Chronic pain - Let's talk

Posted by leh09 @leh09, Mar 23, 2016

Are there any discussions for chronic pain?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain group.

@mlemieux

This is a wonderful discussion. So many pain sufferers need to know how pain affects people differently. Managing pain is more of an art form than science, but the two go hand in hand.

The four biggest areas of pain management I always look at for myself are:
1) Brain receptors
2) Targeted pain on areas of the body
3) Stress relief
4) Diet and exercise

I mean when it comes to the “science” of pain, we could simply take medications that disrupt pain receptors in the brain limiting neurons from firing, but in my experience (i.e. opiates, and the like) also have a negative affect on the quality of life, giving pain patients what is known as “brain fog”, loss of memory, sleep disorder and so on.

On the flip side, attacking the areas of pain alone is sometimes not enough. So I’m constantly asking people, what’s their “perfect” mix of the two. Being unbalanced with either one can label you as an opiate user, abuser of the system, but not taking the right combination can play a huge role in the quality of life that you have and your mental state as a hole.

Then there’s the debate about over-the-counter vs. prescribed medications. Which ones do you chose when your pain meds don’t work? Is it appropriate to go out and add Tylenol, Aspirin and Aleve to the mix? When is it acceptable behavior or not? What affect will it have on your system, especially your stomach and the increase of acids.

Now one of my favorites and often overlooked is more natural ways to conquer pain, specifically meditation. Since pain is all but managed through the brain, then in my opinion meditation is the method underutilized to “clean up” the junk in the mind that’s coming in. Or another way to put it, when you meditate, it’s like “cleaning up” your computers hard-drive so that the computer itself goes much faster afterwards.

Daily medication doesn’t mean sitting in some spiritual room with candles and scented incense. No, for your it could mean having some quiet time with tea in the morning reflecting on your day, outlining your goals for the day (as the pain allows, or as others would call “the # of spoons), and allowing your mind to filter out the stuff that increases your stress in order to tackle the pain coming in.

Stress I find goes hand in hand with pain as well. Finding “me time” is so important to decrease pain on a daily basis. Less stress = more active, better sleep, and easier to manage pain. Do whatever you need to relax your mind and body on a daily basis (I understand hard to do while in pain, but daily rituals will help eventually).

Most people are shocked when they hear that i’m in chronic pain. I rarely show it to people around me. Sometimes it’s hard not to show it, which can be exhausting depending on the level of pain you have and what’s affected.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve survived multiple blood clots throughout my body. I’ve had massive open wounds for 10 years straight, my legs are constantly wrapped with bandages and compression bandages. Rarely does anyone see me with shorts so I don’t have to explain to them what it is and what they’re for. But over time, I’ve found that by hiding my pain only increases my stress and doesn’t allow my brain to release it, talk about it, or be ok with asking for help.

I hope this peaks more discussions on “daily tips” or “rituals” that you do which helps to decrease pain. I think it’s obvious here that we all have experience with meds and our own pain management, but I’m really interested to hear what else I can try from your own experiences!! 🙂

Martin R. Lemieux

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It sounds like you have been through the mill, you might want to try acupuncture and even hypnosis as possible alternatives. There are a lot of options, but that only supports that no one really knows what causes pain and what to do about it. If there were one method that worked better than ever it would lead the pack, but there are none and with the current attack on opioids it makes it even worst.

I try not to show my pain, but when the sciatic pain hits I can not hide it. I just get away from others and take what I can until it passes, the best I have found so far is a muscle relaxant which I only found out about in the last couple years of the last 40+ years of pain. 19lin

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I think having this forum to talk to each other helps. If we go to a pain clinic and sign their paperwork follow the rules take as directed they arent going to take your medicine away. You have a right to pain relief. There are many people who are working for people in pain. Most people know nothing about chronic pain until it happens to them. Go to Amrican chronic pain association you will find that there are people to support you in findind pain relief. They have other sites to go to.

