Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome. What you might not know is that carpal tunnel syndrome is only one of a family of ailments in the upper limbs known as entrapment neuropathies. The other entrapment neuropathies are not as well-known in the mainstream as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), so often those who suffer from nerve symptoms in their forearms and hands frequently jump to conclusions without having an accurate diagnosis.

An entrapment neuropathy, also called nerve compression syndrome, occurs when a nerve is wedged or “pinched” against a bone, inflamed muscle. Aside from the median nerve (the one associated with CTS) there are two main nerves that help to control your arm and hand: the radial nerve and the ulnar nerve. Both are susceptible to compression, and the results can be painful!

Entrapment occurs under a number of conditions, most commonly:

  • When there is an injury originating at your neck or a disease of the cervical spine
  • When your elbow has been injured due to fractures or improper use
  • When your wrist has been injured due to fractures or Guyon canal alignment problems
  • An aneurysm or thrombosis in your arteries
  • Factors commonly associated with peripheral neuropathy, such as diabetes, rheumatism, alcoholism, or infection

Your radial nerve runs the length of your arm, and is responsible for both movement and sensation. Radial neuropathy usually occurs at the back of the elbow, and can present itself with many of the common symptoms of neuropathy such as tingling, loss of sensation, weakness and reduced muscle control (in this case, often difficulty in turning your palm upwards with your elbow extended).

A number of palsies affect the radial nerve, such as:

  • Saturday night palsy (also called Honeymooner’s palsy), where your radial nerve is compressed in your upper arm by falling asleep in a position where pressure is exerted on it by either furniture or a bed partner
  • Crutch palsy, where your nerve is pinched by poorly-fitted axillary crutches
  • Handcuff neuropathy, wherein tight handcuffs compress your radial nerve at your wrists

Two main conditions affect the ulnar nerve: Guyon’s canal syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome. Guyon’s canal syndrome is almost exactly the same in symptoms as carpal tunnel syndrome (pain and tingling in the palm and first three fingers), but involves a completely different nerve. Guyon’s canal syndrome is caused by pressure on your wrists, often by resting them at a desk or workstation, and is frequently experienced by cyclists due to pressure from the handlebars.

Nearly everyone has experienced cubital tunnel syndrome: it’s the “dead arm” sensation we’ve all felt when we wake up after sleeping on top of our arm! Sleeping with your arm folded up compresses the ulnar nerve at your shoulder, causing it to effectively “cut off” feeling to your arm. As you probably know from experience, this sensation is unsettling but temporary.

Diagnosis for all compression neuropathies is fairly consistent: We’ll examine your arms for signs of neuropathy, and will likely ask you to perform several demonstrations of dexterity.  If we suspect you may have an underlying condition,lab tests may be recommended. To pinpoint the specific location of a compression, we may also suggest MRI.

Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, most cases of compression neuropathy are mild. Good self care for mild cases involves ice, rest, and a change in habits of motion or stress that are causing the symptoms. Otherwise, professional care in office as well as at home is often indicated.

If you suffer from a compression neuropathy or have questions about this or any other kind of neuropathy, call us ASAP. As with any neuropathy, don’t wait! The sooner you get an accurate diagnosis, the more conservative options for treatment you’ll have.

Join the conversation at Beating Neuropathy!

 

References:

http://www.mdguidelines.com/neuropathy-of-radial-nerve-entrapment
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1285531-overview
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1244885-overview
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2599973/?tool=pmcentrez

 

Entrapment Neuropathy: More Than Just Carpal Tunnel! is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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“If your Pain & Neuropathy Treatment is so GOOD then Why doesn’t MY Doctor know about it?”

“If your Pain & Neuropathy Treatment is so GOOD then Why doesn’t MY Doctor know about it?” This is a question we answer every day.

The reality is, most physicians do everything they can to help their patients. Unfortunately, especially in practices that do not specialize, the doctors are oftentimes unaware of new and drug free systems and procedures that may be available to help their patients.

