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Ailmemts & Remedies

Lhermitte’s phenomenon

Alternative Name: Barber Chair phenomenon

Definition:

Lhermitte’s phenomenon  is an electrical sensation that runs down the back and into the limbs. In many patients, it is elicited by bending the head forward. It can also be evoked when a practitioner pounds on the posterior cervical spine while the neck is flexed; caused by involvement of the posterior columns

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The Lhermitte’s sign is a symptom rather than a sign as it describes a subjective sensation rather than an objective finding. To add more confusion, it is not attributed to its discoverer. It was first described by Pierre Marie and Chatelin in 1917. Jean Lhermitte did not publish his first report until 1920. However, in 1924 he did publish the seminal article on the subject which resulted in it becoming well known

It’s usually triggered by flexing the neck – that is, bending your head down, chin towards chest. The sensation is short-lived, usually no more than a second.

How often the symptom occurs, and what other symptoms develop along with it, depends on the underlying cause, of which there are several.

Causes:
L’hermitte’s phenomenon is a sign that something may be damaging the spinal cord (especially in the part of it that’s composed of white matter, at the back of the cord). This damage is usually in the neck or region of the spine known as the cervical spine. But the symptom is very non-specific and says nothing about exactly where in the spinal cord the problem is, or what is damaging it.

The most common cause is arthritis of the small joints of the vertebra in that part of the spine, also known as cervical spondylosis. This can cause abnormal pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves coming out of it.

Other causes include:

•Multiple sclerosis
•Vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anaemia)
•Tumours
•Compression of the discs in the cervical spine following trauma
•Radiotherapy to the neck

But in many cases a specific cause for Lhermitte’s phenomenon can’t be found.

Treatment:
It’s important that L’hermitte’s phenomenon is investigated by a specialist to pick up and treat any identifiable cause if possible, and limit or prevent further damage. But in many cases the tests (which may include X-ray of the cervical spine, MRI scans of the brain and cervical spinal cord, lumbar puncture and nerve signal tests known as visual evoked potentials) all come back negative.

When this happens, you should keep an eye on the problem and ask your doctor to repeat the tests if necessary or if symptoms worsen.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lhermitte’s_sign
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/lhermittes.shtml

http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseaction/show/pageid/755

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illu_vertebral_column.jpg

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Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Sensitive to sunlight :-…..CLICK & SEE

Q: I develop blotchy red patches on my arms and face which tingle and burn within 10 minutes of exposure to the sun.

A: Some people are inherently sensitive to sunlight, while others develop the problem as a reaction to medication like tetracyclines, sulpha drugs or even common painkillers and anti histamines. If you are on medication, consult your doctor about changing or stopping it.

In any case, try to avoid exposure to sunlight by leaving early to work and returning after sunset. Use a black umbrella to block the sun’s rays whenever you go out. Wear long sleeved, dark coloured clothing and covered footwear. For the exposed areas like the face, neck and hands, apply a sunscreen with an SF (sun filter) factor of 15 or more.

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Prostate surgery :-….CLICK & SEE
Q: I had prostrate surgery two years ago, after which I developed erectile dysfunction. It persists, causing me great anguish.

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A: About 80-90 per cent men have erectile dysfunction after prostatectomy. It is usually temporary and one recovers in 12-18 months. A small percentage does have a long-term problem, especially if the surgery is for cancer. That’s because the nerves in the area may have been cut during the operation. Consult the urologist who performed the surgery and discuss your options.

Corns on feet :-…CLICK & SEE
Q: There are two corns on the sole of my foot, which are very painful. What should I do?

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A: A corn is actually a thickened area of skin which develops because of uneven pressure. The commonest causes are faulty gait or ill-fitting footwear. But first confirm the diagnosis by consulting a dermatologist. A bony swelling, wart or abscess may appear like a corn to the untrained eye. If the swellings are really corns, you may use corn plasters to remove them. Follow the instructions on the packet. Corn plasters shouldn’t be used if you have diabetes; the corns will recur unless the causative factor is treated.

Burning skin :-
Q: I have lumbar spondylosis. Whenever I sit in the office or watch TV, I feel an uncomfortable burning sensation on the skin along the right side of my abdomen. It disappears upon moving.

