Archive for the ‘Pain Help’ Category

The Story of Reiki and My Neck Pain Management

I am now free from chronic neck pain, despite having a mechanical challenge in that area. But there was a time when I was constantly in agony. One of the methods that helped me was Reiki, but it was via a very circuitous route. This is my story.

At the beginning of my recovery from a disease that nearly took my life, I had to sleep stiffly in a certain way, and then I had a mishap when I got back into the gym, the combination of which gave me constant neck pain. I was seeing an osteopath twice a week, way beyond what any medical scheme would pay for, and hardly able to pay him. I even ended up taking a second job when the mounting debt became unmanageable. But pain does that to you. You would do anything to escape it. As well as finances, I paid with my stomach lining, popping huge amounts of pain killers, just to get some relief. Of course, just being in pain all the time was maddening. And no matter what I did, the pain returned within hours or even minutes.

I started investigating faith healing, in desperation for a miracle. So when I was invited to a talk about Reiki, I jumped at the chance to find out more. At the talk, I decided that Reiki would be a tool to help me manage this pain. I signed up for my first Reiki course, eager to get started.

At my Reiki 1 course, my heart totally sank when my Reiki Master said that Reiki would not help my neck pain. I was devastated. However, I liked other things about the Reiki and decided to pursue it further. I went on to take my Reiki 2 practitioner course and never for one moment questioned my first Reiki Master’s statement. I took it as the absolute truth. I never tried to heal my neck pain or gave myself a healing with that intention. I kept paying more than I could afford for osteopathy and kept destroying my stomach lining.

Four years later, still in agony, I was by chance given a healing by another Reiki Master. I told her nothing about my neck pain but simply took my usual double dose of ibuprofen before the gathering in which we met and submitted to a healing in order to please her. This Reiki Master was more experienced than the others before her. She intuited that something was wrong at my neck and shoulders and proceeded to heal it. She made me stay longer, saying there was still work to be done. And although I felt nothing happening during the treatment, by the end of that day, I noticed that I had not taken more pain-killers. The next day, I could really feel a difference. I went from twice-weekly osteopathic manipulations to once fortnightly – literally a quarter of the treatments previously needed. I was so amazed, I started self-healing my neck, offered Reiki pain relief to my clients, and also enrolled to do my Reiki Masters.

Since those days, I have added to my healing tool-kit with EFT and kinesiology-based methods, and that chronic pain, which had once driven me to distraction, is simply no longer. But I will never forget that magical day when my eyes were finally opened to the wonders of Reiki. I am truly blessed.

New Hope For People With Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is a common problem in people between the ages of 30 and 50 and usually occurs due to the normal and natural process of age-related deterioration that is often related to stress. It is one of the most common ailments that are observed by doctors across the globe. Accidents that result in traumatic injury lead to chronic back pain and medical evaluation processes like X-rays, CT scans, MRI, bone scans, etc. help detect the exact site of the injury. However, in most patients the cause of the pain is unknown and medical cannabis from a Medical Cannabis dispensary provide immense and long-term relief from this kind of pain. While some types of pains can be attributed to the lack of a healthy lifestyle, stress and no exercise, there are other reasons like arthritis or damaged and pinched nerves that this type of pain can be attributed to. The pain can either be sharp stabbing or burning (Neuropathic) or is observed as a dull ache or sense of pressure (Nociceptive).

It is found to be a lot more effective when compared with over the counter medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen. While they lessen the pain to some extent, these also case ulcerous conditions and affect the digestive system. Besides, these pain medications are also addictive. Conventional treatment therapies that use over the counter NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that provide temporary relief are gradually being replaced by medical marijuana treatment that also negates other problems like prescription medication dependency (addiction), anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Medical Marijuana offers sufferers of chronic back pain a new solution and often a complete relief from this painful condition. and some believe that there is a much better treatment solution for back pain by using medical cannabis. Medical Marijuana that is supplied to patients through a Medical Cannabis dispensary reduces the intensity of chronic pain without any associated side effects that are observed during the prolonged use of OTC medicines or prescribed medicines.

