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Nerve Pain in the Leg

Nerve Pain in the Leg

By Grant Cooper, MD

Nerves in the leg may become inflamed, compressed, or degenerated as a result of mechanical or chemical irritants. Nerves may also become damaged due to associated conditions such as diabetes or nutritional deficiencies. Depending on the cause of nerve damage, the specific leg symptoms may differ.
Nerve pain is typically described as sharp, shooting, electric-like, or searing pain. It may also produce a sensation of hot or warm water running down the thigh and/or leg. In some individuals, a dull ache may occur. The pain may be intermittent or constant.

The most common types of nerve pain in the leg are described below.

Sciatica is radicular nerve pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve roots in the lower back are irritated or compressed.
Radiculopathy
The medical term for leg pain that originates from a problem in the nerve roots of the lumbar and/or sacral spine is radiculopathy (the lay term is sciatica). This pain may be caused when the nerve roots are inflamed, irritated, or compressed. The characteristics of this pain depend on the specific nerve root(s) affected.

Research indicates 95% of radiculopathy in the lumbosacral spine occurs at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. The pain from these nerve roots is characterized by:
Pain that originates in the lower back or buttock and travels down the thigh, calf, and foot.
Numbness in the calf, foot, and/or toes.
Weakness in the hip, thigh, and/or foot muscles.
Depending on the individual, additional sensations may occur, such as a feeling of pins-and-needles in the leg, warm water running down the thigh, or the foot immersed in hot water. Radiculopathy typically affects one leg.

Peripheral Neuropathy
Damage to one or more nerves in the peripheral nervous system (outside the brain and spinal cord) is called peripheral neuropathy. This form of neuropathy in the leg most commonly occurs due to diabetes.
Pain that originates in the toes and gradually spreads toward the knee (also called stocking-glove pattern; the action of putting on a stocking)
Numbness in the legs and feet
Weakness in the toes and ankles during the later stages of the condition
Peripheral neuropathy pain typically affects both legs.

Lumbosacral Radiculoplexus Neuropathy
This condition occurs due to inflammation of small blood vessels in the legs leading to reduced blood supply to the nerves, resulting in nerve damage. This condition is commonly seen in diabetic individuals and may also be caused by other issues. Common symptoms include:
Pain that usually begins in a specific location, such as the buttock, hip, thigh, leg, or foot and gradually spreads to other areas of the leg
Numbness and a prickling feeling in the affected areas
Weakness in the leg muscles
Loss of balance, which may cause falls.
Typically, several nerves are affected together. The condition may develop in one leg and over time involve both legs.

Peroneal Neuropathy
Compression of the peroneal nerve near the knee may cause symptoms in the leg. Typical symptoms include:
Foot drop, characterized by the inability to lift the foot, or a catch in the toes while walking
Numbness along the side of the leg, the upper part of the foot, and/or the first toe web space
Pain is not a typical feature of this condition but may be present when peroneal neuropathy occurs as a result of trauma.

Meralgia Paresthetica
Compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in the thigh may cause a condition called meralgia paresthetica. Symptoms typically include:
Burning or achy pain in the outer side and/or front of the thigh
Coldness in the affected areas
Buzzing or vibrations (such as from a cell phone) in the thigh region
Meralgia paresthetica pain typically increases while standing or walking and alleviates while sitting.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Dysfunction of the tibial nerve due to nerve compression within the foot’s tarsal tunnel causes this syndrome. Common symptoms include:
Sharp, shooting pain in the inner ankle joint and along the sole of the foot
Numbness in the sole of the foot
Tingling and/or burning sensation in the foot
The symptoms typically worsen at night, with walking or standing, and/or after physical activity; and get better with rest.

Neurogenic Claudication
This type of leg pain occurs due to narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) causing compression of the spinal cord. This compression may occur due to bone spurs (abnormal bone growth), lumbar disc herniation, or spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of a vertebra).
The symptoms of neurogenic claudication typically occur in both legs and include:
Pain and numbness while walking, standing, or performing upright exercises
Weakness during leg movements
Neurogenic claudication pain typically increases while bending the spine backward and decreases while bending forward at the waist, sitting, or lying down.

A qualified medical professional can help diagnose the exact cause of nerve pain in the leg based on the type of presenting symptoms, medical history, and by performing certain clinical tests.

Article Provided By: spine-helath.com
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

 

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How to Approach Allergy Season with Chronic Pain

How to Approach Allergy Season with Chronic Pain

Seasonal allergies are one of the leading causes of chronic illness in the United States, affecting millions every year. However, for people who suffer from other forms of chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis, back and muscle pain, or fibromyalgia, seasonal allergies can prove an even bigger challenge to overcome.

