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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
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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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What to Know About a Pinched Nerve in the Arm

What to know about a pinched nerve in the arm

The term “pinched nerve” is not a true medical term. Nonetheless, people often use it to describe an injury that results from compression, constriction, or stretching of a nerve or set of nerves.
This article outlines the symptoms and causes of a pinched nerve in the arm.

People may experience pain in the arm, wrist, or hand, depending on the affected nerve.
A pinched nerve in the arm can cause a range of symptoms.
Some possible symptoms that a person may experience include:
radiating pain from the site of the pinched nerve
tingling, numbness, or a loss of sensation in the arm
muscle weakness in the arm
Symptoms also vary, depending on the nerve affected.
There are three main nerves that run through the arm, past the elbow and wrist, and down to the hand.
They are:
The median nerve: This nerve runs down the center of a person’s arm.
The ulnar nerve: This nerve extends along the outer edge of the arm, in line with the little finger. It becomes aggravated when a person hits their “funny bone.”
The radial nerve: This nerve extends along the inside of the arm, in line with the thumb.

Causes
There are many nerves in a person’s arm. The cause of a pinched nerve depends on which nerve is compressed, constricted, or stretched.
Read on for an outline of some possible causes of a pinched nerve in the arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a passageway of ligaments, tendons, and bones that extend from the wrist to the hand.
The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel and provides sensation to the thumb, ring, and middle finger. It also provides sensation to the inner edge of the ring finger.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results from long-term or chronic compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. It is a common cause of symptoms of a pinched nerve in the arm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can result from injury to the wrist, or as a result of frequent and repetitive hand and wrist motions.
Some possible symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Sensations of numbness, tingling, or burning that mainly affect the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
Pain or tingling that may radiate up the forearm toward the shoulder.
Weakness or poor motor control of the affected hand.
Many people report that moving or shaking their hands can provide temporary symptom relief.
Cubital tunnel syndrome
The cubital tunnel is a passageway of bones, muscles, and ligaments that extends from the elbow joint, down through the forearm.
The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel, innervating the little finger, the outer edge of the ring finger, and the outer edge of the palm.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is the medical term for chronic compression of the ulnar nerve within the cubital tunnel.
This condition may cause the following symptoms:
numbness or tingling in the ring or little finger, especially when the elbow is bent
aching pain on the inside of the elbow
hand pain
weak grip
The following factors can increase a person’s risk of developing cubital tunnel syndrome:
previous elbow dislocation or fracture
bone spurs or arthritis of the elbow
swelling of the elbow joint
cysts near the elbow joint
Repetitive or prolonged activities that require a person to bend or flex their elbow also increase the risk of cubital tunnel syndrome.
Radial tunnel syndrome
The radial tunnel is a passageway of bone and muscle that runs along the upper part of the forearm.
The radial nerve runs through the radial tunnel. It enables the movement of the wrists and fingers and provides sensation to the skin on the forearm and back of the hand.
Radial tunnel syndrome is the medical term for compression of the radial nerve within the radial tunnel. In some people, the nerve slides back and forth within the tunnel, causing intermittent irritation.
People who have radial tunnel syndrome typically experience pain in the forearm, just below the elbow.
The pain may worsen with the following activities:
extending the elbow
turning the forearm
flexing the wrist

Diagnosis
When working to diagnose a pinched nerve in the arm, a doctor will ask about a person’s symptoms and medical history. The doctor may also order one of the following diagnostic tests:
X-rays: These imaging tests can help to identify bone spurs or other bone-related issues that may be compressing a nerve within the arm.
CT scans or MRI scans: These imaging tests can help to identify whether nerve compression is the result of damage to soft tissues, such as a bulging or herniated disk.
Electromyography (EMG): This test records electrical activity within muscle tissues. A doctor can combine EMG results with nerve conduction studies to find out whether nerve damage is causing a person’s symptoms or compression of a nerve root in the spine.

Treatment
The treatment for a pinched nerve in the arm depends partly on the cause of the condition, and the frequency and severity of a person’s symptoms.
Some potential treatment options are:
Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling around the nerve. This may help to alleviate irritation.
Rest: Wherever possible, a person should rest the arm to reduce further irritation of the affected nerve.
Brace or splints: A brace or splint can help keep the arm in a position that reduces compression or irritation of the affected nerve. This can help to alleviate symptoms or prevent them from recurring.
Surgery: If nonsurgical treatments do not resolve the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the arm, a doctor may recommend surgical options. There are a few surgical procedures that will relieve pressure on a pinched nerve in the arm, and these vary depending on which nerve is affected.