Medical Marijuana has helped scores of patients who suffer from acute back pain by providing relief. Often within six to eight weeks of treatment patients are able to successfully control the condition before it becomes chronic and more serious. When other conventional forms of treatment and therapy have failed Medical Cannabis has been successful in helping people cope with their pain and empowering them to live a normal, high quality, active life.

Chronic Pain: The Elephant in the Room

Chronic pain may be invisible but it has a huge presence in the life of the pain patient. There is no doubt pain also affects the lives of everyone around the patient. Figuring out the best way to deal with the presence of chronic pain can be tricky. Often patients and their loved ones deal with it by ignoring it-they treat it like the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it’s there but no one talks about it. Although this coping strategy may work in the short-term, it is not a long-term solution.

Part of the reason both the patient and his/her family and friends ignore the pain is because they don’t know how to talk about it. After all, chronic pain is different. It is not as simple as a broken bone that will heal. It is complicated and unpredictable. Usually there is no “one cure” that will make the pain go away completely. When the patient experiences a flare-up or increase in pain, family and friends may feel helpless because there’s not much they can do to decrease the patient’s pain. Family and friends don’t know what to do or say to help a loved one who is dealing with an issue that compromises the patient’s quality of life on an ongoing basis. Patients get tired of answering the question, “How are you doing?” Both parties may feel resentment about the negative impact this condition has had upon their lives.

You must learn how to deal with the chronic pain elephant in the room to live with it successfully (this applies to both patients and family members). When the elephant in the room is ignored a whole new problem emerges-pain-related emotional distress. If left unchecked, the emotional stress related to the elephant can take over. The room gets cluttered with a mix of feelings that can include; unexpressed guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and depression. As emotions build, the chronic pain elephant gets bigger, relationships are strained and everyone involved suffers unnecessarily.

The following tips from your Arizona pain specialists are provided to help you identify emotional distress risk factors and develop new ways to deal with chronic pain, whether; a) you are the pain patient or b) you are a family member or friend of a chronic pain patient.

What Makes the Elephant Grow Bigger?

Patient Risk Factors

  • Uncertainty about how to deal with and/or talk about the pain
  • Overdoing it because you don’t want to disappoint others or feel like a failure
  • Feeling resentment or anger about what you are no longer able to do
  • A history of poor self-esteem, or being the “go-to” person for family and friends
  • Not talking about your pain because you want to protect your family and not be a burden
  • Using isolation, sleep or medication to avoid the reality of what your life has become
  • Focusing only on the physical part of chronic pain and ignoring the emotional part
  • Trying to handle the chronic pain on your own-the stiff upper lip approach
  • Uncertainty about how much pain reduction to expect
Family/Friends Risk Factors

*Uncertainty about how to deal with and/or talk about the pain
*Protecting the patient from negative thoughts or feelings by not talking about them
*Overdoing it to help the pain patient and neglecting yourself
*Estimating the patient’s pain level based upon how they look
*Taking over and doing things for the patient he/she is capable of doing
*Expecting the patient to make scheduled activities
*Expecting the patient to be able to control his/her pain level
*Focusing mostly on finding a “cure” for the problem
*Focusing only on the physical part of chronic pain and ignoring the emotional part

