Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. Two-Page Summaries of Common Medical Conditions Based on TMT 9s web-based questionnaires ( http://masterdocs.org ), this document provides short summaries of key medical information on 20 common medical conditions, with particular emphasis on diagnosis. Each summary can be provided to patients on a single 2-sided printed page.
The summaries are highly condensed versions of publicly available review articles provided by the USA National Institutes of Health, as supplemented by medical literature available as of January, 2006. The information in this document should not be considered medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified health care professional. © 2006 Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc.
(TMT). All rights reserved. A single printed or electronic copy may be made for noncommercial personal use only.
Contact TMT ( email@example.com ) for permission to distribute paper copies or to post a copy on an Internet website (permission normally provided without fee). The summaries below are for: " The commonest causes of chronic pain (approximately in order of frequency): headache, lower back pain/sciatica, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, toothache, chest pain, jaw pain, peripheral neuropathy, hand/wrist pain. " Differentiation between the different types of pain (nociceptive, neuropathic, visceral, psychogenic, mixed).
" Common ... more. less.
symptoms seen in general medical practice (dizziness, edema, feeling ill, fever, sleeping problems). " Diseases (BPH, depression, influenza, visual field defects). HEADACHE.......................................................................................................................<br><br> 2 LOWER BACK PAIN & SCIATICA................................................................................ 4 KNEE PAIN...................................................................................................................... ..<br><br> 6 SHOULDER PAIN............................................................................................................. 8 HIP PAIN....................................................................................................................... ...<br><br> 10 TOOTHACHE.................................................................................................................. 12 CHEST PAIN.................................................................................................................... 14 JAW PAIN & TMJ (TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDER)........................<br><br> 16 PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY...................................................................................... 18 WRIST/CARPAL TUNNEL PROBLEMS...................................................................... 20 DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN DIFFERENT PAIN TYPES.....................................<br><br> 22 DIZZINESS...................................................................................................................... 24 EDEMA.......................................................................................................................... ..<br><br> 26 FEELING ILL................................................................................................................... 28 FEVER.......................................................................................................................... ....<br><br> 30 SLEEP PROBLEMS......................................................................................................... 32 BPH (BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA)............................................................. 34 DEPRESSION..................................................................................................................<br><br> 36 INFLUENZA ( cFLU d)..................................................................................................... 38 VISUAL FIELDS TESTING............................................................................................ 40 Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc.<br><br> 2 HEADACHE CLASSIFICATION OF HEADACHES : Different headache experts use different classification systems for headache. The system used here describes four types of headache 3 vascular, muscle contraction (tension), traction, and inflammatory. Muscle contraction headaches are the commonest type and appear to involve the tightening or tensing of facial and neck muscles.<br><br> Migraine is a vascular headache usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. Both of these types are commoner in women. "Cluster d headaches are vascular headaches causing repeated episodes of intense pain and are commoner in men.<br><br> Traction and inflammatory headaches are symptoms of other disorders, ranging from stroke to sinus infection. CAUSES OF HEADACHE : Primary Headache Disorders : Tension headache, migraine, cluster headache. Infections: e.g., Sinusitis, Meningitis, Infection anywhere in body that causes fever, Tooth/Eye/Ear/Mouth/Throat/Nose/Face/Scalp infection, Shingles, Brain abscess.<br><br> Inflammatory disease: Trigeminal neuralgia, Temporal arteritis. Brain Disease: e.g., Head injury, Brain tumor, Stroke/TIA, Subdural hematoma, Subarachnoid hemorrhage, Subdural hemorrhage, Post-Ictal headache. Other: Spine/Neck Disease, Spinal tap, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders/TMJ, Hypoglycemia, Hypertension, Glaucoma, Depression, Other mental, psychiatric or psychological disorders.<br><br> Medications : e.g., Alcohol. Nicotine. Caffeine, Birth control pills.<br><br> Amphetamines. Chemical Agents : Dry-cleaning agents. Tar fumes.<br><br> Diesel fumes. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Acute Triggers : Stress/Anxiety.<br><br> Muscle tension. Missed meal. Weather changes.<br><br> Eye strain. Infections. Head injury.<br><br> Strong sunlight. Glaring/flickering lights. Stuffy/smoky/noisy surroundings.<br><br> Excess alcohol/tobacco. Certain foods. Chemical agents.<br><br> Holding chin down while reading. Prolonged writing in poor light. Gum chewing.<br><br> Headache Worse With : Leaning head forward without bending neck (suggests sinusitis). Bending head forward at neck plus fever (suggests meningitis). Noise.<br><br> Headache More Frequent With : Insufficient/disturbed sleep. Family /work stress. Starting/stopping medication.<br><br> Spring/Fall. Menstrual periods. FACTORS GIVING ACUTE RELIEF : Lie down in quiet darkened room.<br><br> Go to sleep. Press temporal artery. Cold packs.<br><br> Honey. Oxygen by mask. Aspirin.<br><br> Caffeine. Acetaminophen (Paracetamol). Ergotamine.<br><br> Sumatriptan. Dihydroergotamine injections. Steroids (oral/IM corticosteroids).<br><br> FACTORS REDUCING FREQUENCY : Avoid oversleeping. Regular exercise. Stress reduction.<br><br> Biofeedback. Avoid certain foods. Small, frequent meals.<br><br> Dental treatment. Antibiotics. Methysergide.<br><br> Amitriptyline. Beta blockers. Anticonvulsants.<br><br> Calcium channel blockers. Lithium carbonate. PRODROMAL SYMPTOMS : Symptoms 10-30 minutes before a migraine headache can include: Visual disturbances.<br><br> Spreading numbness. Speech difficulty. Weakness of part of the body.<br><br> Tingling of face or hands. Confusion. Vertigo (a feeling of the room spinning).<br><br> Symptoms 30 minutes to several hours before a tension headache can include: Mental fuzziness. Mood changes. Fatigue.<br><br> Fluid retention. SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH HEADACHE : General : Difficulty sleeping or sleeping less than normal. Nausea and vomiting.<br><br> Dull pain and tenderness around eyes & cheekbones (worse on leaning forwards without bending the neck 3 suggestive of sinusitis). Fever (meningitis or infections). Sweating of face.<br><br> Swelling in the affected area. Diarrhea. Increased urination.<br><br> Neurological : Unusual drowsiness. Vertigo (a feeling of the room going round and round). Dizziness (lightheadedness).<br><br> Poor muscular coordination. Seizures. Visual : Blurred vision.<br><br> Double vision. Tearing of eye. Red eye.