Could Texting Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Have you ever felt a numbness, tingling or shooting pain in your hands? If so you might be one of millions of people worldwide who suffer with Carpal Tunnel syndrome. The causes of Carpal Tunnel have long been contested, and previously doctors argues that it might be caused by “overuse” of the wrist – ie people sat still at a desk typing all day. New research points the finger at our smartphone addiction, with a possible link between smartphone use and Carpal tunnel recently being reported by the DailyMail and CNN after research in Hong Kong found a link.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Due to textingWhat is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

 

The carpal tunnel is a small passageway in your wrist that the median nerve travels through. It is thought that this passageway can become compressed and in turn compress the median nerve. This results in a number of symptoms such as:

 

  • Pins and needles in your hand (known to medical professionals as paresthesia)
  • Thumb Weakness (the median nerve controls your thumb)
  • A dull ache in your hand

 

Could Carpal Tunnel Be Linked with texting?

 

The study, published in the Journal Muscle and Nerve asked a small number of patients (48_ to fill out questionnaires on their wrist pain before taking tests to see whether they has numbness and tingling – the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel. They found that patients who used their devices for 4-5 hours a day or more often had enlarged median nerves (seen in carpal tunnel) and had more pain in their wrists.

 

The director of Arthritis Research UK talked to the DailyMail, and said of the results

 

‘Previously we only saw this type of repetitive strain injury in people using a mouse and keyboard at work.

‘Now we have these new repetitive movements, swiping and tapping, in our leisure time, as people are barely ever without their smartphones and tablets.

‘This is a real new challenge for the 21st century and I would encourage anyone suffering symptoms of burning and tingling to contact their GP promptly.”

 

He also noted that the sample size of the study was small – and more research is needed.

 

What Can Be Done About Carpal Tunnel?

 

A number of specialist clinics across the united states can provide excellent care if you think you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The treatments usually include the following:

 

  • Self Care: Take it easy – rest up! If you are over using a keyboard then stop!
  • Medication: Drugs like Ibuprofen can reduce swelling and inflammation in the nerve and reduce pain
  • A splint or brace: These can be bought cheaply online and keep the wrist in a position that doesn’t hurt.
  • Steroid injection: Corticosteroids can be injected right into the wrist – these are much more powerful than simple painkillers.
  • Surgery: Some clinics will offer a surgery that opens up the roof of the passageway (the carpal tunnel) and reduces pressure on the median nerve.

 

If you or someone you know are suffering from carpal tunnel, contact a specialist clinic today.

What is Tendonitis and How can it Be Managed?

TendonitisThe tendons are thick, fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones and they can become inflamed and cause pain similar to that experienced by muscle injury and inflammation. This is them referred to as tendinitis and the causes of this condition may be due to:

  • Sudden injury sustained to the affected limb or joint.
  • Repetitive movements over a period of time that results in increased stress being placed on the affected tendons.
  • Occupations that involve the individual being placed into awkward positions to perform duties in, frequent overhead reaching, forceful exertion, and being exposed to repetitive vibrations.
  • Using improper techniques to perform certain jobs or sport-related movements.

Types of tendinitis

Some common names of tendonitis pathologies include:

  • Golfer’s elbow – involvement of the medial (inside) tendon of the elbow.
  • Tennis elbow – involvement of the lateral (outside) tendon of the elbow.
  • Swimmer’s shoulder – impingement of the rotator cuff tendon between the acromion of the shoulder blade and the greater tuberosity of the humerus (bone of the upper arm). This is seen in swimmers who specialize in freestyle and front crawling swimming strokes.
  • Pitcher’s shoulder – inflammation of the long head of the biceps muscle that attaches to the shoulder which is called bicep tendonitis and may occur in baseball and softball pitchers. This condition may also occur in swimmers where the bicep muscle is involved as well as in any other sports where throwing activities are performed such as javelin and cricket, and where contact occurs such as in wrestling, gridiron football, and martial arts.
  • Jumper’s knee – inflammation of the tendon of the patella (knee-cap) or even the quadriceps tendons caused by repetitive straining from too much running and/or jumping.