Coping Strategies: How to Kick the Elephant out of the Room

  • Talk about it: The emotions related to chronic pain are as complicated as the condition itself. A great starting point is sharing how you feel about the chronic pain. The purpose is to open up communication-no one should feel guilty or blamed
  • Pick the right time to talk: It’s better to talk when the patient is in less pain and hasn’t just taken his/her pain medication. Minimize distractions and take a break if either person becomes too emotional
  • Don’t wait: Start talking now. The longer you wait, the more emotions build up and make it harder to communicate
  • Become a team: Commit to fighting the pain, not each other
  • Be mentally prepared: Accept that chronic pain is long-term. There will be good days and bad days
  • Confront the elephant: Keep tabs on how much emotional stress you feel and use it as your guide to determine how well you are handling the chronic pain
  • Don’t underestimate the elephant: It may seem easier to ignore the elephant, but doing so puts you at risk for unnecessary emotional suffering
  • Use moderation: Avoidance, denial, isolation and overdoing it sometimes work, but using them most or all the time doesn’t
  • Speak up: Tell family and friends how they can be supportive and helpful. Be an active participant in your doctor’s appointments and educate yourself about your diagnosis. Be a part of figuring out what works best for you
  • Know when to seek help: As stated earlier, successfully dealing with chronic pain is complicated. If you have tried to banish the elephant from the room and you are still struggling it may be helpful to seek treatment with a health psychologist to assist you.

The Steps To Recovery After Hip Replacement Surgery

It’s incredible how advancements in medical science and medical exploration currently help medical professionals to take care of individuals in countless fresh techniques. In prior years, while individuals endured from intense osteoarthritis that impacted and irritated their joints, just about all the individuals could possibly do was put up with the pain. With advanced knowledge in the field of orthopedics, recovery rates for patients have improved drastically.

The most that physicians had been capable to do to cut down the suffering of the individuals was to assign pain reducing prescription drugs, such as aspirin, which would perform for a few hours, but then the problems would revisit. Nowadays, on the other hand, doctors possess added therapies for the osteoarthritis patient. As an example, if osteoarthritis impacts the hip joints, the client can undergo hip replacement surgery for both soreness elimination and an improvement in flexibility. Individuals who have problems with arthritis in which affects their hip joints realize that the anguish can be terrible.

The problem becomes so bad that sufferers are usually not able to participate in the actions they took part in prior to their joint inflammation turned so significant. Activities, such as running, racquetball, and even playing golf, become no more than a recollection. Even activities such as walking becomes unpleasant so the people commonly find themselves staying home more rather than of going to parks or even shopping centers.

Any time hip discomfort resulting from arthritis gets severe and is not anymore controllable by pain medicines, doctors commonly suggest hip replacement surgery. Through hip replacement surgery, the original, natural hip joint is swapped out with an man-made, or metal, hip joint. The doctor will need to be mindful to place the prosthetic hip joint into place appropriately.

Of course, this is a joint that must operate appropriately and effortlessly if the individual is to regain full use of their hips. Without hip joints that operate appropriately, a patient may have difficulty walking and standing up. Soon after the surgical treatment is finished, the client should undergo physical therapy to assure that the joint is functioning suitably. Certain physical exercises are approved that the patient must carry out to have a faster recovery after hip replacement surgery.

If the patient participates in these activities vigilantly, the result is probably to be top notch following hip replacement surgery. The patient will have the ability to participate in hobbies that he or she seemed to be not capable to participate in for quite some period prior to the medical procedures.

The physical therapy physical exercises can make the recuperation process more effective and not as likely to encounter complications which will postpone recovery. For that reason, it is significant that the patient takes these workouts earnestly and genuinely works at them to be able to obtain the best end result in the most speediest method probable. Equally as in the case of knee surgery and its accompanying therapy that athletes commonly undertake, hip replacement patients employ a remedy and exercise routine of their very own.

The therapies and workouts affiliated with hip replacement surgery could occasionally be unpleasant, especially given that the affected person has only not too long ago had surgical treatment and now has to make use of muscles that have not been applied in a little while. Using these physical exercises, hip replacement patients will see that their prosthetic hip joints will let them to enjoy life and be involved in a assortment of physical activities just as knee surgery rehab is recognized for assisting athletes continue their athletics.

When Can Foot Drop Be Reversed?

A foot drop represents a patient’s inability to dorsiflex the foot (flex the foot towards the sky). There are a number of reasons it happens, and this article discusses foot drop that occurs from any reason outside of spine surgery. For instance, it can be the result of a spinal cord injury, stroke, tumor, or compression/injury to either the peroneal nerve or the lumbar nerve root itself.