<br><br> Droopy eyelid. Cloudy vision with halos appearing around lights. Nose/Ear : Stuffy nose.<br><br> Runny nose. Ringing in the ears. Hearing loss.<br><br> TYPES OF HEADACHE: One person can have more than one type of headache and the basis for classification is doubtful for certain types of headache. 1) MUSCLE-CONTRACTION HEADACHE Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 3 This type accounts for 90% of all headaches and feels like steady pressure applied to both sides of the head or neck (rather than throbbing).<br><br> Tension headache is a short-lasting, mild to moderate form. Chronic muscle-contraction headaches can last for weeks to years. There can be nausea and increased light/sound sensitivity.<br><br> Stress, depression, anxiety, degenerative arthritis of the neck, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) may be underlying causes. Treatment can include: Hot shower. Moist heat to back of neck.<br><br> Cervical collar. Physical therapy. Massage.<br><br> Painkillers. Biofeedback. Relaxation training.<br><br> Counseling. Cognitive restructuring. Progressive relaxation therapy.<br><br> 2) VASCULAR HEADACHES: MIGRAINE: Migraine may be associated with severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and at times disturbed vision (e.g., sensitivity to light). It may be frequent (several times a week) or only every few years. Attacks in some people may be precipitated during the immediate period after prolonged emotional stress or in relation to menstrual periods.<br><br> Migraine tends to run in families. Classical migraine has an caura d (flashing lights, zig-zag lines, transient loss of vision, speech difficulty, weakness of an arm or leg, tingling of the face or hands, or confusion) 10-30 minutes before the headache. Headache is intense, throbbing, or pounding and is felt in the forehead, temple, ear, jaw, or around the eye.<br><br> The headache starts on one side of the head but may spread to the other side later in the attack which may last for 1-2 days. Common migraine is more frequent that classical migraine. There is no aura before the attack but there may be vague symptoms for some hours before (e.g., mental fuzziness, mood changes, fatigue, and unusual retention of fluids).<br><br> The headache phase may last for 3-4 days and may be associated with diarrhea, increased urination, nausea or vomiting. The headache may be confined to only one side of the head. It may be made worse by slight exertion such as climbing stairs.<br><br> It may be felt as throbbing or pulsating. Migraine attacks may be ctriggered d several hours or days after emotional stress (sometimes waking the person up in the middle of the night), other normal emotions, fatigue, glaring or flickering lights, or changes in the weather. Certain foods such as yogurt, nuts, and lima beans may trigger migraine soon after eating.<br><br> There are a number of unusual forms of migraine (hemiplegic, visual/vertigo, ophthalmoplegic, basilar artery, benign exertional headache, status migrainosus, headache-free migraine. OTHER: Other forms of vascular headache include: toxic headache with fever, chemical headache, cluster headache, and hypertension headache. TREATMENT: Treatment depends on the underlying cause and can include: Cold packs to the head.<br><br> Press temporal artery. Medication (e.g., aspirin, caffeine or acetaminophen at start of mild attack; ergotamine or sumatriptan at start of severe attack; preventive therapy with methysergide, amitriptyline, propranolol, valproic acid, or verapamil). Biofeedback training.<br><br> Stress reduction. Avoid certain foods. Small frequent meals.<br><br> Honey or caffeine for hang-over. Avoid oversleeping at weekends. Regular exercise.<br><br> Stress reduction. 3) INFLAMMATORY & 4) TRACTION HEADACHE Traction and inflammatory headaches are symptoms of other disorders causing inflammation (usually from infection such as a sinus infection) or traction (pulling on tissues in the head, e.g. by pressure exerted by a tumor or blood from bleeding in the brain).<br><br> Treatment is the treatment of the underlying disease combined with supportive therapy of the symptoms. Inflammatory headache can be caused by: Sinusitis. Meningitis.<br><br> Oral and Dental Disorders. Trigeminal neuralgia. Shingles.<br><br> Temporal arteritis. Common cold. Flu.<br><br> Throat infection. Ear infection. Nose infection.<br><br> Brain Abscess. Traction headache can be caused by: Head Injury. Brain tumor.<br><br> Stroke . TIA ( cmini-stroke d). Disease of spine or neck.<br><br> Subdural hematoma. Subarachnoid hemorrhage. Subdural hemorrhage.<br><br> Spinal tap. 5) OTHER CAUSES OF HEADACHE: Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ or TMD). Hypoglycemia.<br><br> Glaucoma. Depression. Post-Ictal headache.<br><br> Various mental, psychiatric or psychological disorders. SITUATIONS REQUIRING PROMPT MEDICAL CARE FOR HEADACHE : Severe and of sudden onset. Associated with any of the following: stiff neck, fever, convulsions, confusion, loss of consciousness, pain in the eye or ear.<br><br> Following a blow on the head. Persistent in a person who was previously headache free. Interferes with normal life.<br><br> Recurring (if in a child). The above summary deals with headache in adults. However, many of the causes of headache in adults can cause headache in children.<br><br> Headache problems increase during adolescence (about ½ of schoolchildren). The information above should not be considered medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified health care professional. It is based largely on the following NIH articles (last updated November 2005): http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/headache/detail_headache.htm http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/headache/headache.htm .<br><br> To answer TMT's Headache questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/headache/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 4 LOWER BACK PAIN & SCIATICA CAUSES Pain in the lower back may come from the spine, muscles, nerves or other structures in the lower back. It may also radiate from structures outside the lower back, such as the mid/upper back, groin, testicles or ovaries.<br><br> Lower back pain is very common 3 it is the second commonest reason that Americans see their doctor. It accounts for over one-third of all patients with chronic pain seen in a primary care setting. The actual structures involved are rarely identified, but can involve muscle spasm, small fractures to the spine from osteoporosis, ruptured or herniated disks, etc.<br><br> Unusual but important causes of lower back pain include cancer, infection, kidney stone, torsion of the testis (twisted testicle), or problems of the uterus or ovaries. About one half of cases of chronic lower back pain are accompanied by sciatica. Most cases of sciatica are caused by irritation of the L5 or S1 nerve roots as they exit the lower spine.<br><br> Uncommon causes of sciatica include traumatic injury to the buttocks or thigh, or pressure from a tumor, abscess or local bleeding. Sciatica-type symptoms can occasionally come from irritation of the nerves lower down or from other structures in the leg. Most cases of sciatica are confined to the lateral buttocks and the back/outside of the thigh above the knee; rarely, sciatica can also be felt below the knee and even down to the toes.<br><br> Most lower back pain is cnociceptive d pain and usually represents pain signals coming from muscle spasm, damaged or inflamed intervertebral disks, small fractures to the spine from osteoporosis, or other soft tissue injuries. Sciatica pain is cneuropathic d pain and represents pain signals coming directly from irritated nerves, usually at the nerve roots in the lower back; it mainly occurs in the buttocks and back/outside of the thigh (although it can occasionally occur in the back itself or further down the leg and foot). It is important to distinguish between nociceptive and neuropathic pain because different drugs are effective in each type of pain.