Browse through our FAQ’s page to have your questions answered by Dr. Eli S. Loch at Regenexx.
What is the median nerve?
The median nerve is one of the main nerves in the hand. It starts out as a group of nerve roots in the neck which then come together to form a single nerve in the arm. The median nerve goes down the arm and forearm, passes through the carpal tunnel at the wrist, and goes into the hand. The nerve provides feeling in the thumb and index, and middle fingers. The nerve also controls the muscles around the base of the thumb. The tendons that bend the fingers and thumb also travel through the carpal tunnel. These tendons are called flexor tendons.
What are the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Typically, the symptoms start out slowly, with burning, numbness, tingling, or pain. You may experience it in your thumb and fingers except for the pinkie. Symptoms often begin at night because most people sleep with their wrists bent, causing pressure on the median nerve. You might wake up feeling like you need to shake your hands out.
Symptoms may include:
- Your fingers feeling swollen, even though they don’t look like it.
- “Shocks” come and go in your thumb and fingers
- You drop things more often (due to numbness or weakened muscles)
- You battle to work with small objects, like the buttons on your shirt
- It’s harder to make a fist than it used to be.
How to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome?
There are is a proven way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but you can minimize stress on your hands and wrists in the following ways:
- Reduce your force and relax your grip. When using a keyboard, hit the keys softly. For prolonged handwriting, use a big pen with an oversized, soft grip adapter and free-flowing ink.
- Take frequent breaks. Gently stretch and bend hands and wrists occasionally. Try to alternate your tasks when possible, especially if using use equipment that vibrates or that requires you to exert a great amount of force.
- Watch your form. Try to keep from bending your wrist all the way up or down. Keep your keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower.
- Improve your posture. Incorrect posture rolls shoulders forward, shortening your neck and shoulder muscles and compressing nerves in your neck. This can affect your wrists, fingers and hands.
- Change your mouse. Make sure that your mouse is comfortable and doesn’t strain your wrist.
- Keep your hands warm. You’re more likely to develop hand pain and stiffness if you work in a cold environment. If you can’t control the temperature at work, keep your hands warm with fingerless gloves
What types of conditions can be treated?
Using Regenexx’s patented stem cell therapy and plasma-rich procedures, Dr. Eli S. Loch can treat the following areas, if you qualify as a candidate:
- Hand & Wrist
- Foot & Ankle
Interested in seeing if you’re a candidate? Fill out our form here
What is so special about Regenexx?
Regenexx uses patented procedures involving stem cell injections or blood platelets, to help your body to heal damaged muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, spinal discs and even bone. These treatments require the use of precise image-guided needle injections that are minimally invasive, eradicating the need for traumatic surgery. Regenexx treatments not only help to improve patient quality of life by alleviating pain, but also allow you to return to activities that you love but were no longer able to partake in.
Why is Regenexx better than steroid epidurals?
Steroid epidurals are one of the most commonly recommended treatments to alleviate severe back pain. Though they do have the ability to provide relief, it is our belief they should be used only in the short-term. The epidural is administered around the inflamed nerves in the spine as a means to prevent surgery, but large doses of steroids can have adverse effects. Steroid epidurals have the potential to reduce the body’s ability to heal naturally which in turn, causes tissue degeneration, ironically speeding up the need for surgery.
What is Interventional Orthopedics?
Regenexx treatments make use of image guidance (fluoroscopy and ultrasound) to precisely place high-dose stem cells or platelets taken from your body, into the specific joint structure. After they are injected, these cells grow into new, healthy tissue. Using your own cells to repair the damage, Interventional Orthopedics focuses on identifying the most probably causes of pain and offers the most ideal non-surgical alternative as treatment. Interventional Orthopedics prevents costly and invasive surgeries by assisting your body in healing itself.
Is a stem cell procedure the same as PRP?
No, they are not the same. Stem cell procedures involve a process where stem cells from your bone marrow are extracted to create cartilage externally, and then re-injected to treat arthritic conditions and sports-related injuries. PRP, or Platelet-Rich Plasma injections, are done when a physician uses your own blood to separate platelets using a specialised centrifuge. Using image-guided technologies, the doctor will then re-inject these platelets into the injured area and these then release growth factors that encourage the body to heal itself and promote natural tissue.
Am I a Candidate for PRP or Stem Cell Therapy?
What happens in a consultation?
All consultations are a minimum of one hour and during that time, Dr.Eli S. Loch will go through your full medical history. He will then run a full medical exam and do the necessary ultrasound and X-rays to assess your tendons, muscles and joints. He will then discuss your full range of options and the next steps thereafter.
Will I be able to drive myself from the clinic after the procedure?
Every patient to Regenexx will walk in and out the clinic. We would, however, suggest that as a precautionary measure, someone drive you to and from the facility on the day of your procedure. One could experience a local nerve block which could make driving safely difficult. Ask Dr. Eli S. Loch should you have any concerns around this issue.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
The majority of herniated discs will occur in the lower back though it is possible for them to occur in your neck. The most common symptoms and signs of a herniated disc are as follows:
- Leg or arm pain. If the herniated disc is in your lower back, you will typically experience the most intense pain in your buttocks, thigh, and calf. It may also extend down to a part of your foot. If the herniated disc is in your neck, then the pain will usually be most intense in your shoulder and arm. You may experience pain shooting into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move your spine into certain positions.
- Numbness or tingling. If you suffer from a herniated disc, you may experience numbness or tingling in the part of your body that relies on the affected nerves.
- Muscles that rely on the affected nerves tend to weaken over time. This may result in your stumbling or even impair your ability to lift or hold items.
It is also possible to have a herniated disc without even knowing. Sometimes a herniated disc will show up on spinal images of people who have no symptoms at all.
How can I prevent a herniated disc?
There are a number of things that you can do to prevent getting a herniated disc. These include:
- It is beneficial to strengthen the trunk and core muscles in order to help stabilize and support the spine.
- Maintain good posture. Having good posture means that there is less pressure on your spine and the discs therein. Try to keep your back straight and aligned, especially when seated for long periods.
- Lift heavy objects correctly. Make sure that it is your legs and not your back that are doing most of the work
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more pressure on the spine and discs, making them more susceptible to herniation.
What causes a herniated disc?
Disc herniation most commonly occurs due to gradual aging-related wear and tear also known as disc degeneration. Often times this begins with very small laxity of the spinal ligaments. As we age, the spinal disc begins to lose some of the water content inside the disc, making them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist. Many people aren’t certain of the cause of their herniated disc. Other causes may be using your back rather than your leg and thigh muscles to lift heavy objects as can twisting and turning while lifting. Although it is rare, traumatic events such as a fall or blow to the back can also cause a herniated disc.
Your spinal cord doesn’t extend into the lower portion of your spinal canal. Around your belly button,the spinal cord separates into a group of long nerve roots (cauda equina) that resemble a horse’s tail. Rarely, disk herniation can compress the entire cauda equina. Emergency surgery may be required to avoid permanent weakness or paralysis.
Seek emergency medical attention if you have:
- Worsening symptoms. Pain, numbness or weakness may increase to the point that you can’t perform your usual daily activities.
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction. People who have cauda equina syndrome may become incontinent or have difficulty urinating even with a full bladder.
- Saddle anesthesia. This progressive loss of sensation affects the areas that would touch a saddle — the inner thighs, back of legs and the area around the rectum.