Signs and symptoms

Patients may present with the following clinical signs and symptoms when dealing with tendinitis:

  • Pain that is often described as a dull pain that is felt over the affected area.
  • Increased pain when moving the affected limb or joint.
  • Tenderness and swelling over the affected area.
  • Decreased range of motion of the affected limb which is restricted due to pain.

Management

Tendonitis is managed conservatively with the following therapies:

  • Resting the affected limb and not performing movements that cause pain.
  • Using pain medication such as acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Applying ice packs or cold compresses over the affected areas to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy to help incorporate exercises and to learn correct techniques that will help prevent inflammation of the tendons.
  • Steroid and local anesthetic medications can be injected into an affected joint or around an involved tendon to also help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Regenerative medicine in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be administered where the platelet cells help to repair damage to a tendon caused by chronic inflammation.

If these therapies are ineffective, then surgical intervention may be warranted. Procedures may include:

  • Focused aspiration of scar tissue (FAST) which is performed to remove scar tissue on tendons caused by chronic inflammation of the tissue.
  • Arthroscopic tendon repair using small instruments if the inflamed tendon has torn or ruptured.

5 Most Important Facts about PRP Therapy Pain Patients should know

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP Therapy is proving to be highly effective in treating musculoskeletal injuries, especially sport injuries, such as ligament sprains, chronic inflammation and tendon tears.  PRP therapy holds the potential to stimulate permanent healing and eliminate the need for potentially risky surgery.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy involves drawing a small quantity of a patient’s blood to separate the platelets. The concentrated platelets are injected back into the injured tissues, such as shoulders, hips, knees, elbows and Achilles tendons. The platelets release growth factors that aid tissue recovery.

Here are 5 most important facts you should know about Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy.

Tissue Regeneration

Research has shown that PRP therapy is highly beneficial. Ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after treatment.

Surgery can also be avoided or delayed if injured tissues have been treated before the damage progresses.

Conditions that can benefit from PRP Therapy

  • osteoarthritis of the knee
  • hip and spine
  • shoulder
  • rotator cuff tears
  • pelvic pain & instability
  • back and neck injuries
  • ankle sprains
  • tennis elbow
  • tendonitis
  • ligament sprains

PRP stimulates the Body’s Healing

The human body has an excellent natural healing ability. In case of soft tissue injury, platelet cells are immediately sent to the site. Since they carry growth and healing factors, platelets begin the repair process, attracting stem cells in the process.

PRP stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanism by supplying a higher concentration of platelets, thereby enhancing the body’s natural healing ability.

PRP Therapy is Safe

Patients who have received PRP Therapy have shown significant improvement in their pain and discomfort level.

Since a person’s own blood is used during the procedure, there is no risk for rejection and infection.

PRP aids Faster Healing

PRP Therapy aids pain relief through healing, hence producing lasting results. Improvement begins within a few weeks and steadily increases as healing progresses.

To learn more about PRP therapy or to consult the top shoulder and sports medicine surgeon in Gilbert, AZ, call OSPI Arizona at 480-899-4333.

Conditions That Affect Hand Function

The hands are vital parts of the human body and without them, very little essential and social activities can be performed such as feeding, being productive to be able to make a living and support dependents, and interactions with others. Losing the ability to use one’s hand can be a very emotional and debilitating problem that can lead to increased stress and anxiety that may result in the development of mental health issues such as depression. Therefore, the proper diagnosis and management of conditions affecting hands is extremely important.

The following are conditions that can result in the hands becoming unable to function properly and how they are managed.

Dupuytren’s contracture Hand SurgeryDupuytren’s contracture

  • Progressive thickening of the tissue in the palm of the hand results in shortening of this tissue and causes flexing contractures of the fingers (makes the fingers close).
  • The most commonly affected fingers are the fourth and fifth digits and this can be quite a disabling condition.
  • Management includes physical and occupational therapy and surgical intervention in severe cases.

