(ĐTĐ) - You might think that as an adult you’re safe from the chicken pox, but there’s a grown-up version of everything. Shingles is a viral infection of the nerves that is caused by the same virus as the chicken pox; people who had that itchy illness as a child sometimes get shingles later in life as the virus reactivates.

Shingles isn’t life-threatening, but it is extremely uncomfortable, causing an itchy and painful rash, among other symptoms. As the virus (which has been dormant in the nerves near the spinal cord) becomes active again, an area of your skin may become tingly or numb, along with a burning or otherwise painful sensation. Within a few days a rash develops, which then turns into blisters that swell and crust over. Unlike chicken pox, these skin symptoms are usually confined to a small area on one side of the body; if it occurs all over, call your doctor right away. You may also experience headache, photosensitivity, and flu-like symptoms such as fatigue and aches.

The rash usually appears on the body, often the torso. Get immediate medical help if it develops on your face, however: when near the eyes, the infection can spread and damage them permanently. The virus can’t be spread through contact to people who have had the virus (or been vaccinated), but for people who have never had chicken pox or the vaccination, there’s a chance it can be transmitted.

The virus often reawakens in people whose immune system has been compromised, by stress, certain medications, chronic illnesses (including cancer), and in older people. In people over 60, the risk of complication such as permanent nerve damage is higher, so prompt treatment is essential.

Shingles is treated with both antiviral and pain medications, which may include numbing topical creams. It’s also important to keep the rash clean and avoid scratching or excessive rubbing of the area; cold compresses or a cool bath can help with the pain and itching. Getting vaccinated is a good idea, especially for people over 60, whose risk of complication is higher.

Source Pain.com

(ĐTĐ) - The definition of a headache is pain that is arising from the upper neck or head. This pain comes from the tissues and other structures surrounding the brain because the brain actually has no nerves that the sensation of pain can come from.

In other words, no pain fibers. The pain results when the muscles that surround the skull, eyes, ears, and sinuses, and the meninges covering the spinal cord, brain veins, nerves, and arteries become irritated or inflamed and. The pain can range from a very dull ache to an intense ache and can be short term, constant, throbbing, or sharp.

Classifications of Headaches

The International Headache Society released a classification system for headaches in 2005. There are many people suffering from headaches and treating them can be quite difficult. It was hoped that this system of classification could assist physicians in making a specific diagnosis as to the type of headache was being experienced, which would allow for better and much more effective treatments. There are three major headache categories, based on where the pain originates:

  1. Primary
  2. Secondary
  3. Facial Pain, Cranial Neuralgias, and other types of headaches.

Facts about Headaches

The head is actually one of the most common pain sites in the body. As stated above, there are three categories that headaches can be classified into. The most common types of primary headaches are: cluster, migraine, and tension. The most common type of primary headache is tension and are typically treated with OTC pain medications. Secondary headaches are actually a symptom of an underlying illness or injury. If you ever experience a new onset headache, change in behavior, weakness, changes in sensation, vomiting, fever, or a stiff neck, you should immediately contact your physician for evaluation.

Treatments for Headaches

Of course, treatment for a headache depends on the type of headache you’re experiencing and what is causing the headache. Common OTC and DIY treatments for headaches include:

OTC medication such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen is typically one of the first courses of treatment. However, if you prefer to avoid using medications, you should try the following: warm compress, resting quietly in a cool, dark room, and stress management techniques. You can also use pressure points to control and relieve your headaches.

Pressure Points to Relieve Headaches

The World Health Organization says that around 47 percent of adults worldwide suffer from at least one headache in a year. Tension headaches are the most common. Since one of the triggers of tension headaches is muscle tension in the neck or head, applying pressure to certain points around the neck or head could actually help to relive the symptoms of a tension headache.

Some of the pressure points for preventing/relieving tension headaches are: base of the skull, upper trapezius muscle, sternocleidomastoid muscle, and the temporalis muscle. Following are some instructions on how to use these pressure points to your advantage.

