Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easing the Pain

Like something seemingly out of a torture camp the Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit is actually designed to relieve pain and discomfort through a small portable device. 

A New State of Comfort

Finally able to breath again and catch up on my sleep, I still find my back and neck sore from the long hours of hunching while studying for exams. A good night's rest and a session of yoga at the gym quickly helped ease some of the tension that built up over the last couple weeks. For some people, however, pain can be an ongoing problem that limits their daily functioning and even compromises optimal health. Recently, I heard about muscle stimulators and their non-invasive approach to easing sensory and motor deficits. Despite their evil look, some people swear by their effectiveness as adjunct to common medicine.

Although not effective in all cases of chronic pain, TENS Units are an alternative approach to the use of medications and more invasive methods of treatment that aim to reduce neuropathic pain. By stimulating nerves to release inhibitory (GABA) signals, the sensation of pain can be reduced. Among the research is a case that shows there may be some benefit to the use of such systems in restoring sensation where it has previously been diminished. For additional information about LGMedSupply's products visit their online customer blog. Otherwise, if you have used a similar device, I would be interested in hearing your feedback on the subject.

Board Prep Question of the Week
An 18-year-old girl from Southeast Asia presents with symmetric ascending weakness below her knees. She has been unable to walk for 3 days. Physical exam reveals mild hypotension and papilledema. Upon respiratory support and administration of IV immune globulins and plasmapheresis, her condition resolves after 2 weeks. Which of the following is the most likely etiologic agent of her condition?

A. Acid sphingomyelinase deficiency
B. Arylsulfatase A deficiency
C. Infection with C. jejuni
D. Infection with JC virus
E. Microsatellite instability on chromosome 4
Answer & Explanation

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