Trigger finger

  • Referred to in medicine as stenosing tenosynovitis.
  • Trigger finger causes a similar issue to Dupuytren’s contracture. The difference though is that where the latter involves pathology of the tissue covering the palm of the hand, trigger finger is caused by thickening of the tissue that covers the tendons which allow the fingers to close.
  • The condition is characterized by the affected finger seeming like it is stuck in a trigger-pulling position. Since it is difficult for the finger to be straightened, when it becomes unlocked it resembles the pulling of a trigger.
  • Management includes trigger finger surgery and when the thumb is involved is referred to as trigger thumb surgery.
  • These surgeries may be performed through minimally invasive access or open procedures if the cases are severe.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • This condition is associated with compression of the median nerve through the carpal bones in the wrist.
  • Compression of the median nerve results in the decreased sensation of the thumb and first two fingers which can complicate and lead to decreased power in the hand with an inability to use the limb.
  • Management of this condition involves initial conservative therapy with pain relieving measure and the use of splints to help take pressure off the median nerve.
  • If these therapies are ineffective, or the case is severe, then carpal release surgery is performed.

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • An autoimmune condition where antibodies are produced by the immune system that attacks and damages the synovial tissue around joints, especially of the wrists and fingers.
  • This process results in damage to the joints leading to deformities of the fingers making them stiff and difficult to use.
  • Management of this condition includes using medications such as steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Early therapy may also include medications such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like azathioprine, sulfasalazine, and methotrexate to help reduce disease progression as well as induce more remissions.
  • Surgical interventions may be warranted in cases where the medications are not working and the patient’s use of their hands has becomes severely debilitating.

Quick Recovery with New Carpal Tunnel Treatment Option

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which causes numbness, weakness, and pain in wrist and hands. It is caused due to the raised pressure on the median nerve. This nerve sends sensations to the index, middle fingers and thumb. The median nerve is responsible for providing strength to the base muscles of the thumb.

Individuals who are most at risk of suffering from the carpal tunnel syndrome are people with activities or jobs involving a repetitive movement of fingers, or high force motion of wrist and hand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which causes numbnessOther possible causes can include:

  • Wrist fracture
  • Deformity of hand or wrist
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Diabetes
  • Tumor
  • Arthritis or gout disease
  • Pregnancy

Treatment options:

  • Non-surgical

The non-surgical treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain. Cortisone injections may be used to provide temporal relief, however, is not a permanent cure. Physiotherapy and a change in hand motion are recommended to alter the movement of the wrist.

  • Surgical treatments

In case non-surgical treatments do not show the result, surgery is recommended to increase the tunnel size to relieve pressure on the tendons and nerves. Carpal tunnel surgery recovery may range from six months to over a year. Patients who undergo surgical methods will have to restrict movement. The stitches are removed after 2-4 weeks (depending on the size of the incision). The skin may take more than 8 weeks to recover fully.

New innovations in treatment

A new innovation in the treatment for carpal tunnel surgery is the SX-One Microknife. It is an innovative surgical device that allows a 4-5mm long single incision and is used with the help of ultrasound-based imagery.

Dr.Cobb, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon explains in simple terms how the TCL blade is activated after positioning to release pressure from the ligament, enabling a pain-free smooth movement. The procedure involves the following steps:

  • The blade remains closed till required with the help of Stealth Microgaurds.
  • These Microgaurds prevent tissue damage and safe positioning of the scalpel around the damaged area.
  • As the procedure ends, the blade closes back up and is released from the same incision.
  • The use of SX-One technology requires no stitches, an adhesive bandage proves sufficient to heal the incision.

Benefits vs traditional surgery

  • Compared to the traditional carpal tunnel surgery which employs more than a half an inch of the incision and requires a longer time to heal, the SX-One Microknife is less invasive.