Base of the Skull

Take your fingers and touch where the bottom of your skull meets your neck. There, you should find some little indentations. There are many different muscles located there that- when they get tight- can contribute to tension headaches. Place your thumbs on these indentations and take a deep breath in. Then, as you begin to exhale, press your thumbs into the indentations and lean your head slightly back. This particular pressure point serves to relive many headaches felt in both the back and the front of the head.

Upper Trapezius Muscle

The trapezius muscle is that really large muscle located at the top of your back. This muscle attaches to your upper neck and skull, going down to the middle top of your back and across to your shoulders. Reach one arm across to the opposite shoulder. Use your fingertips to feel midway between your shoulder and neck and press down. If your upper trapezius muscle is tight, you’re going to feel pain up your neck and around your ear. This pressure point will help to relieve that pain.

Sternocleidomastoid Muscle

The sternocleidomastoid muscle, also known as SCM, attaches from the back of the ear to your breast and collar bone. In order to locate the point that is causing the headache, you should place your right hand on the right side of your neck and turn your head to the left. The muscle that sticks out is the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Squeeze it very gently as you turn your head back to face the front. Then, take a deep breath in. as you exhale, very slowly and gently give this muscle a squeeze. If your sternocleidomastoid muscle is tight, you’re most likely to feel pain over your eyes and possibly your jaw. Massaging this muscle in this way will help to relieve the pain.

Temporalis Muscle

The temporalis muscle is the muscle that runs from the side of the skull to the jaw. Every time you chew or speak, you’re using the temporalis muscle. If this muscle is tight, you’re going to feel pain over your temples, around your eyes, and even in your jaw. In order to stretch this muscle out, you’re going to place your fingers on your skull just above your ears and behind your temples. Breathe in deeply. Then, as you exhale, very slowly open your mouth, pushing your fingers up toward the top of your skull.


Be aware that if you’re having frequent or constant headaches, that could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. If you begin to experience confusion, extreme sleepiness, weakness, double vision, red eyes, or a fever you should seek medical attention. Also, if your headache gets worse over time or if you have a sudden, severe headache that develops over a few seconds or minutes.

Source Chronicbodypain.net

(ĐTĐ) - Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the compression of the median nerve which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Its causes are uncertain, but it’s generally assumed that any position that causes stress on the nerve can be a cause. It is often worse from flexing the wrist. The syndrome causes a feeling of numbness and pain in the thumb, pointer finger, long finger and parts of the ring finger. The only digit unaffected is the pinkie finger.

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Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed largely from the presence of suspect symptoms, like pain and numbness in the hand. To increase certainty, the syndrome does not have a blood test, but there are physical tests that a doctor will ask you to perform. The doctor actually also has some electrical tests that he or she can use as well.

Given our modern dependence on typing, carpal tunnel syndrome has become a more common issue.

Nerve Conduction velocity test

This isn’t a test specifically for carpal tunnel syndrome, but it is used to check for abnormalities in nerve responses that might indicate the presence of the syndrome. In this test, an electrical current is introduced to the nervous system and the speed with which it reaches nerves “downstream” is measured. A slow response is indicative of some kind of issue with the nervous system. The electrical stimulus is generally introduced through electrodes placed on the patient’s skin.

Electromyogram test

This is often conducted at the same time as the Nerve Conduction Velocity test. It is a test specifically designed to find any muscular conditions that may be mimicking nervous conditions. Muscles also produce electrical signals when they are active, and so electrical abnormalities might also point to muscular issues rather than nervous conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Blood tests

While, as mentioned, there isn’t a specific blood test to test for carpal tunnel, there are tests to check related issues. There is something thyroid hormone levels, a test to check blood sugar and protein analysis. As stated, none of these will be definitive of carpal tunnel, but they can point to it being more or less likely.


Again, because carpal tunnel syndrome is a nervous condition, X-rays will not be able to find it specifically. However, they can find bone and joint abnormalities in the bones of your wrist and therefore are able to give an indication that the syndrome exists.