When a patient develops a foot drop, the first important consideration is to figure out the cause. The primary contributor to a person being able to dorsiflex the foot is the L5 nerve root. Other nerve roots may help as well, such as L4, which can sometimes explain a partial foot drop. If the cause ends up being farther down the leg (more distal), it can be the peroneal nerve.

An electromyographic exam is a vital test to determining the level of the problem, whether it’s in the back or in the leg. Along with this, an MRI can be vital to seeing if there is a herniated disc pushing on the L5 nerve root. That would be the most common cause, but in certain instances even something rare like a spinal cord tumor may show up. One should have an extremely low threshold for ordering an MRI for evaluation of a foot drop.

If the electromyography and MRI are consistent with a herniated disc compressing a nerve root, then the answer is clear. But what’s the solution? There is no definitive answer as to how long it is acceptable to watch a foot drop. However, the current theory is that over 3 to 6 months it may be a permanent situation despite fixingthe problem. This means that if it is observed 6 months for improvement, none occurs, and then surgery is undertaken, it may never get better even with a perfectly done procedure.

So what’s the answer? Patients are different in healing capacities, so it’s not a black and white answer. But if a foot drop has been present for 3 months, heavy consideration should be given to decompressing the problem area. If this means a herniated disc on the L5 nerve root, a discectomy should be accomplished. If this means a compressed peroneal nerve, it is a short procedure to free it up.

It should never be ignored. The cause should be figured out, and then an action plan put into place. That may mean an observation period to see if it resolves, but after a certain point the risk of a permanent situation makes it prudent to take away the compression despite the surgical risks.

Can Chronic Pain Be Treated Through Gene Therapy?

Chronic pain in the US affects over 100 million individuals according to a recent Institute of medicine study. The definition of chronic pain is if it lasts longer than 3 months or sticks around after the initial injury is gone. This statistic cannot be ignored and represents a true epidemic along with the exponential increase in narcotic usage in the country.

Multiple options exist for pain relief, and now a new one may be on the horizon – gene therapy. Researchers have now identified a pain causing gene, which could end up leading to more effective treatments.

The gene is known as HCN2. It produces a protein that contributes to chronic pain in humans, and it was identified by researchers in both England and Spain. The initial work from the researchers evaluated nerves in cell cultures with electrical stimuli to find out how the properties would be altered once the HCN2 gene was removed. This was promising, so then the studies moved onto animals.

The way it was established to be significant in chronic pain was in studies with mice. The researchers removed the gene from mice and found that the animals showed less signs of neuropathic pain.

There are two types of chronic pain, that being inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. Inflammatory pain results from nerve endings that are overly sensitive, and neuropathic pain occurs from actual nerve damage and is much more difficult to treat.

When the gene was removed, the mice were still able to feel acute pain, but the chronic was helped. This is important because feeling acute pain is essential to allow individuals to prevent a more severe injury. Picture a partial tendon tear that is painful and prevents people from performing stressful activities that could lead to a full tear.

With the development of medications to inhibit production of the gene’s protein, millions of Americans may be able to see relief from disabling pain. The gene has been known about for quite a while. But its activity was misunderstood. It was thought to control electrical frequency in pain-sensitive nerve endings. The primary reason for the misunderstanding is that a related gene called HCN4 is closely involved in controlling the heart’s electrical activity.

Having an additional treatment for chronic pain sufferers would be tremendous. Regenerative medicine options are coming into play as options, and comprehensive spine centers offer an excellent variety of treatments. But narcotics are addictive, and some patients simply have no surgical answer.

History of Lymph Drainage Therapy

Lymph Drainage Therapy, also known as LDT, is a medical treatment type of massage therapy used by many doctors in hospitals in many countries especially in Europe because of its effectiveness in providing the ideal drainage system for body fluids including lymph. The treatment is popular for its scientifically proven and high efficacy methods that are capable of keeping the body free from harmful elements, toxins, and body wastes.