Now don’t get me wrong, oftentimes drugs a life-saving approach, and you should always defer these decisions to your well-trained medical professionals. You probably already know however that in many forms of chronic pain and especially peripheral neuropathy drug only therapy can be a dead end.

But unfortunately, drug therapy is the only training most medical professionals and facilities ever receive. Furthermore, we know the pharmaceutical industry is huge, with immense marketing budgets and constant bombardment of their messages not only to patients but doctors as well.

And this is not a new problem. I remember 30+ years ago having discussions with my medical doctor friends about this very issue. Many times intense pharmaceutical marketing makes their jobs more difficult, rather than easier.

But the good news is, we now know that many patients who combine drug therapy with the latest available neuropathy and chronic pain treatments do far better. Often times, these neuropathy patients are able to reduce and sometimes eliminate certain medications.

These specialized neuropathy chronic pain treatments include patient training and applications of special neuropathy treatment modalities.

Some of the biggest neuropathy treatment breakthroughs are occurring in electrotherapy, laser therapy, in other neurostimulatory techniques.

There are now many systems available to help patients deal more effectively with their neuropathy, pain, sleep and life disruption then ever before.

We are here to help you sort them out.

Join our conversation today by joining us HERE!

If this Neuropathy Treatment is so GOOD then Why doesn’t MY Doctor know about it? is a post from: NeuropathyDR | Neuropathy | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | NeuropathyDR

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“That Neuropathy Treatment Does Not Work…”

Some of the comments we get from neuropathy patients, and the docs and physical therapists who apply to NeuropathyDR, include things like, “What makes your neuropathy treatment different?”, or “I know about (a certain device); I have one…”, or “No one can help that type of neuropathy…” or the best without anything to support the comment “That Neuropathy Treatment Does Not Work…” Here is why NeuropathyDR so often works. If you have been reading our weekly articles, you know neuropathy is more than a single disease or condition. Neuropathy is part of diabetes about 60% of the time, and neuropathy occurs in certain forms of cancer drug therapy and for many more reasons.

But what most fascinates us as doctors is, every patient, even with similar diagnoses, responds differently! When we study the science, we know why this is so.

Different types of neuropathy attack different parts of the nerve cells; the ones damaged or impaired in neuropathy. Some affect the nerve cell body, some affect the long slender axons, and essential nutrients and toxins not being moved around in the cell as they do in healthy nerves even cause some neuropathies.

NeuropathyDR clinicians are trained to use their skills and training to provide each piece of the treatment puzzle. We spend a lot of time on the phone with our clinics, helping them solve tough cases.

Some of us have gone way beyond the training all our clinicians get, and spent many more hours obtaining Board Certification.

The most exciting part? Good neuropathy treatments may actually stimulate cells to repair. Some electric therapy forms and even laser neuropathy treatments are extraordinarily encouraging!

But, almost never does just ONE part of treatment help neuropathy patients for long. Especially if it’s a single product, usually pills or salves promoted to patients on-line!

So, the next time you are tempted to say, “I tried that neuropathy thing and it did not work,” remember that, unless everything is done that CAN be, like the comprehensive approach our team doctors use your neuropathy treatment results will likely not be as good as they could be!

Learn more about our products, services and clinics HERE 

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Your Symptoms and Cell Efficiency

One of the things we get asked all the time is, “What makes NeuropathyDR different?” This is a really good question. For anybody who suffers (or loves someone who does) from peripheral neuropathy or another form of chronic pain, it can be very frustrating to sort through all the details. Treating both your symptoms and cell efficiency is how we are able to provide good treatment based in science…but here is what you must realize first:

Significant improvement in the quality of life can happen by making a few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle and adding special combinations of good treatment.

Our background is in health care and nutrition. So, when I first began intensely treating pain & neuropathy patients in 2008, we knew that improving their underlying health—especially how nerve cells process energy—had to help improve many patients’ peripheral neuropathy and other forms of nerve damage or chronic pain. Of course, there are some patients we cannot help. But we do find that even in patients with genetic neuropathies or other extremely difficult-to-treat cases, significant improvement in the quality of life can happen by making a few simple changes and adding special combinations of good neuropathy treatments.

