The fingers are the most active appendages in life. It allows humans to conduct a range of activities and even more so in a modern world where pressing buttons all day is a norm. Naturally finger-related symptoms will arise, the most common being pain. Usually it is short lived and short periods of rest are sufficient to ease the pain and associated symptoms. But sometimes finger pain does not resolve as easily. It persists and gradually gets worse. Other finger symptoms arise, like stiffness, swelling and weakness. Eventually it reaches a point where daily use of the fingers becomes difficult and can negatively impact a person’s life and career.
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Pain of the hand and wrist are common occurrences. The hand is the most active appendage in the body and moves at the wrist to carry out tasks throughout most of the day. Any problem affecting the hand may also involve the wrist. But sometimes the cause of hand pain stems from the wrist. Treating hand and wrist pain largely depends on the cause. Pain is only a symptom and while it can be relieved, the cause of the problem needs to be attended to in order to prevent the pain from persisting or worsening. In modern life, pain of the hand and wrist is often due to overuse and strain.
Our feet are undoubtedly the most hard working part of our body. It has to bear the force of the entire body weight – more force than most other parts of the body have to contend with. Sometimes the strain on our feet is magnified when we choose to wear poorly-fitting shoes or stand all day. But the main problems are not due to fashion and work commitments. Even when we try to do our best to reduce foot strain, it is not always possible as part of an active lifestyle. So how do you find the balance between being active and avoiding foot pain?
The awareness about deep vein thrombosis (DVT) has created a lot of panic and confusion among travelers. It is often made out to be a silent condition that suddenly arises and can kill a traveler within minutes. However, this is not the typical case. In some instances, a person with DVT experienced almost no symptoms until it affected the blood vessels of the lungs – a life threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism. The majority of people with DVT do have symptoms as the condition worsens and there are early warning signs that should prompt the need for medical attention. But often these symptoms and warning signs are ignored. It is important to realize that DVT is preventable, treatable and even curable.
Pain in the knee is one of the most common joint pains that affects most of us. Since the knees have to bear most of the body weight yet have the flexibility to allow us to move on two legs, it is understandable that it can be easily strain, injured and prone to disease. Knee pain is a common symptom of both acute and chronic knee problems. It may at times require medical or even surgical treatment. Simple measures can assist with relieving and even preventing knee pain but this should not preclude the necessity of drugs and surgery in some cases.
Knee pain should always be investigated by a doctor especially if it occurs frequently and is accompanied by joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis is a common condition that occurs as a person gets older and knee pain may be the first symptom. Other serious joint conditions that also need medical attention includes rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. However, these conditions are not the only cause of knee pain.
In acute cases, knee pain may be due to joint injury, muscle strain or sprained ligaments and simple measures at home may be sufficient to manage the pain. Acute cases often resolve on their own in time. It is important to reduce the strain on the joint and allow the knee to heal properly to ensure that an acute injury does not lead to chronic problems.
Perspiration is one of the main ways that the body keeps cool. But it can be bothersome at times, especially when you are perspiring excessively and in awkward places. Despite being a normal process, perspiration and particularly excessive perspiration does hold some social stigma. While it is quite acceptable to be sweating on a hot day or after a strenuous workout, most of us would prefer not to perspire or at least not to visibly show signs of it at times. One of the more embarrassing experiences is when our hands and palms perspire as it is the main appendage by which we make social contact and function in daily life.
Pain in the legs is not uncommon. But for most of us it occurs when we stand or walk for long periods. Sudden bursts of strenuous physical activities like running will understandably result in leg pain by the end of the day if you are accustomed to it. After all the legs are the most hard working parts of the body. Not only does it have to bear the entire weight of the body, it also has to contend with impact when we walk and run. But what about pain when we are not using our legs? Like when sitting or sleeping.
Itching can be a problem anywhere on the body. But when even mild itching occurs on areas where you cannot scratch with ease then it can be extremely disturbing. Not only are the feet the farthest away from the hands, but it is also frowned upon to be scratching your feet in public. When wearing closed shoes, scratching an itchy foot is barely possible making the situation even more unbearable. We all experience an itchy foot or feet now and then, but if it is persistent or keeps recurring and is severe, then it may need further evaluation.
A burning sensation in the feet is a symptom that not entirely uncommon. For most of us who experience burning feet every now and then, the sensation is short-lived and often associated with a long day of standing or excessive walking. Soaking the feet in a warm bath, resting it and even a gentle massage quickly relieves the burning sensation. However, there are instances where burning feet is a recurrent or persistent symptom that cannot be clearly attributed to any known reason like sustained physical activity. It may in fact be a symptom of some underlying disease that has not as yet been diagnosed. While the occasional bout of burning feet that eases quickly is not much of a concern, burning feet as a symptom of a disease can be an indication of serious complications developing.
Therefore understanding some of the reasons behind burning feet is important. Here are ten reasons for burning feet with recommended tests and treatments that should only be considered with your doctor’s approval.