A: Sometimes nerves leading to the skin become trapped as they leave the vertebral column. The pressure on the nerve causes it to tingle and burn, producing the uncomfortable sensation you mentioned. The abnormal curvature of your spine owing to the spondylosis is probably responsible. First, try conservative treatment with —

Weight reduction, if obese

Spinal exercises. These can be learnt from a physiotherapist or yoga teacher

• Learning proper postures

• Walking for 40 minutes a day.

Usually there is an improvement in three months which can be sustained if the lifestyle modifications are continued. If there is no improvement and the symptoms are incapacitating, you might need to consider surgery to correct the spinal deformity.

Anal fissure :-….CLICK & SEE
Q: I have had chronic anal fissure for the last six months. Every time I go to the toilet, I experience severe pain. An ayurvedic physician has guaranteed a cure but insists I allow him to perform surgery first.

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A: A fissure occurs usually as a result of straining and then passing a hard stool. It is difficult to heal as the pain causes a spasm in the anal sphincter perpetuating the cycle of straining and constipation.

Conservative treatment with a sitz bath (sitting in a basin of hot water), applying a local anaesthetic cream (xylocaine, lignocaine) before and after passing stool, drinking four litres of water a day, eating a high-fibre diet, and using a stool bulking agent like isapgol cures the problem in 90 per cent of cases.

If the difficulty persists, consult a qualified surgeon who can perform an anal dilation or actually cut the anal sphincter. This has to be done carefully as otherwise you may not be able to control your bowel movement. I do not think an ayurvedic physician is licensed or qualified to perform the surgery.

Small big query :-
Q: I am an 18-year-old man and would like to know what type of underwear I should use.

A: You have to make a choice depending on your comfort level. Underwear that is too tight may cause chaffing of the groin area. This can lead to secondary bacterial or fungal infection. It can also raise the temperature of the testicles, which can marginally lower your sperm count. Boxer shorts are most comfortable. But ensure it is made of a natural fibre.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

 
Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Spinal Stenosis

Vertebral column.
Image via Wikipedia

Definition
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the lumbar (back) or cervical (neck) spinal canal, which causes compression of the nerve roots.This can cause weakness in your extremities as narrowing often results in pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves. Spinal stenosis can occur in a variety of ways in the spine. Most cases of spinal stenosis occur in the lower back (lumbar spine) and will affect the sciatic nerve, which runs along the back of the leg.

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The most commonly referred to types of this condition are: lumbar spinal stenosis, occurring in the lower back, and cervical spinal stenosis which occurs in the neck. As mentioned previously, the condition more commonly occurs in the lower back.

Causes
Spinal stenosis mainly affects middle-aged or elderly people. It may be caused by osteoarthritis or Paget’s disease or by an injury that causes pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord itself.

The three major causes of spinal stenosis are:

Aging – With age, the body’s ligaments (tough connective tissues between the bones in the spine) can thicken. Spurs (small growths) may develop on the bones and into the spinal canal. The cushioning discs between the vertebrae may begin to deteriorate. The facet joints (flat surfaces on each vertebra that form the spinal column) also may begin to thicken. Aging, coupled with secondary changes, is the most common cause of spinal stenosis. Heredity – if the spinal canal is too small at birth, symptoms of spinal stenosis may show in a relatively young person. Structural deformities of the involved vertebrae can cause narrowing of the spinal canal.

Tumors of the spine – Abnormal growths of soft tissue that may affect the spinal canal directly by inflammation or by growth of tissue into the canal. Tissue growth may lead to bone resorption (bone loss due to over activity of certain bone cells) or displacement of bone and the eventual collapse of the supporting framework of the spinal column.

Trauma – accidents and injuries may either dislocate the spine and the spinal canal or cause burst fractures that produce fragments of bone that penetrate the canal.

Paget’s disease of bone – This chronic (long-term) disorder usually results in enlarged and deformed bones. The disease can affect any bone of the body, but is often found in the spine.
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Blood supply – The blood supply that feeds healthy nerve tissue may be diverted to the area of involved bone.

