5 Ways Neurologists Treat Back Pain

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If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from back pain, you may be wondering what your treatment options are. You may have considered going to a chiropractor or physical therapist, but did you know that neurologists can also help treat back pain? You may have seen neurologists listed as a possible treatment option and wondered what they could do to help. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the nervous system, including the brain, spine, and nerves. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 ways that neurologists can help manage back pain. We will also discuss cases that respond well to care from a neurologist, as well as conditions that may require a different treatment approach.

How Can a Neurologist Treat Back Pain?

As mentioned above, neurologists are specialists in conditions that affect the nervous system. This includes the brain, spine, and nerves. Because of this, neurologists are able to provide a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating back pain. Here are some ways that a neurologist can help:

PROPER DIAGNOSIS:

A neurologist will take a comprehensive medical history and conduct a physical examination. They can also perform a neurological exam, which assesses muscle strength, sensation, and reflexes. Examining all of these factors can tell them a great deal about your condition. After the physical and neurological exams, they may also order imaging studies, such as an MRI, to help determine the cause of your back pain. Since neurologists are nerve specialists, they will also likely perform a nerve conduction study to determine the exact problem and location of the affected nerve. This specific diagnostic information allows neurologists to develop a treatment plan that is specific to your needs.

PAIN MANAGEMENT:

Neurologists are also experts in pain management because understand the complex relationship between the nervous system and pain. They can prescribe medication to help effectively relieve your pain, as well as offer other treatment options, such as nerve blocks or epidural injections. One main benefit of seeing a neurologist for back pain management is that they can provide a range of non-surgical treatment options, which is ideal for those looking for non-invasive spinal treatments.

PHYSICAL THERAPY:

A neurologist may also recommend physical therapy to help manage your back pain. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around your spine and provide support. This can reduce excess pressure one the nerve, which can lead to reduced pain. It can also help improve your flexibility and range of motion. Many people with back pain find that a combination of physical therapy and medication is most effective in reducing their symptoms.

RECOMMEND LIFESTYLE CHANGES:

Neurologists can also provide guidance on lifestyle changes that may help reduce your back pain. For example, they may recommend exercises to improve your core strength or suggest methods to help you maintain good posture. They may also recommend changes to your diet to help reduce inflammation. Neurologists understand the complex relationship between lifestyle choices and back pain, so they can provide guidance on how to make changes that will help reduce your symptoms.

ACT AS PART OF CARE TEAM:

In some cases, a neurologist may be part of a care team that includes other specialists. For example, if you have a condition that is causing nerve damage, you may be seen by a neurologist, pain management specialist, and physical therapist. In other cases, you may eventually need spine surgery, in which case your neurologist may work with your spinal surgeon, as well as you before and after surgery. This team approach can provide you with comprehensive care that is tailored to your needs.

When a Referral May Be Needed

There are many conditions that can cause back pain, and some of them respond well to treatment from a neurologist. For example, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, and pinched nerves are all conditions that can usually be effectively treated by a neurologist. In many cases, the goal of treatment is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.

Spine With Scoliosis Before and After Surgery

There are also some conditions that may require a referral to another specialist. For example, if you have cancer or an infection, you will likely be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating those conditions. Another condition that generally requires surgery is moderate to severe spinal deformities. In some cases, a neurologist may also refer you to a spinal surgeon if your back pain is severe and does not respond to other treatment options. There are simply some cases of back pain that respond better to a more invasive, surgical approach.

If you are experiencing back pain that is not improving with treatment from a neurologist, it can be beneficial to get a referral from your neurologist. This is because they are experts in diagnosing and treating conditions that cause back pain and can often provide contacts that specialize in your condition. In short, getting a referral from a neurologist can help ensure that you receive the most comprehensive and effective care possible.

 

The Top 5 Treatments for Migraines

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If you suffer from frequent migraines, you know that they are no joke. Therefore, when it comes to treating migraine symptoms such as pounding head pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound, you want something that is both effective and fast acting. However, part of the problem with treating migraines is that not all treatments affect people the same way. This can mean that you may need to try a few different things before you find something that works for you. This can also mean that you may need to switch treatments from time to time if something stops working. While there are a variety of migraine treatments, here are the top 5 most effective treatments for migraines:

Botox

While many people think that Botox is only used by cosmetic specialists for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, this is only one of its main applications. Onabotulinumtoxin-A is a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum that can block signals passed from the nervous system to the muscles. When a small amount of this toxin is injected into the muscles on the scalp and temples, it can be used to decrease both the severity and frequency of migraines by blocking the chemicals responsible for pain transmission.