Stretches and exercises
A person should seek the advice of a doctor before undertaking any stretches or exercises for a pinched nerve. Performing these activities incorrectly can cause further damage to the nerve.
A doctor will recommend appropriate stretches and exercises dependent on:
the cause of the pinched nerve
the type and severity of symptoms
the context in which they occur

Management
The following tips can help a person to manage the symptoms of a pinched nerve:
avoiding spending too long in one position
sleeping so as not to put pressure on the nerve
avoiding leaning on elbows or resting an arm on an open window while driving
taking regular breaks from repetitive hand movements, such as when typing, playing video games, or knitting
gently stretching the arms and wrists during breaks from repetitive hand activities
When to see a doctor
A pinched nerve will usually heal by itself without medical treatment. However, a person should see a doctor if their symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, despite rest and appropriate home treatment.
A person should seek emergency medical treatment if they experience either of the following:
sudden and unexpected weakness in an arm, which may be a sign of stroke
sudden pain in the left arm, which may indicate a heart attack
A person who thinks they may be having a stroke or heart attack should phone 911 right away. Prompt treatment of either condition reduces the risk of complications or death.

Summary
A pinched nerve is a nerve that has become compressed by its surrounding tissues. Compression of a nerve in the arm may cause uncomfortable and painful sensations in the arm, wrist, or hand.
A pinched nerve will usually resolve without medical intervention. However, a person should see a doctor if their symptoms persist beyond a couple of days.
A doctor may recommend medical imaging tests to help diagnose the cause of a pinched nerve. Treatment may involve rest, medications, and the use of a brace or splint. In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to release pressure on the nerve.

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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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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Holiday Self Care

Holiday Self Care

Don’t Take a Vacation from Holiday Self Care!
The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone, whether it’s the positive stress of gathering with loved ones or a more negative experience due to personal hardships. Of course, most of us have a mixed experience of both positive and negative stressors during the holidays.
When you are suffering from the discomfort or pain, holiday stress can take an even bigger toll—not just emotional but physical. You’re likely to be feeling more fatigue or a chronic pain flare-up during this time.
It may seem that self care is just another stressor during the holidays. Sticking to your at-home treatment protocol of a healthy diet, nutritional supplements, light exercise, and mindfulness practice may seem like an imposition or even just another thing on your rapidly growing to-do list!
But the truth is, the most positive step you can take to reduce neuropathy symptoms during the holidays is to prioritize your neuropathy self care above all else.
If you’ve already fallen off the wagon in terms of your neuropathy self care plan, then it’s important to realize that you don’t have to wait for a New Year’s resolution to get back on. You can start right now.
And if that feels too overwhelming, then remember that you can add in healthy habits just one at a time. Every small improvement will have a cumulative effect on your well-being and help reduce neuropathy symptoms.
Here are a few key elements of your at-home care to reduce pain, discomfort and often neuropathy symptoms and holiday stress:
A diet focused on plants & vegetables, with fewer simple carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats
Good hydration with plenty of water
Exercise as prescribed by your medical team, possibly including stretching, yoga, or other low-impact activities
Relaxation exercises or meditation
Above all, try to maintain focus on the joys and pleasures of the holiday season and let go of any preconceptions about how things should go.

 

Article Provided By: neuropathydr
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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Top Twenty Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

Top Twenty Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
By LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS14 Comments

Each person’s experience varies depending on their type of Neuropathy, but in general following are the most common Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy:
1) Severe strange pains in your feet, legs, hands and other parts of the body; including “crawling insects” under your skin;
2) Balance is difficult when walking, getting dressed, getting out of bed or whenever you close your eyes;
3) Numbness / heavy / cardboard / heavy cement feeling/ Novocain feeling in your feet and legs;
4) Tingling or “vibration” like feelings in your feet and hands;
5) Electric shocks starting at the bottom of your feet/foot that shoot up your leg(s) and on almost any part of the body;
6) Bone pain especially in the feet on walking or standing;
7) Painful muscle spasms/cramps;
8) Skin may become painful to touch or loss of the feeling of touch; with Agent Orange skin rash;
9) Burning sensations in your feet and hands;
10) Loss, or lessening, of sensation for hot and cold;
11) Feeling like you are wearing socks when you are not;
12) The feeling you are walking on crumpled socks or stones;
13) Feet feel swollen or large;
14) Difficulty moving your hands or feet;
15) A feeling of clumsiness, tripping (foot drop) or dropping things;
16) Attacks of daily severe exhaustion with strange fatigue;
In more severe case of Peripheral Neuropathy you may also experience the following:
17) Problems with not sweating in lower body with excessive sweating in upper body;
18) Digestive (fullness; alternating diarrhea / constipation) and/or urinary problems (overflow incontinence);
19) Sexual problems (loss of sensation/feeling/moisture);
20) A tightening of your chest with an increased difficulty in breathing and/or swallowing; uncorrectable vision problems.