<br><br> SYMPTOMS Symptoms often begin after you lift a heavy object, move suddenly, sit in one position for a long time, or have a traumatic injury in the area. Lower back pain ("nociceptive" pain) and sciatica ("neuropathic" pain) usually have different qualities. Lower back pain can vary from intermittent discomfort through continuous severe pain and the pain may be dull or sharp.<br><br> Sciatica pain may be associated with pins & needles, a hot/burning feeling, numbness, a feeling like electric shocks, or pain that is made worse with the touch of clothing or bedsheets. The figure to the right is a pain diagram of pain outlines and points of worst pain (red spots) from a patient with lower back pain and L5 root sciatica in a large web-based study with computer-generated composite images of pain patterns. ( http://masterdocs.com/drawing_analysis.htm ) Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc.<br><br> 5 MANAGEMENT Most cases respond to conservative treatment - reducing physical activity for a few days; ice for 24-72 hours, then heat for a few days; over-the-counter painkillers; sleeping curled up with a pillow between your legs. Recent (Jan 2006) work from Johns Hopkins suggests low-level heat wrap therapy (e.g., ThermaCare HeatWrap) as an adjunct or alternative to painkillers in acute lower back pain After symptoms largely resolve, your doctor may suggest stretching and strengthening exercises and after 2-3 weeks gradual resumption of your normal exercise. You should avoid activities that involve heavy lifting or twisting of the back for the first 6 weeks, and should try to avoid in the future those activities that have given you back pain/sciatica episodes in the past.<br><br> SYMPTOMS THAT REQUIRE MORE URGENT MANAGEMENT Call 911 (in America) if you have lost bowel or bladder control in association with your lower back pain/sciatica. You should promptly contact your doctor if your symptoms include: unexplained fever with back pain; back pain after a severe blow or fall; redness or swelling on the back or spine; pain traveling down your legs below the knee; weakness or numbness in buttocks, thigh, leg, foot, or pelvis; burning with urination or blood in your urine; worse pain when you lie down or pain that awakens you at night; very sharp pain; or unintentional loss of weight. Also call your doctor if you are on steroids or intravenous drugs, if this is your first episode of back pain, if this episode is significantly worse than last time, or if it has lasted longer than four weeks.<br><br> Anatomy of Lower Back L4, L5 & S1 Sciatica Distribution The information above is based in part on the following articles provided by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) of the US Government's National Institutes of Health: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003108.htm , http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm , http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000686.htm . To answer TMT 9s Lower Back/Sciatica Questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/backsciaticapain/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 6 KNEE PAIN SYMPTOMS WITH VARIOUS KNEE DISORDERS The same symptom may occur in several knee diseases, and not all symptoms typical of a particular disease may be present in an individual person with the condition.<br><br> In the following descriptions, "below" the knee means towards the lower leg, and "underneath" means further inside the body: ARTHRITIS (usually osteoarthritis): Pain. Swelling. Decrease in knee motion.<br><br> Morning Stiffness (lessens as person moves around). Joint locks or clicks when knee is bent or straightened. CHONDROMALACIA (softening of knee cap cartilage): Dull pain around or under the knee cap that worsens when walking down stairs or hills.<br><br> Pain when climbing stairs. Pain when knee bears weight as it straightens. MENISCUS INJURY (tearing of cartilage on inside or outside of knee): Injury occurred when twisting (rotating) knee while bearing weight.<br><br> Pain particularly when knee is straightened. Swelling. Clicking of knee.<br><br> Locking of knee. Knee feels weak. COLLATERAL LIGAMENT INJURIES (ligaments on inside and outside of knee): Injury occurred from blow to outside of knee (medial collateral ligament injury).<br><br> Popping sound on injury. Knee buckles sideways. Swelling.<br><br> TENDINITIS (inflammation of a tendon that connects muscle and bone; sometimes spelled ctendonitis d): Problem developed after repeated dancing, cycling or running. Problem developed after repeated jumping (e.g., playing basketball). Tenderness at point where tendon meets bone.<br><br> Pain during running, hurried walking or running. Difficulty bending, straightening or lifting the leg. One type of tendinitis (called iliotibial band syndrome) may result in an ache or burning feeling on the outside of knee during activity, pain radiating up the outside of the thigh, and a snap when the knee is bent and then straightened.<br><br> BURSITIS (inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone): The commonest knee bursitis is prepatellar bursitis (commonly known as "housemaid's knee") in which kneeling on the floor causes pain in the knee; there may be obvious swelling between the knee cap and the skin. CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURIES (ligaments on front or back of knee): Injury occurred with sudden twisting motion (e.g., feet planted one way and knees turned another) 3 anterior cruciate ligament. Injury from direct impact (e.g., auto accident or football tackle) 3 posterior cruciate ligament.<br><br> Popping sound on injury. Leg buckles when you try to stand on it. TENDON TEAR : Injury occurred while trying to break a fall.<br><br> Pain above the knee cap (quadriceps tendon). Pain below the knee cap (patellar tendon). BAKER'S CYST : Discomfort/Pain and swelling at the back of the knee.<br><br> If the cyst (swelling) ruptures, pain in the back of the knee can travel down the calf. DISLOCATION OF KNEE CAP : Pain, tenderness and swelling of the knee. The knee cap (the patella, a triangular bone at the front of your knee) is displaced to the outside of the knee.<br><br> The knee cap can be moved excessively from side to side. OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSECANS (loss of blood supply to bone beneath a joint): Family history of same condition. Weakness of knee.<br><br> Sharp pain in knee. Locking of knee joint. PLICA SYNDROME (irritation of synovial membrane bands around a joint): Swelling.<br><br> Weakness of knee. Locking of knee joint. Clicking sensation.<br><br> Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 7 The knees provide stable support for the body and allow the legs to bend and straighten. There are two general kinds of knee problems: mechanical (e.g., from injury) and inflammatory (e.g., from rheumatoid arthritis).<br><br> ANATOMY : The point at which two or more bones are connected is called a joint. In a joint, cartilage acts as padding, ligaments are bands that join bones to each other, tendons connect muscle to bone, and muscles bend and straighten joints. The knee joint is the junction of three bones: the femur (thigh bone or upper leg bone), the tibia (shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg), and the patella (knee cap).<br><br> The patella is 2 to 3 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long. It sits over the other bones at the front of the knee joint and slides when the leg moves. It protects the knee and gives leverage to muscles.<br><br> The ends of the bones are covered with cartilage. The medial and lateral menisci are pads that separate the tibia and the femur and act as shock absorbers. Two groups of knee muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings) are at the front and back of the thigh.<br><br> The collateral and cruciate ligaments connect the femur and tibia and strengthen the knee. DIAGNOSIS : The patient is questioned about the pain, associated symptoms, knee injury, and any conditions that may cause knee pain. A physical examination checks knee movement and knee tenderness.<br><br> Additional tests can include x-ray, CT scan, bone scan, MRI, arthroscopy, or biopsy. Extensive injuries and diseases of the knees are usually treated by an orthopaedic surgeon. Nonsurgical treatment of arthritis of the knee is usually done by a rheumatologist.