By
Zachary Pottle
Monday, March 1, 2021

As winter begins to subside in many states across America, spring brings about long-awaited warm weather, outdoor activities, and a break from the dreary winter months. However, rising temperatures bring about one of the most notorious markers of spring: seasonal allergies. Cars everywhere begin to don an unmistakable yellow hue. Eyes start to itch, noses start to run, and the novelty of springtime is soon ruined for millions.
Allergy season can be extremely tough for the more than 50 million Americans that experience some type of seasonal allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Yet, for people who suffer from chronic pain or illness, allergy season can prove to be an even bigger challenge.
What are seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies are most commonly caused by pollen, a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains used to fertilize plants of the same species. Pollen is typically released by trees, grasses, and weeds anywhere from spring into summer and late fall respectively. The light, dry substance is released by the plants and carried by the wind, which makes it almost impossible to avoid; some pine pollen has reportedly traveled up to 1800 miles away from its source tree.
For most, the culprit of their seasonal allergies is grasses and weeds. Thought to be the most common type of allergen across the United States is a weed species named ragweed, which flowers in late August to early September. While ragweed only lives for one single season out of the year, its ability to release over one billion pollen grains, some of which have been reported to travel over 400 miles, proves it to be a fierce allergen.
When is allergy season?
Allergy season can range anywhere from early spring (February to March), to late fall (September to October). The type of pollen being released into the air differs with the seasons, which can be a very important tidbit of knowledge for those who know which type of pollen they are sensitive to. Three major groups of allergens can be attributed to seasonal allergies: trees, grasses, and weeds, each of which peaks at different times of the year.
Trees are among the first to release their pollen each year, starting as early as February, with a peak in pollen counts around April and May. Some of the most common tree pollen allergies are to trees such as birch, ash, cedar, elm, and oak.
Grasses tend to begin their pollination in early spring (March or April typically), and often coincide their peak pollen counts, unfortunately for many, with that of trees, and often carry those high levels into June and July. Popular grass allergens are johnsongrass, ryegrass, orchard grass, and bermudagrass to name a few.
Unfortunately, weeds tend to start their pollination just as grass pollen levels begin to subside. Around the peak of summer, July and August, weed pollen levels begin to rise drastically, and by September they are at their highest. Other weed allergens that prove troublesome for many are pigweed, tumbleweed, and sagebrush.
How do allergies affect people with chronic pain?
The link between allergies and chronic pain or illness is often overlooked. It’s easy to dismiss the two as being related, but they go more hand in hand than many may understand. Allergies are a direct result of the immune system’s accidental response to foreign bodies like pollen that are otherwise harmless. When the immune system combats these allergens, it releases antibodies into the bloodstream, which in turn produces the symptoms of an allergic reaction. For those who suffer from chronic pain or illness, allergies can prove to be challenging, as many of the symptoms are easily confused for one another. Understanding how seasonal allergies can affect chronic pain and illness can be a useful tool in combating allergy season and alleviating unwanted added stress on one’s body.
For those who may suffer from chronic pain related to rheumatoid arthritis or other muscle or joint pain, immune responses to allergies can add unwanted stress to an already strained immune system. Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies are inflammation and joint pain. This “doubling down” of inflammation can often make symptoms feel worse than they otherwise would be, making it hard to determine the root cause.Seasonal allergies also bring with them the addition of symptoms such as coughing and sneezing. These symptoms, whilst easy to attribute to allergies, are extremely challenging for those with chronic pain in their back, neck, and spine. Coughing and sneezing produce violent, quick movements in both the neck and back, which for many may already be a cause of debilitating pain. Coughing can also add to this pain, and in some cases cause it. People with recent injuries to their back, neck, or spine, are at an increased risk of injuries such as herniated disks and muscle strain, which can be triggered by the sudden, abrupt movement of the back.
The added fatigue that can come with seasonal allergies can also be troublesome for those with chronic pain or illness. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can include chronic fatigue and tiredness, the inability to sleep, headaches and migraines, and problems with memory and concentration. All of these symptoms can be worsened with the addition of seasonal allergies, which can cause all of the above symptoms. The addition of any added symptom or ailment can be difficult to overcome for many, especially when one can suffer from more than one type of pollen allergy, which can lead to months of suffering.
What can you do?
While avoiding seasonal allergies can seem impossible, in many cases avoiding any kind of pollen would mean simply staying indoors for months at a time. Still, there are steps one can take to enjoy the outdoors and avoid serious allergic reactions.
Shower After Being Outdoors: This may seem obvious to many, but showering immediately after being outdoors can greatly reduce the amount of pollen that is not only on the body but also in the home. It is also important to wash the clothes that have been outdoors immediately after returning and to refrain from wearing them again until they have been washed.
Regularly Change Air Filters in Home: One of the most effective ways to prevent pollen from entering the house is to change air filters frequently. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that households use a HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air) when choosing an air filter replacement. These air filters can prevent 99.97% of all dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and airborne particles and should be changed with regards to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wash Bedding at Least Once a Week: While showering, washing clothes, and changing air filters can all help reduce pollen in the house, some pollen, especially from plants with stickier pollen like that of the dandelion or other insect-pollinated plants and flowers, can stick to the body and make their way past all of these defenses. Washing bed sheets at least once a week can be a great way to reduce stubborn pollen in the house.
Consult an Allergist: It’s important to understand one’s body and its sensitivity to pollen. Consulting an allergy specialist can be an effective way to combat seasonal allergies, as it can give individuals insight into what specifically is the cause of their allergies. Allergists are typically a good solution for those who may suffer from more severe, recurring seasonal allergies.
Understand Pollen Levels: Finally, it is important to understand that there may be some days in which outdoor activities may not be a reasonable undertaking. Monitor pollen levels in the local area and plan accordingly. Along with local news stations and online sites, there are numerous phone apps dedicated to monitoring pollen levels that will give real-time data in a specific area. On days where pollen levels are forecasted to be high, avoid outdoor activities to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

