(If you feel your condition is not on the list please contact us so we can discuss your particular problem.)
Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the "extensor" muscles in your arm and forearm,
particularly where the tendons attach to rounded projections of bone (epicondyles) on the outside or
lateral aspect of the elbow. The muscles you use to grip, twist, and carry objects with your hand all attach
to the "lateral epicondyle" at the elbow. That's why a movement of the wrist or hand can actually cause
pain in the elbow. Prolonged use of the wrist and hand, such as when using a computer or operating
machinery —and, of course, playing tennis with an improper grip or technique—can lead to tennis elbow.
It can happen to athletes, non-athletes, children, and adults. . A physical therapist can teach you
exercises to gradually stretch and strengthen your muscles, especially the muscles of your forearm.
Eccentric exercises, which involve lowering your wrist very slowly after raising it, are particularly helpful.
A forearm strap or brace may reduce stress on the injured tissue.
Mechanical low back pain may be defined as pain secondary to overuse of a normal anatomic structure (muscle strain) or pain secondary to injury or deformity of an anatomic structure. Mechanical low back pain is usually aggravated by static loading of the spine (prolonged sitting or standing), long levered activities (e.g. cleaning with a broom) or levered postures (bending forward). It is eased when the spine is balanced by multidirectional forces (e.g., walking) or when the spine is unloaded (e.g. Lying down). Mechanical conditions of the spine including back strain, disc herniation, disc disease, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis account for up to 98% of cases of back pain. The onset of acute low back pain most often is the result of mechanical damage due to excessive and prolonged poor posture and mechanics, a sedentary lifestyle and inadequate conditioning. Seemingly trivial stress such as bending over, sneezing or coughing can produce a herniated disk when superimposed on chronic wear and tear. People in a sedentary occupation have a high risk of herniating a disk.
At some point during our adult lives, most people experience bouts of back pain. Acute pain can develop into Chronic Pain for a number of reasons. Once these reasons have been determined through a medical evaluation, treatment can focus on reducing back pain and improving mood and function.
Mechanical low back pain refers to back pain that arises intrinsically from the spine, intervertebral disks, or surrounding soft tissues. This includes lumbosacral muscle strain, disk herniation, lumbar spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, vertebral compression fractures, and acute or chronic traumatic injury.1 Repetitive trauma and overuse are common causes of chronic mechanical low back pain, which is often secondary to workplace injury. Most patients who experience activity-limiting low back pain go on to have recurrent episodes. The history and physical examination, with appropriate use of imaging, can point toward a specific etiology. However, the complexity and biomechanics of the spine make it difficult to identify a specific anatomic lesion. Most people experience pain primarily in the lower back. The pain may spread (radiate) to the buttocks, thighs or knees. Many people may also experience spasms with mechanical back pain. The symptoms of low/mechanical back pain are generally more noticeable with flexion of the back and when lifting heavy objects. Back pain is usually more severe than leg pain.
Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury causing pain on the outside part of the knee especially during running when the heel strikes the ground. The iliotibial band runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh, from the pelvis to the tibia, crossing both the hip and knee joints. The iliotibial band is an important stabilizer structure of the outermost part of the knee as the joint flexes and extends. The iliotibial band syndrome may be the result of a combination of issues, including poor training habits, poor flexibility of muscle, and other mechanical imbalances in the body, especially involving the low back, pelvis, hips, and knees. There can be a predisposition to develop IT band syndrome. Anatomy issues may include differences in the lengths of the legs (a leg-length discrepancy), an abnormal tilt to the pelvis, or bowed legs (genu varum). Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) and anti-inflammatory medications are first-line treatments.
Supraspinatus tendinitis or painful arc syndrome occurs in the shoulder. The shoulder joint owes its stability to the ‘rotator cuff’ muscles – which are four small muscles located around the shoulder joint which help with movement, but importantly their tendons stabilise the head of the humerus within the joint capsule. The tendon of one of these muscles, commonly (supraspinatus) impinges on the acromion (the bone forming the tip of the shoulder) as it passes between the acromion and the humeral head. The supraspinatus muscles help lift up the arm sideways.
The classic supraspinatus tendinitis symptoms are pain and tenderness over the affected arm, swelling around the affected tendon, limited mobility of the shoulder and a clicking sound might appear because of the supraspinatus tendon slipping in and out of its normal position. The main cause behind Supraspinatus Tendinitis is the inflammation of the Supraspinatus tendons. The main Supraspinatus tear cause is persistent strain and increased workload along with age related wear and tear. The Supraspinatus tendinitis treatment plan usually begins with self-care and RICE or rest, ice, compression and elevation treatment at home.