<br><br> PREVENTION OF KNEE PROBLEMS: Many knee problems can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight, wearing shoes that fit and are in good condition, and using orthotics (shoe inserts) to correct flat or overpronated feet. Many people recommend warming up and doing stretches before exercise, doing exercises to strengthen the knee muscles, and avoiding sudden changes in the intensity of exercise. SUITABLE EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE WITH KNEE PROBLEMS: Range-of-motion exercises help maintain normal joint movement and relieve stiffness.<br><br> This type of exercise helps maintain or increase flexibility. Strengthening exercises help keep or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints affected by arthritis.<br><br> Aerobic or endurance exercises improve function of the heart and circulation and help control weight. This summary is based largely on the following article provided by the U.S. Government's National Institutes of Health (NIH): and you are advised to read this article for definitive information on this subject: http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/kneeprobs/kneeqa.htm .<br><br> To answer TMT's Knee Pain questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/paininknee/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 8 SHOULDER PAIN CAUSES OF SHOULDER PAIN Pain in your shoulder may come from the shoulder joint, muscles, nerves or other structures in or around your shoulder, or may radiate from structures outside your shoulder. Some of the causes are: " Rotator cuff tendinitis (the most common cause) in which the tendons get trapped under the bony arch of the shoulder and become inflamed.<br><br> This can occur from general wear and tear as you get older, from constant shoulder use (e.g., baseball pitching), or an injury. It is sometimes called impingement syndrome. The shoulder has four "rotator cuff" tendons that attach muscles to bone and stabilize the shoulder (the most mobile joint in the body) and allow a wide range of motion in the shoulder.<br><br> When these tendons become inflamed or torn, or when bony changes occur around them, they may cause pain on trying to move your arm above your head, behind the back, or straight out in front. " Arthritis (gradual narrowing of the joints and loss of protective cartilage). " Bursitis (inflammation of a fluid-filled sac over or underneath a tendon).<br><br> " Fractures of shoulder bones. " Frozen Shoulder (adhesive capsulitis - shoulder is stiff and movement painful and difficult). " Biceps Tendinitis (tendinitis of biceps tendon).<br><br> " Dislocation of the shoulder (ball-shaped head of the humerus comes out of its socket). " Separation of the shoulder (torn ligaments at the joint where the collarbone [clavicle] meets the shoulder blade [scapula] can allow the outer end of the clavicle to slip out of place). " Other Trauma to the shoulder (e.g.<br><br> torn rotator cuff). " Heart Attack : An unusual but important cause of shoulder pain is referred pain from a heart attack (in which there may also be pain in the chest, jaw or neck, and shortness of breath, dizziness or sweating). " Abdominal Conditions: Gall bladder disease may cause pain at the tip of the right shoulder.<br><br> Other abdominal conditions may cause shoulder pain (e.g., liver abscess, abdominal bleeding, diaphragmatic irritation or ectopic pregnancy). Shoulder pain from a heart attack or abdominal conditions is creferred d pain, which is pain felt in a part of the body far from the location of the condition causing the pain. " Fibromyalgia Patients with fibromyalgia may have pain in the shoulder as well as many other parts of the body.<br><br> SHOULDER ANATOMY The shoulder has bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The three bones of the shoulder are the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and humerus (upper arm bone). The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is between the acromion (part of the scapula that forms the highest point of the shoulder) and the clavicle.<br><br> The glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint), is a ball-and-socket joint that allows forward and backward at the shoulder, and the arm to rotate and hinge out and up away from the body. (The "ball" is the top, rounded portion of the upper arm bone or humerus; the "socket," or glenoid, is a dish-shaped part of the outer edge of the scapula into which the ball fits.) The capsule is a soft tissue envelope lined by a thin smooth synovial membrane that encircles the glenohumeral joint. (see diagram).<br><br> Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 9 SYMPTOMS WITH SHOULDER PAIN Shoulder pain is commoner with increased wear and tear of the shoulder as you get older. Onset of symptoms is usually gradual unless there is a traumatic injury to the shoulder area.<br><br> The pain may get worse if the arm is raised overhead or lifted away from the body. Pain localized to the front, side or top of the shoulder may reflect damage or inflammation of the structures in that part of the shoulder. Pain that is also felt far from the shoulder or in other joints suggests something other than purely shoulder disease.<br><br> Symptoms that may be associated with specific conditions include: " ROTATOR CUFF TENDINITIS, OTHER TENDINITIS & BURSITIS : These conditions may occur alone or in combination and be associated with gradual onset of pain in the upper shoulder or upper third of the arm that is worse on lifting the arm above the head or away from the side of the body. Note that rotator cuff tendinitis is sometimes called impingement syndrome. Tendinitis is sometimes spelled tendonitis.<br><br> Tendinitis of the biceps tendon may result in pain on the front or side of the shoulder that may extend to the forearm that is made worse when the arm is forcefully pushed upward overhead. " FROZEN SHOULDER (Adhesive Capsulitis) : Shoulder is tight and stiff and movement is very difficult and the range of motion is very limited. Symptoms may be worse at night.<br><br> " ARTHRITIS : Pain is worst at the top of the shoulder (where the clavicle meets the scapula). Limited range of motion. Swelling around the joint.<br><br> Other joints may be involved. " DISLOCATION : Pain following a backward pull on the arm. Arm appears out of position.<br><br> Muscle spasm, swelling, numbness, weakness and bruising may develop. " SEPARATION : Blow to shoulder or falling on outstretched hand followed by pain, tenderness and swelling where the clavicle meets the scapula. " TORN ROTATOR CUFF : Pain over the deltoid muscle (top and outer side of shoulder) on raising arm above the head or out from the side.<br><br> Shoulder feels weak. Click or pop when shoulder is moved. " FRACTURE : Severe pain after an injury.<br><br> Bones may appear out of position. Redness and bruising. MANAGEMENT OF SHOULDER PAIN For acute shoulder pain, try ice wrapped in a cloth and applied for 15 minutes every half hour for several hours.<br><br> Continue 15-minute ice applications 3-4 times a day for 2-3 days if symptoms persist. Avoid strenuous use of the shoulder for a few days and then work on strengthening your shoulder muscles (e.g. lifting light weights).<br><br> Over-the-counter painkillers may help during an acute episode. SYMPTOMS THAT REQUIRE MORE URGENT MANAGEMENT Call 911 (in America) if you have sudden pressure or crushing pain in the shoulder, especially if it is also present in the chest, jaw or neck, or if it is accompanied by shortness of breath, dizziness or sweating (since this might indicate a heart attack). Emergency treatment is also needed if you have swelling, bruising or bleeding after a direct blow to the shoulder.<br><br> You should contact your doctor if your shoulder pain is accompanied by unexplained fever, redness or swelling around the shoulder, or if the pain persists for more than 1-2 weeks. The information above is based in part on the following articles provided by the US Government's National Institutes of Health: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003171.htm and http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/shoulderprobs/shoulderqa.htm . You can read about the many causes of chronic pain at: http://masterdocs.com/pain_diagnoses.htm .