Whether or not to have an MRI is a discussion I have at least once every week. The reason I talk about it is because the decision to do an MRI should not be one that we arrive at without an understanding of what is to be gained and lost.
Let’s identify some of the takeaways from doing an MRI for your back pain.
The MRI can often help us determine where your problem is. We can also get a picture of the structures involved, but it will usually not tell us if you are a surgical candidate or not; that is determined by the surgeon based on his/her physical exam of the patient. Though the MRI may show us a picture of what is going on, it still does not tell us which structures are causing the pain.
Many people suffer from back pain on a regular basis and can manage it with minimal disruption to their lives, but every year I see several people that have to cancel vacation plans because of acute back pain. Acute back pain can come on quickly and be debilitating. Most of the time this is avoidable, so here are 5 things that can be done to prevent your back from “going out” either before or on vacation.
A painful thumb is not uncommon and can begin at any age. It is more common in women than men and usually starts at the base of the thumb. It can begin suddenly from trauma, such as walking the dog and getting the leash wrapped around your thumb. It can begin gradually from overuse, such as squeezing tools too hard or too long, or squeezing a pen or pencil too hard or too long. Now we can add text messaging to the mix, because so many use their thumbs for texting a lot. Overuse is a more common cause of thumb pain than trauma. Overuse can occur as a result of using the
thumb for the same activity over a long period of time, like texting. It can occur from doing these things
repetitively over a period of years.
Physical therapy treatment for carpal tunnel first depends on whether you have had surgery or not.
If you have not had surgery, the first thing a physical therapist will do is determine if all your symptoms are coming from the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel symptoms are usually numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and sometimes the ring finger. Other common complaints are hand swelling, sensation of pins and needles, pain at night, hand clumsiness, and hand weakness. It is also possible that the median nerve, the nerve that is compressed with carpal tunnel, is compressed at another
location in the arm. This can be determined through a physical therapist’s exam as well.
Once it is determined that your symptoms are related to carpal tunnel, the therapist can take some
baseline measurements of your sensation and strength to track progress and to make sure your
symptoms of nerve compression are not worsening. This also allows the therapist to screen and
determine if or when you need to be further evaluated by a surgeon.
DEFINITION: Osteoarthritis (or O/A) of the knee is most commonly referred to the “wear and tear” of the knee. This wear and tear process can occur at any joint, however most often seen at the knee joint. Osteoarthritis is basic degeneration or breaking down of the joint surfaces of the knee. The smooth cartilage lining of the knee begins to wear away over time causing bone on bone contact at the knee joint. This diagnosis is made by physical examination and X-rays by your physician.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.