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@suebreen54

I think having this forum to talk to each other helps. If we go to a pain clinic and sign their paperwork follow the rules take as directed they arent going to take your medicine away. You have a right to pain relief. There are many people who are working for people in pain. Most people know nothing about chronic pain until it happens to them. Go to Amrican chronic pain association you will find that there are people to support you in findind pain relief. They have other sites to go to.

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You might think so, but the Veterans Administration medical centers have already started to restrict opioids to cancer patients only and the only others to get them would be for temporary pain. They will send you to a variety of alternate methods of pain control, but there is no proven method that works, even opioids do not work for everyone. A bill has been proposed in Congress now to make the VA system a law.

On another site like this I read of many people who had contracts with their doctors on pain medicine, but accidentally got thrown off them because of some minor problem such as going to the ER and receiving extra pain meds for some issue which then violated their contract. Some wrote that their doctor would not even discuss what happened with them. In some cases the clinics would bar opioids or insurance would no longer pay for the medication.

Hopefully you will not have this problem, but some are according to their post in the Web MD pain site.

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@19lin

I agree regarding TEMS and spinal cord stimulator, early on the doctors told me if the TEMS does not work neither will the stimulator, but I have heard of those who feel the stimulator was helpful to them. I think much of pain control is an individual thing. There is a lot about the pain process and the brain that science does not know yet. 19lin

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I have had lower back pain for years,  bone on bone, sciatica down the legs. 
After trying everything I had PRP plus amniotic stem cell injections,  plus laser treatments 3 times a week,  then twice a week, and now twice a month.   The injections were done in November and my back is getting  better every day.  It takes a few months for the stem cells to regenerate all the nerves and to build collagen so I am very hopeful I will be completely pain free.   The downside is insurance does not pay for it, and it is rather expensive,  but it beats surgery. I am back at the gym working out three times a week. 

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This is great news. I have often wondered if stem cells would help. My only knee I still has no longer has anything between the bones and I talked to the doctor about stem cells but he did not know if they would help of not. Sciatic nerve pain is the worst kind for me and I know it is due to my spine problems but I do not know what is in my back. The last two MRIs I had I insisted on getting out early as right along my spine it really burned or felt like burning all along the my spine.

Has anyone else ever experienced burning along their spine during an MRI? It happened to me twice and the doctors look at me like I’m crazy, but I know what I felt. 19lin

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@19lin

I agree regarding TEMS and spinal cord stimulator, early on the doctors told me if the TEMS does not work neither will the stimulator, but I have heard of those who feel the stimulator was helpful to them. I think much of pain control is an individual thing. There is a lot about the pain process and the brain that science does not know yet. 19lin

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I am so glad to have found this site. I have has Diabetic Neuropathy for
probably 12 years. I have the Chronic pain type mostly in my feet up to
my knees. I also have Arthritis in my very crooked back. So I have two
different types of problems and pain. My average pain level is 5 to 6 on
my good days and worse on my bad days.

I have tried all of the shots for my back, burning of the nerves and
Laminectomy on L2 thru L 4 to take pressure off of the nerves. The only
thing that gave me Back relief was Decompression. After a 15 weeks of
Decompression I actually went about a year with little or no back pain.
After the year it began to come back.

For my Neuropathy I have had Bilateral Endovenous Laser Ablation in both
legs, had Tarsal Tunnel surgery in both ankles and about every medicine
known for Neuropathy. Finally settled on Lyrica, did not help much but
pain was some better. My Doctor took me all the way up to 900 mg of
Lyrica but the pain was no better that at 300 mg, so that is where I have
remained.

About 7 years ago, I was told the Spinal Cord Stimulator should help because
it would block the pain messages from getting to my brain. It was
different, definitely a shocking experience. It never blocked the pain
signals, I got where I would use it when my pain was so bad that I needed
something. You men, if you have ever had Jock Itch, the rawness and
itching will drive you crazy. I used to put Alcohol on it at times just
to stop the itching, it burned like Hell but it was not itching. That is
kind of what the Stimulator did for me. Pain was still there but the pain
was vibrating.