Your nervous system is made up of billions of cells called neurons. Neurons are highly sensitive to their own environmental changes; things like long-term oxygen starvation due to cigarette smoking, or carrying around too much body weight for too long. Our society is now developing diabetes at alarming rate, in younger and younger age groups. This is largely due to poor food and lifestyle choices. We are also living longer, as a byproduct of better infection control, better chemotherapy drugs, and surgeries.

These things all bring with them increased chances for developing chronic and painful conditions such as peripheral neuropathy. The reason for this is, all of the things we have talked about today will affect how our body processes energy—leading to the development of peripheral neuropathy. Wherever possible, helping to restore energy efficiency to nerve cells can make a tremendous difference in many patients with peripheral neuropathy. And that is why our treatment program includes better nutrition and body motion—improving both your symptoms and cell efficiency by adding therapies such as neurostimulation, laser, and physical therapy, often with nutritional supplementation.

Please learn more and join the conversation all day on Facebook!

Neuropathy Symptoms and Cell Energy is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Think You May Have Neuropathy?

Think you may have neuropathy? One hundred million Americans suffer some form of chronic pain—and 25% of those suffer from some form of peripheral neuropathy (PN). Unfortunately, like so many disorders, PN is reaching epidemic proportions.

Why is that? Well, it looks like many forms are lifestyle-related. The most common cause is likely related to the increasing rates of obesity and poor fitness. But because there are many different causes, it is important to work with a healthcare professional that understands this, and tries to identify any possible causes early on.

The most important thing of all while searching for possible correctable causes is to embark upon a self-treatment program early on. This includes learning more about your own health and fitness.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of maintaining proper body weight. Another immediate step you can take is limiting possible irritants and artificial sweeteners from your diet. Failing to take immediate action to help move your health in a positive direction is a big mistake.

Make every attempt to begin some non-drug therapies like nerve stimulation, laser, and physical therapy early on—even during the diagnostic process! The reason for this is quite simple: As we said, many patients search for answers, and all the while their health continues to deteriorate.Some care may dull the pain for a while. But, unfortunately, symptoms often return, with a vengeance.

Don’t let this be you. Please steer clear of the magic Google “cure” or  latest “Nerve Formula” on Facebook. Only an accurate diagnosis is the clearest pathway toward the best available treatment.

Please remember we are always here to help with a proper work-up and treatment.

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Think You May Have Neuropathy? What To Do Next is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Is LLLT Effective Pain & Neuropathy Treatment?

LLLT (Low Level Light Therapy) including LLLT and laser in human healthcare dates back to the space program of the 1990s. But is LLLT effective pain and neuropathy treatment? The answer is a resounding yes, IF great equipment and trained physicians are utilized.

According to SBIR/NASA, LED has been utilized as part of cancer treatment, especially for a complication called oral mucositis. LEDs have also been used for improved wound healing, as well as “speeding deconditioned personnel to full duty performance”. LED (Light Emitting Diode) usage has also been approved by the Naval special warfare command. 1

But how exactly does this work? Well, the scientific explanations are highly technical. But what has been known for centuries is that light speeds healing. Once upon a time, ill patients from infectious disease units and TB wards were rolled out into sunlight daily. Wounds that failed to heal were also exposed to sunlight.

From a simple perspective though, we know that light energy is simply clusters of photons or energy particles that can penetrate tissue at selected depths.

We also know that various wavelengths of light can then have specific effects. The most important effect that may have a bearing on peripheral neuropathy and related conditions is the ability to stimulate metabolism, or cellular efficiency.

You see, all the work we have done in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy since 2008 has been focused upon improving cell energy. This also of course includes diet, exercise and certain other compounds found in nature such as amino acids, carnitine, and lipoic acid.

You probably also know we’ve extensively used electrotherapy via the NDGen® Neurostimulator.

 

With the combination of laser, both in clinic and at home with the Wearable Laser you see below, we are now able to expand our reach and help more patients than ever before with LLLT effective pain and neuropathy treatment.