<br><br> To answer TMT's Shoulder Pain questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/shoulderpain/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 10 HIP PAIN Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint and is a common complaint. The diagnosis in an individual case depends on such factors as age (e.g., osteoarthritis in older people), acute injury (e.g., impact sports), or chronic overuse (e.g., high intensity physical training).<br><br> Finding the cause of hip pain can be difficult because the multiple structures in the hip can produce similar pain syndromes, and because hip pain can come from deep structures that can 9t be felt by the examiner. Pain arising from the hip may be felt directly over the hip or sometimes in the middle of your thigh. Some pain felt in the hip may arise from a back problem, male and female sexual organs, the intestinal tract, the urinary tract or vascular structures.<br><br> The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that connects the acetabulum (parts of the ischium, ilium and pubis bones that make up the pelvis) and the head of the femur (thigh bone). It is surrounded by cartilage, tendons, bursae, muscles, nerves and other structures. CAUSES Arthritis : Osteoarthritis commonly affects the hip and is often felt in the front of the thigh as well as in the area of the hip joint.<br><br> It is the most common cause of hip pain in patients over 50 years of age. Fairly steady pain on activity becomes more severe as the disease advances, and a limp may develop. Pain is worse on internal rotation and extension of the hip, and the range of hip motion becomes reduced.<br><br> Fracture of the neck of the femur : This most commonly results from a fall in an elderly woman. In people with osteoporosis, a hip fracture can result from everyday activities. If a hip fracture is suspected (e.g., if you have fallen or injured your hip, if the hip is misshapen, badly bruised, or bleeding, or if you are unable to move your hip or bear any weight) you urgently need medical evaluation.<br><br> Less than half of those with hip fractures return to their former level of activity. In the days or weeks following a hip fracture, mobility is reduced and the patient is at risk of complications such as pneumonia and leg thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Trochanteric bursitis : This is inflammation of the bursa that sits outside the hip joint.<br><br> Characteristically, pain from this condition occurs on getting up from a chair. Activities such as walking, climbing stairs and driving can also cause pain. Referred pain : Pain arising in the lower back can cause pain in the hip area, e.g., from sciatica.<br><br> Chronic Tendinitis : As with tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) in other joints, chronic overuse of the hip can cause pain from tendinitis. Chronic tendonitis may develop gradually with increasing activity intolerance in a setting of relative overuse. There may be local swelling, loss of flexibility during passive stretch, and pain and weakness during muscle contraction against resistance.<br><br> In iliopsoas tendonitis ( csnapping hip d), a "snap" or "clunk" may be heard over the tendon at the hip flexor crease as the hip moves from flexion to extension. Stress fractures : These can occur in athletes such as distance runners, jumpers, ballet and aerobic dancers, and triathletes who undergo high levels of training. Stress fractures can also be secondary to steroid therapy, or deficiencies of calcium, vitamin D, or estrogen (postmenopausal, athletic amenorrhea).<br><br> Femoral Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 11 stress fractures can progress to displacement and osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Athletes with these injuries usually have pain in the hip or front of the thigh that occurs late in the training activity, and as it progresses limits activity and occurs with any weight-bearing or at rest.<br><br> Pain and limitation on internal rotation of the hip and pain on hopping may progress to limping and night pain. Aseptic Necrosis : This results from a defective blood supply to the hip. It is more common with long term steroid therapy, sickle cell anemia, high alcohol intake and previous injury to the hip.<br><br> Acute Soft Tissue Injury to Hip Area : Strain of a muscle (especially the rectus abdominis, iliopsoas, adductor longus and rectus femoris muscles), sprain (of a ligament) or contusion (bruising) can result from acute injuries to the hip area. Acute muscle contraction or stretch injuries generally present abruptly with pain that increases with continued activity, swelling and bruising. The affected muscle or tendon can be identified based on the anatomic location of the pain, and the pain and weakness on muscle testing.<br><br> These injuries should improve with rest and conservative treatment. Inflammation & Infection : Hip pain may be the presenting complaint in inflammatory diseases (e.g., ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome, psoriatic arthropathy, enteropathic arthropathy, gout, pseudogout, rheumatoid arthritis) and infections such as viral or septic arthritis. Hip pain tends to be worse in the morning and improves with activity.<br><br> There may be other joint involvement, tendon pain, pain at the site of muscle insertion, skin disease, eye problems, sexually transmitted diseases, inflammatory bowel disease and a family history of inflammatory disease. Meralgia Paresthetica : This is caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve and causes numbness and burning pain over the outside of the thigh. It can be related to pregnancy, tight clothing or belts, and obesity.<br><br> Hernias : Some femoral and inguinal hernias can be felt. Other hernias ( csports hernias d) cannot be felt and may cause chronic groin pain in athletes such as soccer, rugby and ice-hockey players. Iliotibial Band Syndrome : Pain or aching on the outer side of the knee and hip.<br><br> Other causes of hip pain include nerve entrapment (with pain/numbness in the distribution of a nerve 3 e.g., obturator or ilioinguinal nerve). acetabular labral cartilage tear (pain in the groin and front of thigh on physical activity and is made worse by extending the hip; hip can "catch" or "give way"). osteitis pubis involves erosion of the symphysis pubis bone with midline pubic pain that radiates to the hip and is worse with striding and pivoting.<br><br> Unusual causes of hip pain include piriformis syndrome (dull pain in the back of the hip that may mimic sciatica; history of track competition or prolonged sitting), dislocation of the hip (potentially serious complications), sacroiliac joint syndrome , osteoid osteoma (benign bone tumor) and transient osteoporosis of the hip . TREATMENT & PREVENTION: Hip pain can be lessened for many people by avoiding those activities that cause the pain, and by taking pain killers such as acetaminophen. Where pain is only present in one hip, it may help to sleep on the non- painful side with a pillow between the legs.<br><br> After the pain improves, gradual exercise (e.g., working with a physical therapist) or swimming is helpful. You can reduce the chance of having hip problems by avoiding walking or running on an uneven surface, stretching exercises before and after exercise, avoiding falls, wearing hip pads for contact sports, and reducing your risk for osteoporosis. In some cases, more intensive medical therapy or even surgery such as hip replacement may be required.<br><br> The preceding information is based in part on the following hip pain article provided by the US Government's National Institutes of Health ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003179.htm ). To answer TMT's Hip Pain questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/hippain/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 12 TOOTHACHE Toothache is pain in or around a tooth.<br><br> It is usually caused by tooth decay. Other causes are infection (e.g., tooth abscess) and referred pain from a disorder in other locations (e.g., earache, jaw or mouth injury, heart attack or sinusitis). Tooth decay is often caused by poor dental hygiene but a tendency to tooth decay may also be inherited.