 

  • Traditional surgical methods put patients at a higher risk of tendon and blood vessel damage. In respect to that specialists believe that this new innovation in technology may be more effective.

 

  • It is cost effective and faster in both the procedure and healing.

 

In conclusion

 

An ultra-low profile device for surgery, SX-One Microknife allows surgeons to release carpal tunnel through a single 4-5mm incision. This new advancement in technology is most definitely more effective than the traditional surgical methods. Not only does it saves cost but also minimizes the period of healing. It is believed that the carpal tunnel syndrome can be effectively catered to millions of people using this less invasive tool.

MACI – A New Regenerative Technique for Knee Problems

MACI for Knee ProblemsCartilage regeneration has been a long debated issue for orthopedic surgeons. In the case of runner’s knee, this problem can cause a lot of irritation where the kneecap rests on the thighbone.

Together the kneecap and the thighbone form a third joint known as the patellofemoral joint. It is at this junction that cartilage denegation or damage happens resulting in a sharp and sudden pain or one that is dull and chronic. The pain may affect one or both knees with symptoms including the following:

• Tenderness behind or around the kneecap.
• Pain located at the back of knee.
• Sense of cracking that the knee is giving out.
• More discomfort when treading on uneven terrain or climbing stairs.

In addition to cartilage getting damaged in this area from sports injuries, the same can also happen due to auto accidents as well as arthritis.

New Re-Generating Techniques

As the regenerative technology constantly evolves, it makes available a range of orthopedic surgery treatments for the prevention of bone, joint and muscle ailments.

A latest advancement is in the surgical methods is Matrix-Induced Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation. This invention was approved for use by FDA in 2017. It is a new cartilage regeneration procedure which allows the growth of chondrocyte cells on a biologic scaffold.
The new technology uses cells from the patient’s own cartilage to generate the scaffold and as opposed to earlier treatments, can be affixed to the cartilage.

The treatment has only recently surfaced in the US but has been operational in Europe for at least a decade with very promising results.
Basics of MACI include the following:
• In the first step of the MACI procedure, healthy chondrocytes are harvested on a sponge-like area of the bone.
• These cells are sent to the laboratory for 4-6 weeks to be cultivated over a sterile collagen membrane.
• The enriched scaffold is comparatively easier to implant and requires a minimal incision.
• The procedure is less painful with fast recovery.
• More than 6 weeks are required for the growth of the new cartilage cells.
• After the surgery, the cells grow to cover the defected area of the knee.
• The recovery period, as is true with most knee surgery procedures, is long and demands minimum movement to prevent damage to the new cartilages.
MACI appears to be an effective alternative for cartilage regeneration, compared to microfracture. If the quality of the cartilage used is good, MACI may be able to give surgeons a new technique at hand to prevent osteoarthritis.

Conclusion:

Cartilage damage can severely paralyze knee movement. The holes caused as a result of damaged cartilages can lead up to osteoarthritis. Compared to the old surgical techniques, new innovations in technology like MACI may prove effective as a procedure that requires a minimum invasion.
MACI, with the use of high-quality cartilages and minimal incision, places an implant on the knee to enable growth of new cells. FDA approval makes the effectiveness of this treatment promising for many suffering from runner’s knee and other knee issues.

Is Spinal Stenosis a Serious Condition?

Is Spinal Stenosis a Serious ConditionSpinal stenosis is a condition where the bony vertebral canal that the spinal cord runs through narrows leading to compression of this structure. The result is pain and neurological issues such as numbness reduced reflexes and decreased muscle power at the level of spinal cord compression. Paralysis may occur if the stenosis is severe enough which makes this a very serious condition that needs to be managed adequately and appropriately. Spinal stenosis causes include the following pathologies and scenarios:

Congenital defects

  • The spinal canal develops a narrow structure.
  • There may be deformities of the vertebrae leading to canal stenosis.

