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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Arthritis

Hand Pain Relief: Identifying and Treating a Broken Hand

By | Hand Relief | No Comments

Identifying-and-Treating-a-Broken-Hand for-Hand-Pain-Relief

A broken hand is never a condition to be taken lightly. Given we rely so heavily on using our hands, even a slight loss of function can result in a lifelong disability. Finding hand pain relief from a broken hand often requires a visit to a doctor and possible rehabilitation care.

The Hand Structure and How it can Break

A human hand, made up of 27 bones, is quite complex and can be broken down into several categories:

  • The carpal bones, eight in all, are the bones found in the wrist.
  • The five metacarpals are located within the palm of your hand and are connected to the carpal bones.
  • The phalanges are the small bones that form the fingers of the hand. There are 14 in total, with two phalanges in each thumb and three in each finger.

In addition to the 27 hand bones, there are the knuckles, which are known as the metacarpal-phalangeal joints. Also in the hand are the PIP and DIP joints. The PIP joint, or proximal interphalangeal, is the joint closest to the palm, and the DIP joint, or distal interphalangeal joint, is the closest joint to the fingertips.

The hand does not break easily, but it can occur due to improperly using tools, blunt trauma, falls, crush injuries or sports injuries. Tennis, baseball and softball players are predominantly at risk of injuring their hand.

Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of a Hand Injury

Due to the intense nature of a hand injury, the symptoms are not difficult to spot. Signs that you’ve broken your hand include difficulty gripping or moving the hand, swelling, pain, bruising, weakness or misaligned fingers.

The most important thing to remember about a suspected hand injury is that if left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to bones, joints, nerves and tendons. That is why it’s so important for a doctor to take an X-ray, examine the hand immediately and determine the best course of treatment. Treatment depends on a variety of factors, from location of injury to length of time between injury and treatment. Hand pain relief can usually be achieved with medications and, in some cases, with surgery.

Preventing Hand Injuries

The vast majority of hand injuries can be prevented. Below are some tips on how to prevent a hand injury:

  • Wear appropriate hand and wrist guards when playing certain sports to ensure proper protection of your hands.
  • Be cautious when playing ball sports, such as football, baseball or tennis, as these sports are more likely to cause hand injuries.
  • Wear correct protective equipment when there is a risk of a hand injury while working.
  • Avoid punching, hitting or slamming your hand in expression, as many injuries can be inflicted this way.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for any symptoms that may be related to a hand injury.
Spinal Stenosis

Bunion Treatment 101: What to Know from MISI

By | Foot Relief | No Comments

Bunion-Treatment-and-Causes

People who wear tight, poor-fitting shoes and those who suffer from arthritis may find themselves in a constant battle with bunions. Bunions are a bone malformation at the base of the big toe (or, in some cases, the little toe) resulting from the toe being pushed inward against the joint. Bunions are painful and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a number of bunion treatment options.

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions are typically caused by one of four factors:

  • Wearing high heels. Did you know women are ten times more likely to develop bunions then men? One of the reasons may be due to wearing high heels. High heels are pointed, narrow and shift the weight of the body forward, forcing toes into the front of the shoe. This forces the bones in the toes to be pushed together unnaturally, which can result in bunions over time.
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes. Shoes that don’t fit properly, namely shoes that are too small or narrow, can also cause bunions. In people who suffer from bunions, when shoes don’t fit well or offer support, the bunion becomes the support, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Arthritis. Those who suffer from inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are at a greater risk than most for developing bunions.
  • Family history. A propensity for bunions can be hereditary. So if bunions run in your family, there’s a chance you may suffer from bunions too.

Bunion Treatment and Prevention

While they can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, it is important to remember that bunions are fairly common and not dangerous. There are a number of non-surgical bunion treatment options designed to relieve pain and discomfort associated with this ailment. They include:

  • Changing your footwear. Tight, poor-fitting shoes put pressure on the toes and can result in bunions or irritate existing bunions. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes to relieve pressure and provide plenty of space for your toes.
  • Adding proper support to your shoes. Padded shoe inserts help to evenly distribute pressure as you walk. This can help relieve pain and prevent the bunion from getting worse. Taping and padding your foot is also an option for keeping bones in position and relieving pressure and stress from the bunion area.
  • Taking pain relievers. Pain relievers such as Tylenol, Aleve or Advil can help by reducing swelling and relieving pain. In serious cases, cortisone shots can help relieve pain and inflammation caused by bunions.
  • Ice packs can relieve inflammation. Ice packs work by decreasing blood flow to the chilled area, thereby reducing inflammation and swelling. Try icing your bunion after a long day to relieve inflammation.

In most cases, surgery isn’t necessary, but rare cases require bunion removal surgery to get the foot back to where it should be. Bunion removal surgery works to realign the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves in order to bring the big toe back into position.

How do you prevent bunions? Wearing shoes that are not too tight or narrow is a good start. Choose footwear that is wide enough to give your toes room to be comfortable and avoid being on your feet for long periods of time in shoes that irritate your feet. Find out more about bunion treatment and prevention from Minimally Invasive Foot Relief today.

Pinched Nerves

Facet Disease: What you need to know from MISI

By | Spine Relief | No Comments

Facet-Disease-Causes-and-Symptoms

For those suffering from chronic back pain, the possibility of a ruptured disc or a pinched nerve may have crossed their minds; but what about facet disease? Learning more about this degenerative spine condition could not only help diagnose the condition, but also treat it more effectively.

Facet Joint Basics

In order to understand facet disease, a patient must first understand the role of the facet joint. The facet joint is located in the spine and acts as a small connector running along the lower, mid-back and neck section of the spine. The facet joints allow for vertebral stability in movements such as bending forward, back, sideways or twisting. The facet joint’s role is to make sure the vertebrae are well supported so the body may handle all of the bending and twisting it requires without straining or causing any damage.

Causes and Symptoms of Facet Disease

Many things, including age, genetics and injury, can cause degenerative facet disease. This condition appears when the facet joint wears out and inflammation begins due to continuous use or trauma to the joint area.

There is one telltale sign of facet disease: pain when hyper extending or tilting (bending backwards) the lumbar or cervical spine or twisting. Symptoms of facet disease in the neck can also include headaches that radiate up the back of the head.  Patients often can find some symptom relief by bending forward.

Treating Facet Disease

Degenerative facet disease treatment focuses on the reduction of arthritic symptoms, including pain and inflammation. Non-surgical options include regular exercise to strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles to alleviate strain; use of anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers; cold/heat therapy; chiropractic care; pain management injections and small procedures such as radio frequency ablation.

While uncommon, there are cases severe enough to require surgical measures. In these cases, spine stabilization surgery is performed in order to prevent further degeneration of the adjoining disc, a common progression with facet disease. This surgery will also prevent the eventual debilitating changes that could hinder the patient’s ability to engage in an active lifestyle. There are also a variety of minimally invasive surgical options for degenerative facet disease treatment. These options can be explored with the help of highly qualified, fellowship-trained professionals.

To learn more about facet disease and the various minimally invasive options available for treatment, visit the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute website.