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Recovering from Addiction to Prescription Medications

I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.

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Recovering from Addiction to Prescription Medications

Treatment Options For Dupuytren's Contracture

by Valerie Stevens

If your hands have knots of tissue that make it difficult to straighten your fingers, you may be suffering from a condition known as Dupuytren's contracture.

Dupuytren's contracture is a deformity that usually takes years to develop. Men are more likely to suffer from the condition than women. Individuals who are diagnosed with Dupuytren's contracture have a few treatment options. The best course of action varies based on the severity of the deformity.

Treatment: Nothing

If you suffer from a mild case of Dupuytren's contracture that doesn't interfere with your daily activities of life, you do not have to pursue treatment -- at least for now.

Early cases of Dupuytren's contracture normally begin with a lump in the palm. This lump is painless and does not initially interfere with moving your hand. The dexterity of the fingers is not affected until the condition progresses.

However, some cases of Dupuytren's contacture never progress. Since the condition is not dangerous, you do not have to pursue other treatment options until it interferes with your quality of life.

Treatment: Steroid Injections

Moderate cases of Dupuytren's contracture improve with steroid injections. In cases where the sole symptom of Dupuytren's contracture is a painful lump on the palm, an injection into the lump can help alleviate the pain. Injections can also help the disease from advancing.

For best results, you need to repeat the injections.

Treatment: Enzyme Injections

Enzyme injections are a relatively new treatment for moderate to severe cases of Dupuytren's contracture. Your doctor injects the thickening areas of the hands with the enzymes. These enzymes dissolve the tissue so that patients are able to straighten and move their hands again.

The procedure for injecting enzymes is relatively quick and requires minimal recovery. Patients should notice a difference in their dexterity within a few hours. Pain and swelling after the injection is minimal.

Treatment: Surgery

If you have suffered from Dupuytren's contracture for an extended period of time and your doctor can see that the disease is progressing, surgery is likely to be a recommended treatment.

During the surgery, the surgeon removes the thickened portions of skin to help improve the hand's movement. 

Complications from the surgery include numbness in the fingers and injury to the nerves. After the surgery, patients can expect to suffer from pain and swelling, though this will improve relatively quickly.

Patients may need physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles in their hand after surgery.

One downside to surgery is that patients may need to have the procedure repeated once the tissue starts thickening again.

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