Aging

  • The spinal ligaments can become thicker.
  • Intervertebral discs may bulge or herniate into the canal.
  • Bone spurs may form taking up space in the spinal canal.
  • Breakdown of facet joints leading to spinal column collapse.
  • Degenerative disc disease resulting in narrowing of the spaces in the spinal column.
  • Cyst formations on the facet joints resulting in compression of the thecal sac which is the spinal sac of nerves.
  • Osteoporosis (brittle bones) complicating into compression fractures of the vertebral bones.

Trauma

  • Patients with spinal stenosis caused by cervical spine myelopathy are at a higher risk of acute cord injury if they are involved in any accidents.
  • Injuries and accidents may result in dislocation of the spine or spinal canal or lead to burst fractures where fragments of bone may end up in the canal.

Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis and less commonly rheumatoid arthritis results in narrowing of the canal due to persistent inflammation in or around the bony structure resulting in the formation of space-occupying canal lesions.

Management

Spinal stenosis treatment protocols involve conservative (non-surgical) and surgical therapies.

Conservative treatments may include:

  • Oral medications such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and narcotics.
  • Aerobic exercising to help to achieve or maintain overall satisfactory health.
  • Physical therapy to help perform and learn stretching and to strengthen exercises to build-up muscle mass to help support the back.
  • Weight loss in order to reduce pressure on the back and slow down the progression of the spinal stenosis.
  • Epidural steroid and/or anesthetic injections to help with pain relief.

Surgical interventions may include:

  • Lumbar decompressive laminectomy where the roof of bone overlying the narrowed spinal canal and surrounding thickened ligaments are removed to allow more space for the nerves and spinal cord to displace in. Around 70 to 90 percent of patients have good results after this procedure reporting decreased pain and neurological deficits.1
  • An interlaminar implant is placed in the area where the decompression was done to offer stability to the spine and to allow the nerves to freely run through the device without any compression of the tissue.
  • Patients with cervical myelopathy may have a discectomy and fusion performed where the intervertebral disc where spinal cord compression is located is removed from the cervical spine. The procedure can be done via access to the front or back of the neck.

What Causes Human Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Human Growth Hormone DeficiencyHuman growth hormone is an essential protein that facilitates normal physical development in humans as well as being responsible for the maturation and proper functioning of secondary sexual characteristics in males and females. Growth hormone deficiency in adults is a condition caused by issues that affect the pituitary gland in the brain that is responsible for the production of this hormone. In turn, a deficiency of this hormone in humans causes certain problems depending on the age of the affected individual. Growth hormone deficiency symptoms and signs may include the following:

Childhood 

  • Micropenis in males.
  • Jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and/or eyes) and/or hypoglycemia (low glucose levels) in the first few days of life.
  • Short stature with poor growth velocity.
  • Delayed bone maturation.
  • Delayed onset of puberty.
  • Slower muscular development.
  • Delayed gross motor milestones such as jumping, walking and standing.
  • The composition of fat, muscle, and bone may be disproportionate resulting in a mild to moderate chubby appearance.
  • Prominent forehead.
  • Sparse hair growth with the frontal recession.

Adulthood

Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency occurs in 1 in every 100,000 people and is caused by tumors of the pituitary gland. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Baldness in men.
  • Decreased muscle mass and strength.
  • Reduced energy.
  • Decreased bone mass resulting in osteoporosis.
  • Increased body fat especially around the waistline.
  • Increased LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Cardiac dysfunction due to a thickened inner lining of the blood vessels.
  • Memory loss and impaired concentration.
  • Infertility due to absent or decreased production of sperm and ova in males and females, respectively.

Management

Growth hormone deficiency treatment includes injecting synthetically produced growth hormone under the skin (subcutaneously) or into the muscle (intramuscularly).