The therapy was created and developed by a French Physician by the name of Bruno Chikly who was a graduate of the Saint Antoine Hospital’s medical school which is located in France. Dr. Chikly’s educational attainments were as impressive as his developed method in promoting a faster drainage process which is quite better than when allowing the body to conduct the naturally releasing method. His ideas have won him many great awards and honors including the Medal of the Medical Faculty of Paris, VI, which gives importance to his excellent works and presentations backed up with scientific proofs.

The unraveling of the mysteries in the lymphatic circulatory system was not discovered until the first scientifically proved discovery done in the 17th century. Olauf Rudbeck was the first man who was able to provide scientific discoveries pertaining to the lymphatic system. Several individuals were instrumental to the eventual discovery and importance of it to the health and well-being of the human body including Alexander of Winiwarter and F.P. Millard. Emil Vodder was the first person to actually utilize it as a massage technique and use it on his patients who are suffering from chronic sinusitis and acne breakout. However, because he was only a massage therapist and not a doctor, his theories and works were not accredited and given great importance which gave him a hard time authenticating his discoveries and developments. The scientists at that time were hesitant and afraid that the lymphatic drainage which causes harmful body toxins to be flushed out from the body can cause other physical health issues when accidentally spread to the other parts of the body. Johannes Asdonk was the person who scientifically proved the effectiveness, contra-indications as well as the indications of the treatment. Dr. Bruno Chikly eventually developed and recognized the specific rhythm of the lymphatic flow which he did coordinate or made attune with the massage therapy.

Today, many people enjoy the soothing and healing effects as well as the health benefits Lymph Drainage Therapy provides for them. It is very much advisable for anyone who wishes to gain the right results of the treatment to settle only with the professionals in the field of massage medical care. Only the certified and intensively trained massage therapists are able to pull off a successful, effective, and risk-free treatment.

Methods For Obtaining Sciatica Pain Relief

When compression of the spine causes painful sensations in the back and gluteal area of the body, the affected person often seeks some form of sciatica pain relief. Sciatica pain affects only one side of the body. However, the painful sensations can extend over a huge portion of the affected side. Sometimes the person suffering with sciatica’s distinctive symptoms finds it almost impossible to walk.

In the past, treatment for this nerve disorder has been prolonged bed rest. Today, however, patients are confined to the bed for only two to three days. During that time, the use of an anti-inflammatory drug is recommended. By taking an NSAID, such as ibuprofen or prescribed codeine, a patient can obtain temporary relief.

In most cases, following two to three days of bed rest, the patient feels ready to engage in some regular periods of stretching. Stretching and warm up exercises help to prevent the development of a sore feeling in the connective tissues. That is a feeling that patients with injured muscle fibers frequently experience.

Stretching serves to eliminate such soreness. It also provides an additional benefit. By acting like a yawn, it relieves tension and helps to loosen the body. Of course, each stretch should be done properly. The patient should move gradually into each position, and then he or she should hold that position for a short time, usually between six to sixty seconds.

A few specific stretching exercises have been recommended. Many call for the patient to lie on his or her back. Once in that position, the patient can undertake a series of different maneuvers. He or she can do leg rolls and a hamstring stretch. The latter movement is also referred to as a knee chest pull. The knee is pulled toward the chest, and then it is held there for 15 to 30 seconds.

Later while standing, the same patient should plan to do some arm swings, some back led kicks and a couple wall stretches. The latter movement calls for placement of the palms on the wall and then a leaning against that vertical surface. In most cases, the combination of a short confinement, followed by performance of daily stretching manages to do away with the painful symptoms and achieve some sciatica pain relief.

If pain persists for more than four to six weeks, then the affected patient could well need surgery. Confirmation of that fact would require performance of a CT scan or an MRI. If those tests reveal the existence of a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, then a portion of the patient’s posterior arch must be removed.

