Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy refers to the feeling of numbness, tingling, and pins-and-needles sensation in the feet. Idiopathic means the cause is not known, and chronic means the condition is ongoing without getting better or worse.
The condition is most often found in people over age 60. Idiopathic neuropathy has no known cause.
Symptoms include uncomfortable numbness and tingling in the feet difficulty standing or walking due to pain and lack of normal sensitivity and weakness and cramping in the muscles of the feet and ankles.
Peripheral neuropathy can greatly interfere with quality of life, so a medical provider should be seen in order to treat the symptoms and reduce the discomfort.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination blood tests to rule out other conditions and neurologic and muscle studies such as electromyography.
Treatment involves over-the-counter pain relievers prescription pain relievers to manage more severe pain physical therapy and safety measures to compensate for loss of sensation in the feet and therapeutic footwear to help with balance and walking.
Top Symptoms: distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
Urgency: Primary care doctor
How Patients Feel About The Parkinsons
After coming in contact with many Parkinsons patients, we have realized that nothing can make you fall if you have the resilience and courage to fight with it. Patients describe their pain and discomfort as a frustration when they were diagnosed with this disease. A patient said that it felt as if the life completely drained out of my right arm from the elbow down” when tremors began.
Some patients added that it is correct to use Parkinsons paralysis as a term for the rigidity, unfamiliar pain and stiffness they felt in their arms and limbs muscles.
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms
Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinsons disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didnt exercise or didnt start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.
Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments whether medicines or deep brain stimulation are optimal and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.
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What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
Stooping Or Hunched Posture
People who have Parkinsons disease may notice changes in their posture due to other symptoms of the disease, such as muscle rigidity.
People naturally stand so that their weight is evenly distributed over their feet. However, people who have Parkinsons disease may start bending forward, making them appear hunched or stooped over.
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Revisiting Pain In Pdthe 50 Shades Of Pain Experienced By Parkinsons Patients
Pain is a quality of life issue for people with Parkinsons disease and can be under treated by doctors who may assume that is worsens as the disease progresses, although for some pain is an initial symptom of PD. This article helps focus your physicians attention in the right direction to accurately diagnose your pain.
The Link Between Rls And Parkinsons: Dopamine Agonists
Although the cause of RLS remains unknown, we know that RLS runs in families in about one-half of the cases, and that some families have an abnormality on chromosome 12. Because RLS is well treated by medications that also treat Parkinsons disease, it is likely that some aspect of brain dopamine function is altered in RLS. However, unlike in Parkinsons disease, in which the deficit in substantia nigra dopamine-producing cells can be proven in many ways, no such abnormality has been shown in RLS. For example, studies show that there is no major deficit on PET or other imaging studies of the brain, as is there is in PD. The spinal fluid is normal in RLS, but shows low dopamine in PD.
Lastly, RLS does not progress to cause other major symptoms such as tremor, gait disorder, or loss of taste or smell, and does not progress to PD. In fact, one of the leading possibilities as the cause of RLS and for which there is good scientific evidence and much research is a form of iron-transport abnormality in the brain. In effect, RLS patients may have low levels of iron in brain nerve cellsjust the opposite of some portions of the brain in PD.
Dr. Poceta is a Consultant in Neurology and Sleep Disorders in the Division of Neurology, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, and the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center. His current interests include organized medicine and Internet medicine.
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What Is The Outlook For Persons With Parkinsons Disease
Although there is no cure or absolute evidence of ways to prevent Parkinsons disease, scientists are working hard to learn more about the disease and find innovative ways to better manage it, prevent it from progressing and ultimately curing it.
Currently, you and your healthcare teams efforts are focused on medical management of your symptoms along with general health and lifestyle improvement recommendations . By identifying individual symptoms and adjusting the course of action based on changes in symptoms, most people with Parkinsons disease can live fulfilling lives.
The future is hopeful. Some of the research underway includes:
- Using stem cells to produce new neurons, which would produce dopamine.
- Producing a dopamine-producing enzyme that is delivered to a gene in the brain that controls movement.
- Using a naturally occurring human protein glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, GDNF to protect dopamine-releasing nerve cells.
Many other investigations are underway too. Much has been learned, much progress has been made and additional discoveries are likely to come.