IV Infusion Therapy

IV infusion therapy has been provided for years by emergency rooms to quickly and effective relieve severe migraine symptoms. However, sitting in an emergency room waiting room for hours with a migraine is usually the last thing you want to do. For this reason, many neurologist’s offices are now offering their own in-office outpatient IV infusion therapy sessions. These sessions usually last about two hours and use an intravenous catheter to deliver a cocktail of migraine medications designed to treat active migraine symptoms, as well as to prevent future migraines. And since these medications are delivered through an IV, results are almost instantaneous and highly effective at reducing a number of migraine symptoms.

Natural Remedies

There are some natural remedies that have been shown to decrease migraine symptoms in some people. For example, inhaling or applying lavender oil to the temples can reduce the severity of a migraine. Applying peppermint oil to the forehead and temples has also been associated with relieving migraine discomfort. Finally, ginger can be used to alleviate nausea associated with migraines, as well as to decrease the severity of the migraine. However it is important to note that while natural remedies can be helpful in some cases, they are usually not as effective as other migraine treatments.

Prescription Medication

If you have frequent migraines, your doctor may prescribe medications that are specifically designed for managing migraines. These medications are usually divided into preventive and abortive medications. Preventative medications help to decrease the frequency of migraines, while abortive medications are used to decrease the severity of current migraine. Prescription medications used to treat migraine headaches include triptans such as Sumatriptan (Imitrex), Zolmitriptan (Zomig), Rizatriptan (Maxalt), Almotriptan (Axert), Eletriptan (Relpax), Naratriptan (Amerge), and Frovatriptan (Frova). Ergot alkaloids such as dihydroergotamine (DHE) can also be used to relieve symptoms. In some cases, non-migraine specific pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics can also be used to relieve symptoms.

Prevention

One of the best ways to treat a migraine is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Some prescription drugs, such as tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and some anticonvulsants, are designed to prevent migraines and can be taken regularly to decrease the frequency of migraines. Additionally, there is also evidence that vitamin B2, magnesium, and CoQ-10 can be taken to reduce the frequency of attacks.

However, prevention also includes identifying, recognizing, and managing migraine triggers. For example, things like skipping meals, hormones, glaring lights, strong odors, high altitude, alcohol, certain foods caffeine, abnormal sleep patterns, and stress can all lead to a migraine. Keeping a log on what triggers migraines can help individuals identify possible triggers that may need to be managed.

 

Why You Should See a Neurologist for Headaches

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Do you suffer from frequent or severe headaches or migraines? Do they make it difficult to go about your day-to-day life? If so, you should consider seeing a neurologist. Many people don’t realize that neurologists are specialists in treating headaches and migraines. In fact, they may be able to help you find relief from your headaches and migraines that you didn’t think was possible. In this blog, we will discuss what a neurologist is and why you should see one for headaches and migraines. We will also discuss some of the signs that indicate you should see a neurologist and what to expect during your appointment.

What is a Neurologist?

A neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. This includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neurologists have specialized training in how the nervous system works and how to diagnose and treat disorders that affect it. When it comes to headaches and migraines, they are often able to provide expertise and treatments that other doctors, such as general practitioners, cannot.

When to See a Neurologist

Whether you are experiencing headaches, migraines, or are unsure of which, you may be wondering when it is appropriate to see a neurologist. Some of the signs that indicate you should see a neurologist for headaches and migraines include:

  • woman holding her head in pain
  • Frequent or severe headaches that make it difficult or impossible to go about your day-to-day life
  • Headaches that are not relieved by over-the-counter medications
  • You take over-the-counter headache medications regularly (5 or more days a month)
  • Headaches that are accompanied by other symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, or vomiting
  • Headaches that are accompanied by neurological symptoms such as seizures or weakness on one side of the body
  • Headaches that appear after a head injury
  • You have more than two headaches a week
  • Your headaches are getting worse
  • Changes in your vision during or before a headache
  • A family history of migraines

If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to see a neurologist so they can properly diagnose and treat your headaches. A neurologist can help by doing a complete evaluation and ordering tests, if needed. They will work with you to determine the cause of your headaches and develop a treatment plan to help you find relief.