Article Provided By: painresource.com
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

 

 

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How Pets Can Help Your Chronic Pain Symptoms

How Pets Can Help Your Chronic Pain Symptoms

By Jeanne Faulkner
Reviewed by QualityHealth’s Medical Advisory Board

Pet owners love their companions for a variety of reasons. But can having a pet relieve your chronic pain? In fact, studies have found that, yes, pets can help relieve many of the symptoms associated with chronic pain conditions and help patients live better lives. Here are five ways that pets can help patients with chronic pain:
1. Provide distraction. It’s hard to focus on pain when you’re watching a kitten chase her tail or when a dog is cuddled up next to you. Animals give patients opportunities to enjoy life through simple moments and events, like throwing your dog a ball, playing with your cat or listening to your bird sing. Plus, being a responsible pet owner requires that you feed, water, walk, care for and clean up after your animal, which gives you something to focus on outside of your diagnosis.
2. Increase activity. Even if all you do is walk to the pantry to open a can, owning a pet makes you get up and move. Dogs are particularly effective pets for bumping up your physical activity level because they require walking and demand playful interaction. Cats, on the other hand, are more independent, which might provide a better pet-match for patients with mobility issues.
3. Improve your mood. Studies show that the very act of petting an animal reduces anxiety, symptoms of depression, and stress. Pets provide companionship, opportunities to connect with others and reduce feelings of isolation. What’s more, dogs are effective at sensing and absorbing people’s moods. Often they’re used in hospitals, schools, and other care facilities to provide therapy and personal services. That’s not just a benefit for dog owners, however. Cats, horses, birds, chickens, and other animals can provide companionship and services that help people experience a better sense of wellbeing.
4. Improve your heart health. According to the American Pain Foundation, pet owners who suffer heart attacks have higher one-year survival rates than patients who are not pet owners. Animal owners also have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, fewer minor health problems such as headaches and injuries, and are able to cope better with stressful life events. Petting a dog has been proven to reduce blood pressure dramatically in some patients.
5. Provide unconditional love. Animals don’t care what you look like, how much you complain, or how exhausted you are. They love you regardless of the circumstances. Through their eyes, you’re perfect. Their inexhaustible patience and ability to stay present in the moment provides their owners valuable lessons in how to be better humans.
Want to Reap the Benefits of Owning a Pet?
Contact a veterinarian and find out what types of pets would work for your home, family and health condition. Visit the Humane Society or local animal shelter and consider adopting an animal that needs you as much as you need him. If owning your own pet doesn’t work for you, contact the Delta Society and find out about pet therapy dogs in your area.

Article Provided By: qualityhealth
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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What And Where Are Dermatomes?

What and where are dermatomes?

Dermatomes are areas of skin that send signals to the brain through the spinal nerves. These signals give rise to sensations involving temperature, pressure, and pain.
The part of a nerve that exits the spinal cord is called the nerve root. Damage to a nerve root can trigger symptoms in the nerve’s corresponding dermatome.
Below, we show the locations of the dermatomes throughout the body. We also describe health conditions that can damage the spinal nerves and affect their dermatomes.

What are they?

A dermatome is an area of skin that sends information to the brain via a single spinal nerve.
Spinal nerves exit the spine in pairs. There are 31 pairs in total, and 30 of these have corresponding dermatomes.
The exception is the C1 spinal nerve, which does not have a corresponding dermatome.
The spinal nerves are classified into five groups, according to the region of the spine from which they exit.
The five groups and their points of exit from the spine are:
Cervical nerves: These exit the neck region and are labeled C1–C8.
Thoracic nerves: These exit the torso region and are labeled T1–T12.
Lumbar nerves: These exit the lower back region and are labeled L1–L5.
Sacral nerves: These exit the base of the spine and are labeled S1–S5.
A coccygeal nerve pair: These exit the tailbone, or coccyx.

Locations of the dermatomes
Each dermatome shares the label of its corresponding spinal nerve.
Some dermatomes overlap to a certain extent, and the precise layout of the dermatomes can vary slightly from one person to the next.
Below, we list the locations of the dermatomes that correspond to the spinal nerves in each group.
Cervical nerves and their dermatomes
C2: the base of the skull, behind the ear
C3: the back of the head and the upper neck
C4: the lower neck and upper shoulders
C5: the upper shoulders and the two collarbones
C6: the upper forearms and the thumbs and index fingers
C7: the upper back, backs of the arms, and middle fingers
C8: the upper back, inner arms, and ring and pinky fingers
Thoracic nerves and their dermatomes
T1: the upper chest and back and upper forearm
T2, T3, and T4: the upper chest and back
T5, T6, and T7: the mid-chest and back
T8 and T9: the upper abdomen and mid-back
T10: the midline of the abdomen and the mid-back
T11 and T12: the lower abdomen and mid-back
Lumbar nerves and their dermatomes
L1: the groin, upper hips, and lower back
L2: the lower back, hips, and tops of the inner thighs
L3: the lower back, inner thighs, and inner legs just below the knees
L4: the backs of the knees, inner sections of the lower legs, and the heels
L5: the tops of the feet and the fronts of the lower legs
Sacral nerves and their dermatomes
S1: the lower back, buttocks, backs of the legs, and outer toes
S2: the buttocks, genitals, backs of the legs, and heels
S3: the buttocks and genitals
S4 and S5: the buttocks
The coccygeal nerves and their dermatome
The dermatome corresponding with the coccygeal nerves is located on the buttocks, in the area directly around the tailbone, or coccyx.