My Stimulator battery needed to be replaced so my Doctor told me about a new
Stimulator on the market made by Nevro. It is higher frequency so you
never feel it and don’t have to adjust before you lay down. My Doctor
and the Nevro technicians all told me that the Nevro worked on patients that
did not get relief from the old style. I was excited and agreed to have
it replaced with the new one. The Technicians told me that most patients
will get relief before they have tried 3 or 4 programs. Each program
will have 8 different stages, strengths or something. I don’t really
understand. I must be the lucky one or odd one because I have gone thru
10 programs so far and nothing. I am still optimistic because there are
supposed to be a lot of programs. So maybe I will get lucky yet.

That on top of my Pain pump and my average pain level is 5 to 6. This is
getting too long so that will be another story.

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I too cannot take opiates for my pain and nothing else helps. I try to
exercise some each day but it is hard. I have gained a lot of weight and
can’t seem to get it off. I have a lot of clothes that don’t fit. Nothing
seems to fit but I refuse to lie in bed all day. Distraction helps and being
with people.

Lois

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@ladyjane85

To suebreen 54 – I have gone to to pain dr/anesthesiologists for over 20
years. Epidural shots of many locations have not worked on me.

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Epidurals, trigger point injections, cortisone injections. None of them
work for me. I don’t understand why.

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@lolomarie

I too cannot take opiates for my pain and nothing else helps. I try to
exercise some each day but it is hard. I have gained a lot of weight and
can’t seem to get it off. I have a lot of clothes that don’t fit. Nothing
seems to fit but I refuse to lie in bed all day. Distraction helps and being
with people.

Lois

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I hear you. I have had trouble with opiates on and off at different times
and different injuries. I have degenerative disc desease and have had
several different injuries and then hit by a pick up. After getting hit
was the second time on opiates. The first time it helped me heal and I
didn’t need it any more. I didn’t have any withdrawal at all or any
dependence nothing.
I find it takes several different treatments when your in pain or chronic
pain and different things help different people.
It depends on where your pain comes from. I go to a really go pain clinic
and I love my Dr and trust him.
I don’t know your age or weight history, but I use to be very athletic and
healthy and thin. I’m 55 and my cervical spine is my worst area of my disc
desease. I don’t move around very well. Weight is a big problem. I just
don’t want to have to buy new clothes a size higher. I’m just restricting
calories and eating healthy. You are at an advantage you move around.
Maybe you can encourage me to walk or something. I use to run and teach
aerobics. You may be one or more medicines that make you gain weight there
are a lot of them. I know I’ve lost some weight maybe 5 lbs. Now I’m on a
pain med and it helps to lose weight. Let me know your plan. Maybe you can
help me. I have a degree in nutrition and health and would be happy to help
you. If you have any questions ask Dr’s but innocent questions I would love
to help you with. Let me know. I need help to move my body

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@lolomarie

I too cannot take opiates for my pain and nothing else helps. I try to
exercise some each day but it is hard. I have gained a lot of weight and
can’t seem to get it off. I have a lot of clothes that don’t fit. Nothing
seems to fit but I refuse to lie in bed all day. Distraction helps and being
with people.

Lois

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It is hard to have constant high pain levels. Through the years with all
that is wrong with my back even after 5 surgeries I am a young 85, in looks
much younger, but I cannot do much. I use a cane when out, but a walker
where I am in an Independent facility because there are long corridors to
walk to get to the dining room, entertainment, etc. I knew I could not live
in my home anymore since I could not do housework or even cook a small
meal. I only do bed exercises, can take no meds – I react badly to nearly
50 tried, and even different epidural procedures of all types have not
worked. I do have socialization every night in our dining room, and try to
go to some outside interests – walking, standing and sitting are bad. I do
try meditation. Doctors have given up on me. I think too, that when you
look great, they do not believe your pain level is always as they see you
on a visit. My pain is one of over 25 years……but everyone will say it
is your age!

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