• Neurological Conditions

    Back Pain

    Back pain can be caused by aging, injury or trauma, lumbar spine disease or simple daily strain. It is often debilitating, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. The pain can travel down your legs and even cause leg numbness and weakness.

    Low back pain affects many people; you are not alone. Fortunately, there are a variety or treatment options available, both surgical and non-surgical. The purpose of treatment is to relieve your pain and assist you in managing your pain effectively to help improve your quality of life.

    Neck Pain

    Neck pain is very common for a large portion of the population. It can be caused by aging, accidents, injuries or the natural progression of a disease. This kind of pain can make even the simplest tasks extremely difficult to manage.

    Pain in the neck can be nonspecific and is more frequently of a muscular source. Pain that occurs after an injury to the head or neck area can also be of a muscular source, but should be approached with a higher degree of suspicion and studied more closely.

    Leg Pain

    When pain radiates from the back down to the legs, the condition is called lumbar radiculopathy. The pain may radiate down just one leg or occasionally down both legs. Pain such as this can be experienced on the front, back or side of the leg, and it may even involve the feet and toes.

    Lumbar radiculopathy is caused by a number of risk factors such as smoking, obesity and repetitive motion or heavy lifting. Other factors include disc injury, degeneration (aging or drying) of the disc or lumbar stenosis, compression factors and spinal tumors.

    Herniated (Slipped or Ruptured) Discs

    Herniated discs, often referred to as “ruptured” or “slipped” discs, are a common spinal condition affecting one- to two-percent of all adults, with a peak incidence at age 42. This condition is also known as herniated nucleus pulposus. It may be caused by trauma, stress to the area or changes over time known as degenerative disc disease.

    A herniated disc occurs when the cartilage shock absorber between the bones of the spine displaces into the spinal canal, causing compression of one of the spinal nerves. If the outer rim of the disc is torn, the disc contents (nucleus pulposus) can press out into the spinal canal. When this happens, a nerve root can be compressed.

    Cerebral Aneurysms

    A cerebral aneurysm is an aneurysm that occurs in one of the arteries that supplies blood to the brain. It is commonplace to have an aneurysm because blood pressure is higher in the arteries. When a brain aneurysm ruptures, a subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs.

    Depending on the severity, a stroke, brain damage or even death can result. Aneurysms are very dangerous if they rupture or burst. However, even unruptured aneurysms may cause headaches, dizziness, loss of concentration, neck pain, fatigue and vision problems.

    Brain Tumors

    Brain tumors are divided into many classifications. A distinction is usually made between primary brain tumors, or tumors of the brain itself, and metastatic tumors, or tumors that originate elsewhere in the body and travel through the bloodstream to the brain.

    Another distinction is made between malignant (cancerous) tumors and tumors that are benign. Primary brain tumors may be either benign or malignant. Metastatic tumors are always malignant. Some brain tumors do not produce any symptoms. Other times, symptoms may include headaches, seizures or neurological difficulties related to speech, vision, numbness, weakness, balance or walking.

    Hydrocephalus

    Hydrocephalus is a medical condition caused by excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Once known as “water on the brain,” the fluid is actually cerebrospinal fluid that is produced in the brain and surrounds the brain’s tissues and spinal cord.

    There are two types of hydrocephalus - acute and normal pressure. Acute hydrocephalus is connected with head trauma, cancers and infections. Normal pressure hydrocephalus is more of a chronic condition that develops in people in their 60s and 70s. While this kind of hydrocephalus can often be associated with dementia, it is actually a treatable condition.

    Trigeminal Neuralgia

    Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that produces severe facial pain. Classic typical type 1 trigeminal neuralgia produces occasional pain, whereas the atypical type 2 trigeminal neuralgia is associated with constant, throbbing sensations. Even with type 1 trigeminal neuralgia where the discomfort often lasts only moments, the pain can be incapacitating.

    The pain can often be triggered by activities such as touching your mouth, talking, eating, brushing your teeth, shaving, a cold wind or even a light breeze. About 15,000 new cases of trigeminal neuralgia are diagnosed annually in the United States.

    Stroke

    Acute ischemic stroke is a condition where part of the brain is deprived of oxygen, causing symptoms such as numbness or weakness on one side of the body. Other common symptoms include difficulty with speaking, understanding and coordination.

    The stroke occurs when an artery bringing oxygen to the brain is blocked off. This blockage can happen when a blood clot travels through the body and gets lodged in a smaller blood vessel. Plaque buildup in larger neck arteries can also break off and get lodged deep in the brain.

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder of the hand and wrist in which a nerve becomes compressed and irritated, resulting in pain, tingling and numbness. Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered a repetitive motion injury or “cumulative trauma disorder” because it usually develops after months or years of repetitive strain.

    Painful tingling in one or both hands at night is usually the first symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. The fingers may feel useless or swollen even if no swelling is apparent. As symptoms progress, tingling may be felt during the day, usually in the thumb, index or middle fingers.

    Neuropathy

    Neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves. A patient’s experience with neuropathy depends on which nerves are involved. Sensory nerves, motor nerves and autonomic nerves all cause different levels of pain and discomfort.

    Weakness in the hands and feet and changes in blood pressure are among the most common symptoms of neuropathy. Risk factors that contribute to neuropathy include age, weight, injuries and associated diseases such as diabetes, which is one of the more popular causes of neuropathy.