Severe osteoarthritis of the hands
One of my patients came to see me today with severe right knee pain. This is not a new problem, and in fact, we have been dealing with flare ups of her osteoarthritis for years. It mainly affects her knees and hands and today her right knee was swollen and felt like the “bone was rubbing together” with each step. She could hardly walk because of the pain.
Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis and it is one of the most common maladies of aging joints, affecting millions of people. The cartilage in joints wears down and inflammation causes the bones to build up spurs and small micro tears. It affects women more than men and the cause is unknown. There are likely genetic factors as it tends to run in families. Arthritis can occur in any joint but the most common are the fingers, wrists, hips, neck and spine and knees. Stiffness (especially in the morning) and pain are the main symptoms that limit mobility.
You can see Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Medical science is getting closer to understanding one of the most common causes of chronically itchy arms called brachioradial pruritus.
This means we’re also getting closer to helping people who suffer from this extremely frustrating condition!
A new study exploring the cause of brachioradial pruritus was just reported in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The authors used MRI imaging to look at the cervical spine of 41 patients suffering from chronic itching of what was otherwise normal appearing skin on the outer surface of their forearms arms (called brachioradial pruritus). MRI imaging showed a very strong correlation between the itch and nerve compression in the patient’s neck. In fact, the exact site of the itch on the skin correlated precisely with the spinal location in the neck where the nerve resides that supplies that part of the arm skin (we call this a dermatome*).
What’s so interesting is that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Bailey's Skin Care Blog*
It may seem rather unusual to talk about injuries and weather in the same context, but extreme weather can pose significant risks for many kinds of injury. Currently, many parts of the United States are experiencing a major heat wave, with record-setting heat and heat indices over the next few weeks. As we have seen in the recent past, deaths are occurring from heat-related and possibly from participation in outside activities that increase the risk of heat-related illness.
During the month of August, many athletes train for the fall sports season, sometimes participating in two practices a day over the course of a few weeks. While training is necessary and important for athletes to build up their stamina and to improve their performance, health consequences can be deadly if Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog*
Dehydrated, cramped, limping? on a bike. Road nationals 2010.
People who exercise outdoors face a new threat.
Perhaps, even more dangerous than distracted or mean motorists.
It’s the heat. Gosh, is it hot. If only I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “Doctor M, you aren’t riding in this heat; are you?”
Well…Other than the fortunate souls smart (or lucky) enough to live in cooler climates, most of us are facing an extreme wave of hotness. As a Kentuckian, I live in the epicenter of this summer’s cauldron. Louisville sits in a wind-protected valley alongside the heat sink that is the Ohio River. Think hot and steamy.
The excessive heat smacked me hard last evening. Normally, my highly-veined skin and northern European heritage serves me well in the heat. But last night, while riding in sight of our city’s skyline, it started: My mouth grew dry and my breathing labored. And why was that helmet feeling so tight? Next came the sensation of tingles—not the pleasant kind of tingles, like when your teenager hugs you. And then came the deal-breaker: chills. I stopped, swallowed my pride and called for a ride home. (Here’s an always for you all: When it’s ninety degrees out and you feel cold–stop exercising, immediately.)
After last night’s brush with heat exhaustion, I thought it reasonable to ramble on about the dangers of exercising in the heat. And of course, I will offer some nuggets of wisdom for beating the heat. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
The brutal heat wave gripping much of the country this week is unpleasant for healthy folks. For people with cardiovascular trouble, hazy, hot, humid days can be downright dangerous.
Your body shouldn’t get too hot (or too cold). If your temperature rises too far, the proteins that build your body and run virtually all of its chemical processes can stop working. The human body sheds extra heat in two ways, both of which stress the heart:
Radiation. Like water flowing downhill, heat naturally moves from warm areas to cooler ones. As long as the air around you is cooler than your body, you radiate heat to the air. But this transfer stops when the air temperature approaches body temperature.
Radiation requires rerouting blood flow so more of it goes to the skin. This makes the heart beat faster and pump harder. On a hot day, it may circulate two to four times as much blood each minute as it does on a cool day.
Evaporation. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*