Inflammation of the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle leads to supraspinatus tendinitis. This is the most common cause of shoulder pain. Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of a tendon — the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. The condition causes pain and tenderness just outside a joint. Most at risk for Supraspinatus Tendinitis are people whose job requires repetitive overhead motions and athletes who compete in sorts such as swimming, throwing sports, volleyball etc. Patients with Supraspinatus Tendinitis present with shoulder pain with movement and pain at night. They will also show weakness in the shoulder and arm. There is also possibility of tenderness and swelling in the upper front part of the shoulder and in some severe cases, difficulty to raise the arm to shoulder level.
Tendinitis tends to occur at the point where a tendon attaches to a bone and typically include: Pain often described as a dull ache, especially when moving the affected limb or joint, Tenderness,. Most people develop tendinitis because their jobs or hobbies involve repetitive motions, which put stress on the tendons. Using proper technique is especially important when performing repetitive sports movements or job-related activities. Improper technique can overload the tendon — which can occur. Without proper treatment, tendinitis can increase your risk of experiencing tendon rupture — a much more serious condition that may require surgery.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a band of dense connective tissue which courses from the femur to the tibia. The ACL is a key structure in the knee joint, as it resists excessive forward movement and rotational loads. Three major types of ACL injuries are described as direct contact, indirect contact and non- contact. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common in young individuals who participate in sports activities associated with pivoting, decelerating and jumping. Most common are the non-contact injuries, caused by forces generated within the athlete’s body while most other sport injuries involve a transfer of energy from an external source. A torn ACL is extremely painful, particularly immediately after sustaining the injury. There may be an audible pop or crack at the time of injury. Approximately 75% of ruptures are sustained with minimal or no contact at the time of injury. Women are three times more prone to have the ACL injured than men. Symptoms include - A feeling of initial instability which may be masked later by extensive swelling, Episodes of giving way especially on pivoting or twisting motions, Swelling of the knee, Restricted movement (especially an inability to fully extend the knee) and Possible widespread mild tenderness
Hemiplegia is a form of trauma induced paralysis that affects either side of the body, often just one arm and one leg, but occasionally with symptoms extending partially into the torso.
Common causes of hemiplegia (and other forms of trauma induced paralysis) include: Traumatic brain injuries to one side of the brain only (These may be caused by car accidents, falls, acts of violence, and other factors), Cardiovascular problems, particularly aneurysms and hemorrhages in the brain, Strokes and transient ischemic attacks (better known as TIA or mini-strokes), Infections
Common symptoms include- Total or partial loss of sensation on just one side, Changes in cognition, mood, or perception, Difficulty speaking, Changes on the other side of the body, since those muscles may begin to atrophy or become painful due to chronic muscle spasms, Spastic attacks during which the muscles move without your conscious control, Seizures.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Your fascia supports the muscles and arch of your foot. When it’s overly stretched, you can get tiny tears in its surface. This can bring on pain and inflammation.
The average plantar heel pain episode lasts longer than 6 months and it affects up to 10-15% of the population. However, approximately 90% of cases are treated successfully with conservative care. Although this condition is seen in all ages, it is most commonly expereinced during middle age.
Females present with plantar heel slightly more commonly than males and occurs more frequently in an athletic population such as running, accounting for up to 8-10% of all running related injuries.
De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is a painful inflammation of tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb
Repeating a particular motion day after day may irritate the sheath around the two tendons, causing thickening and swelling that restricts their movement.
Other causes of de Quervain's tenosynovitis include:
Risk factors for de Quervain's tenosynovitis include:
Cervical spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in your neck. As the disks dehydrate and shrink, signs of osteoarthritis develop, including bony projections along the edges of bones (bone spurs).
Cervical spondylosis is very common and worsens with age. More than 85 percent of people older than age 60 are affected by cervical spondylosis
As you age, the bones and cartilage that make up your backbone and neck gradually develop wear and tear. These changes can include:
Cervical radiculopathy, commonly called a "pinched nerve" occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. This may cause pain that radiates into the shoulder, as well as muscle weakness and numbness that travels down the arm and into the hand.
Cervical radiculopathy most often arises from degenerative changes that occur in the spine as we age or from an injury that causes a herniated, or bulging, intervertebral disk.
Most of the time cervical radiculopathy appears unilaterally, however it is possible for bilateral symptoms to be present if severe bony spurs are present at one level, impinging/irritating the nerve root on both sides. If peripheral radiation of pain, weakness or pins and needle are present, the location of the pain will follow back to the concerned affected nerve root.