Physical examination

However, the main indication that is used for diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is the existence and medical examination of physical symptoms. This will include a general examination of the area as well as more specific physical tests.

A physical exam with a focus on your neck, arms, wrists, and hands is done if there is tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain of the fingers, thumb, or hand. The exam is to help find out whether your symptoms are caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist.

During this examination, a doctor will also examine your wrists and hands to compare the strength and appearance of both sides. You will then be asked to pinch an object so your doctor can see and check your thumb for strength and movement during this movement.

Not only is it important to isolate issues you are having in your hand from muscular or other physiological problems, it is also necessary to ensure that your pain is being caused by the median nerve rather than a different nerve in another part of your body. The neck, especially, can mimic carpal tunnel issues, so if your doctor suspects neck-related problems, he or she will also check your neck for possible nerve compression.

Tinel’s sign test

This test dates back to the early 1900s when physiologist Paul Hoffman found that mild percussion of an injured nerve could illicit the sensation of “pins and needles,” or a feeling like an electrical shock.

Your doctor taps on the inside of your wrist over the median nerve. If you feel tingling, numbness, “pins and needles,” or a mild “electrical shock” sensation in your hand when tapped on the wrist, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Phalen’s sign test

This test dates to the 1950s when physiologist George S. Phalen describe a new method for diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome. The sensations caused by Tinel’s test might be caused by different nerves and not necessarily the median nerve which is affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, by using Phalen’s test as well, you could be more specific with your diagnosis.

In the test, you will hold your arms out in front of you and then flex your wrists, letting your hands hang down for about 60 seconds. If you feel tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers within 60 seconds, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Two-point discrimination test

This test is used when severe carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected. It is not very accurate for mild carpal tunnel syndrome. To do the test, your doctor has you close your eyes and then uses small instruments, such as the tips of two opened paper clips, to touch two points (fairly close together) on your hand or finger. Typically, you would feel separate touches if the two points are at least 0.5 cm (0.2 in.) apart. In severe carpal tunnel syndrome, you may not be able to tell the difference between the two touches, so it may feel as though only one place is being touched.

Given our modern dependence on typing, carpal tunnel syndrome has become a more common issue. While treatment may be as straightforward as simply stopping the activity which causes the syndrome, sometimes more serious measures are required. These can include surgery to alleviate your symptoms, so it is good to be aware and catch the syndrome early, before it becomes severe enough to require more drastic measures to treat.

Source Chronicbodypain.net

(ĐTĐ) - The myofascial pain syndrome is a medical condition that is as real as it is mysterious. Although it is acknowledged as a medical condition in its full rights, the harsh truth is that no research has been able to reveal precisely what its causes are.

The chronic myofascial pain is a type of chronic pain that can become very difficult to handle. And yet, since researchers have not yet been able to figure out what it is that causes the development of this condition, no cure has been developed either.

Under these circumstances, the people suffering with myofascial pain are left to try to manage their pain and the other symptoms as well as they can. Of course, this includes a change in one’s lifestyle more than often, both when it comes to one’s way of living proper and when it comes to one’s diet.

The Myofascial Pain Syndrome Explained

The explanations given up to the moment on how this syndrome behaves are quite dim, but they still can provide you with a better understanding of why the pain you are feeling is so awful. Trying to understand your medical condition will be useful when you really want to make a change, especially because you will know very well why that change has to be made as soon as possible.

The myofascial pain syndrome is caused by the several fascial constrictions and trigger points. Its most common symptoms are very deep pain in a muscle, tender knots in muscles and pain that is persistent and probably worsens over the time. Also, referred pain (pain that appears in another location than the location that was put under pressure, for example) and having a limited range of motion after sustained trigger point pressure are quite common too. Even more than that, a lot of patients suffering from chronic myofascial pain also suffer from insomnia and poor sleeping habits caused by their pain.