How Exercise Can Help
Research shows that regular exercise has significant benefits for Parkinsons patients. Since the disease affects flexibility, strength, and balance, patients are encouraged to use targeted exercise routines to manage the disease.
A study review published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicinefound that exercise improves overall physical performance in Parkinsons patients. The authors concluded that future research should examine the long-term effects of exercise programs.
As a rock climber, I spend a lot of time pulling on jagged edges. Ive learned that its important to balance muscle growth with the opposite action. Ive integrated pushing into my routine to balance the pulling that I do on a rock wall. Focusing on both pushing and pulling helps my body to stay balanced and prevents injuries.
While I havent yet encountered a rock climber with Parkinsons, the same premise could apply. If Parkinsons causes constant muscle contractions, how can we encourage those muscles to extend and relax? Yoga emphasizes both strength and flexibility. And its possible to practice a routine at home. Starting a yoga practice might offer a solution to managing muscular changes.
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Protocol Considerations For Emg
Real-world walking. Investigating gait during real-world activity is desirable to understand motor strategies in a natural environment although current technological limitations make long term recordings challenging.
Sample size. Greater numbers of participants and more stride cycles are necessary.
Muscle selection. Muscles representing all major muscle groups acting on the ankle, knee and hip joints in the sagittal and coronal planes should ideally be recorded to permit analyses of multi-muscle activation patterns and underlying neural control systems to be undertaken.
Electrode placement. A clear statement must be included regarding methods used to identify electrode placement and established guidelines followed.
Longitudinal studies. This will inform us how motor patterns change with age and disease progression and help establish EMG characteristics as biomarkers.
Additional gait and cortical parameters. Parameters such as joint kinematics and kinetics as well as cortical activity measured with mobile, wireless systems such as functional near infrared spectroscopy or electroencephalography will enable us to relate EMG to gait impairment and cortical processes.
Leg Pain And Parkinson’s
Interestingly enough, one of my early symptoms of the disease was deep searing pain in my left leg, the type of pain my grandma had complained about many times. Initially this type of pain was worst in the morning as well as at night, making me think is was some sort of fasciitis. However not only did typical anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants not alleviate my pain but pain worsened over time to a constant burning pain that felt as if someone was tearing the muscle and pouring hot oil on it. The pain was so excruciating it was permeating into all aspects of my life. I was constantly in need of deep tissue massage asking my husband to massage my legs just as my grandmother had asked of us time and time again. This helped only temporarily.
Which brings me to the four types of leg pain in PD.
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Second Type Of Leg Pain Is Caused By Dystonia
When related to levodopa, it usually occurs as a wearing off but can also occur at peak dose. In most cases this leg pain is unilateral and has direct correlation to medication intake. When pain is due to dystonia, it is more common in early morning. This type of leg pain is usually accompanied by toes curling and foot abnormally posturing.
My Parkinson’s Story: Pain
This 10-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and and doctors. The man shares his experience with pain as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease. The doctors explain that pain is common in Parkinson’s disease, often due to rigidity or dystonia, which can be exacerbated by “off” periods. Pain caused by Parkinson’s symptoms can be relieved by Parkinson’s medications, exercise, DBS and botox injections. Pain is an invisible symptom that should be mentioned to your neurologist.
Fatigue Sleep Difficulties And Restless Legs
Although Parkinsons is classified as a movement disorder, it can affect people in various different ways. Sometimes the non-movement symptoms can be more troublesome and can have a bigger impact on the daily life of someone living with Parkinsons.
Some of the more common non-movement symptoms of Parkinsons are:
- Restless legs
Can Parkinsons Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, no. Parkinsons disease is long-term disease that worsens over time. Although there is no way to prevent or cure the disease , medications may significantly relieve your symptoms. In some patients especially those with later-stage disease, surgery to improve symptoms may be an option.
Opening The Medicine Box In The Mind: The Psychology Of Pain
In this 50-minute lecture, Beth Darnall, PhD explains how our experience of pain goes beyond the physical sensation of pain. It has emotional and psychological components that affect our ability to treat pain. She cites research to demonstrate that and shares 13 specific tips to reduce the experience of pain and increase treatment effectiveness. Audience questions follow the lecture.
