Treatment Options Offered for Nervous System Disorders
Patients diagnosed with a nervous system disorder have access to the services of Holy Cross Hospital in a variety of specialty areas. These disorders have varying causes and symptoms, so treatment will vary from patient to patient. Treatment may include drug intervention, surgery, physical therapy and pain management - alone or in combination. In addition, patient support programs-such as the Parkinson's exercise class offered through the hospital - can be valuable in helping patients resume their normal activities.
Drug Therapy: Parkinson's disease is one of the more common nervous system illnesses. It affects part of the autonomic nervous system that controls involuntary responses, such as blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, body temperature, digestion and sweating.
While there is no cure for Parkinson's, there are several medications that may help control symptoms of the disease, such as tremors and walking difficulties. Physicians closely monitor patients for drug side effects and adjust dosages or change medications depending on how patients respond.
Pain Relief: Many nervous system disorders are the result of nerve damage, which causes pain. The team will diagnose and treat the underlying disease or injury that caused the nerve damage, as well as provide pain relief.
The hospital's pain management team can evaluate patients who suffer from acute or chronic pain and offer a number of therapy options, including medications and complementary medicine techniques, such as acupuncture.
Pain management is a critical part of treatment for a number nervous system disorders including:
- Trigeminal neuralgia, which causes episodes of acute facial pain because of damage to the trigeminal nerve.
- Peripheral neuropathy (Guillain-Barré syndrome and autonomic neuropathy), which is the result of damage to a nerve group or nerves throughout the body.
- Mononeuropathy, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the result of damage to a single nerve or nerve group.
Surgical Solutions: For patients with pain caused by a slipped disk or spinal or brain disorders or tumors, surgery may be an option. Surgery can help relieve pain associated with entrapment neuropathy, which occurs when nerves are compressed.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: The hospital's physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist (a physician) can evaluate patients and recommend physical therapy or a program of regular physical exercise to improve patients' functional abilities.
Support Services: Holy Cross Hospital's department of community health offers a special Parkinson's exercise class to help patients improve their range of motion, balance, strength and endurance. The class also helps patients reduce stress and improve control over gross motor movements such as walking.