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Overactive bladder, trigger finger

Created date

March 22nd, 2018

Health and wellness experts practice exclusively at Erickson Living communities all over the U.S. Dr. Tremaine received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California in Santa Barbara, Calif., and his medical degree from the University of California in San Diego. He completed both his residency and geriatric fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex. Board-certified in internal medicine and geriatrics, he joined Eagle’s Trace in November 2011.

Q: I have tried medications for overactive bladder, but the side effects are intolerable. What else can I do to treat this embarrassing problem?

A: Overactive bladder, also called stress incontinence, happens when muscles that control the flow of urine contract or spasm no matter how much urine is in your bladder. It can occur for many reasons, including bladder conditions such as stones, inflammation, or cancer. Some people develop overactive bladder because of nerve injury, which can result from stroke, trauma, or diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. The most common class of medications (called anticholinergics) to control it can have unpleasant side effects, but there are a few other medications that may not affect you as much.

Medication-free treatments, including bladder training, limiting the amount you drink, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and strengthening the muscles in the pelvis, have been shown to help many people. In rarer instances when conservative treatments don’t work, surgery, injections, or medical devices may be the only option. Don’t be shy about telling your doctor about overactive bladder. You may need to see a specialist.

Q: I am 84 years old and have a trigger finger that seems to be getting worse. What is the best treatment?

A. Trigger finger occurs when the finger’s tendons thicken and develop nodules, and the sheath surrounding the tendon becomes inflamed. This means the tendons cannot slide through the sheath and the finger gets stuck in a bent position. Trigger finger can develop because of repeated tight grasping or any repetitive movement that causes flexing of the finger. Certain diseases including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and may include anti-inflammatory medicines, ice, heat, splinting, stretching exercises, and procedures such as steroid injections or surgery. Your other health conditions and medications need to be considered in order to choose the safest and most effective treatment. Talk to your doctor or seek a second opinion from an orthopedic specialist before proceeding with any unproven treatments.