<br><br> Good oral hygiene (regular flossing, fluoride toothpaste, regular professional cleaning) helps to prevent tooth decay. A low sugar diet, sealants and fluoride applications by the dentist may be recommended. While waiting to see your dentist for dental pain, pain killers may help.<br><br> ANATOMY OF THE MOUTH AND TEETH : 7 QUESTIONS ABOUT TOOTHACHE The following seven questions (Yes or No answers) are used at the UK NHS website to suggest the underlying cause of toothache: Question 1: Toothache is severe and worse with biting: Question 2: Toothache is intermittent and relieved with painkillers: Question 3: Toothache is affected by sweet foods: Question 4: You have had a recent dental filling: Question 5: Toothache is sensitive to hot and cold: Question 6: Toothache is worse with coughing: Question 7: You have a foul smell in the mouth: Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 13 SUGGESTED CAUSES BASED ON ANSWERS TO THE 7 QUESTIONS YES to Question 1 : You may have an abscess beneath the tooth and may need antibiotics to relieve the infection, or you may have fractured a tooth or filling. Call your dentist.<br><br> YES to Question 2 & NO to Question 1 : You probably have decay in a tooth or under a filling which is affecting the nerve in the tooth. Call your dentist. YES to Question 3 & NO to Questions 1 & 2 : You probably have a decay or a leaking filling.<br><br> Call your dentist for an appointment. YES to Question 5 & NO to Questions 1 - 3 : You are probably suffering from tooth sensitivity. Try using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.<br><br> If the problem does not go away in 2-3 weeks of use, call your dentist for an appointment. YES to Question 4 and NO to Questions 1 - 3 & 5 : Some slight discomfort may occur after a filling. It should not be necessary to take painkillers.<br><br> If pain is severe or persistent or you feel the bite on the tooth is chigh d call your dentist to ask him/her to review the filling. YES to Question 6 & NO to Questions 1 3 5 : You may have sinusitis, an infection in the spaces in the bones of your face. Sometimes painkillers and an inhalant help.<br><br> If the pain persists for more than a few days call your dentist or your doctor. YES to Question 7 & NO to Questions 1-6 : Bad breath (halitosis) is usually caused by gum disease (but may be caused by other conditions such as sinus problems and intestinal disorders). Do not just mask the problem with mouthwashes and breath fresheners.<br><br> NO to Questions 1-7 (all Questions): Take painkillers according to the manufacturer 9s instructions (READ THESE). Avoid drinks that are too hot or too cold until your dentist has examined your teeth. Avoid food and drinks that contain sugar.<br><br> Avoid hard and tough foods if biting are uncomfortable. Contact your dentist as soon as possible. If you answer YES to question 1, your dentist may ask you if heat but not cold increases the pain (in which case a root canal or even extraction may be needed).<br><br> If you need antibiotics, your dentist may also recommend endodontic treatment to remove an abscess. Do not use the above information as medical or dental advice. The information is derived from the recommendations of the UK National Health Service and may not include the cause of your own pain.<br><br> Only your dentist or health care provider can provide a reliable diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment. The preceding information is based on toothache articles provided by the US Government's National Institutes of Health ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003067.htm - updated August 12, 2005), and the UK National Health Service ( http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/selfhelp/symptoms/toothache/start.asp ). To answer TMT's Toothache questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/toothache/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc.<br><br> 14 CHEST PAIN Chest pain is discomfort or pain that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen. There are many possible causes of chest pain. Some causes are mildly inconvenient, while other causes (such as a heart attack) can be life-threatening.<br><br> Any organ or tissue in your chest can be the source of pain, including your heart, lungs, esophagus, breast, muscles, ribs, tendons, or nerves. SOME OF THE CAUSES OF CHEST PAIN " Digestive Causes : indigestion, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux (when acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus), peptic ulcer (burns if your stomach is empty and feels better with food), gallbladder disease (pain often gets worse after a fatty meal). " Musculo-Skeletal Causes : strain or inflammation of the muscles and tendons between the ribs (chest wall is often tender when you press a finger in the painful area; can often be treated at home with painkillers, ice, heat, and rest).<br><br> " Cardiac Causes : stable angina (heart-related chest pain that usually begins at a predictable level of activity), unstable angina (heart-related chest pain that happens unexpectedly after light activity, occurs at rest or is of recent onset), or heart attack (see below). " Respiratory Causes : asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax or pleurisy (lung-related chest pain that often worsens when you take a deep breath or cough and usually feels sharp). " Emotional Causes : panic attacks, or anxiety with rapid breathing.<br><br> LOCATION OF CHEST PAIN WITH CORONARY DISEASE Chest pain because of coronary disease (e.g., heart attack or angina) may be felt in the areas shown in black in the diagram to the right. It is most typically felt beneath the lower and middle of the breast bone, but may be felt in other areas: front of chest , neck , jaw , teeth , shoulder/inside of arm (most commonly on the left), and upper middle abdomen . Occasionally, chest pain from coronary disease is felt between the shoulder blades .<br><br> A 2006 advisory from the c Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs d National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute public awareness campaign encourages those with unusual or persistent pain or discomfort in those areas to seek medical treatment as quickly as possible and to utilize 911. Prompt action is particularly important in those with known coronary disease, risk factors for coronary disease, or in the coronary-prone age group (especially over 50 years of age). Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc.<br><br> 15 WHEN URGENT MEDICAL ATTENTION IS NEEDED " Sudden onset of chest pain that lasts longer than 5 minutes or so, and has one or more of the following characteristics: a) is crushing, squeezing, tightening, or a feeling of pressure, b) radiates to the jaw, left arm, or between the shoulder blades, or c) is accompanied by nausea, dizziness, sweating, a racing heart, or shortness of breath. (Could be a heart attack ) " Chest pain, in someone known to have angina, that suddenly becomes more intense, that starts being brought on by lighter activity or at rest, or lasts longer than usual. (Could be unstable angina ) " Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially when the person's movement has been limited for a few days.<br><br> (Could be pulmonary embolism resulting from a blood clot in the leg) In the USA, almost 5 million people go to Emergency Rooms each year complaining of chest pain. Of those 5 million, about 2 million are admitted to rule out acute coronary disease. Of the 2 million admitted, about 40% are found on evaluation to be free of coronary disease.<br><br> It is often difficult to identify without special tests if chest pain felt under the breastbone is caused by coronary disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), since the symptoms may be similar and both diseases often exist in the same person. In people in whom a coronary event has been excluded but in whom chest pain of unclear cause continues, doctors sometimes use the cPPI test d in which fairly high dose protein pump inhibitor therapy is given twice a day for eight weeks to reduce secretion of stomach acid and the effect on chest pain symptoms noted. CHEST PAIN FROM HEART DISEASE IS LESS LIKELY WITH: " Normal weight.