Although the research is early, it is extraordinarily encouraging. Talk to our team about possibly adding light therapy to your treatment. Consider this especially if you suffer from diabetic neuropathy or other poor wound-healing complications.

Join our community on Facebook to learn about up-and-coming neuropathy and pain treatments!

1 http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/successes/ss/8-035text.html

Can LED Be Part of Effective Neuropathy Treatment? is a post from: Neuropathy Doctors and Physical Therapists| Neuropathy | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy—Which is it?

Very often we see patients who present with multiple health issues. Now, as you might expect in any chronic pain treatment center, this is not at all uncommon. But our treatment centers are different; we look at patients differently. Rather than simply attempting to calm pain, we look deeply for underlying causes. So a common scenario in a patient with chronic pain is sometimes Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy—Which is it?

One of the most interesting things is how deeply rooted lifestyle and personal habits are linked to many health problems. Fibromyalgia and neuropathy are no exception.

In both fibromyalgia and in many cases of neuropathy, patients are frequently overweight and in poor physical condition. Often times this “deconditioning” has been present for years. Contributing factors to this include things such as poor diet, and, yes, even health problems like underlying thyroid disease.

In both fibromyalgia and in neuropathy, patients often experience tingling, numbness, and significant amounts of pain. This is not at all surprising, since recent research suggests that some 30% plus fibromyalgia patients actually have small-fiber neuropathy.

Only time will tell how true this is in fact. I have long suspected this, however, since one of our observations many years ago was that many fibromyalgia patients responded very well to our neuropathy treatment programs, with some specific modifications. That’s why, right now, effective treatment depends so much upon the skill as well as the time and interest of the clinician.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find this in a public healthcare setting any longer. Most publically-employed doctors are simply under too much time pressure, with little financial benefit to treat patients who need the diligent care they so deserve.

This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

At NeuropathyDR, we train our clinicians to be exceptional and diligent in the diagnosis of neuropathy and chronic pain. This includes fibromyalgia. And the reason for this should be very obvious. Once we understand as much as we possibly can about what may be underneath your symptoms, then we can begin the most effective neuropathy treatment plan possible.

And this goes double for those patients who suffer fibromyalgia-related chronic pain conditions!

Enjoy your day. Let our team help!

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A Common-Sense Approach to Neuropathy Treatment

One of the things that we see frequently are patients with pain or neuropathy symptoms for many years before having a professional evaluation. In these cases, it is so crucial to have very thorough evaluation before jumping to conclusions about what may or may not be going on. Making assumptions that are not based in fact is dangerous. This is a big reason you need to ask for a common-sense approach to neuropathy treatment.

Too often, patients search for answers without an accurate diagnosis and thus never have effective treatment. This is becoming more common, especially when the only consulting “doctors” have been Facebook and Google. This also means that too often today the actual conditions underlying or aggravating neuropathy are going untreated.

The consequences of this are dangerous. The longer you delay proper evaluation and treatment, the more difficult effective treatment could actually be.

This is not to say every case of neuropathy is curable; unfortunately, it is not.

But we now understand the impact of things like lifestyle, cigarette smoking, and body weight have on most forms of peripheral neuropathy, and related disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

So here’s the best advice we can give you. Realize just how important it is to get the most accurate diagnosis possible and then proper treatment that targets the overall improvement of your health—early!  Work with healthcare professionals that understand all possible underlying causes of your situation.Be sure to identify any correctable things such as poor diet, cigarette smoking, et cetera.

Above all, it is important to take responsibility for your own care, in your own health. Neuropathy and chronic pain are not one-size-fits-all disorders. Patients who do the best realize this—and take action every single day.

Be sure to get regular physical activity as tolerated. Ask for proven modern treatments including neurostimulation and laser.

Finally, listen to your body. Pay attention to what it is telling you. Years from now, you’ll be glad you did.

Join us HERE for much more help and to contact us personally.