Associated health conditions
Symptoms that occur within a dermatome sometimes indicate damage or disruption to the dermatome’s corresponding nerve. The location of these symptoms can, therefore, help doctors diagnose certain underlying medical conditions.
Some conditions that can affect the nerves and their corresponding dermatomes are:
Shingles
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
After the body recovers from chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant and eventually reactivate as shingles.
In adults, shingles typically causes a rash to form on the trunk, along one of the thoracic dermatomes. The rash may be preceded by pain, itching, or tingling in the area.
Some other symptoms of shingles can include:
a headache
sensitivity to bright light
a general feeling of being unwell
A person with a weakened immune system may develop a more widespread shingles rash that covers three or more dermatomes. Doctors refer to this as disseminated zoster.
Pinched nerves
A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve root has become compressed by a bone, disc, tendon, or ligament. This compression can occur anywhere along the spine, but it usually occurs in the lower, or lumbar, region.
A pinched nerve can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in its corresponding dermatome. As such, the location of the symptoms can help a doctor identify the affected nerve.

The doctor then diagnoses and treats the underlying cause of the pinched nerve and recommends ways to relieve the symptoms.
Traumatic injury
A traumatic injury to the nerves may result from an accident or surgery.
The severity of symptoms can help doctors determine the extent of the nerve injury.

Summary
Dermatomes are areas of skin, each of which is connected to a single spinal nerve. Together, these areas create a surface map of the body.
Dysfunction or damage to a spinal nerve can trigger symptoms in the corresponding dermatome. Nerves damage or dysfunction may result from infection, compression, or traumatic injury.
Doctors can sometimes use the severity of symptoms in a dermatome to determine the extent and location of nerve damage. They then work to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of the damage.

Article Provided By: medicalnewstoday

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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How To Cope With Chronic Neuropathic Pain

How to Cope With Chronic Neuropathic Pain
By Erica Jacques
Medically reviewed by Grant Hughes, MD on November 03, 2019

Chronic pain can have crippling effects on your body. This can especially be true when that diagnosis is chronic nerve pain, which is notoriously difficult to treat. However, chronic nerve pain doesn’t have to take away your quality of life. Today, there are many medications and treatments available to help you get your pain under control. But if you still find it difficult to cope with your chronic nerve pain, there are a few simple things you can try.

Seek Out Peers
Peers not only understand your situation, but they can also share their own coping mechanisms with you. Sometimes, a peer can give you an idea that you never considered. At the very least, they can be someone to whom you can vent your feelings.

Keep a Pain Journal
A pain journal is a safe place for you to talk about your pain, especially if you aren’t comfortable sharing those feelings with another person. Sometimes venting your frustrations on paper is enough to make you feel better. You can also document details about your pain in your journal, which can help you recognize trends that increase and/or decrease pain sensations.

Practice Relaxation
For some people, the tension that results from excessive stress can intensify pain sensations. Of course, living stress-free is next to impossible. Learning to relax, however, can help decrease some of that day-to-day tension, which is not only good for your body but also for your mental well-being. Try listening to some peaceful music, soaking in a warm bath or taking a nice stroll.

Maintain Regular Doctor’s Visits
If you’ve had chronic nerve pain for a while, you may feel frustrated. Sometimes all of the coping mechanisms in the world aren’t enough. It’s always a good idea to keep up with your doctor visits in order to keep your treatments current.

Seek Help If You Feel Depressed
The effects of day-to-day pain can leave people more vulnerable to depression. It’s normal to feel sad from time to time. However, if you notice trends of increased feelings of sadness, or if you start to feel hopelessness, it might be time to seek out a psychiatric consultation. You can talk to your doctor for advice on finding a qualified mental health practitioner.

Article Provided By: verywellhealth
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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Nerve Pain Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Nerve Pain Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options
Reviewed By Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD on 1/26/2021

 

What Nerve Pain Feels Like
The perception of pain varies with everyone; terms such as stabbing, prickling, burning, tingling, and other descriptions have been used. Nerve pain, also called “neuropathic pain,” is difficult to live with. But for most people, nerve pain can be reduced.

Understanding Nerve Pain
Nerve pain is usually due to damaged nerves that send false signals that result in chronic pain. Also, the signals may not function to register the pain associated with an injury normally. In a case like this, the person may lack a pain response indicating injury (for example, someone who has diabetes with neuropathy in the feet may not register a foot injury when it occurs).

