Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder caused from damage to
the endings of the nerves. Patients frequently report burning, itching, or
shooting pain that often begins in the feet and gradually progresses to other
areas. Peripheral neuropathy is a symptom of an underlying disease or process
and tested to find out the underlying cause. EMG and nerve conduction testing
performed by a trained physician can help rule out other causes of these
symptoms and help plan for the best course of treatment. Our neurologists are
trained in advanced EMG and nerve conduction testing and are well-versed in
diagnosing and managing peripheral neuropathy.
“What can I do to reduce my chance of Alzheimer’s?”
As a neurologist, this is one of the most common questions I am
asked. My reply was typically “select different parents, get better
genes” as little was known beyond that as far as a risk factors for many
diseases of the nervous system. We still do not know exactly why people
get ALS, Parkinson’s disease, amongst others, but it seems to be more and more
clear that while nutrition is not the only factor, it is an extremely important
one. More and more studies are being completed that show healthy people
get less chronic disease including diseases of the nervous system. There is an
abundance of information that comes at us from all directions which can be
conflicting and confusing. I have now discovered a resource that I feel
confident enough to guide my own and my family’s nutrition and a resource I
refer patients to.
Nutritionfacts.org is a nonprofit organization founded
by Michael Greger, MD, FACLM to provide science behind nutrition
recommendations. He has videos discussing the science behind ketogenetic
diets, artificial sweeteners, which plans to eat to combat certain diseases,
amongst 100s of other topics. And, it is an invaluable FREE
resource. Of note, I have no relationship with this site nor Dr Greger. I
am just a very happy recipient of the information given by his nonprofit
If a more healthy diet seems out of reach financially, here
are a few additional resources to consider:
Based in Michigan, this initiative has a national Double Up Food Bucks
program that doubles the value of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP, or food stamps) benefits at farmers’ markets and grocery stores.
This Detroit-based program caters to low-income patients with chronic
diseases, caregivers of young children, and pregnant women who are referred by
their primary care physicians. Patients receive a prescription for produce
that’s filled at partnering farm stands or markets.
Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialists proudly hosts former PGA professional and one of the top PGA instructors in the nation Stan Utley to Chenal CC in Little Rock last week. Stan presented a short game seminar to participants in the Oak Leaf Classic. Then see how I actually somehow caught on and carried out a great surgical removal of the ball from the deep rough almost holing out!
To Learn more about his short game expertise visit stanutley.com
Stan’s principles of the golf swing is to utilize the dead weight of the clubhead to do the work. Using the momentum of the dead weight of the clubhead and wrists to direct such certainly allows one to swing the clubhead faster with much less effort. Swing fast not hard he explains. Accelerate the clubhead not the grip!
Swinging hard and/or incorrect posture can lead to sports spine issues just as incorrect posture and ergonomics can lead to work and activities of daily life spine injuries. Injury prevention not only can improve your game but your life more importantly (if anything is more important than golf?)!
To learn more about how to best prepare your spine for life’s sports and daily activities or to see treatment please visit our website LegacyNeuro.com or make an appointment to see our physical therapist Jessica Beggs who has vast expertise in spine physical therapy treatment and prevention of injuries. Incidentally if you suffer from Golfer’s or Tennis’ Elbow issues reach out to Jessica as well. She has done wonders with mine!
With the leaves changing and seasons turning it is time to talk about “Fall”, but perhaps not in the way you are thinking. As the weather changes and the temperature outdoors starts to decrease the incidence of fall related injuries has been noted to increased1. A good working definition for the context of fall that we will be discussing is any event that leads to an unplanned, unexpected contact with a supporting surface2 . Here at Legacy we have an interconnected team of specialists that can identify risk factors that may predispose a patient for falls then provide timely intervention and recommendations on how to decrease the risk of falling.
A few quick statistics to emphasize the importance of
intervention in patients with poor balance:
25-35% of people 65 and older
experience 1 or more falls per year2-4
40% of hospital admissions for 65 and
older are the result of a fall-related injury5
Average hospital stay for fall injury
for ages 65 and up = 11.6 days5
Approximately 50% of older adults
hospitalized for falls are discharged to a nursing home5
If you are feeling unsteady on your feet, constantly worrying that a fall is imminent, or pain has started limiting your mobility then reach out to your local medical doctor, someone from the Legacy Team, or your local physical therapist for a treatment plan that will have you ready for Spring!
1 Pui-Yee, et al. Higher incidence of falls in winter among older people in Hong Kong.
2 Tinetti ME, Ginter SF. Identifying mobility dysfunctions in elderly patients: standard neuromuscular examination or direct assessment? JAMA. 1988;259:1190-1193.
3 Tinetti ME, Speechley M Ginter SF. Risk factors for falls among elderly persons living in the community. N Engl J Med. 1989:319: 1701-1707.
