Bell's palsy is a disorder of the facial nerve that can cause temporary or permanent facial paralysis. Nearly 40,000 people in the US are diagnosed with Bell's palsy each year and it most commonly affects people around the age of 40 and those with diabetes or upper respiratory ailments.
Bell's palsy is caused by an inflammation of the facial nerve, usually from a viral infection. When inflamed, the surrounding bones place pressure on the nerve and prevent it from letting you control your facial muscles. A number of different viruses can cause Bell's palsy, including the same ones that cause herpes, chickenpox and mononucleosis. If infected, you may experience a sudden paralysis or weakness of one side of the face, as well as other symptoms like:
These symptoms can last for a few weeks, a few months, or may never go away. Most cases will go away within a few months, often with no medical treatment. However, you should see your doctor if you are experiencing facial paralysis or weakness, as it may be a sign of a more serious condition. Your doctor may perform an electromyography to detect nerve damage, or an imaging test to rule out other conditions.
Many people can recover from Bell's palsy without treatment, but your doctor may prescribe medication or physical therapy to help speed up the process. Anti-inflammatory medication can reduce swelling of the facial nerve, while antiviral medications will help fight the viral infection. Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve is also possible, but is rarely needed. It is important to maintain the health of the eye when the facial nerve is paralyzed. This can be done by wearing protective glasses or patches and using drops to keep the eye moisturized.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition involving numbness, pain, tingling and weakness in the hand and fingers. It occurs when pressure is put on a nerve in the wrist called the median nerve, which controls motor function of the hand. This pressure, called impingement, is often caused by bone spurs, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive use or injury.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed with tests such as an electromyogram and nerve conduction study. It can often be effectively treated with nonsurgical therapies such as wrist splints, anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids. In cases which pain and numbness persist, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve.
Muscular dystrophy (MS) is a group of rare genetic diseases that causes the muscles to weaken and eventually break down, leaving children unable to perform tasks such as walking, sitting, moving the hands and arms, and breathing easily.
Although children are born with muscular dystrophy, they do not usually begin showing symptoms until they are a few years old, at which time they may begin to stumble, waddle, and have trouble standing up and pushing things. Symptoms may vary depending on the type of muscular dystrophy.
There are various types of muscular dystrophy, but most children with the condition have either Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy. Both of these conditions cause a gradual weakening of muscles and lack of coordination, progressively disabling the child.
While muscular dystrophy cannot be cured, there are several treatment options available to manage the symptoms of this condition and maximize your child's quality of life. Treatment for muscular dystrophy may include physical therapy, bracing, anti-inflammatory medication or walking devices. More severe cases may require surgery to release tendons or correct abnormalities of the spine.
Myalgia is a term for muscle pain that may be experienced in one or numerous muscles. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, ranging from mild, short-lived injuries to chronic and debilitating disorders. Myalgia may appear along with myositis, which is inflammation, or by itself. Myalgia may be the result of a systemic disorder, immunization, medication, vitamin deficiency, endocrine or metabolic disorder, connective tissue disease, central nervous system disorder, or a number of other causes.
Myositis refers to inflamed muscles. Muscles can inflame as a result of injury, overexertion, medication, or infection. Symptoms of myositis may include muscle weakness or pain, fatigue, difficulty climbing stairs or rising from a seated position, or difficulty swallowing. These symptoms make the condition difficult to diagnose; it is therefore important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms to receive prompt treatment and minimize complications.