Nerve Pain Triggers
Some develop unusual triggers that make them overly sensitive to certain conditions. This may be caused by heightened sensitivity (hypersensitivity) of the nerves to stimulation. For example, nerve sensitivity to touch can cause pain in some people with herpes zoster; they can’t tolerate clothing or sheets touching the infected area. Other nerve damage can result in painful body positions during standing or sitting.

Loss of Feeling
Not all nerve damage results in pain. Loss of feeling or numbness may occur. Although it may not be painful, the numbness usually results in decreased sensitivity of the sense of touch that can interfere with dexterity in the hands. This can make activities like typing, shoe-tying, or playing a musical instrument difficult.

Nerve Pain and Sleep
Some nerve pain is worse at night, causing difficulty sleeping. This loss of sleep can cause additional health problems so people with this type of nerve pain need to discuss the problem with their doctor to receive early treatment.

Losing Balance
Numbness or reduction/loss of the sense of touch can be dangerous because it affects balance and muscle strength. This may require braces, canes, or walkers to prevent falls.

Unseen Injuries
Although some nerve damage may cause numbness instead of pain, this can still be harmful. Numbness may mask damage to traumatized extremities like the feet. People with this type of nerve damage can benefit from regularly examining their extremities for possible overlooked injuries.

Nerve Pain Progression
Nerve pain is often progressive, especially if the root cause (for example, diabetes) is not treated. The usual progression of nerve pain is that it begins far away from the brain and spinal cord (hands and feet) and spreads backwards (retrograde) towards the arms and legs. With appropriate treatment, the progression may be halted and, in some cases, reversed.

Assessing Your Pain
Your doctor is your partner in controlling nerve pain. By answering all questions asked (pain type, duration, and how it has changed your lifestyle), you help your doctor to determine the cause of the pain and how to treat it.

Conditions That Cause Nerve Pain
Although some people develop nerve pain for no known reason, many others develop it because of a certain health problem such as diabetes, shingles, or cancer. Treating such conditions can indirectly reduce or stop the pain. However, it’s also possible to treat the pain accompanying these conditions while undergoing treatment for the causative conditions themselves.

OTC Treatments for Nerve Pain
Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers drugs are often the first medicines used to reduce or stop nerve pain. The components may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen. Some OTCs may be incorporated into creams, gels, ointments, oils, or sprays that are applied to the skin overlying the painful area.

Prescription Drugs for Nerve Pain
There are many different prescription drugs that may help to reduce nerve pain. They range from powerful painkillers to drugs that were originally used for depression or seizures but can also reduce nerve pain. However, some of these prescription drugs may be addictive, so you and your doctor need to find a treatment plan that works for you without causing you additional problems.

Natural Treatments for Nerve Pain
Some people with nerve pain respond to other treatments known as complementary, natural, or alternative treatments. For example, acupuncture may help some, while dietary supplements (such as vitamin B-12) may help others. However, you and your doctor should discuss the use of these treatments and supplements to be sure they don’t interfere with other medical therapies.

 

Article Provided By: onhealth
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

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Foods That Fight Neuropathy

Foods That Fight Neuropathy
By Karen Spaeder Updated November 13, 2019
Reviewed by Rachel MacPherson, BA, CPT

 

If you have a nerve disorder, a neuropathy diet can help improve your nervous system’s functioning.

Neuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is a condition resulting from damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. With diabetes being one of its most common causes, a neuropathy diet and certain neuropathy dietary supplements can help prevent and manage the condition.

To support nerve health, the Mayo Clinic recommends eating foods for neuropathy, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Eating this way is also considered a healthy eating pattern, per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and will help to prevent many other chronic conditions and diseases. Work with your doctor to find the best foods and any neuropathy dietary supplements that may be best for you.

While diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, it can also result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes or toxin exposure. Symptoms may vary based on the type of nerves affected, as each nerve in the peripheral system has a unique function, explains the Mayo Clinic:
Sensory nerves receive sensations from the skin, such as temperature, pain, vibration or touch. If sensory nerves are affected, you may experience sharp or burning pain, extreme sensitivity to touch or numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
Motor nerves control muscle movement. If motor nerves are affected, you may feel muscle weakness, paralysis or a lack of coordination and frequent falls.
Autonomic nerves control blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, the bladder and other functions in the body. If autonomic nerves are affected, you may experience heat intolerance, changes in blood pressure or bowel, bladder or digestive problems.
Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy, whereby many different nerves are affected by the condition. If left untreated, neuropathy can have detrimental long-term effects, such as reduced feeling, problems moving and urinary incontinence.
Foods for Neuropathy
If you have a nerve disorder, a neuropathy diet can help improve your nervous system’s functioning, according to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. Incorporate the following foods for neuropathy into your diet, focusing on whole foods in their least processed form:
Five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and millet
Legumes such as black beans, chickpeas and fava beans
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, flax seeds and chia seeds
Lean proteins like chicken and turkey
Low-fat or nonfat dairy, such as milk and yogurt
Avoid alcohol on a neuropathy diet, as it can have a toxic effect on nerve tissue. Limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams per day, according to the Dietary Guidelines. In addition, avoid any foods with added sugars and saturated fats. Opt instead for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Nutrients for Neuropathy
According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, specific nutrients work to support nerve health and can help manage or prevent neuropathy symptoms, such as those listed below.
B vitamins, including B1 and B12: An October 2014 study published in the journal Continuum found that deficiency of B1, aka thiamine, may lead to neuropathy involving the cranial nerves. B1 sources include asparagus, sunflower seeds, green peas, flaxseeds and Brussels sprouts. B12 sources include salmon, trout, canned tuna, sardines, yogurt and 100 percent fortified breakfast cereal.
Folic acid (vitamin B11)/Folate: Sources may include citrus fruits, bananas, peas, beans, romaine lettuce, cucumber, spinach, asparagus and broccoli.
Antioxidants: Aim for a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, including berries, cherries, oranges, grapefruit, red grapes, kiwi, watermelon, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, onions and bell peppers.
In addition to the the B vitamins mentioned above, an August 2018 report in the journal Clinical Obesity points to vitamin B6, vitamin E and copper as being important for optimal functioning of the nervous system.
You’ll want to watch your caloric intake, too. The USDA recommends filling half your plate with vegetables and fruits, one-fourth with whole grains and one-fourth with lean protein.
Meal planning and shopping the perimeter of grocery stores will help you choose the healthiest foods — if it’s in a box in the center aisles, it’s likely unhealthy. Read the nutrition labels on any packaged foods to be sure you’re selecting foods with ingredients that support nerve health.
If your doctor recommends neuropathy dietary supplements, make sure you’re taking the correct daily dose for optimal nerve health. You may wish to portion them out into a weekly pill organizer to make it easy to stay on track.