Fluorosis – An excessive level of fluoride in the body. It may result from chronic inhalation of industrial dusts or gases contaminated with fluorides, prolonged ingestion of water containing large amounts of fluorides, or accidental ingestion of fluoride-containing insecticides. The condition may lead to calcified spinal ligaments or softened bones and to degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis.

Symptoms

* Back pain that spreads to the legs
* Difficulty or imbalance when walking
* Leg pain
* Neck pain
* Numbness in the buttocks, thighs, or calves that is worse with standing, walking, or exercise
* Pain in the buttocks, thighs, or calves that is worse with walking or exercise
* Weakness of the legs

Spinal narrowing doesn’t always cause problems. But if the narrowed areas compress the spinal cord or spinal nerves, you’re likely to develop signs and symptoms. These often start gradually and grow worse over time. The most common spinal stenosis symptoms include:

*Pain or cramping in your legs. Compressed nerves in your lower (lumbar) spine can lead to a condition called pseudoclaudication, false claudication or neurogenic intermittent claudication, which causes pain or cramping in your legs when you stand for long periods of time or when you walk. The discomfort usually eases when you bend forward or sit down, but it persists if you continue to stand upright.

Another type of intermittent claudication (vascular claudication) occurs when there’s a narrowing or blockage in the arteries in your legs.

Although both types of claudication cause similar symptoms, they differ in two important ways: Vascular claudication becomes worse when you walk uphill and improves when you stand still. Pseudoclaudication is usually worse when going downhill and gets better when you lean forward or sit down.

*Radiating back and hip pain. A herniated disk can narrow your spinal canal and compress nerves in your lumbar spine, leading to pain that starts in your hip or buttocks and extends down the back of your leg. The pain is worse when you’re sitting and generally affects only one side.

You may also experience numbness, weakness or tingling in your leg or foot. For some people, the radiating pain is a minor annoyance, but for others, it can be debilitating.

* Pain in your neck and shoulders. This is likely to occur when the nerves in your neck (cervical spine) are compressed. The pain may occur only occasionally or it may be chronic, and it sometimes can extend into your arm or hand. In addition, the spinal cord is sometimes compressed, which can result in lower extremity weakness and difficulty walking. You also may experience headaches, a loss of sensation or muscle weakness.

* Loss of balance. Pressure on the cervical spinal cord can affect the nerves that control your balance, resulting in clumsiness or a tendency to fall.

* Loss of bowel or bladder function (cauda equina syndrome). In severe cases, nerves to your bladder or bowel may be affected, leading to partial or complete urinary or fecal incontinence. If you experience either of these problems, seek medical care right away.

Risk factors

Age is the main known risk factor for spinal stenosis. Your risk of this condition increases after age 50.

Also at risk are people with skeletal fluorosis, a sometimes crippling bone disease caused by high levels of fluoride in the body. Although the disease is rare in the United States, several million people worldwide have severe skeletal fluorosis.

Diagnosis
Spinal stenosis can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms are often intermittent and because they resemble those of many age-related conditions. To help diagnose spinal stenosis and rule out other disorders, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam that may include checking your peripheral pulses, range of motion and leg reflexes.

You’re also likely to have one or more of the following tests:

* Spinal X-ray. Although an X-ray isn’t likely to confirm that you have spinal stenosis, it can help rule out problems that cause similar symptoms, including a fracture, bone tumor or inherited defect.
* Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In many cases, this is the imaging test of choice for diagnosing spinal stenosis. Instead of X-rays, an MRI uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of your back. The test can detect damage to your disks and ligaments, as well as the presence of tumors.
* Computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test uses a narrow beam of radiation to produce detailed, cross-sectional images of your body, including the shape and size of your spinal canal. Because you receive more radiation from a CT scan than from a regular X-ray, you should avoid this test if you’re pregnant.
* CT myelogram. This may be the most sensitive test for detecting spinal stenosis, but because it poses more risks than either MRI or CT, it may not be your doctor’s first choice. If you’re contemplating surgery, however, your doctor may recommend a CT myelogram to assess the severity of the stenosis. In a myelogram, a contrast dye is injected in your spinal column. The dye then circulates around your spinal cord and spinal nerves. A myelogram can show herniated disks, bone spurs and tumors.
* Bone scan. In this test, a small amount of a radioactive material that attaches to bone is injected into a vein in your arm. The material emits waves of radiation that are detected by a gamma camera. The camera then produces images of your bones. In a sense, a bone scan is the opposite of a standard X-ray, in which radiation passes through your body to create an image on film. A bone scan can detect a number of bone disorders, but often can’t distinguish among them. For that reason, it’s usually performed with other tests.
* Other diagnostic procedures
. Sometimes your doctor may inject you with a spinal nerve block or epidural steroids. If your symptoms improve after the injection, spinal stenosis is likely the cause of your discomfort. The problem with this approach is that a negative finding doesn’t mean you don’t have spinal stenosis.