What to Expect When Seeing a Neurologist for Headaches or Migraines

Once you’ve finally made an appointment with your local neurologist, you may be wondering what you should expect at your appointment. When you go to see a neurologist for your headaches or migraines, they will ask you questions about your headaches. It is important to provide a thorough headache history, since this is one of the best diagnosis tools. Before your appointment, take some time to consider the following:

  • How often you have headaches/migraines and how bad they are
  • If anything makes your headaches/migraines better or worse
  • Do you experience vision changes before or during?
  • How much sleep do you get?
  • Whether certain activities, weather, foods, or drinks, contribute
  • If the headaches/migraines occur during the menstrual cycle
  • Any previous headache/migraine treatments you’ve used in the past

Discussing these various factors with your neurologist will help them to narrow down the potential causes of your headaches or migraines. This can also help when it comes to forming a treatment plan.

After discussing your headache history, the neurologist will also give you a physical exam. They may check your blood pressure and do a neurological exam. This involves checking your reflexes, strength, and sensation. This information can help your neurologist to determine your overall neurological health and it can also identify the cause of someone’s headaches or migraines. The neurologist may also order additional tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to rule out other conditions.

After the neurologist has evaluated you, they will work with you to develop a treatment plan. This may include:

MEDICATION:

The neurologist may prescribe medication to help relieve your headaches or migraines. There are two types of medications that are commonly used to treat headaches or migraines: preventive and abortive. Like their name suggests, preventative medications are used to reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches and migraines. Abortive medications, on the other hand, are designed to stop or decrease the throbbing of a migraine.

BOTOX INJECTIONS:

If you experience chronic migraines, the neurologist may recommend Botox injections. Contrary to popular belief, Botox injections have a variety of other medical applications besides being a cosmetic treatment to decrease wrinkles. When botulinum toxin A is injected into the head and neck, this interrupts the pain pathway between the brain and spinal cord to provide migraine relief. However, this approach can take up to four weeks to work and requires more than a single set of injections to maintain results.

HEADACHE INFUSION THERAPY:

Headache infusion therapy is a relatively new treatment for headaches and migraines. This type of therapy involves the intravenous delivery of medication directly to the blood vessels in the head. This helps to calm the nerve endings that initiate the events that lead to a migraine. approach is designed to provide relief from acute migraine headaches and it can also help to prevent future headaches. Treatment with headache infusion therapy generally lasts for about 1 month.

 

What are the Most Common Causes of Nerve Damage?

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Nerve damage can be a debilitating condition that affects millions of people each year. There are two main types of nerves in the body- sensory and motor- and each can be affected by damage. There are many different causes of nerve damage, some more common than others. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at how different types of nerves are affected by damage and the most common causes of nerve damage.

Types of Nerves

As mentioned above, there are two main types of nerves. Each type of nerve has its own function, and therefore, its own reaction to nerve damage.

SENSORY NERVES

Sensory nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system and are responsible for transmitting information from the body to the brain. This can include information about touch, temperature, pain, and more. When these nerves are damaged, it can cause problems with sensation in the damaged area. This can include symptoms such as pain, burning, tingling or prickling, sensitivity, numbness, or problems with positional awareness.

MOTOR NERVES

Motor nerves are also part of the peripheral nervous system and are responsible for transmitting information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. This allows us to move our muscles and perform everyday tasks. When motor nerves are damaged, it can cause weakness, twitching, or paralysis in the muscles.

The Most Common Causes of Nerve Damage

DIABETES

The most common cause of nerve damage is diabetes. Diabetes can damage the nerves by causing them to swell and press against blood vessels. Since sensory nerves are the most likely to be affected, this can cause a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected area. However, diabetes can also cause damage to the autonomic and motor nerves as well, although this is not as common.

INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, herpes viruses, hepatitis C, and Lyme disease, can damage the nerves by causing inflammation and/or gradually destroying the body’s immune system. This can lead to a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected area, as well as various other symptoms. Acute infections tend to come on quickly, while chronic infections develop slowly but are progressive and often fatal.

CANCER

Cancer can damage the nerves by growing into them or pressing against them. Certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma or multiple myeloma, can also cause neuropathy as a symptom. This can cause a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected area. Cancer can also cause nutritional deficiencies resulting in reduced nerve function. In some cases, treatments used for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can also lead to nerve damage and pain.

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and multiple sclerosis, can cause nerve damage and pain. This is because these autoimmune conditions may cause the immune system to damage the nerves by attacking them. This can lead to a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected area.

TRAUMA

Trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, can damage the nerves by crushing them. This can cause a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected area. In some cases, nerves can also be crushed, or compressed, by other factors such as surgery, herniated discs, carpal tunnel syndrome, or bone spurs.

DRUGS/TOXINS

Certain drugs, such as chemotherapy and HIV medications, can damage the nerves. Excess alcohol consumption has also been associated with causing nerve damage. Finally, the accidental ingestion of toxins such as arsenic, lead, and mercury can also cause nerve damage. This can lead to a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected area.

NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common causes of nerve damage. This vitamin is essential for the health of the nervous system, and a deficiency can cause problems with sensation and movement. Deficiencies in vitamin B6 can also cause nerve damage and pain. Nutritional deficiencies can be the result of excess alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, or a medical condition that affects the absorption of nutrients.

MOTOR NEURON DISEASES

Motor neuron diseases, such as ALS, can damage the nerves by causing them to degenerate and lose their function over time. This can lead to a loss of sensation, twitching, paralysis, weakness, or muscular atrophy in the affected area. The exact symptoms and location of symptoms will depend upon the type of motor neuron disease.

CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

Chronic kidney disease is another common cause of nerve damage. Although the exact reasons are unknown, one theory is that kidney disease can cause electrolyte imbalances that directly affect nerve cell function, causing them to dysfunction. Another theory believes that nerves and small blood vessels become damaged since the kidneys cannot properly remove toxins from the blood.

HORMONAL IMBALANCES

Hormonal imbalances can also cause nerve damage by altering normal metabolic processes. One example of this is diabetes, which can cause damage to the nerves as a result of high blood sugar levels. Other hormonal imbalances, such as hypothyroidism or menopause, can also lead to nerve damage and pain. Hypothyroidism, in particular, can slow metabolism, which leads to fluid retention. This causes tissues to swell and apply pressure on peripheral nerves.

 

7 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

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Do you often feel tired even after a full night’s sleep? Are you restless at night, unable to get comfortable in bed? You may be suffering from restless leg syndrome. This condition can affect both the quantity and quality of your sleep, leaving you feeling exhausted during the day. In this blog post, we will discuss what restless leg syndrome is, its symptoms, and what causes it. We will also list 7 signs that indicate you are not getting enough sleep.

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. This urge is often accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation. Restless leg syndrome can occur at any time, but it is most common at night while the legs are relaxed best neurologiest for sleep problems. Around 80% of individuals with RLS also have periodic limb movement of sleep (PLMS), meaning that their legs will twitch or jerk regularly while sleeping. This can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Symptoms of restless leg syndrome can include:

An irresistible urge to move your legs, often accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation
Symptoms that are worse at night or with rest and improve with movement
Tingling, crawling, or pulling sensations in the legs

Daytime sleepiness

Fatigue
There are several possible causes of restless leg syndrome. These include iron deficiency in the brain, genetics, and certain medications, such as those used to treat allergies, nausea, depression, or psychosis. Restless leg syndrome can also be a side effect of another condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or other conditions that disrupt dopamine pathways in the brain. In some cases, RLS can also be secondarily caused by neuropathy, diabetes, or kidney failure.

7 Signs You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

Now that we have discussed what restless leg syndrome is and its possible causes, let’s talk about the signs that you are not getting enough sleep. It is recommended to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but many people do not get this much.

A lack of sleep could be caused by RLS, as well as various other sleep disorders. In any case, it is important to discuss sleep problems with a doctor. If you are experiencing any of the following, you may not be getting enough sleep:

YOU DON’T FEEL GOOD IN THE MORNING

woman struggling to wake up in the morning
If you are not getting enough sleep, you will likely feel groggy and exhausted when you wake up in the morning. You may also have other symptoms such as a sore throat, headache, dry mouth, or jaw pain. All these symptoms can indicate the presence of a possible sleeping disorder.

YOU NEED CAFFEINE TO FUNCTION

Do you need coffee, tea, or energy drinks to get through the day? If you do, it may be a sign that you are not getting enough sleep at night. While caffeine can help to improve alertness, it is not a substitute for sleep. In fact, relying on caffeine to get through the day can actually make it harder to fall asleep at night. This creates an endless cycle of poor sleep and drinking more caffeine.

YOU’RE FALLING ASLEEP DURING THE DAY

If you find yourself falling asleep during the day, it is a sign that you are not getting enough sleep at night. This daytime sleepiness can be caused by various factors, including an underlying sleep disorder. If you are regularly falling asleep during the day, it is important to talk to your doctor.

YOU’RE IRRITABLE OR HAVE MOOD SWINGS

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may find yourself feeling irritable or having mood swings. In fact, studies show that people who consistently get less sleep tend to be more stressed, angry, and mentally exhausted. These symptoms can affect your work, school, and personal relationships. Not to mention feeling irritable all the time can take a toll on your emotional health. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to discuss them with your doctor.