Pain Management In Patients With Parkinsons Disease: Challenges And Solutions
This review focuses on the diagnosis and management of Parkinson-related pain. It reviews the incidence and prevalence of PD, general pain and PD-related pain, the pathophysiological pathways of pain in PD, physiological pathways of pain relief, measurements of pain, clinical diagnosis of PD-related pain, and treatment strategies.
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What Is Parkinsons Paralysis
Parkinsons paralysis is a common term used by patients of Parkinsons disease and is generally referred as a result of loss of muscle function in the person who is suffering from Parkinsons disease. Paralysis is basically of two types i.e. complete or partial and can occur on either sides of the body.
Paralysis attack on the body can be widespread or can just occur in one area of the body. In many cases, Parkinsons disease leads to paralysis agitans, meaning complete weakness.
Treatment Depends On Properly Identifying The Type
If pain is bilateral always assume it is central pain pain due to PD. In my experience Azilect works great for this type of pain. Other medications which can be employed for this pain as well.
Massage therapy works for all types of leg pain-my favorite therapy but can be costly. Water therapy may also work for all types except central pain. Physical therapy can alleviate dystonia pain, as well as musculoskeletal and radicular pain.
If pain is due to dystonia related to levodopa intake, find out when it occurs—end of dose or at peak dose. Typically adjusting medication doses will resolve problem. However, if dystonia is an initial symptom of PD, initiating treatment with levodopa will resolve. If medication adjustment does not work well for levodopa induced dystonia, another treatment option is DBS . Pain due to dystonia independent of cause can also respond well to Botox injections, as well as centrally acting muscle relaxants. To avoid and alleviate pain caused by stiff muscles, a great treatment option is activity in the form of stretching exercises—any number of activities will do such as tai-chi or yoga. For me when I start having radicular pain shooting down my leg it is time to up my levodopa dosage.
If you are having leg pain make sure to discuss it with your physician.
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How Is Parkinsons Disease Diagnosed
Diagnosing Parkinsons disease is sometimes difficult, since early symptoms can mimic other disorders and there are no specific blood or other laboratory tests to diagnose the disease. Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans, may be used to rule out other disorders that cause similar symptoms.
To diagnose Parkinsons disease, you will be asked about your medical history and family history of neurologic disorders as well as your current symptoms, medications and possible exposure to toxins. Your doctor will look for signs of tremor and muscle rigidity, watch you walk, check your posture and coordination and look for slowness of movement.
If you think you may have Parkinsons disease, you should probably see a neurologist, preferably a movement disorders-trained neurologist. The treatment decisions made early in the illness can affect the long-term success of the treatment.
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons disease occurs when nerve cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra become impaired or die. These cells normally produce dopamine, a chemical that helps the cells of the brain communicate . When these nerve cells become impaired or die, they produce less dopamine. Dopamine is especially important for the operation of another area of the brain called the basal ganglia. This area of the brain is responsible for organizing the brains commands for body movement. The loss of dopamine causes the movement symptoms seen in people with Parkinsons disease.
People with Parkinsons disease also lose another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. This chemical is needed for proper functioning of the sympathetic nervous system. This system controls some of the bodys autonomic functions such as digestion, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Loss of norepinephrine causes some of the non-movement-related symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
Scientists arent sure what causes the neurons that produce these neurotransmitter chemicals to die.
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Spinal Lesion Or Tumor
A spinal lesion or tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue within or surround the spinal cord or column. Spinal tumors can be cancerous or noncancerous, and originate in the spine or spinal column or spread there from another site.
Back pain, which is worse at night or increases with activity, is the most common symptom. If the tumor presses on a nerve, it can cause numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, or chest.
Treatment depends on the type and location of the lesion or tumor, and whether or not its cancerous or noncancerous. Surgery to remove the tumor, or radiation therapy or chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, can usually resolve leg weakness.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also known as Lou Gehrigs disease. Its a progressive neurological disease that damages nerve cells and often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in the legs.
Other early symptoms include:
- slurred speech
- difficulty holding up your head
Theres currently no cure for ALS, but treatments are available that can help control symptoms and complications and improve quality of life.