Article Provided By: livestrong.com
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

 

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Does Neuropathy from Chemo Go Away?

Does Neuropathy from Chemo Go Away?

What is peripheral neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a blanket term for pain and discomfort and other symptoms that result from damage to peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that extend away from the brain and spinal cord.
The peripheral nervous system carries signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, and then returns nerve signals from the periphery to be received by the spinal cord and brain. Any problems along the way can affect the skin, muscles, and joints of your hands, feet, and other parts of the body.
Many things can cause neuropathy, including certain chemotherapy drugs. Damage to peripheral nerves by these drugs is called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, abbreviated as CIPN.
CIPN isn’t uncommon. Of people with cancer who are treated with chemotherapy, about 30 to 40 percent develop CIPN. It’s one of the reasons that some stop cancer treatment early.

What are the symptoms of CIPN?
CIPN generally affects both sides of your body the same way. Symptoms are likely to begin in your toes but can move to your feet, legs, hands, and arms. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Some of the more common symptoms are:
tingling or pins-and-needles sensation
sharp, stabbing pain
burning or shock-like sensations
loss of sensation or complete numbness
trouble with small motor skills such as writing, texting, and buttoning
gripping problems (dropping things)
clumsiness
weakness
You might also experience:
oversensitivity to touch
balance and coordination problems, which can lead to stumbling or falling when walking
differences in your sensitivity to temperature, making it harder to gauge heat and cold
reduced reflexes
swallowing difficulties
jaw pain
hearing loss
constipation
trouble urinating
Severe peripheral neuropathy can lead to serious health problems such as:
changes to blood pressure
changes to heart rate
breathing difficulties
injury due to falling
paralysis
organ failure
What causes CIPN?
Chemotherapy drugs are systemic treatments — that is, they affect your entire body. These powerful medications can take a toll, and some can damage your peripheral nervous system.
It’s hard to say exactly what causes CIPN since each chemotherapy drug is different, as is each person who receives treatment.
Some of the chemotherapy drugs associated with CIPN are:
nanoparticle albumin bound-paclitaxel (Abraxane)
bortezomib (Velcade)
cabazitaxel (Jevtana)
carboplatin (Paraplatin)
carfilzomib (Kyprolis)
cisplatin (Platinol)
docetaxel (Taxotere)
eribulin (Halaven)
etoposide (VP-16)
ixabepilone (Ixempra)
lenalidomide (Revlimid)
oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
paclitaxel (Taxol)
pomalidomide (Pomalyst)
thalidomide (Thalomid)
vinblastine (Velban)
vincristine (Oncovin, Vincasar PFS)
vinorelbine (Navelbine)
Besides chemotherapy, peripheral neuropathy can be due to the cancer itself, such as when a tumor presses on a peripheral nerve.
Other cancer treatments such as surgery and radiation therapy can also lead to peripheral neuropathy. Even if you’re receiving chemotherapy, the neuropathy can be caused or aggravated by other conditions such as:
alcohol use disorder
autoimmune disorders
diabetes mellitus
HIV
infections that lead to nerve damage
poor peripheral blood circulation
shingles
spinal cord injury
vitamin B deficiency

 

How long does it last?
Symptoms can appear as soon as chemotherapy begins. Symptoms tend to get worse as the chemotherapy regimen progresses.
It’s a temporary problem for some, lasting only a few days or weeks.
For others, it can last for months or years and can even become a lifelong problem. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions that cause neuropathy or take other prescription drugs that cause it.