YOU’RE GAINING WEIGHT

woman tied to scale by measuring tapes
Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. This is because when you’re tired, you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices and crave junk food. You are also more likely to eat larger portions than usual since a lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to regulate the hormones responsible for hunger. Lack of sleep can also disrupt your body’s metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. If you are gaining weight and don’t know why, it is important to talk to your doctor.

YOU HAVE SKIN PROBLEMS

If you are not getting enough sleep, you may find that you are experiencing more breakouts. This is because when you’re tired, your body produces more stress hormones. These hormones can increase inflammation and oil production, leading to more breakouts. Additionally, you may also notice that your eyes are red and puffy, or that you have dark circles or bags under your eyes.

YOUR LIBIDO IS LOW

A lack of sleep can also lead to a low libido. This is because when you’re tired, your body produces more stress hormones. These hormones can interfere with sexual arousal and make it harder to become or maintain sexual arousal. In fact, fatigue is a common reason for low libido. If you are experiencing a low libido, it is important to talk to your doctor.

In Conclusion

There are many different signs that indicate you are not getting enough sleep. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to discuss them with your doctor. A lack of sleep could be caused by various sleep disorders, such as restless leg syndrome. This is likely the case if you are unable to keep your legs still while at rest. Like most sleep disorders, there are treatments available for restless leg syndrome to help alleviate symptoms and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Don’t wait until you’re exhausted to get help! Call our office today for more information.

 

Why are my Fingers Numb?

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If you have been experiencing numbness or tingling in your hands and fingers, chances are you want to know what is causing it and how to make it stop. While there are a variety of reasons why your fingers could be numb, the good news is that not all these reasons are serious. Here are some possible reasons why you may be experiencing numbness or tingling in your hands

Drug-Induced Neuropathy

This is a fancy way of saying that your nerves can become damaged as a result of taking certain medications. While everyone’s body reacts differently, the most common culprits are: antibiotics such as metronidazole, nitrofurantoin, and fluoroquinolones; anticancer drugs like cisplatin and vincristine; antiseizure medications such as phenytoin; and heart or blood pressure drugs such as amiodarone and hydralazine.

Slipped Disc

A slipped disc, also known as a herniated disc, occurs when there is a tear in the disc that allows the soft cushion between the vertebrae to slip out of place. When this happens in the cervical, or neck, region of the spine, it can cause both numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that is characterized by pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs through the center of the wrist and is responsible for sensation to your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and a portion of the ring finger. When the median nerve becomes compressed by the surrounding tissues, however, this can cause tingling, pain, and weakness in these fingers.

Cubital Tunnel

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, however it affects the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve, also commonly called the funny bone, runs down from the neck, passes through the inner portion of the elbow, and continues all the way to the pinky finger. Like carpal tunnel syndrome, when the ulnar nerve is compressed it can result in numbness, pain, and weakness in the ring and pinky fingers.

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that causes nerve damage in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. It is generally caused by high blood sugar levels and is seen in people who do not properly manage their diabetes. In addition to numbness and tingling, peripheral neuropathy can cause burning or a pins-and-needles feeling.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by prolonged periods of muscle pain, tenderness, and fatigue. Although the primary symptom of fibromyalgia is aching pain in the muscles, numbness in the fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs, and face have been noted.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

While MS is a rare, numbness and tingling are one of the most common symptoms. In most cases, numbness associated with MS tends to only affect one side of the body and it generally occurs in the arms, legs, or face. Other symptoms of MS can include vision problems, weakness, coordination problems, slurred speech, and loss of bladder or bowel control.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Another rare condition, Guillain-Barre syndrome is characterized by nerve damage as a result of the body’s immune system attacking its own nerves. Although numbness with Guillain-Barre syndrome generally starts in the legs, it can eventually lead to numbness in the fingers. Guillain-Barre syndrome usually follows a viral or bacterial illness and has the following additional symptoms: trouble talking or walking, fast heartbeat, trouble with bladder or bowel control, and difficulty breathing.

Ultimately, the best way to determine the cause of your numb fingers is to schedule a consultation with your local neurologist. This is especially important if the numbness does not go away within a few days, spreads to other areas, or if you had a recent injury or illness. During your appointment, your neurologist will ask you about your symptoms and may possibly perform a nerve conduction study to determine the cause of your numbness.

 

Why You Should See a Neurologist for Sleep Problems

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Do you have problems falling asleep? Or maybe you fall asleep and then wake up multiple times later in the night? Do you also struggle with issues like restless leg syndrome that prevents you from getting quality sleep? If any of this sounds like something you experience on a regular basis, then you may have a sleeping disorder.