 

Article Provided By: neuropathyjournal
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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Paresthesia

What Is Paresthesia?

If you’ve ever felt as though your skin was crawling, or had numbness or itching for no apparent reason, you may have experienced paresthesia.
Almost everyone has experienced paresthesia on occasion. One of the most common times people get that familiar feeling of pins and needles is when their arms or legs “fall asleep.” This sensation usually occurs because you’ve inadvertently put pressure on a nerve. It resolves once you change your position to remove the pressure from the affected nerve. This type of paresthesia is temporary and usually resolves without treatment. If the paresthesia persists, you may have an underlying medical disorder that requires treatment.
What are the symptoms of paresthesia?
Paresthesia can affect any part of the body, but it commonly affects the:
hands
arms
legs
feet
It can be temporary or chronic. The symptoms can include feelings of:
numbness
weakness
tingling
burning
cold
Chronic paresthesia may cause a stabbing pain. That may lead to clumsiness of the affected limb. When paresthesia occurs in your legs and feet, it can make it difficult to walk.
See your doctor if you have symptoms of paresthesia that persist or affect with your quality of life. It could be a sign that you have an underlying medical condition that needs treatment.

What causes paresthesia?
It’s not always possible to determine the cause of paresthesia. Temporary paresthesia is often due to pressure on a nerve or brief periods of poor circulation. This can happen when you fall asleep on your hand or sit with your legs crossed for too long. Chronic paresthesia may be a sign of nerve damage. Two types of nerve damage are radiculopathy and neuropathy.
Radiculopathy
Radiculopathy is a condition in which nerve roots become compressed, irritated, or inflamed. This can occur when you have:
a herniated disk that presses on a nerve
a narrowing of the canal that transmits the nerve from your spinal cord to your extremity
any mass that compresses the nerve as it exits the spinal column
Radiculopathy that affects your lower back is called lumbar radiculopathy. Lumbar radiculopathy can cause paresthesia in your leg or foot. In more severe cases, compression of the sciatic nerve can occur and may lead to weakness in your legs. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that starts in your lower spinal cord.
Cervical radiculopathy involves the nerves that provide sensation and strength to your arms. If you have cervical radiculopathy, you may experience:
chronic neck pain
paresthesia of the upper extremities
arm weakness
hand weakness
Neuropathy
Neuropathy occurs due to chronic nerve damage. The most common cause of neuropathy is hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.
Other possible causes of neuropathy include:
trauma
repetitive movement injuries
autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis
neurological diseases, such as MS
kidney diseases
liver diseases
stroke
tumors in the brain or near nerves
bone marrow or connective tissue disorders
hypothyroidism
deficiencies in vitamin B-1, B-6, B-12, E, or niacin
getting too much vitamin D
infections, such as Lyme disease, shingles, or HIV
certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs
exposure to toxic substances, such as chemicals or heavy metals
Nerve damage can eventually lead to permanent numbness or paralysis.

Who is at risk for paresthesia?
Anyone can experience temporary paresthesia. Your risk of radiculopathy increases with age. You also may be more prone to it if you:
perform repetitive movements that repeatedly compress your nerves, such as typing, playing an instrument, or playing a sport such as tennis
drink heavily and eat a poor diet that leads to vitamin deficiencies, specifically vitamin B-12 and folate
have type 1 or 2 diabetes
have an autoimmune condition
have a neurological condition, such as MS

How is paresthesia diagnosed?
See your doctor if you have persistent paresthesia with no obvious cause.
Be prepared to give your medical history. Mention any activities you participate in that involve repetitive movement. You should also list any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you take.
Your doctor will consider your known health conditions to help them make a diagnosis. If you have diabetes, for example, your doctor will want to determine if you have nerve damage, or neuropathy.
Your doctor will probably perform a full physical exam. This will likely include a neurological exam as well. Blood work and other laboratory tests, such as a spinal tap, may help them rule out certain diseases.
If your doctor suspects there’s a problem with your neck or spine, they may recommend imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans.
Depending on the results, they may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, orthopedist, or endocrinologist.