How is CIPN treated?
Once your oncologist (a doctor who specializes in cancer treatment) determines that your peripheral neuropathy is caused by chemotherapy, they will monitor your treatment to see if symptoms are worsening. In the meantime, symptoms can be treated with:
steroids to reduce inflammation
topical numbing medicines
antiseizure medications, which can help relieve nerve pain
prescription-strength pain relievers such as narcotics (opioids)
antidepressants
electrical nerve stimulation
occupational and physical therapy
If symptoms continue, your doctor may decide to:
lower the dose of your chemotherapy drug
switch to a different chemotherapy drug
delay chemotherapy until symptoms improve
stop chemotherapy

Managing symptoms
It’s very important to work with your doctor to prevent neuropathy from getting worse. In addition, there are a few other things you can do, such as:
relaxation therapy, guided imagery, or breathing exercises
massage therapy
acupuncture
biofeedback
Be sure to ask your doctor about complementary therapies before you start.
Pain, numbness, or strange sensations can make it difficult to work with your hands, so you should be extra careful with sharp objects. Wear gloves for yardwork or when working with tools.
If symptoms involve your feet or legs, walk slowly and carefully. Use handrails and grab bars when available and put no-slip mats in your shower or tub. Remove loose area rugs, electrical cords, and other tripping hazards in your home.
Wear shoes indoors and out to protect your feet. And if you have severe numbness in your feet, be sure to inspect them every day for cuts, injuries, and infection that you can’t feel.
Temperature sensitivity can also be a problem.
Make sure your water heater is set to a safe level, and check the temperature of the water before getting in the shower or bath.
Check the air temperature before going outside in winter. Even though you might not feel the cold, gloves and warm socks can help protect your feet and hands from frostbite.
If you find it helps to relieve your peripheral neuropathy symptoms, you can apply an ice pack on your hands or feet, but only for less than 10 minutes at a time with at least 10 minutes of breaktime between each repeat application.
Here are a few additional tips:
Don’t wear tight clothes or shoes that interfere with circulation.
Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Take all your medications as directed.
Get plenty of rest while in treatment.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations for diet and exercise.
Keep your oncologist informed about new or worsening symptoms.

Outlook and prevention
Currently, there’s no scientifically proven way to prevent neuropathy caused by chemotherapy. And there’s no way to know in advance who’ll develop it and who won’t.
Some research, such as this 2015 study
Trusted Source
and this 2017 study
Trusted Source
, suggests that taking glutathione, calcium, magnesium, or certain antidepressant or antiseizure drugs might help mitigate the risk for certain people. However, the research is limited, weak, or shows mixed results at best.
Before starting chemotherapy, tell your oncologist about other health conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, that could lead to peripheral neuropathy. This can help them choose the best chemotherapy drug for you.
Your oncologist may try to lessen the risk by prescribing lower doses of chemotherapy drugs over a longer period of time. If symptoms start, it may be appropriate to stop chemotherapy and restart when symptoms improve. It’s something that must be decided on a case-by-case basis.
While mild symptoms may resolve within a short time frame, more severe cases can linger for months or years. It can even become permanent. That’s why it’s so important to keep your oncologist informed about all your symptoms and side effects.
Addressing CIPN early may help ease symptoms and prevent it from getting worse.

Article Provided By: healthline
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

 

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.

CRPS is uncommon, and its cause isn’t clearly understood. Treatment is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible.

Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of CRPS include:
Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
Sensitivity to touch or cold
Swelling of the painful area
Changes in skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
Changes in skin color, ranging from white and blotchy to red or blue
Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
Changes in hair and nail growth
Joint stiffness, swelling and damage
Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and loss (atrophy)
Decreased ability to move the affected body part
Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. Pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) usually occur first.
Over time, the affected limb can become cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tightening. Once these changes occur, the condition is often irreversible.
CRPS occasionally may spread from its source to elsewhere in your body, such as the opposite limb.
In some people, signs and symptoms of CRPS go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months to years. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started early in the course of the illness.
When to see a doctor
If you experience constant, severe pain that affects a limb and makes touching or moving that limb seem intolerable, see your doctor to determine the cause. It’s important to treat CRPS early.

Causes
The cause of CRPS isn’t completely understood. It’s thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury.
CRPS occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes:
Type 1. Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn’t directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90% of people with CRPS have type 1.
Type 2. Once referred to as causalgia, this type has symptoms similar to those of type 1. But type 2 CRPS occurs after a distinct nerve injury.
Many cases of CRPS occur after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg. This can include a crushing injury or a fracture.
Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, heart attacks, infections and even sprained ankles — also can lead to CRPS.
It’s not well understood why these injuries can trigger CRPS. Not everyone who has such an injury will go on to develop CRPS. It might be due to a dysfunctional interaction between your central and peripheral nervous systems and inappropriate inflammatory responses.
Complications
If CRPS isn’t diagnosed and treated early, the disease may progress to more-disabling signs and symptoms. These may include:
Tissue wasting (atrophy). Your skin, bones and muscles may begin to deteriorate and weaken if you avoid or have trouble moving an arm or a leg because of pain or stiffness.
Muscle tightening (contracture). You also may experience tightening of your muscles. This may lead to a condition in which your hand and fingers or your foot and toes contract into a fixed position.
Prevention
These steps might help you reduce the risk of developing CRPS:
Taking vitamin C after a wrist fracture. Studies have shown that people who take a high dose of vitamin C after a wrist fracture may have a lower risk of CRPS compared with those who didn’t take vitamin C.
Early mobilization after a stroke. Some research suggests that people who get out of bed and walk around soon after a stroke (early mobilization) reduce their risk of developing CRPS.