Sleep disorders are characterized by problems with the quality, timing, and amount of sleep, especially when these problems result in daytime sleepiness or distress. There are different types of sleep disorders that can have both physical and emotional causes. Some of the most common sleep disorders include: insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and sleep apnea.

When it comes to seeking the proper diagnosis and treatment for sleeping disorders, not many people know where to go. Because there are different medical professionals that offer treatment for sleeping disorders, it can be tough to know which professional to see. Here are some medical professionals that can treat sleeping disorders:

PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS

At the very least, visiting your primary care doctor is recommended because they can always refer you to specialists that focus on the treatment of sleeping disorders. However, some primary care doctors can also help treat sleeping disorders themselves. In some cases, your primary care doctor may even identify a possible sleeping disorder through screenings performed during regular appointments.

PULMONOLOGIST

Pulmonologists are respiratory specialists that primarily deal with sleep disorders caused by breathing problems. The most common sleep disorder a pulmonologist deals with is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) since this disorder is caused by a collapsed airway. However, some pulmonologists also have general training in the treatment of other sleep disorders.

PSYCHIATRIST

Psychiatrists also have training to identify possible sleep disorders, since they can lead to mental health problems. In some cases, sleep disorders can also be caused by mental health disorders, so seeking treatment for one can help alleviate the other.

ENT

An Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor can also deal with sleeping disorders when they are caused by issues with the ears, nose, and throat. Both sleep apnea and snoring can potentially be caused by these structures, so an ENT can perform surgery to alleviate sleep apnea and/or snoring.

NEUROLOGIST

The final medical professional that can provide treatment for sleeping disorders is a neurologist. Neurologists tend to provide treatment for sleeping disorders when the cause is thought to be neurological. Central sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome can all be related to neurological issues and are best treated by a neurologist.

Reasons to See a Neurologist for a Sleeping Disorder

THEY UNDERSTAND HOW THE BRAIN WORKS

Although there is still much to be learned about how the brain works, neurologists have a better understanding of the brain than other medical professionals. The brain is responsible for controlling the process of sleep, which means that there are various neurological factors that can affect this process. When it comes to treating sleep disorders that are thought to be caused by neurological factors, a neurologist can employ their expertise to identify the issue and develop more effective treatments.

woman having her head evaluated

MANY SLEEP DISORDERS ARE RELATED TO NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Another reason why you should see a neurologist for sleep disorders is because many sleep disorders actually occur in coordination with neurological conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, and stroke. Neurologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of these neurological disorders, so they are more likely to recognize possible sleeping disorders as a symptom.

NEUROLOGICAL TREATMENT CAN HELP SLEEPING DISORDERS

Due to the fact that many sleep disorders are related to neurological conditions, seeing a neurologist allows you to get the right type of treatment. Instead of simply masking the problem, neurologists can treat the neurological condition responsible for causing the sleep disorder, which will likely improve your quality of sleep as well.

What to Expect at a Neurology Appointment

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Neurologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating problems with the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. When you have a problem with any of these structures, it is important to see a neurology specialist. However, if you have never been to a neurologist before, you may be wondering what to expect. In this blog post, we will outline what happens during a typical appointment with a neurologist and provide an overview of each step of a neurologist appointment. This should help you feel more comfortable and prepared for your appointment.

Why See a Neurologist

Stethoscope and Brain Model

Before your appointment, you may be wondering if a neurologist is the right type of medical specialist to see for a particular health concern. There are many reasons why you might see a neurologist. For example, you may have been experiencing headaches or dizziness for some time and your primary care doctor has referred you to a specialist. Alternatively, you may have recently had a stroke or been in a car accident and need to be seen by a neurologist as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing any of the following problems, it is always best to see a neurologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Problems with balance or walking
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Memory problems

What to Expect During a Neurology Appointment: There are many different steps involved in a typical neurology appointment. While your exact experience may vary, here is a general idea of what happens during a neurology appointment:

DISCUSSION OF MEDICAL HISTORY

First, the neurologist will discuss your medical history with you. They will ask about your symptoms, when they started, how often you experience them, and if anything makes them better or worse. The neurologist will also want to know about your family medical history and any medications you are currently taking.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

Next, the neurologist will conduct a physical examination. This will help them rule out any other potential causes of your symptoms. During the physical examination, the neurologist will assess your:

  • reflexes
  • muscle strength
  • sensation
  • coordination

The neurologist may also perform a few basic tests, such as checking your blood pressure and heart rate.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING

If the neurologist suspects that you have a particular condition, they may order some diagnostic tests. These tests help to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. Common diagnostic tests used by neurologists include:

Woman Having an MRI Scan

CT: Computerized tomography (CT) scans use a combination of x-rays and computers to create cross-sectional views of a particular structure. In some cases, dye is used to highlight arteries, blood vessels, tumors, or other structures. During this test, you can expect to lie down on a moveable bed that is inserted into a donut-shaped machine. The test usually takes about 30 minutes to complete.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a combination of magnetic fields and radio waves to form an image of the inside of the brain. During this test, you can expect to lie down on a moveable bed that is inserted into a tube-shaped machine. The test usually takes about 30 minutes to complete.

EEG: Electroencephalogram (EEG) uses electrodes attached to the scalp to record electrical signals of the brain. This test is often used to diagnose or rule out epilepsy. During the test, you may be asked to stare at a flashing light while the electrodes record your brain activity.

EMG: Electromyogram (EMG) uses small needles inserted into the muscles to track electrical activity between the muscles and nerves. Mild shocks are delivered to record nerve conduction. This test can be used to diagnose causes of pain, numbness, or weakness.

NCV: Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test measures how quickly signals move through the peripheral nerves. This test is often used to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome or other nerve damage. During the test, you will have small electrodes placed on your skin. A mild shock is delivered to stimulate the nerve, and then the speed of signal transmission is measured.

Angiogram: An angiogram is a special type of CT scan that uses dye to highlight the arteries in the brain. This test is often used to diagnose aneurysms or other vascular abnormalities.

TCD: Transcranial Doppler (TCD) uses sound waves to measure the speed of blood flow through the arteries in the brain. This test is used to diagnose stroke or other vascular abnormalities.
Spinal Tap or Lumbar Puncture: During a spinal tap or lumbar puncture, a needle is inserted into the lower back to collect cerebrospinal fluid. This test can be used to diagnose infections, inflammation, or tumors.
Once the diagnostic tests are complete, the neurologist will review the results and make a final diagnosis.

EDUCATION

After making a diagnosis, the neurologist will provide you with education about your condition. They will explain the symptoms you are likely to experience and discuss treatment options with you. They may also discuss lifestyle changes that can help improve your condition. If necessary, the neurologist may refer you to another type of specialist for further treatment.

ANSWER QUESTIONS

The neurologist will answer any questions you have about your condition and treatment options. This is an important step in the process, as it helps you to feel more comfortable and confident about the decisions you are making regarding your health.

SET UP FUTURE APPOINTMENTS

Finally, the neurologist will set up future appointments with you as needed. For example, some diagnostic tests will need to be completed before a treatment plan can be developed. Even after being diagnosed, they will usually recommend that you come back for follow-up appointments on a regular basis, especially if you have a chronic condition.

Study Shows Relationship Between Air Pollution and Brain Health

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Clean air is one of the most important resources for sustaining life. Despite this fact, clean air is getting harder and harder to find. Instead, much of the air we breathe on a daily basis has been polluted in some way, shape, or form. This is especially the case in larger cities that contain more people per square foot than smaller cities. More people also means more cars, and more jobs, which ultimately leads to more inadvertent air pollution.

When most people think about how air pollution affects them, they generally assume that their lungs are at risk. While this is certainly true, air pollution also affects other parts of the body, such as the brain. In fact, a recent study has found a possible link between long-term air pollution and cognitive decline. The study, entitled “Long-term exposure to air pollution and trajectories of cognitive decline among older adults”.

The study was designed to evaluate the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and cognitive declines in older adults. Past research has shown air pollution as a risk factor for cognitive decline, so this study was developed to learn more about the correlation between the two factors. At the start of the study, it was hypothesized that higher levels of air pollution would cause lower levels of cognitive function initially, with a sharp decline as the study progressed.

For the study, two groups of adults living in northern Manhattan were carefully evaluated. The first group was made up of 5,330 participants Heights-Inwood Community Aging Project (WHICAP) and the second group was made up of 1,093 participants in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS). Participants from both groups were free of dementia at baseline, had at least one neuropsychological examination during the study period, had a primary address allowing for measurement of exposure, and had no missing data for confounding variables.

In order to measure the amount of air pollution the participants were exposed to, several factors were taken into account. First, an estimate of air pollution for the previous year using the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality System measurements was evaluated. Specifically, researchers were looking at measures of nitrogen dioxide, fine particles, and larger particles that could be inhaled. Then, traffic pollution exposure was determined by each participant’s address in relation to the nearest major highway. To determine cognitive function, neuropsychological tests were standardized in z scores.