The following points are made regarding treatment of childhood growth hormone deficiency:

  • Administration of growth hormone in these patients is performed on a daily basis.
  • Growth monitoring and dose adjustments are done every three to six months together with information gained from X-rays and blood tests.
  • Treatment with the synthetic medication is provided as long as the child is growing and they may need to receive the hormone for the rest of their lives if the deficiency is severe.
  • Injections sites include the stomach, biceps, buttocks, and thighs and the sites need to be rotated on a daily basis to avoid shrinking and hardening of these areas.
  • Relatively pain-free devices are used to help with compliance.

Regarding the treatment of growth hormone deficiency in adults:

  • A minimally invasive procedure known as transsphenoidal surgery is performed to remove the pituitary tumor. This involves removing the tumor through the sphenoid sinus, which is a hollow space in the skull behind the nasal passages and below the brain and is performed under general anesthesia. An image guiding system is placed on the head of the patient to help guide the surgeon. The overall success rate of the procedure when removing small tumors (microadenomas) is 90 percent and removing larger tumors (macroadenomas) is 60 percent.1
  • The majority view amongst specialists is that most adults with growth hormone deficiency do not show an adequate response to the medication and therefore do not warrant treatment with the synthetic hormone.
  • Treatment may be warranted in cases where there is a severe growth hormone deficiency, there’s major impairment of the patient’s quality of life, and if the affected individual is being treated for other pituitary hormone disorders.
  • The duration of the treatment will depend on the indication for its use.

Health Options for Temporomandibular Joint Pain

Temporomandibular Joint Pain DiagnosisTemporomandibular joint pain occurs where there is a problem with the jaw, the facial muscles surrounding it or, the actual hinge joint which connects the lower mandible to the temporal bone. This impacts the movement of the jaw and limits chewing motion. Although the actual cause of temporomandibular joint pain is not entirely clear, it can certainly impact life on a day to day basis. The exact cause may be unknown but, whiplash injuries or, general injury to the muscles of the head, neck or jaw may be responsible for joint pain. Grinding teeth can put a lot of pressure on the jaw if there is osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw, or the individual is highly stressed, this may cause the tightening of the muscles in the jaw. It is important to also consider whether there is dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket.

 

Symptoms can be painful. Headaches are likely to be experienced and there will be a pain in the temple area. There may be limited movement around the temporomandibular joint and the ears may pop, develop a ringing sound or dizziness may be experienced. There may also be stiffness in the back, shoulder or neck. Symptoms will be related to the amount of mental and physical stress that occurs on a day to day basis. Stress impacts everyone in life, it’s impossible to avoid it completely so learning how to manage it and to compensate is important. Even those under pressure from stressful situations in the short term need to learn how to manage stress levels. The healing powers of each person will vary too. This is also interconnected to the individual’s adaptability. Constant pain can lower immune function and affect mood, and this is why it is important to seek medical assistance when temporomandibular joint pain occurs. Self-diagnosis is not advisable. Symptoms are likely to continue if treatment does not take place and the condition can even become chronic if left unchecked. Where there is early intervention, there is usually a much quicker relief. The Orthopedic Center Arizona specializes in chiropractic treatment for these types of conditions and the success rate for this type of condition is high. Chiropractic treatment works well generally.

 

It takes a holistic and whole-body approach to wellness and the chiropractor will need to understand the condition and how it affects the individual so to create an accurate recovery plan. There may be x-rays to assess the body structure and spine. The individual’s medical history will be reviewed, and a physical examination will also occur. Subsequently, some spinal adjustments are likely.

 

In addition, massage therapy, rehabilitation exercises, electrical nerve stimulation and lifestyle changes are likely. There may be adaptations to posture, nutrition and a discussion about weight-loss. Spinal mobilization and manipulation have been found to be beneficial for those with temporomandibular joint pain offering much relief. Treatment is based on an accurate diagnosis of the cause of pain considering any traumatic or surgical history and typically, it is a treatment that offers much relief for back and neck pain generally.  Find out more about how to improve this condition by seeking advice from OSPLarizona

 

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