Article Provided By: mayoclinic
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

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Everything You Should Know About Allodynia

Everything You Should Know About Allodynia

What is allodynia?
Allodynia is an unusual symptom that can result from several nerve-related conditions. When you’re experiencing it, you feel pain from stimuli that don’t normally cause pain. For example, lightly touching your skin or brushing your hair might feel painful.
To ease allodynia, your doctor will try to treat the underlying cause.
What are the symptoms of allodynia?
The main symptom of allodynia is pain from stimuli that don’t usually cause pain. In some cases, you might find hot or cold temperatures painful. You might find gentle pressure on your skin painful. You might feel pain in response to a brushing sensation or other movement along your skin or hair.
Depending on the underlying cause of your allodynia, you might experience other symptoms too.
For example, if it’s caused by fibromyalgia, you might also experience:
anxiety
depression
trouble concentrating
trouble sleeping
fatigue
If it’s linked to migraines, you might also experience:
painful headaches
increased sensitivity to light or sounds
changes in your vision
nausea
What causes allodynia?
Some underlying conditions can cause allodynia. It’s most commonly linked to fibromyalgia and migraine headaches. Postherpetic neuralgia or peripheral neuropathy can also cause it.
Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder in which you feel muscle and joint pain throughout your body. But it’s not related to an injury or a condition such as arthritis. Instead, it seems to be linked to the way your brain processes pain signals from your body. It’s still something of a medical mystery. Scientists don’t quite understand its roots, but it tends to run in families. Certain viruses, stress, or trauma might also trigger fibromyalgia.
Migraine headaches
Migraine is a type of headache that causes intense pain. Changes in nerve signals and chemical activity in your brain trigger this type of headache. In some cases, these changes can cause allodynia.
Peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy happens when the nerves that connect your body to your spinal cord and brain become damaged or destroyed. It can result from several serious medical conditions. For example, it’s a potential complication of diabetes.
Postherpetic neuralgia
Postherpetic neuralgia is the most common complication of shingles. This is a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chicken pox. It can damage your nerves and lead to postherpetic neuralgia. Heightened sensitivity to touch is a potential symptom of postherpetic neuralgia.

 

What are the risk factors for allodynia?
If you have a parent who has fibromyalgia, you’re at higher risk of developing it and allodynia. Experiencing migraines, developing peripheral neuropathy, or getting shingles or chickenpox also raises your risk of developing allodynia.

How is allodynia diagnosed?
If you notice your skin has become more sensitive to touch than normal, you can start to diagnose yourself. You can do this by testing your nerve sensitivity. For example, try brushing a dry cotton pad on your skin. Next, apply a hot or cold compress on your skin. If you experience a painful tingling feeling in response to any of these stimuli, you might have allodynia. Make an appointment with your doctor to get a formal diagnosis.
Your doctor may conduct a variety of tests to assess your nerve sensitivity. They will also ask about your medical history and other symptoms that you might have. This can help them start to identify the cause of your allodynia. Be sure to answer their questions as honestly and completely as possible. Tell them about any pain in your extremities, headaches, poor wound healing, or other changes that you’ve noticed.
If they suspect you might have diabetes, your doctor will likely order blood tests to measure the level of glucose in your bloodstream. They might also order blood tests to check for other possible causes of your symptoms, such as thyroid disease or infection.

How is allodynia treated?
Depending on the underlying cause of your allodynia, your doctor might recommend medications, lifestyle changes, or other treatments.
For example, your doctor might prescribe medications such as lidocaine (Xylocaine) or pregabalin (Lyrica) to help ease your pain. They might also recommend taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as naproxen (Alleve). In some cases, your doctor might recommend treatment with electrical stimulation, hypnotherapy, or other complementary approaches.
It’s also important for your doctor to address the underlying condition that’s causing your allodynia. For instance, successful diabetes treatment can help improve diabetic neuropathy. This can help lower your risk of allodynia.
Lifestyle changes
Identifying triggers that make your allodynia worse can help you manage your condition.
If you experience migraine headaches, certain foods, beverages, or environments might trigger your symptoms. Consider using a journal to track your lifestyle habits and symptoms. Once you’ve identified your triggers, take steps to limit your exposure to them.
Managing stress is also important if you’re living with migraine headaches or fibromyalgia. Stress can bring on symptoms in both of these conditions. Practicing meditation or other relaxation techniques might help you reduce your stress levels.
Wearing clothes made of light fabrics and going sleeveless may also help, if your allodynia is triggered by the touch of clothing.
Social and emotional support
If treatment doesn’t relieve your pain, ask your doctor about mental health counseling. These services might help you learn to adjust to your changing physical health. For example, cognitive behavior therapy can help you change how you think about and react to difficult situations.
It might also help to seek the advice of other people with allodynia. For example, look for support groups in your community or online. In addition to sharing strategies to manage your symptoms, it might help to connect with others who understand your pain.

Article Provided By: healthline
Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SCIf you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com

 

 

 

 

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