The research showed that when WHICAP participants were exposed to higher levels of air pollution, the rate of cognitive decline increased. It is estimated that the effect of inhaling nitrogen dioxide for extended periods of time equates to one year of cognitive decline. However, cognitive decline was not seen in the NOMAS participants. This mixed result is consistent with other studies that have evaluated the relationship between air pollution and cognitive decline. Researchers who conducted the study noted that there was likely a selection bias at play in the NOMAS group. It was also recognized that the NOMAS group only analyzed cognitive changes twice, while the WHICAP group performed six follow-up neuropsychological examinations.

7 Tips for Treating Migraines at Home

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Migraines are a common type of headache that can be extremely painful. Some people experience migraines several times a month, while others only have them occasionally. If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be Best Hospital in Gurgaon. While there is no cure for migraines, there are many things you can do at home to help relieve the symptoms. In this blog post, we will discuss what migraines are, their symptoms, and what causes them. We will then list and explain 7 tips for treating migraines at home.

What Are Migraines?

Migraines are a type of headache that is usually characterized by severe pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. The pain is often described as throbbing, pounding, pulsing, perforating, and debilitating. Pain associated with migraines also commonly affects the forehead, usually on one side of the head. Migraines can last for hours or even days, with the average attack lasting around 4 hours. Some people experience migraines several times a month, while others only have them occasionally.

The symptoms of migraines can vary from person to person, but they usually include:

  • severe pain
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • nausea/vomiting
  • feeling faint
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision

seeing shapes, flashing lights, or bright spots tingling in their hands or feet

There is no one single cause of migraines, but there are several factors that can trigger them. These include stress, lack of sleep, bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, and certain foods. Even things like hormone changes, the use of certain medications, or changes in barometric pressure can trigger a migraine.

Tips for Treating Migraines at Home

Now that we have discussed what migraines are and what their symptoms are, let’s move on to the tips for treating them at home.

TIP #1 REST

If you are suffering from a migraine, the first thing you should do is try to relax in a dark and quiet room. This will help to ease some of the pain, especially if you are experiencing sensitivity to light and sound. In some cases, sleeping can also alleviate a headache, and being in a dark, quiet room makes you more likely to fall asleep. At the very least, studies show that migraine pain tends to improve after being in the dark for 20-30 minutes. To prevent future migraines, it is also important to get around 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

TIP#2 APPLY A COLD COMPRESS TO YOUR HEAD OR NECK.

Applying a cold compress to the forehead or back of the neck can help to distract the brain from the pain and provide a numbing effect that reduces inflammation and pain. Ice packs can also help slow blood flow, which can help alleviate some of the pain. Some people prefer to use a warm compress instead, which can help relieve muscle tension and relax tight muscles.

woman self-massaging neck and shoulders

TIP #3 MASSAGE YOUR TEMPLES OR NECK.

Massages help to relax muscles and can ease pain caused by migraine, especially if the migraine is triggered by muscle tension. Therefore, gently massaging your neck or temples may help to reduce pain. However, some people may experience allodynia, or an extreme sensitivity to touch that makes even the lightest touch painful. In these cases, massage is not recommended since it can make the pain worse.

TIP #4 STAY HYDRATED

When you feel a migraine coming on, drink plenty of fluids, especially water. This will help to prevent dehydration, which is a common migraine trigger that can make migraines worse. In fact, notes that as many as one-third of people with migraines note dehydration is a trigger. It has also been shown that drinking lots of water can shorten the length of a migraine. Since water is the best thing to drink, you can add flavor by adding lemon or a little bit of fruit juice to the water.

TIP #5 AVOID TRIGGER FOODS AND DRINKS.

cup of coffee surrounded by coffee beans
There are certain foods and drinks that can trigger migraines. These include things like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and processed meats, just to name a few. Keeping a food diary can help you identify your specific triggers so that you can avoid them. Avoiding migraine triggers can help decrease the frequency of future migraines.

TIP #6 TAKE OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN MEDICATION.

There are many over-the-counter medications that can help to relieve the pain of migraines. These include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen. There are also certain medications made especially for migraines that may contain a combination of painkillers.

TIP #7 SUPPLEMENT MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is a mineral that is known to help relieve migraines. People who are deficient in magnesium may be at a higher risk of experiencing a migraine with aura and women are more likely to experience menstrual-migraines. For some people, supplementing magnesium has been effective at reducing the frequency of migraines. It can be taken in supplement form or obtained from foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before starting any type of supplement.