<br><br> " Control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. " Avoidance of cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke. " Eating a diet low in saturated and hydrogenated fats and cholesterol, and high in starches, fiber, fruits, and vegetables.<br><br> " Exercising 3 hours per week or more (such as 30 minutes per day, several days a week - even ordinary walking done regularly is good.). " Reducing stress. The preceding information is based on chest pain articles provided by the US Government's National Institutes of Health ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003079.htm , and http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Angina/Angina_WhatIs.html ).<br><br> To answer TMT's Chest Pain questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/chestpain/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 16 JAW PAIN & TMJ (TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISORDER) TMJ is the common name for a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ) and the muscles that control chewing. Another name used is "TMD", which stands for temporomandibular disorders.<br><br> Generally, discomfort from TMJ is occasional and temporary, often occurring in cycles, and the pain eventually goes away with little or no treatment. Only a small percentage of people with TMJ pain develop significant, long-term symptoms. TMJ affects about twice as many women as men.<br><br> ANATOMY The temporomandibular joint connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone (at the side of the head). If you place your fingers just in front of your ears and open your mouth, you can feel the joint on each side of your head. The normal jaw can move smoothly up and down and side to side, enabling us to talk, chew and yawn.<br><br> Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control its position and movement. When we open our mouths, the rounded ends of the lower jaw, called condyles, glide along the joint socket of the temporal bone. The condyles slide back to their original position when we close our mouths.<br><br> To keep this motion smooth, a soft disc lies between the condyle and the temporal bone. This disc absorbs shocks to the TMJ from chewing and other movements. TMJ CATEGORIES A person may have one or more of these three TMJ categories at the same time.<br><br> " Myofascial pain , the most common form of TMJ, which is discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function and the neck and shoulder muscles. " Internal derangement of the joint , meaning a dislocated jaw or displaced disc, or injury to the condyle. " Degenerative joint disease , such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.<br><br> CAUSES OF TMJ " Injury to the Jaw or Temporomandibular Joint : This is the most clearly established cause of TMJ. " Mental or Physical Stress : Some experts believe that mental or physical stress may cause or worsen TMJ. " Other Causes : Other causes of TMJ are less clear.<br><br> The latest evidence suggests that TMJ is not caused by a bad bite (malocclusion), orthodontic treatment (e.g., braces and headgear), gum chewing, or jaw clicking or popping. SIGNS & SYMPTOMS " Pain , particularly in the chewing muscles and/or jaw joint, is the most common symptom. " Limited movement or locking of the jaw .<br><br> " Radiating pain in the face, neck or shoulders . Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 17 " Painful clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth.<br><br> " A sudden, major change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together . " Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and other symptoms may sometimes be related to TMJ. " However, occasional discomfort in the jaw joint or chewing muscles is quite common and is generally not a cause for concern.<br><br> Researchers are working to clarify TMJ symptoms, with the goal of developing easier and better methods of diagnosis and improved treatment. DIAGNOSIS Because the exact causes and symptoms of TMJ are not clear, there is no widely accepted, standard diagnostic test. However, a simple physical examination of the face and jaw usually provides useful diagnostic information.<br><br> Checking the patient's dental and medical history is very important. Regular dental X-rays and TMJ x-rays (transcranial radiographs) are not generally useful for diagnosis. Other x-ray techniques such as arthrography, MRI or tomography are only occasionally needed.<br><br> Get a second opinion before any expensive diagnostic test. TREATMENT The key words to keep in mind about TMJ treatment are "conservative" and "reversible." Conservative treatments are as simple as possible and are used most often because most patients do not have severe, degenerative TMJ. Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw or joint.<br><br> Reversible treatments do not cause permanent, or irreversible, changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth. Because most TMJ problems are temporary and do not get worse, simple treatment is all that is usually needed to relieve discomfort. Self-care practices, for example, eating soft foods, applying heat or ice packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements (such as wide yawning, loud singing and gum chewing) are useful in easing TMJ symptoms.<br><br> Learning special techniques for relaxing and reducing stress may also help patients deal with pain that often comes with TMJ problems. Other conservative, reversible treatments include physical therapy you can do at home, which focuses on gentle muscle stretching and relaxing exercises, and short-term use of muscle-relaxing and anti-inflammatory drugs. Short-term use of a splint (bite plate) may sometimes help.<br><br> Although more studies are needed on the safety and effectiveness of most TMJ treatments, scientists strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible before considering invasive treatments. The preceding information is based in part on the following articles provided by the US Government's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/temporomandibularjointdysfunction.html ) and by the TMJ Association ( http://www.tmj.org/ ). To answer TMT's Jaw Pain/TMJ questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/tmj/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc.<br><br> 18 PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the nerves that lie outside the brain and spinal cord. It can cause pain, loss of sensation, and inability to control muscles (sensory and motor nerve disease), as well as abnormal blood pressure, digestion problems, and loss of other basic body processes (disease of the autonomic nerves that control blood vessels, intestines, and other organs). Damage may be to a single nerve/nerve group (mononeuropathy) or multiple nerves (polyneuropathy).<br><br> CAUSES Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by many diseases: " Diabetes most commonly causes symmetrical, bilateral (both left and right sided) pain in the feet, ankles and lower leg. This commonly begins in both feet and moves progressively up each leg as the disease progresses and symptoms become more severe. " Lower back disorders can cause sciatica pain from damage to the sciatic nerve as it exits the spine.<br><br> " Carpal tunnel syndrome involves compression of the median nerve in the wrist and results in pain and other symptoms in the hand and wrist. " Chronic, excessive alcohol intake can also cause symmetrical, bilateral pain in the feet, ankles and lower leg. " Other causes of peripheral neuropathy (in alphabetic order) include : AIDS, Amyloid disorders, Cancer, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Colorado tick fever, Dietary deficiencies (especially vitamin B-12), Diphtheria, Exposure to toxic compounds, Friedreich's ataxia, Guillain- Barre syndrome, Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, Hepatitis, Hereditary disorders, HIV infection without development of AIDS, Industrial agents -- especially solvents, Infectious or inflammatory conditions, Ischemia (decreased oxygen/decreased blood flow), Leprosy, Lyme disease, Medication-induced neuropathy, Miscellaneous causes, Nitrous oxide, Polyarteritis nodosa, Post-herpetic neuralgia, Prolonged exposure to cold temperature, Prolonged pressure on a peripheral nerve, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Sjogren 9s syndrome, Sniffing glue, Syphilis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Systemic or metabolic disorders, Traumatic injury to a nerve, Uremia (kidney failure).