I have often in these virtual pages emphasized the
importance of sleep in reducing the severity of chronic pain . Sleep has been shown in fibromyalgia studies
to be extremely important in reducing the pain fibromyalgia patients experience, and a lack of sleep appears to contribute to
the misery restless legs syndrome (RLS) patients experience.
Insomnia affects 10% to 20% of the United States
population. Among the elderly, the
percentage of those affected is 47%. For
the year 2007, it is estimated the cost of treating insomnia was approximately
$100 billion! We have all seen the
television commercials with the beaver and Abraham Lincoln.
There are several classes of medications for insomnia:
such as Restoril or Valium are effective in putting patients to sleep and
keeping them asleep, and they are relatively inexpensive. However, such drugs can have a hangover
effect, and a significant addiction potential...
We started our discussion about restless legs syndrome (RLS) in my recent blog, so let’s continue where we left off.
Mild symptoms of RLS occur in 5-15% of the general population, which makes it the second or third most common sleep disorder. Of these cases, only about 2-3% are considered clinically severe enough to require treatment. It appears to occur more commonly in females and can even affect children. Due to the difficult to describe leg sensations that are felt, children may be wrongly diagnosed with “growing pains” or even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). RLS symptoms occur more commonly as we age. Individuals who experience symptoms at a younger age tend to worsen as they get older, though there cases when the disease resolves spontaneously when the sufferer gets older.
Sleep disturbance is a major complaint in patients and is usually the main reason why they seek medical help. Though the dis...
How do you know when it's time for a knee joint replacement? When pain is not relieved by any other means. Quite often, the patient has severe arthritis as seen on X-ray. A 75-year old woman with a leg amputation below the knee is presented in this report. Her case is unusual because most people with an amputated leg have less arthritis in that leg. They tend to use the "good" leg more and favor the amputated side, putting less stress on the joint. In this case the patient had severe arthritis in both knees. At first she had the knee replaced on the nonamputated side. When she could no longer move the knee on the amputated side, that knee joint was replaced. A joint replacement on an amputated leg has more than the usual risks. For this woman, decreased blood flow led to the amputation in the first place. A joint replacement increases her risk of a second amputation further up the leg (mid-thigh). Physical therapy started the day after surgery. She went home on the eighth day, when she c...
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