Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy?

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

We have long suspected this, however, since one of our observations many years ago was that many fibromyalgia patients respond very well to our neuropathy treatment programs, with some specific modifications. That’s why, right now, effective treatment depends so much upon the skill as well as the time and interest of the clinician.

And the reason for this should be very obvious. Once we understand as much as we possibly can about what may be underneath your symptoms, then we can begin the most effective treatment plan possible.

One of the most common things we see as doctors every day is how deeply rooted lifestyle and personal habits are linked to so many health problems. Fibromyalgia and neuropathy are no exception.

pain 200x300 Fibromyalgia or Neuropathy—Which is it?

In both fibromyalgia and in neuropathy, patients often experience tingling, numbness, and significant amounts of pain.

In both fibromyalgia and in many cases of neuropathy, patients are frequently overweight and in poor physical condition. Now, as you might expect, this is not at all uncommon. Often times this “deconditioning” has been present for years.

Contributing factors to this include things such as poor diet, and, yes, even health problems like underlying thyroid disease and possibly more serious disorders. So the best approach for both doctors and patients while attempting to calm pain is to look deeply for underlying causes.

And this goes double for those patients who suffer neuropathy or fibromyalgia and related chronic pain conditions! If you are serious about getting real professional help we invite you to reach out to us personally using the contact info below.

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*As frustrating as it may be at times, we encourage you to learn as much about your underlying condition and treatment options as possible. Even if it’s not 100% clear on what the underlying cause, the good news is proven strategies now exist for effectively treating many forms of #fibromyalgia #pain & #neuropathy.

Join us for more in depth help, #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork and learn lots more about #fibromyalgia & #neuropathy HERE

*You can also call or text our team at 781-659-7989 Just BE SURE to leave your full name, time zone and concerns.

                                                          #neuropathydr #ndgen #neuropathytreatmentsthatwork #neuropathytreatment #neuropathy #stopchronicpain

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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

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

Entrapment occurs under a number of conditions, most commonly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join the conversation at Beating Neuropathy!

References:

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

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

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