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When Counting Sheep Won’t Stop Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Sleep disturbance is a very common human condition. In fact, sometimes it’s unavoidable. For most of us, fortunately, sleep disturbances are mild and brief. This is When Counting Sheep Won’t Stop Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms…

Fotolia 36770769 S 300x199 When Counting Sheep Wont Stop Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Space your meals and pay attention to things like too much sugar or too much caffeine.

However, when sleep disturbances or insomnia last for long periods of time, they can cause serious health problems.

Last time, we spoke extensively about RLS, or Restless Leg Syndrome. As you probably now know, RLS is often associated with peripheral neuropathy.

So let’s talk a bit more about sleep. Sleep is the time when both your brain and your body rest.

It’s part of normal 24-hour, or, Circadian, rhythms. During the normal sleep rhythms of the body, certain functions such as changes in our body temperature (which help induce sleep), and hormone levels that control things such as appetite take place.

But when things like peripheral neuropathy, restless leg syndrome, or even simple stress intervene, the net result is disturbance in all of the above. So, side effects from sleep disturbance can include weight gain, muscle aches and pains, overall lack of energy, and sometimes serious depression.

But what is the neuropathy sufferer to do? Well, fortunately, there are several things that can be done. First of all, work with your doctors to take appropriate dosages of medications, when absolutely necessary.

We also strongly suggest that you keep yourself is active during the day, if your condition allows. Wherever possible, this should include some exercise in bright sunlight.

Stay well hydrated. Dehydration or too much water consumption late in the day also disturbs sleep.

Space your meals and pay attention to things like too much sugar or too much caffeine.

Magnesium supplementation taken throughout the day may also be very helpful. We commonly suggest 200 to 400 mg of NDGen Magnesium per day into divided dosages. Never do this without your doctor’s knowledge, and never in the presence of kidney disease.

Finally, if you have not already taking advantage of one of our NDGen Home Care Kits which includes a unique neurostimulator, you should know that one of the chief reasons for owning these is that they can greatly help reduce painful symptoms when used 1-2 hours before bed—and thus help you sleep more easily.

They’re so easy to use, they will even shut themselves off with a built-in timer, which means you can go to bed with them on. Gentle electric stimulation often helps you feel better in a number of different ways. Don’t let sleep disturbance—whether due to peripheral neuropathy, RLS or some other condition—continue.

Pay attention to diet, and stress reduction. All of these things, plus the use of your NDGen home care kit will greatly facilitate a good night’s rest!

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When Counting Sheep Won’t Stop Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

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Are All the Peripheral Neuropathies the Same?

No. All the peripheral neuropathies are not the same. We find, though, that the patients who present with peripheral neuropathy, regardless of the cause, do have remarkably similar symptoms.

The good news with our treatment program has been that even in the presence of similar symptoms from different etiologies (causes), the corrective care for is often remarkably effective regardless of the primary cause. That is the beauty of the treatment system that we have been able to employ.

In order to find out what components of peripheral neuropathy you have, your doctor will need to conduct a very thorough evaluation. This will include things such as your vital signs, body mass index, the mobility and range of motion of your lower back and hips, and the overall health of your feet, skin, nails and hair, blood vessels and circulation. This might include Doppler ultrasound, a simple painless test to check for blood flow or blockages.

As the doctor performs her clinical examination, she’ll also perform a very thorough neurological examination including reflexes, muscle-testing, and sensation to touch using a device as simple as a pin, a brush or perhaps even a pinwheel. Doctors commonly will also check your vibration sensation, which very often is disturbed in peripheral neuropathy. This is done painlessly and very easily through the use of simple tuning forks. Your balance will be assessed.

Laboratory tests may very well be performed. These would include things such as a chemistry panel, kidney and liver function. Your doctor will also want to double check your blood sugar levels and more than likely perform a hemoglobin A1c.

This particular test is very good at identifying patients who may be borderline diabetic.

We find many patients who present with neuropathy symptoms have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes but may very well suffer from what’s called metabolic syndrome. This is when your body abnormally handles blood sugar, which may unfortunately lead to the development of neuropathy and other diabetic complications well before the formal diagnosis is made.

All the more reason to really be sure to work with the most knowledgeable physicians.

Let us help!

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