<br><br> SYMPTOMS The possible symptoms depend on which type of nerve is affected. " Sensory Nerve Symptoms : Pins and needles, hot/burning, numb, like electric shocks, worsening with the touch of clothing or bedsheets. " Motor Nerve Symptoms : Weakness, loss of muscle bulk, loss of dexterity, cramps, lack of muscle control, paralysis, muscle twitching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, falling from legs buckling or tripping over toes, lack of dexterity such as being unable to button a shirt.<br><br> " Autonomic Nerve Symptoms : Blurred vision, decreased sweating, dizziness/fainting on standing up, heat intolerance with exertion, nausea or vomiting after meals, abdominal bloating, feeling full after a small meal, diarrhea, constipation, unintentional weight loss, urinary incontinence, feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, difficulty starting urination, male impotence. CALCULATION OF A NEUROPATHY SCORE The Neuropathy Symptom Score (Portenoy et al, 2005) is calculated by assigning a value of +1 to each "Yes" answer to five pain characteristics (pins&needles, hot/burning, numb, like electric shocks, worse with touch of clothing/bedsheets) and a value of -1 to a "Yes" answer to the question about whether pain is limited to the joints. A score of 4 or 5 means "Strongly Consider" Neuropathy.<br><br> A score of 2 or 3 means "Consider" Neuropathy. A score of 0 or 1 means Neuropathy is "Less Likely". A score of -1 means Neuropathy is "Not Likely".<br><br> See Portenoy et al, Presentation at American Pain Society 2005 Annual Meeting, "A New Validated Patient-Completed Neuropathic Pain Screening Tool for Use in the Primary Care Setting". Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 19 MEDICAL TESTING Tests that your doctor may do may include electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction tests, nerve biopsy, and blood or other screening blood tests to screen for medical conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy.<br><br> MANAGEMENT OF PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY The symptoms and functional disabilities of peripheral neuropathy can be hard to relieve. " General care can include: treat the underlying medical problem (e.g., diabetes or alcohol intake), physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthopedic interventions, wheelchairs, braces, splints, prevent infection of feet and other affected areas, orthotics devices, safety measures (e.g., railings, various appliances, remove obstacles such as loose rugs, adequate lighting during the day and night lights, test water temperature before bathing, use protective shoes (no open toes or high heels), check shoes often for grit or rough spots that can injure the feet, avoid prolonged pressure on affected areas (e.g., leaning on elbows, crossing knees), adjust your position frequently, pad vulnerable areas, use frames to keep bedclothes off tender body parts, healthy habits (optimal weight, avoid exposure to toxins, physician-supervised exercise program, eat a balanced diet, correct vitamin deficiencies, limit or avoid alcohol consumption). " Medications can provide partial relief of sensory symptoms: Over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen that are effective in the more common musculo-skeletal (nociceptive) pain usually have little effect in neuropathic pain.<br><br> However, there are other medications can reduce neuropathic pain and symptoms. These include anticonvulsants (e.g., gabapentin, pregabelin, phenytoin, carbamazepine) and tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, desipramine, nortriptyline). " Autonomic nerve problems are especially hard to treat.<br><br> The main autonomic problems and possible treatments include: Postural hypotension : elastic stockings, sleep with head elevated, fludrocortisone. Reduced gastric motility : metoclopramide, eat small frequent meals, sleep with head elevated. Bladder problems : pressing over the bladder with the hands to express urine, intermittent catheterization, or bethanechol medication.<br><br> Diarrhea : prevent dehydration, loperamide (Imodium), bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) Constipation : high-fiber diet, bulking agents such as Metamucil, enemas, stool softeners Male Impotence : sildenafil (Viagra) and similar drugs, counseling. OTHER PAIN TYPES Neuropathic pain can coexist with other types of pain (nociceptive, visceral, or psychogenic). Identification of the pain type(s) in a given person is important for both diagnosis and treatment.<br><br> " Nociceptive pain is the commonest type of pain and arises when small tissue structures called nociceptors are stimulated to send pain signals to the brain. Most nociceptive pain is of musculoskeletal origin, e.g., traumatic injuries, inflammation from infection or arthritis, and myofascial pain. Nociceptive pain is typically well localized, constant, with an aching or throbbing quality.<br><br> " Visceral pain involves the internal organs such as the gut and tends to be spasmodic and poorly localized. " Psychogenic pain can occur in pure form with no obvious physical cause, but is very frequently an important contributor to pain that does have a clear physical cause. " Mixed pain in which several pain types coexist is common.<br><br> For example, migraine headaches probably represent a mixture of neuropathic and nociceptive pain. Myofascial pain is probably secondary to nociceptive input from the muscles, but the abnormal muscle activity may be the result of neuropathic conditions. Additional information on chronic pain is available at http://masterdocs.com/pain_diagnoses.htm .<br><br> The above information on peripheral neuropathy is derived largely from the work of Portenoy et al and publications by the National Institutes of Health (e.g., http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/peripheralneuropathy.htm ). To answer TMT's Peripheral Neuropathy questionnaire, go to https://www.masterdocs.com/peripheralneuropathy/start.php Copyright 2006, Taylor MicroTechnology, Inc. 20 WRIST/CARPAL TUNNEL PROBLEMS This summary is for adults who have hand/wrist/carpal tunnel problems 3 it does not apply to children.<br><br> Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel (a rigid tunnel that passes through the ligaments and bones at the wrist) and causes symptoms in the hand. Compression of the median nerve at the wrist causes symptoms in discrete parts of the hand and fingers (see diagram below showing the median and ulnar nerve distribution in the hand). SYMPTOMS Initial symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are intermittent numbness and tingling in the median nerve distribution of the hand.<br><br> They are usually more pronounced at night (and can wake you up). Later, these symptoms may be continuous. Late symptoms can include burning, cramping, weakness of the hand grip (objects may be dropped), shooting pains in forearm, and even wasting of hand muscles.<br><br> Possible symptoms include: " Gradual onset (over weeks or months) of numbness or tingling in your hand. " Burning sensation " Cramping sensation " Weakness of your hand grip " You tend to drop objects held in your hands " Clumsy and swollen feeling in your fingers " Symptoms are worse at night " Symptoms sometimes wake you up from sleep " When you wake up in the morning, you feel a need to cshake out d your hand or wrist " You find it difficult to form a fist " You find it difficult to grasp small objects " You have noticed some wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb on the affected side(s) " You have difficulty distinguishing in your hand between hot and cold " Your fingers or hands are discolored " Certain movements at the wrist reliably reproduce the symptoms " Symptoms are confined or largely confined to your dominant ha