Senior Health

 

Muscle or Ligament Injury
Strained or Pulled Muscles
Muscle strain -- or muscle pull or even a muscle tear -- implies damage to a muscle or its attaching tendons. Putting undue pressure on muscles during the course of normal daily activities, with sudden heavy lifting, during sports, or while performing work tasks can cause muscle strain or damage. Muscle damage can be in the form of tearing (part or all) of the muscle fibers and the tendons attached to the muscle. The tearing of the muscle can also damage small blood vessels, causing local bleeding (bruising) and pain (caused by irritation of the nerve endings in the area).

Muscle Strain Symptoms

  • Swelling, bruising or redness, or open cuts due to the injury
  • Pain at rest
  • Pain when the specific muscle or the joint in relation to that muscle is used
  • Weakness of the muscle or tendons (A sprain, in contrast, is an injury to a joint and its ligaments.)
  • Inability to use the muscle at all

Ligament Sprain
A sprain is an injury that damages a ligament. A ligament is a firm, fibrous band of tissue that connects two bones across a joint. There are ligaments crossing all of the joints in the body. Grade 1 and 2 sprains only damage the internal structure of a ligament, but the ligament remains intact. Grade 3 sprains (sometimes called “torn” or “ruptured” ligaments) result in complete tears of the involved ligament. A sprain occurs when an external force pushes two bones of a joint apart. If the force continues, the ligament holding the joint together has to give. Most of the time, it gives only partially and is sprained. If the ligament were to come completely apart, it would be torn, or ruptured. Sprains occur commonly as the result of sporting activities, but can occur from accidents during everyday activities.

 


 

Arthritis
The word arthritis literally means joint inflammation, but is often used to refer to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. These diseases may affect not only the joints but also other parts of the body, including important supporting structures such as muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, as well as some internal organs. Two of the most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Most forms of arthritis are associated with pain that can be divided into two general categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain is temporary. It can last a few seconds or longer but wanes as healing occurs. Some examples of things that cause acute pain include burns, cuts, and fractures. Chronic pain, such as that seen in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, ranges from mild to severe and can last a lifetime.

Chronic pain is a major health problem in the United States and is one of the most weakening effects of arthritis. More than 40 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis, and many have chronic pain that limits daily activity. Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of arthritis, affecting about 16 million Americans, while rheumatoid arthritis, which affects about 2.1 million Americans, is the most crippling form of the disease.

Arthritis Symptoms

  • Osteoarthritis may include joint pain and progressive stiffness that develops gradually.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis may include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the fingers, arms, legs, and wrists
    occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body, especially upon awakening
  • Infectious arthritis may include fever, chills, joint inflammation, tenderness, and sharp pain associated with an injury
    or infection elsewhere in your body.


 

Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is the most common musculoskeletal condition after osteoarthritis. Still, it is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Its characteristics include widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue, as well as other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression and social isolation. More than 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Most of them are women ranging in age from 25 to 60. Women are 10 times more likely to get this disease than men. Fibromyalgia can cause signs and feelings similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. Some experts include in this group of arthritis and related disorders. However, while the pain of bursitis or tendinitis is localized to a specific area, pain and stiffness with fibromyalgia are widespread.

A syndrome is a set of symptoms. When they exist together, they imply the presence of a specific disease or a greater chance of developing the disease. With fibromyalgia syndrome, the following symptoms commonly occur together:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Decreased pain threshold or tender points
  • Incapacitating fatigue
  • Widespread pain

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

  • Continual all-over body pain and achiness around the joints in the neck, shoulders, back and hips
  • Difficulty sleeping or exercising
  • Crippling fatigue -- even on arising
  • Specific tender points on the body may be painful to touch.
  • May experience swelling, disturbances in deep-level or restful sleep, and mood disturbances or depression.
  • Muscles may feel like they have been overworked or pulled even without exercise or another cause.
  • Muscles may twitch, burn, or have deep stabbing pain.

Other Fibromyalgia Symptoms Include:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Chronic Headaches
  • Dryness in Mouth, Nose and Eyes
  • Hypersensitivity to Cold and/or Heat
  • Inability to Concentrate (Called "Fibro Fog")
  • Incontinence
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Numbness or Tingling in the Fingers and Feet
  • Stiffness

 


 

Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic Neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. People with diabetes often have high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves throughout the body. Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage nerves throughout your body. The higher the blood sugar levels, the more likely the nerve damage. Controlling blood sugar throughout a patient’s life is very important.

There are three kinds of diabetic neuropathy

  • Peripheral neuropathy is damage to peripheral nerves. These are the nerves that sense pain, touch, hot, and cold. They also affect movement and muscle strength. The nerves in the feet and lower legs are most often affected. This type of nerve damage can lead to serious foot problems. The damage usually gets worse slowly, over months or years.

  • Autonomic neuropathy is damage to autonomic nerves. These nerves control heartbeat, blood pressure, sweating, digestion, urination, and sexual function.

  • Focal neuropathy affects just one nerve, usually in the wrist, thigh, or foot. It may also affect the nerves of the back and chest and nerves that control the eye muscles. This type of nerve damage usually happens suddenly.

The older a patient gets, and the longer they have diabetes, the more likely they will have nerve damage. About half of all people who have diabetes experience diabetic neuropathy.

 

 



 
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