What is the treatment for paresthesia?
Treatment depends on the cause of your paresthesia. It may be possible to treat your condition by eliminating the cause in some cases. For example, if you have a repetitive movement injury, a few lifestyle adjustments or physical therapy may solve the problem.
If your paresthesia is due to an underlying disease, getting treatment for that disease can potentially ease the symptoms of paresthesia.
Your individual circumstances will determine whether your symptoms will improve. Some types of nerve damage are irreversible.

What is the outlook for people with paresthesia?
Temporary paresthesia usually resolves within a few minutes.
You may have a case of chronic paresthesia if those strange sensations don’t go away or they come back far too often. It can complicate your daily life if the symptoms are severe. That’s why it’s so important to try to find the cause. Don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion or see a specialist if necessary.
The severity of chronic paresthesia and how long it will last largely depends on the cause. In some cases, treating the underlying condition solves the problem.
Be sure to tell your doctor if your treatment isn’t working so they can adjust your treatment plan.
How can you prevent paresthesia?
Paresthesia isn’t always preventable. For instance, you probably can’t help it if you tend to fall asleep on your arms. You can take steps to reduce the occurrence or severity of paresthesia, though. For example, using wrist splints at night may alleviate the compression of the nerves of your hand and help resolve the symptoms of paresthesia you experience at night.
Follow these tips for preventing chronic paresthesia:
Avoid repetitive movement if possible.
Rest often if you need to perform repetitive movements.
Get up and move around as often as possible if you have to sit for long periods.
If you have diabetes or any other chronic disease, careful monitoring and disease management will help lower your chances of having paresthesia.

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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Why Is Neuropathy Worse at Night?

January 3, 2020 / Brain & Spine
Why Is Neuropathy Worse at Night?
Reasons why nerve pain is more painful at night
Peripheral neuropathy is when a nerve or group of nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord is injured or dysfunctions. It could be because of an injury to a single nerve, like carpal tunnel syndrome, or because a group of nerves have become defective, like with peripheral neuropathy of the feet.
“Across the board we know that neuropathy can cause pain depending on what type of nerves are involved,” says neurologist Benjamin Claytor, MD. “When people describe worsening symptoms at night they’re describing discomfort – pins and needles, tingling and burning pain.”
Here Dr. Claytor discusses what might be causing this nightly pain and how to find relief.
Distraction
Our attention level can influence how we perceive pain. So during the day when we’re at work or taking care of the kids – we’re distracted and busy. Although there hasn’t been much research around it, the idea is that we aren’t focusing on the pain during the day because we’re busy, we pay less attention to it and perceive less pain.
“Many patients will tell me that after they get home from work, have dinner and sit down to watch TV for the night that their pain flares up,” says Dr. Claytor. “This could be because the daytime distractions are now gone and you’re starting to unwind for the night.”
Temperature and sleep
Another thought behind nightly neuropathy has to do with temperature. At night our body temperature fluctuates and goes down a bit. Most people tend to sleep in a cooler room as well. The thought is that damaged nerves might interpret the temperature change as pain or tingling, which can heighten the sense of neuropathy.
Also consider poor sleep quality. If you’re not sleeping very well to begin with, either due to poor sleep habits or sleep related disorders, this could lead to increased pain perception.
Emotions and stress
Our emotional state can also influence how we perceive pain. Stress and anxiety can feed in to and amplify pain signaling. Living in a chronic state of stress wreaks havoc on your physical and mental health.
Medication
Sometimes medication dosing and timing might need to be adjusted, which could be particularly true for some short acting medications used for neuropathy pain.
How to stop neuropathy pain at night
“There are options we can explore if your neuropathy pain seems to be worsening at night,” explains Dr. Claytor. “There might be oral or topical medications we can prescribe, or maybe it’s getting your stress under control and being more mindful.”
Cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy and meditation may be complementary tools to reduce pain as well.
Dr. Claytor stresses the importance of talking to your doctor sooner rather than later. Often time’s people will wait so long to see their physician that there’s permanent nerve damage that might have been avoided.
“I think one of the most important things I can discuss with a patient who comes in with neuropathy pain at night is getting to the root cause of what is actually driving it,” says Dr. Claytor. “Depending on what the underlying cause is, treating that first and foremost can usually help reduce the pain overall – especially at night.”

 

Article Provided By: health.clevelandclinic
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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