and antiseizure (anticonvulsant) medications like divalproex (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR), and lamotrigine (Lamictal) treat active manic or mixed symptoms and those symptoms from returning. Antidepressants are the primary medical treatment for the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder. Antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications like fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), vortioxetine (Trintellix), and vilazodone (Viibryd); serotonergic/adrenergic medications (SNRIs) like venlafaxine (Effexor), duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima), as well as bupropion (Wellbutrin), a dopaminergic antidepressant.

 

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can treat people whose symptoms of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are severe and have inadequately responded to psychotherapies and a number of medication trials. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can treat resistant depression, as well.

 

Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is an important part of helping individuals living with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia achieve the highest level of functioning possible by improving ways of coping with the illness. Assertive community treatment (ACT) involves members of the treatment team having daily meetings with the schizophrenia sufferer in community settings (for example, at home, work, or otherwise in the community) rather than just in an office or hospital.

 

What is the prognosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia?

Bipolar disorder sufferers tend to have mood problems up to 60% of the time but can be helped with psychotherapy and medication. Schizophrenia has a more difficult course, less so with treatment. People with either condition are at risk for developing medical problems, other mental health disorders, taking their own life, or otherwise dying younger.

 

 

 

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Heart Attacks in Men

heartattackmen

 Heart Attacks in Men

 

Pain, discomfort, and pressure in the chest are the most common symptoms of heart attack in men. These can include a sensation of fullness or squeezing in the chest. These symptoms are sometimes accompanied by pain in one or both arms, the jaw, back, stomach, or neck. While women are more likely than men to experience symptoms other than the characteristic chest pain and pressure, men can also experience other types of symptoms or mistake a heart attack for another condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux. Other signs and symptoms of heart attack include

shortness of breath,

nausea,

vomiting,

fatigue,

lightheadedness,

fainting,

dizziness,

pressure in the upper back, and

a feeling of breaking out in a cold sweat.

Causes of heart attacks in men

 

Heart attacks are caused when there is an inadequate supply of oxygen-carrying blood to the muscle of the heart. A heart attack is medically known as a myocardial infarction. Blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot and/or atherosclerotic plaque (from coronary artery disease) is the most common cause for the interruption in blood flow to the heart muscle.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms and Signs

pancreaticcancer

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms & Signs

 

Pancreatic Cancer typically does not cause symptoms until it has grown, so it is most frequently diagnosed in advanced stages rather than early in the course of the disease. In some cases, jaundice (a yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes) without pain can be an early sign of pancreatic cancer. Other symptoms and signs that can occur with more advanced disease are

 

nausea,

vomiting,

weight loss,

itching skin, and

decreased or loss of appetite.

Pale stools, upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back, back pain, abdominal pain, dark urine, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck can be present as well. In some cases, a new onset of diabetes may be a sign of pancreatic cancer, but the vast majority of cases of diabetes are not related to cancer.

 

Causes of pancreatic cancer

 

The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is generally unknown.

 

Rarely, there can be familial or hereditary genetic syndromes that run in families and put individuals at higher risk, such as mutations of the genes BRCA-2 and, to a lesser extent, BRCA-1.

 

Other causes are actually various modes of medication used for diabetes.   Canagliflozin(Invokana), Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and Empagliflozin (Jardiance) are three medications that were released to the public without a correct length of time to study them, and they are showing to have some positive results for inducing pancreatic cancer.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Skin Cancer Signs

skincancer

Skin Cancer Signs Not Clear To Three-Quarters Of People, Threatening Healthy Practices

The most common form of cancer in the United States may also be one of the least obvious to spot. New research from British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) finds that 77 percent of people do not feel confident in their abilities to recognize melanomas of the skin, despite 72 percent admitting to getting sunburned in the last year.

In 2011, the latest year data are available, some 66,000 Americans were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin and more than 9,000 people died. The majority of both cases were men, who are about twice as likely to suffer from skin cancer and die from it as women. Experts fear many of the cases could be due to ignorance over the disease’s risks, particularly as people fail to spot the warning signs early enough.

“This is a reflection of poor sun protection habits,” said Johnathon Major of BAD. “People underestimate the damage that sunburn can do to their skin, and many think that skin reddening is just a harmless part of the tanning process, rather than a sure sign that you have damaged your skin irreparably.”

In addition to checking for new lesions that itch, scab, and bleed for at least four weeks, health officials use the ABCD rule of thumb for checking suspicious spots:

  • Asymmetry: each half may be a different size or shape
  • Border: edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches
  • Color: may be uneven with different shades of black, brown, or pink
  • Diameter: at least 6mm in diameter

Not all skin cancers appear as melanomas, however. People should take care to look out for other signs, such as new patches of scaly, crusty, and inflamed skin or “a growth with a pearly rim surrounding a central crater, a bit like an upturned volcano,” the BAD reports.

How To Prevent

Warnings to use sunscreen are nothing new — most people are well aware of the dangers posed by ultraviolet rays, said Charlotte Proby, professor of dermatology at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School. “However, this has yet to translate into a culture of sun protection and skin checking which would do a lot to curb the incidence and deaths from this disease.”

Please also note that lathering up with sun screen more than once every 6 hours can lead to other major complications and diseases. No, you do not need to put sunscreen on your children everytime they go in and out of the water. Once every 6 hours.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends monthly head-to-toe screenings for any new or changing lesions on the skin. In their survey of 1,018 people in 2014, however, BAD researchers found only four percent of people abide by the guideline and 40 percent never check their skin at all.

Checking for abnormalities isn’t the only strategy for avoiding life-threatening skin cancer, Rokhsar points out. While most people know sunscreen can offer protection, they may not know how much to apply and how often. UV rays can damage the skin in as little as 15 minutes, even on cloudy days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends applying a broad spectrum sunblock — meaning one that covers both UVA and UVB rays — of at least SPF 15 every two hours or after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

“As summer comes around again,” Proby said, “we want people to consider the message that you can enjoy the warm weather whilst staying safe.”

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