4 Nevitt MC, Cummings SR. Risk factors for recurrent non-syncopal falls: a prospective study. JAMA. 1989;261:266.7-2668.
5 Tinetti ME, Mendes de Leon CF, Doucette JT, Baker DI. Fear of falling and fall-related efficacy in relationship to functioning among community-dwelling elders. J Gerontology. 1994;49:M140-M147.
are an often-overlooked headache type. These headaches cause pain in the back
of the head, the temporal areas, and behind the eyes and are often mistaken
for—or co-exist with—tension headaches, migraine headaches and neck pain. Often
patients with cervicogenic headaches will have a history of a neck injury such
as whiplash, or participate in activities that cause excess stress to the upper
neck such as working on computers or looking down at smart phones. Poor posture
is also a factor.
The treatment for this
type of headache starts with physical therapy which helps most people.
Sometimes medications like muscle relaxers, gabapentin or Lyrica are used to
help treat the pain. For people whose headaches are refractory to conservative
treatments, procedures like occipital nerve blocks, steroid injections or percutaneous
radiofrequency neurotomy can provide lasting relief.
Many migraine patients recognize specific triggers to their headaches. Migraine patients are more sensitive to certain substances in their foods and environments as well as changes to their routine. Too much or too little sleep, changes in exercise routines, and processed foods can worsen migraine headaches. Heavy, flowery scents or cigarette smoke are frequent triggers. Keeping a headache journal can help identify migraine triggers and eliminate them. Elimination diets that target artificial sweeteners, food dyes, chocolate, processed meats, and/or certain alcohols can help find food triggers. In general, migraine patients are encouraged to eat a diet consisting of whole foods, stay hydrated, avoid caffeine, have a regular sleep schedule, and exercise regularly.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a facial pain disorder caused by compression of the 5th Cranial nerve deep in the brain by an adjacent artery. This condition, also know as Tic douloureux or “Suicide disease” is often misdiagnosed and mistreated. It is the most painful neurological disorder that exists. The disorder causes horrific electrical shocking pains on one side of the face that come and go very rapidly like a machine gun of taser strikes. If properly diagnosed it can be readily cured with a low recurrence rate and low risk of complications by experienced surgeons for those that fail medical treatment. For all, to learn more about TN please visit https://youtu.be/pOV3EC3lpJw for our educational video.
Eliminate any items that could potentially alter your spinal alignment while seated. Remove any objects from your back pocket like a wallet or cell phone. If you are the driver, make sure your seat position is close enough to the steering wheel to avoid reaching.
Get out and move around
Sitting for prolonged periods of time will cause your muscles to tighten and can even lead to spasms. If driving, try to stop every 30-45 minutes for a brief stretch. If you will be on a long flight, make a conscious effort to get up every 30 minutes. Below are a few quick stretches you can do on your short break.
Bring along cold or hot packs
Back pain is often accompanied by inflammation. Ice can help to decrease inflammation and numb any soreness that is a result of prolonged sitting. Some individuals find heat to be more soothing to sore and tight muscles so utilizing heated seats or quick use hot packs can help to ease the ache as well.
Support your back with your feet
Good support for your back can be strongly influence by foot positioning. Your feet should both be positioned on the floor. Ideally you would like your knees to be at a right ankle in relation to your hips. You may have to modify your seat or utilize a foot rest to achieve optimal positioning.
Have a Diversion
The mind is a powerful thing, so if you are not the driver then use a book or movie to occupy your time. If you are the driver, try music or an audiobook to keep you mind off any pain that may arise from a long trip.
Well, we are in full swing of the summer! Speaking of swings, I hope most of you are enjoying my favorite game golf! I hope your swing looks as good as my daughters Maci’s after playing for only three months! I wish mine did as well, unfortunately, with the game of golf comes back and neck injuries all too frequently. To learn more about preventative measures stay tuned in the coming weeks we will post important steps to use to attempt to avoid injury.
Common injuries include musculoskeletal back pain and neck pain that can be treated with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. More significant injuries can cause herniated discs in the neck or back. This can produce severe back and neck pain with or without radicular pain down the leg or arm. If the pain is down the leg or arm this is called sciatica. We can often treat these more significant injuries with the above and often with the addition of epidural steroid injections. These are outpatient procedures often done a couple of weeks apart for 2 to 3 injections. Of course, neural imaging is important to be obtained first. We perform these procedures and potential surgical intervention if needed at our outpatient spine facility- Legacy Surgery Center. Our team has vast experience with the performance of these and other spinal procedures which to be effective requires experience as well as fluoroscopic guidance.
Lastly, if a disc herniation causes intractable radicular (radiating) pain in the arm or leg (sciatica) refractory to the conservative care above then minimally invasive spinal surgery could be needed. At Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialists, we offer the most minimally invasive surgical solutions available anywhere in the world. These solutions range from micro decompression and discectomy surgery to the minimally invasive standalone lumbar fusion operations without the need for pedicle screws. These surgeries are performed through keyhole incisions less than 1 inch completely outpatient when medically appropriate.
To Learn more visit www.LegacyNeuro.com. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on prevention of golf and other sports -related back and neck injuries.