Lateral epicondylitis, commonly referred to as tennis elbow, is a condition where the tendons that attach to the bony bump on the outer side of the upper arm bone are irritated. The muscles of the tendons involved are also strained and both structures undergo some degree of degeneration. Tennis elbow arises with overuse of the hand. Contrary to its common name, tennis elbow more frequently affects people who do not play the sport of tennis. Most cases are due to occupational rather than recreational activities. Tennis elbow causes elbow and forearm pain with the most tender area being at the lateral epicondyle of the humerus (upper arm bone) where the affected tendons attach.
What is writer’s cramp?
Writer’s cramp is a common term for an abnormal muscle tone in the hand muscles as a result of certain tasks like writing. The more correct medical term is mogigraphia and the common term ‘writer’s cramp’ should not detract from the fact that this condition, or similar muscle conditions, can arise from other repetitive tasks apart from writing. It occurs in less than 70 people out of 100,000 in the United States and affects men more commonly. Typically the symptoms are seen between 30 to 50 years of age and women are more likely to exhibit symptoms at a younger age than male sufferers. Overall writer’s cramp is a condition that does not receive much attention because many sufferers opt to live with it without seeking medical advice.
Moving the position of your legs is a normal habit when one is sitting for long periods, or even when standing. In fact it helps with blood circulation in the legs and feet when stationary or we may find that our legs ‘fall asleep’ so to speak. However, there is certain disorders where leg movements are considered uncharacteristic and abnormal. It can reach a point where it affects normal sleeping patterns and negatively impact on a person’s life.
What is restless leg syndrome?
Restless leg syndrome, often simply referred to as RLS, is a condition where a person finds it difficult to not move their legs when sitting or lying down. In other words, a person with RLS has to move their legs or they experience an uncomfortable sensation in the legs. This prompts a person to stand up, move around or just change position and sometimes kick around during sleep. Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a type of nerve disorder associated with muscle movement and since it persists during sleep, often disturbing normal sleep patterns, it is also known as a parasomnia.
The hand is made up of numerous structures that control its various functions. Pain in any part, either the palm or back of the hand, can occur due to conditions affecting any of these structures and can lead to impairment of normal hand functions. Commonly, hand pain occurs due to injury, inflammation, infection, overuse, problems related to normal aging, or certain medical conditions.
It is important to have at least a basic knowledge of the anatomy of the hand when looking at hand pain. The hand is formed by bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, skin and nails. It has two surfaces :
- the palmar surface also commonly referred to as the front of the hand, and
- the dorsal surface which is the back of the hand.
The peroneal nerve, also known as common fibular nerve, is one of the branches of the sciatic nerve. It is the most commonly injured nerve of the lower leg due to its location. Peroneal nerve injury and disease may arise due to various possible causes ranging from trauma, compression or infection. Apart from sensory symptoms such as pain, tingling and numbness with peroneal nerve disease there are other major motor symptoms since the peroneal nerve supplies the muscles that control the movement of the foot. These motor symptoms are known as foot drop.
The Peroneal Nerve
The peroneal nerve is the smaller terminal branch of the sciatic nerve, which arises from the lumbar and sacral spinal nerves (L4 to S2). The other terminal branch of the sciatic nerve which is much larger is the tibial nerve. It has two branches – superficial peroneal nerve and deep peroneal nerve. The proper term for the peroneal nerve before it terminates into the superficial and deep branches is the common peroneal nerve. It also gives off another branch which is known as the lateral sural cutaneous nerve.
What is a swollen calf?
A swollen calf is swelling at the back of the lower leg. It may occur with swelling of the feet and ankles and broadly referred to as a swollen leg. However, sometimes calf swelling occurs on its own with little or no swelling of the feet and ankles. While there are specific causes for this localized swelling, particularly when only the back of the leg (calf) is swollen, the feet and ankles often become swollen shortly afterwards. This is because many of the causes of calf swelling involve the veins or lymphatic vessels which not only drains the calf and shin but also the feet and ankles.
A swollen calf is a symptom of some localized problem within the lower leg (between the ankle and knee) and can be present with other symptoms such as redness of the skin, pain, numbness or other abnormal sensations and/or muscle weakness. The collection of symptoms together may be indicative of the cause and calf swelling on it own is non-specific meaning that it does clearly indicate an exact condition.
The veins in the leg return oxygen-deficient blood laden with wastes back to the liver and heart for processing. There are two systems of veins in the lower leg – the superficial veins and the deep veins. The superficial veins lies just a short distance under the skin and empty into the deep veins. A common vein problem seen in the superficial veins is where it becomes enlarged – dilated (stretched) and tortuous (twisted) – known as varicose veins. The deep veins sit deeper in the leg covered by muscle and fascia. It carries the blood to the thigh which then travels to the trunk. A common and very serious problem that can arise in these deep veins is when a blood clot partially or completely blocks the vein. This can be dangerous if the clot dislodges from here and blocks an artery of the lung which can be fatal.
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