Conditions of the Peripheral Nervous System

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tun­nel syn­drome occurs when the medi­an nerve, which runs from the fore­arm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Symp­toms usu­al­ly start grad­u­al­ly, with fre­quent burn­ing, tin­gling, or itch­ing numb­ness in the palm of the hand and the fin­gers, espe­cial­ly the thumb and the index and mid­dle fin­gers. As symp­toms wors­en, peo­ple might feel tin­gling dur­ing the day and have decreased grip strength. There are both sur­gi­cal and non-sur­gi­cal treat­ments for carpal tun­nel.

Foot Drop

Foot drop describes the inabil­i­ty to raise the front part of the foot due to weak­ness or paral­y­sis of the mus­cles that lift the foot. It is a symp­tom of an under­ly­ing prob­lem and can be tem­po­rary or per­ma­nent. Caus­es include neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­or­ders of the brain that cause mus­cu­lar prob­lems, such as mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, motor neu­ron dis­or­ders such as Lou Gehrig’s dis­ease, or injury to nerve roots. Treat­ment options depend on the cause, but can include braces, exer­cise ther­a­py or surgery.

Ulnar Neuropathy

Ulnar Neu­ropa­thy occurs when the ulnar nerve which runs down the length of the arm becomes trapped, most com­mon­ly from the elbow to the wrist. Symp­toms result­ing from the trapped nerve include weak­ness, numb­ness, mus­cle wast­ing, pain and a pins and nee­dles sen­sa­tion in por­tions of the low­er arm con­trolled by the ulnar nerve (espe­cial­ly the lit­tle and ring fin­gers). Treat­ments include phys­i­cal ther­a­py and surgery to free the trapped nerve.

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