Very often, the myofascial pain syndrome is mistaken with fibromyalgia (and the other way around). The two syndromes share quite a lot of symptoms together and even a physician can be easily misled by them. For instance, both fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain show symptoms such as sleep issues, headaches, tinnitus, balance problems, dizziness and worsening of all the symptoms when the patient goes through a stressful period. Even more than that, fibromyalgia and the myofascial pain syndrome very frequently appear together in patients and this makes them even more difficult to diagnose.

And yet, at their very core, they are completely different and therefore, the treatment applied in each case is different. For instance, myofascial pain shows symptoms such as clicking of the joints, a limited range of motion in the jaw, numbness experienced in the extremities, blurry vision and nausea – all of which are not encountered in the case of fibromyalgia too.

Also, it is to be kept in mind the fact that the treatment applied for these two syndromes can be very different and that a correct diagnosis is the key to trying to ameliorate the situation for those who need it so much.

What Causes the Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

As it was also mentioned in the beginning, there is no known cause for the myofascial pain syndrome. However, researchers have managed to come up with several theories that may give us a better idea on why it is that we develop this syndrome. Although these theories are related more to risk factors than to actual causes, they are still helpful in understanding everything better.

For instance, there are people who sustain that the sensitivity of the trigger points can develop as a result of an injury. Furthermore, the myofascial pain syndrome has also been associated with several systematic diseases (such as connective tissue disease, for example).To these, researchers add poor posture and emotional turmoil (such as stress) as important risk factors that could lead to the development of the syndrome.

What Treatment Is There For the Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

The chronic myofascial pain can be managed through multiple practices and forms of treatment. For example, massage therapy is used to alleviate pain on the short-term and physiotherapy is used to improve the range of motion in the case of those patients who experience symptoms related to this.

Also, there are 3 main types of medication that are frequently administered for patients with chronic myofascial pain: muscle relaxants, anti-depressants and anticonvulsants. All of these drugs help people live better lives even when diagnosed with this terrible syndrome.

Trigger point injections are also practiced, but the truth is that there are many specialists who will simply refuse to do it because they believe that there is not enough evidence to sustain the idea that these injections are helpful and because they also lack the training in administering such injections as well.

So, how is Alcohol Related to All These Things?

As it was explained throughout this article, the myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by symptoms that appear primarily in the muscles. Therefore, maintaining your muscles in excellent health is one of the things you should to in order to improve your condition.

Alcohol is one of the worst things you could do to your muscles. When you drink alcohol, your body becomes dehydrated and one of the first places from which the water will evaporate will be the muscles – and this is definitely something that can make the condition much worse and that can make the pain feel more poignant too.

Aside from alcohol, you should also try to avoid nicotine and caffeine as well because they have a similar effect on your muscles as well. Even more than that, you should try to balance out your diet as well as possible because it can make a really big difference in the way you will feel and in the intensity of the pain. Generally speaking, a healthy diet consisting of lean meats, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and good fats (salmon, olive oil, and so on) is the kind of diet you should be aiming for.

Source Chronicbodypain.net

(ĐTĐ) - Sciatica is the largest nerve is your body. This nerve that runs from nerve root of the spinal cord, down the lower lumbar region of your back, across your buttocks. From there it travels down the backside of your legs, branching off into the feet and toes. When this large nerve’s pinched, it causes excruciating pain that can radiate down the length of the nerve.

Sometimes the pain is a burning, numbness or tingling that is felt in the buttocks, hips and legs but not the lower back. These pains seem too intense when a person is walking, bending, lifting, stooping over, coughing, standing, straining or sitting for a long time. This pain can become so severe that even the slightest movement’s painful.

What are the causes of this type of nerve pain? What are some the treatment options available? You will find the answers to all your questions in the following paragraphs.

What’s Causing Me to have so Much Pain?

  • An injury can cause this type of pain. It doesn’t have to be a major accident, just enough that the nerve becomes pinched which causes irritation and inflammation.
  • Sciatica nerve pain can also occur if you’re pregnant and the extra weight’s compromised the nerve.
  • An infection, muscle, bone, or tumor pressing on the nerve might cause inflammation, swelling which will cause this type of pain.
  • Some other causes include herniated disk, at the lumbar region that’s pressed and irritated the nerve, and as radiculppathy which is an abnormal intervertebral disk

How will the Doctor Know?