When disc herniation leads to compression of only an exiting nerve, this condition is referred to as radiculopathy. When disc herniation leads to compression of the spinal cord, this compression may lead to a group of symptoms referred to as myelopathy. Sometimes both the exiting nerves and spinal cord are affected, leading to a condition referred to as myeloradiculopathy.
Cervical radiculopathy is a dysfunction of a nerve root in the cervical spine, is a broad disorder with several mechanisms of pathology and it can affect people of any age, with peak prominence between the ages of 40-50. Reported prevalence is of 83 people per 100,000 people. Annual incidence has been reported to be 107,3 per 100.000 for men and 63,5 per 100.000 for women
The most common level of root compression is C7 (reported percentages 46.3–69%), followed by C6 (19–17.6%); compression of roots C5 (2–6.6%) and C8 (10– 6.2%) are less frequent. One possible explanation is that intervertebral foramina are largest in the upper cervical region and progressively decrease in size in the middle and lower cervical areas, with an exception of the C7-Th1 foramen (C8)
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo, which is a symptom of the condition. Though not fully understood, BPPV is thought to arise due to the displacement of otoconia (small crystals of calcium carbonate) from the maculae of the inner ear into the fluid-filled semicircular canals.
Dizziness, including vertigo, affects 15% to 20% of adults yearly based on population studies. The lifetime prevalence of BPPV specifically was found to be 2.9%, and incidence increases with age due to age-related degeneration of the otolithic membrane. Additionally, BPPV is about two to three times more common in women versus men.
With BPPV, otoconia (also known as “otoliths” or “canaliths”) dislodge and settle within the endolymph of the semicircular canals. When the head remains static, there is no stimulus causing the hair cells to fire. With motion, however, the displaced otoconia shift within the fluid, and the subsequent stimulus is unbalanced with respect to the opposite ear, inappropriately causing symptoms of dizziness, spinning, and/or swaying. Hence, symptoms of BPPV are profound with movement but classically lessen with rest.
DIX HALL PIKE TEST
The maneuver begins with the patient seated and head turned 45 degrees to the side being tested so as to isolate and vertically orient that side's posterior canal. The patient is then laid back into a supine position with the tested ear down .Classic teaching suggests hanging the head back over the edge of the bed, but this is not necessary when performing the Dix‐Hallpike test alone. Overextension of the neck may even elicit a false positive response from the contralateral side. Clinicians should also be cautious of patients with neck, back, abdominal, and hip problems as this may require special care during the diagnostic maneuver
Unfortunately, BPPV is a condition that can re-occur periodically with long-term recurrence rates as high as 50% within 5 years, especially in those whose BPPV is related to trauma. If it seems to always reoccur in the same canal and if deemed safe, your therapist may teach you to perform a specific treatment maneuver on yourself.
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years.
Your risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if you're recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents you from moving your arm
Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages. Each stage can last a number of months. Freezing stage. Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, Freezing stage. Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, Thawing stage. The range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.
The hallmark signs of this condition are severe pain and being unable to move your shoulder.
An ankle sprain is an injury to the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that surround and connect the bones of the leg to the foot. The injury typically happens when you accidentally twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the ligaments that hold your ankle bones and joints together.All ligaments have a specific range of motion and boundaries that allow them to keep the joints stabilized. When ligaments surrounding the ankle are pushed past these boundaries, it causes a sprain. Sprained ankles most commonly involve injuries to the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. An ankle sprain often occurs when the foot suddenly twists or rolls, forcing the ankle joint out of its normal position. During physical activity, the ankle may twist inward as a result of sudden or unexpected movement. Some swelling or bruising can occur as a result of these tears. You may also feel pain or discomfort when you place weight on the affected area. Ankle sprains can happen to anyone at any age.
Medial epicondylitis is also known as golfer's elbow, baseball elbow, suitcase elbow, or forehand tennis elbow. It's characterized by pain from the elbow to the wrist on the inside (medial side) of the elbow. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones. Medial epicondylitis is caused by the excessive force used to bend the wrist toward the palm. Other possible causes of medial epicondylitis include: Serving with great force in tennis, Weak shoulder and wrist muscles, Using a too tightly strung, too short, or too heavy tennis racket, Throwing a javelin and Carrying a heavy suitcase.
The most common symptom of medial epicondylitis is pain along the palm side of the forearm, from the elbow to the wrist, on the same side as the little finger. The pain can be felt when bending the wrist toward the palm against resistance, or when squeezing a rubber ball.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It's a chronic joint disease that breaks down cartilage and bones in the neck, lower back, knees, hips, shoulders and/or fingers. Common symptoms are pain, stiffness and limited joint movement. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis cause joint pain, stiffness and limited range of motion, but the two diseases are distinct in their root cause and treatment. Osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune disease. In a healthy joint, cartilage provides cushioning and a smooth joint surface for motion; in an osteoarthritic joint, as cartilage is irreversibly destroyed and bone abnormalities develop, movement becomes painful and more difficult. The knee is the largest joint in the body and bears most of our body’s weight. Due to the natural wear-and-tear that comes with constant lifting and moving, the knee is frequently affected by arthritis.
