Items in AFP with MESH term: Palpation

Trigger Points: Diagnosis and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Trigger points are discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots located in a taut band of skeletal muscle. They produce pain locally and in a referred pattern and often accompany chronic musculoskeletal disorders. Acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma may lead to the development of stress on muscle fibers and the formation of trigger points. Patients may have regional, persistent pain resulting in a decreased range of motion in the affected muscles. These include muscles used to maintain body posture, such as those in the neck, shoulders, and pelvic girdle. Trigger points may also manifest as tension headache, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint pain, decreased range of motion in the legs, and low back pain. Palpation of a hypersensitive bundle or nodule of muscle fiber of harder than normal consistency is the physical finding typically associated with a trigger point. Palpation of the trigger point will elicit pain directly over the affected area and/or cause radiation of pain toward a zone of reference and a local twitch response. Various modalities, such as the Spray and Stretch technique, ultrasonography, manipulative therapy and injection, are used to inactivate trigger points. Trigger-point injection has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment modalities to inactivate trigger points and provide prompt relief of symptoms.


Managing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - Article

ABSTRACT: Medical and surgical options for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia have expanded in recent years. Saw palmetto, the most widely used complementary medication, is less effective than standard medical therapy but has fewer side effects. Although non-selective alpha blockers provide rapid relief of symptoms and are relatively inexpensive, they can cause dizziness and orthostatic hypotension. These effects occur less often with tamsulosin, a more selective alpha blocker. Finasteride, a 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, slowly reduces prostatic volume but is not as effective as alpha blockers, especially in men with a smaller prostate. Dutasteride, a new 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, has recently been labeled for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Surgery may be appropriate initial treatment in patients with severe symptoms who are not at high risk for complications. Surgery may also be indicated in patients who have failed medical therapy or have recurrent infection, hematuria, or renal insufficiency. Transurethral resection of the prostate is effective in most patients, but it carries some risk of sexual dysfunction, incontinence, and bleeding. Surgical procedures that use thermal microwave or laser energy to reduce hyperplastic prostate tissue have recently become available. In general, the newer procedures are less expensive than transurethral resection of the prostate and have fewer complications; however, the need for retreatment is somewhat greater with these less invasive techniques.


Diaphragm Fitting - Article

ABSTRACT: When used with a spermicide, the diaphragm can be a more effective barrier contraceptive than the male condom. The diaphragm allows female-controlled contraception. It also provides moderate protection against sexually transmitted diseases and is less expensive than some contraceptive methods (e.g., oral contraceptive pills). However, diaphragm use is associated with more frequent urinary tract infections. Contraindications to use of a diaphragm include known hypersensitivity to latex (unless the wide seal rim diaphragm is used) or a history of toxic shock syndrome. A diaphragm is fitted properly if the posterior rim rests comfortably in the posterior fornix, the anterior rim rests snugly behind the pubic bone, and the cervix can be felt through the dome of the device. The diaphragm should not be left in the vagina for longer than 24 hours. When the diaphragm is the chosen method of contraception, patient education is key to compliance and effectiveness. An extended visit with the physician or a nurse may be required for a woman to learn proper insertion, removal, and care of the diaphragm.


Evaluation of Palpable Breast Masses - Article

ABSTRACT: Palpable breast masses are common and usually benign, but efficient evaluation and prompt diagnosis are necessary to rule out malignancy. A thorough clinical breast examination, imaging, and tissue sampling are needed for a definitive diagnosis. Fine-needle aspiration is fast, inexpensive, and accurate, and it can differentiate solid and cystic masses. However, physicians must have adequate training to perform this procedure. Mammography screens for occult malignancy in the same and contralateral breast and can detect malignant lesions in older women; it is less sensitive in women younger than 40 years. Ultrasonography can detect cystic masses, which are common, and may be used to guide biopsy techniques. Tissue specimens obtained with core-needle biopsy allow histologic diagnosis, hormone-receptor testing, and differentiation between in situ and invasive disease. Core-needle biopsy is more invasive than fine-needle aspiration, requires more training and experience, and frequently requires imaging guidance. After the clinical breast examination is performed, the evaluation depends largely on the patient's age and examination characteristics, and the physician's experience in performing fine-needle aspiration.


Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Screening - Article

ABSTRACT: Approximately 180,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed annually, accounting for about 48,000 deaths per year in the United States. The screening guidelines for the diagnosis of breast cancer are continually changing. Because of increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and the use of screening mammograms, breast cancers are increasingly being diagnosed at earlier stages. Annual mammograms and clinical breast examinations are recommended for women older than 40 years. Women older than 20 years should be encouraged to do monthly breast self-examinations, and women between 20 and 39 years of age should have a clinical breast examination every three years. These guidelines are modified for women with risk factors, particularly those with a strong family history of breast cancer. Ultrasonographic studies are most useful to evaluate cystic breast masses. For solid masses, diagnostic biopsy techniques include fine-needle aspiration, core biopsy and excisional biopsy.


A Healthy Woman with Right Upper Quadrant Discomfort on Deep Palpation - Photo Quiz


The Importance of Touch - Close-ups



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