The doctor will first get a medical history, and then he will do his exam. With the symptoms you are experiencing, and his finding, he will make a diagnoses. Once completed, he will order some type of imaging like MRI, x ray or CT scan to the cause.

What Medicines Will Relieve My Pain?

The doctor will first prescribe bed rest. 70 % of patient’s improves with resting. He might advise you to try over the counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines like, Motrin, Aleve and naproxen. These will reduce the irritation and swelling, which reduces the pain. He might suggest topical NSAID sports creams. If your pain’s real severe, he might prescribe muscle relaxers, or a stronger pain medicine. Some even prescribed a combination of anti-convulsing anti-depressant. This combination has been shown to work well to alleviate pain. The doctor may put you on a central nervous system depressant. This decreases the neuron pain signals to the brain.

Top 10 Remedies For Pain Relief

Some people use ice packs on the inflamed nerve. Never apply ice directly to the skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then remove for a half hour. Warm, moist heat works well. There are several ways to accomplish this. Soaking in a nice warm tub of water relieves soreness. You can also apply warm, moist heat with a hot water bottle.

Be sure it isn’t too hot and the lid is secure. Never apply the water bottle directly to the skin. A damp towel warmed up in the microwave will work just as well. Be sure not to get it too hot. Rice packs warmed in a microwave is effective. The rice socks stay warmer, longer than a towel.

Some use biofeedback to relieve stress and pain. Biofeedback is where a physical therapist attaches electrodes to different areas of a person’s body and then to a device. This device to get \measures your body’s response to different stimuli by recording heart rate, blood pressure, respirations, tension in your muscles, temperature and brain waves.

The machine will then make different noises as these things change. With the physical therapist’s help, you will be able to learn how to control these body functions, which will help control your pain.

Many people find that massaging the deep tissue helps relieve their pain. Using a nice warmed stress relieving herbal oil will enhance the massage. I suggest Rosemary, Jasmine, Rose or lavender. Others use a deep pressure massage. This applies pressure to specific areas to relieve the pain. Tennis balls work well with this type of massage.

Be sure not to apply too much pressure and don’t overwork the muscle afterwards. Some say a warm bath before this type of massage works best to alleviate some of the possible bruising, while others say a bath afterwards helps to relieve any of the remaining pain.

Some people find that acupuncture helps with their sciatica nerve pain. What happens is a chiropractor places tiny needles in varying pressure point areas of your body. Many believe this will overload the nerve receptors, which will decrease the pain signals. While other people believe it works because it stimulates your body into releasing different chemicals in your body and that relieves the pain. Although the exact reason why this therapy works is unknown, studies show it does relieve pain and helps with a lot of other aliments as well. Sometimes when a person stretches, this will move the obstruction that is pinching the nerve, which will help with pain relief.

The 10 Best Herbs to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Sometimes the best cure is found in Mother Nature herself. If fact Herbal medicines was once the only source of treatment, but as penicillin and other medicines was introduced the herbs were forgotten. Now with all the drug recalls, many are turning to alternative, holistic medicines. I’ve listed the ten best herbs to help relieve sciatica pain.

  1. Rue is well known for its relief of sciatica pain.
  2. Wild lettuce helps relieve pain and it helps with insomnia.
  3. Willow it’s an anti-inflammatory herb.
  4. Skullcap it helps with stress, anxiety, fatigue pain and insomnia.
  5. Meadow sweet alienates pain.
  6. Black pepper helps relieve pain.
  7. Mullein root is used for nerve pain, for muscle spasms.
  8. Black birch is a pain reliever and it helps with digestive issues.
  9. St Johns wart helps with nervousness, anxiety, fatigue and pain.
  10. Wintergreen massage into the affected area to help relieve pain and swelling.
Source Chronicbodypain.net