Treatment
Generally, conservative management is encouraged. This involves the use of anti-inflammatory medications, other pain relievers, and possibly steroid injections. If the pain is persistent and does not respond to these measures, surgery is considered to relieve the pressure on the nerves.

Surgery is performed on the neck or lower back, depending on the site of the nerve compression.

The recommended treatment for spinal stenosis is generally open back surgery with high risks, hospital stays and lengthy recuperation time. Laser-assisted surgical procedures can correct the causes of spinal stenosis and relieve painful symptoms. These procedures are called a Foraminotomy or a Laminotomy. These laser spine procedures will remove the portion of the disc or bone spur that is pressing against a nerve causing the symptoms of spinal stenosis. By removing or shrinking the disc with the laser and removing any bone spurs, we can decompress the spinal cord or nerve root that is being impinged. At this point, excess disc material is removed and the symptoms of spinal stenosis typically disappear

Complications of spinal stenosis may include:

* Loss of feeling. Depending on which nerves are compressed, spinal stenosis may cause a loss of feeling in your arms, hands, feet or legs. As a result, cuts or wounds may become seriously infected because you’re not aware of them.
* Loss of bladder or bowel control. In addition, spinal stenosis sometimes interferes with bowel or bladder function — a problem that can affect your quality of life.
* Degenerative changes. Although treatment can relieve symptoms of spinal stenosis, it doesn’t stop degenerative changes. Some of these changes, such as muscle atrophy, may be permanent, even after the pressure is relieved.

Other Complications:Injury can occur to the legs or feet due to lack of sensation. Infections may get worse because pain related to them may not be felt. Changes caused by nerve compression may be permanent, even if the pressure is relieved.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of spinal stenosis.

Click to learn more.…..(1)……(2)…..(3)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000441.htm#Definition
http://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/spinal_stenosis/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spinal-stenosis/

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Ailmemts & Remedies Health Problems & Solutions

Fixing Upper Back and Neck Pain

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Being too tight to stand and sit upright instead of slouching forward is common, even among people who stretch regularly. The reason is that they usually practice stretching forward, rarely stretching the front muscles by stretching back. In turn, holding your body bent forward instead of upright perpetuates tightness. To get the stretch in the front chest (pectoral) muscles that you need to stop the slouching-tightness cycle, use the photo for reference and try this:

1.Stand facing a wall. Bend one elbow out to the side and put the inside surface of that arm against the wall, as in the left-hand photo.

2.Turn your whole body and feet away from the wall, letting the wall brace your bent arm behind you,

3.If you are doing this stretch right, you will feel a nice stretch in the front of your chest.

4.Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Breathe. Smile.

5.Hold a few seconds, breathe in, change arms, and breathe out while stretching the other side for a few seconds.

6.Now drop both arms and turn to stand with your back against the wall again. If you did this pectoral stretch right, standing straight with the back of your head touching the wall should now feel more natural and comfortable and no longer a strain.

7.When you walk away from the wall don’t slouch forward again out of habit. Hold the easy new healthy positioning for everything you do.

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Do the wall test and the pectoral stretch first thing every morning and several times every day to learn healthy positioning. Use this pectoral stretch instead of the stretch where you stand in a doorway or corner to stretch both arms at once, and instead of pulling your straight arm(s) behind you.

This pectoral stretch is one of two techniques to stop upper body tightness that prevents standing and moving in healthy ways. Remember that head and body position is voluntary. Hold your head up and shoulders back softly. By not letting your head hang forward all day, you will no longer need constant pills, adjustments, or treatments for pain. You will stop the cause.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.
Source: www.healthline.com