The following are common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis: - Pain with activity, Limitations in range of motion, Stiffness, Swelling, Tenderness, Grinding or crunching sensation
Arthritic knees can come in pairs, but it’s more common to develop osteoarthritis in one knee, as people may favor one leg over the other while walking or running.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that develops when certain cells of the immune system are not working properly and begin to attack healthy joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis cause by an autoimmune condition.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not fully understood, however there are certain risk factors that play a role such as – although it can develop at any age it affects women more than men, Those with a family history of RA have a slightly higher risk and those who smoke. The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints. The smaller joints are typically the most affected, such as your knuckles, and the joints in your feet.
Signs of rheumatoid arthritis include: Anemia (low blood count), Detection of rheumatoid factor, Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides, Inflammation in the joints caused by an elevated sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein in the blood.
A hamstring injury is a strain or tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the thigh. The hamstrings are tendons (strong bands of tissue) at the back of the thighs that attach the large thigh muscle to the bone. A hamstring injury can occur if any of the tendons or muscles are stretched beyond their limit.
They often occur during sudden, explosive movements, such as sprinting, lunging or jumping.
It's a common injury in athletes and can occur in different severities.
The 3 grades of hamstring injury are:
The length of time it takes to recover from a hamstring strain or tear will depend on how severe the injury is.
A minor muscle pull or strain (grade 1) may take a few days to heal, whereas it could take weeks or months to recover from a muscle tear (grade 2 or 3).
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic arthritis that involves inflammation of the spine and may cause some vertebra to fuse together, leading to stiffness, severe pain and discomfort. While ankylosing spondylitis cannot be cured, a variety of treatment options can help reduce the pain and ease the symptoms. Early signs of ankylosing spondylitis are typically pain and stiffness in the lower back and buttocks. Symptoms tend to develop gradually over several weeks or months, with dull and diffuse pain that may start on one side of the body and spread to the other, becoming worse in the morning and at night.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease causing axial arthritis, frequently resulting in inflammatory low back pain early in the disease course, with eventual severe impairment of spinal mobility due to structural changes ultimately leading to spinal fusion.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis featuring chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints (sacroiliitis). It belongs to a group of arthritis conditions that tend to cause chronic inflammation of the spine (spondyloarthropathies). It affects males two to three times more commonly than females. It is a cause of back pain in adolescents and young adults. The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is genetically inherited. The HLA-B27 gene can be detected in the blood of most patients with ankylosing spondylitis. It can also affect the eyes, heart, lungs, and occasionally the kidneys. The optimal treatment involves medications that reduce inflammation or suppress immunity, physical therapy, and exercise.
A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) that sit between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack to make your spine.
A spinal disk has a soft, jellylike center (nucleus) encased in a tougher, rubbery exterior (annulus). Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when some of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus.
A herniated disk, which can occur in any part of the spine, can irritate a nearby nerve. Depending on where the herniated disk is, it can result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Most herniated disks occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. Disk herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration.
puts pressure on the spinal cord or a single nerve fibre. This means that not only will a slipped disc cause pain in the area of the disc, but also in regions that the nerve controls, such as an arm or a leg.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel—a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand—houses the median nerve and the tendons that bend the fingers. Sometimes, thickening from the lining of irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be numbness, weakness, or sometimes pain in the hand and wrist, or occasionally in the forearm and arm. 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. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that reduce the available space for the median nerve within the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps because the carpal tunnel itself may be smaller in women than in men.
Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing degenerative brain disorder that leads to tremors and difficulties with walking, balance, and coordination. It is the most common form of parkinsonism, a group of motor system disorders. There is no cure for this disease but there are highly effective treatments that can significantly ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and allow patients to live a productive and fulfilling life. Dopamine is a chemical that helps the nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other. When dopamine is missing from certain areas of the brain, the messages that tell the body how to move are lost or distorted - resulting in movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Every individual experiences symptoms differently, but the most common symptoms are:
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. The syndrome can affect the nerves that control muscle movement as well as those that transmit pain, temperature and touch sensations. This can result in muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the legs and/or arms.
It is a rare condition, and while it is more common in adults and in males, people of all ages can be affected.
The first symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome include weakness or tingling sensations. They usually start in the legs, and can spread to the arms and face. Guillain-Barré syndrome is often preceded by an infection. This could be a bacterial or viral infection.
Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a set of neurological conditions that affect movement. It is the most common form of childhood disability. The condition makes it hard to move certain parts of the body. There are many degrees of severity. Because of damage to certain parts of the brain, voluntary or involuntary movements or both can be affected. Cerebral palsy is not contagious, it does not necessarily affect intelligence or cognitive ability, and it is not progressive, so it does not get worse with age. Some people find that symptoms improve over time. People with cerebral palsy tend to have a normal lifespan, and in many cases, a good quality of life can be expected. Muscle control takes place in a part of the brain called the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the upper part of the brain. Damage to the cerebrum before, during, or within 5 years of birth can cause cerebral palsy. An infant with cerebral palsy may have muscular and movement problems, including poor muscle tone. Muscle tone refers to a person's automatic ability to tighten and relax muscle when required.
Treatment depends entirely on individual needs. The aim is to help the child achieve as much independence as possible. Because cerebral palsy is non-progressive, it will not worsen as the individual ages.
Paraplegia is the result of spinal cord damage. The spinal cord is located in the spinal canal and is part of the central nervous system. It passes on information between the brain and the body. If damage occurs, the line is interrupted and usually cannot be restored. It corresponds to damage in the thoracic region or below and means paralysis of both legs. This is also referred to as low-level paralysis. The upper extremities remain functional; in most cases, the respiratory muscles are not or only slightly affected. Fractures of the spine, usually as a result of an accident, cause paraplegia. Due to this, vertebral bodies move and the spinal cord is squeezed. Tissue swelling and bruising can lead to damage to the spinal cord. In the process, a scar is formed at this point, but the original connections are broken and cannot be restored. Muscular failure in the form of paralysis is the most obvious symptom of paraplegia. The extent depends on how badly the spinal cord is damaged.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. An autoimmune disorder, MS is an unpredictable condition that can be relatively benign, disabling, or even devastating. Some people with MS may be mildly affected, while others may lose their ability to see clearly, write, speak, or walk when communication between the brain and other parts of the body becomes disrupted. With MS, myelin (a fatty tissue that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers) is lost in multiple areas and that loss forms scar tissue called sclerosis. These areas are also called plaques or lesions. When damaged in this way, the nerves are unable to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain.
Symptoms can be mild or severe and can last a long time or short time. Also, depending on what areas are affected, they can present in many different combinations. The most common symptoms that a patient may notice first are: Blurred or double vision, Visual color distortion, Pain and loss of vision, Difficulty walking and Sensations of pain, numbness, or “pins and needles”
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that penetrates brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
Spinal cord injuries caused by trauma to the vertebral column, thereby affecting the spinal cord's ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body's systems that control sensory, motor and autonomic function below the level of injury. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCI. in younger individuals, while falls are the leading cause for SCI for people over 65. Acts of violence and sports/recreation activities are other common causes for these injuries. A complete SCI produces total loss of all motor and sensory function below the level of injury. Nearly 50% of all SCIs are complete. Both sides of the body are equally affected. loss of function is caused by a contusion or bruise to the spinal cord or by compromise of blood flow to the injured part of the spinal cord. In an incomplete SCI, some function remains below the primary level of the injury. A person with an incomplete injury may be able to move one arm or leg more than the other or may have more functioning on one side of the body than the other. SCIs are graded according to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grading scale, which describes the severity of the injury.
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that come from the spinal cord in the neck and travel down the arm. These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, as well as provide feeling in the arm. Some brachial plexus injuries are minor and will completely recover in several weeks. Other injuries are severe enough and could cause some permanent disability in the arm. These nerves can be damaged by stretching, pressure or cutting. Stretching can occur when the head and neck are forced away from the shoulder, such as during a motorcycle fall or car accident. If severe enough, the nerves can tear out of the spinal cord in the neck. Pressure could occur from the crushing of the brachial plexus between the collarbone and first rib, which can happen during a fracture or dislocation. Swelling in this area from excessive bleeding or injured soft tissues can also cause an injury. Nerve injuries can stop signals to and from the brain, preventing the muscles of the arm and hand from working properly, and causing loss of feeling in the area.
Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle. There are many different kinds of muscular dystrophy. Symptoms of the most common variety begin in childhood, mostly in boys. Other types don't surface until adulthood. There's no cure for muscular dystrophy. But medications and therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the course of the disease. The main sign of muscular dystrophy is progressive muscle weakness. Specific signs and symptoms begin at different ages and in different muscle groups, depending on the type of muscular dystrophy.