Do Workouts Need to Be Long and Grueling?

Answer me this:

Why is it that there are so many coaches out there who think the way to improve their player’s performance is by throwing them up against the wall every workout till the point of sickness?

Why is it that those same coaches shut their minds to any outside information that serves to go against their ideas of a topic that which they have zero knowledge and background in?

Too many coaches out there think that the lacking factor in their player’s performance is “mental toughness” rather than an issue in poor preparedness in things including technique, tactical preparedness, special strength and power, and poor energy system development to name a few. You know, things a good coach should be able to develop, or at least understand.

Of course just telling your athletes to go run a few miles and some gasers is pretty easy and doesn’t require any thinking…so there’s that…

While the accepted term of “mental toughness” is important in sport, it becomes easily overplayed in today’s common sport training philosophy.

Granted there are some kids who truly lack “mental toughness”, however, occasionally an athlete is only showing that behavior due to the reason that they are already naturally gifted in their sport discipline. Doing things that lesser players are being called upon to do seems meaningless to these athletes because they already know that they are better come game day. This is another reason for the need of individualization in the training process.

When it comes to training myself and designing programs for others, I prefer to urge on the side of under-training. My goal as a physical preparation coach is to provide just enough of a stimulus to elicit the desired biological response.

I often times will have workouts that last only 10-20 minutes. Get in and Get out. This is often times known as density training. Working to improve the amount of work you can do within a given time frame, allows for more of your time and energy to be used towards nutrition, psychological recovery, and biological recovery.

If more coaches were to take the time to learn the basics of athlete physical preparation training, the outcomes for their athletes would be far greater than their current level. If we want to increase the proficiency of our athletes here in America, it is ever important for us to further our understanding of effective training means.

Capsaicin: Real Pain Relief or Myth?

We’ve seen a huge boom in the quantity, quality and availability of all natural healing remedies for pain (whether temporary or chronic) in recent years. Unfortunately we’ve also seen a big jump in the number of ineffective pain management therapies posing as all natural solutions for pain, making it difficult for many people to sort through what really works and what’s just marketing hype. One of the most touted natural treatment of pain remedies to arrive in recent years has been topical capsaicin treatments. Does capsaicin really work to reduce pain in a safe and natural manner, or is it all hype?

Anecdotal and Clinical Proof

To make it very clear from the start- yes, capsaicin has been shown both anecdotally and within proper scientific studies to work as a natural pain remedy. A study conducted by the University of Oxford tested capsaicin creams with arthritis and neuropathy patients and found that about forty percent of the arthritis sufferers halved the level of pain they were suffering from by using the cream, and over half the neuropathy sufferers replicated those pain relief results with two months of treatment. Capsaicin has similarly been shown to reduce general pain significantly more effectively than a placebo in another study of one hundred and sixty people, and has been used to treat headaches from migraine sufferers.

But what is Capsaicin?

So now that you know that capsaicin has been proven effective as a natural healing treatment, you’re probably wondering what the cream actually is? Simply put, capsaicin is the ingredient that makes chilies and other peppers hot. It’s the component of those foods that causes that “mouth burning” feel and which makes your skin tingle when you come into direct contact with them. While the exact reason why capsaicin works effectively to treat pain hasn’t been proven, most researchers suspect it has to do with the ingredient’s ability to remove substance P from the skin upon contact, which is a chemical within your body that induces the feeling of pain.

The Top Uses of Capsaicin

Because of this capsaicin is almost always utilized as a topical treatment for back pain, neck pain, and other forms of localized muscles pain. Capsaicin cream can be purchased over the counter at pretty much any general store or drug store these days, and is reasonably priced. Pain management with capsaicin is easy enough- all you need to do is directly apply the cream to the source of your pain a few times a day. It usually takes a couple of weeks to begin to experience significant pain relief.

The way that capsaicin treatments are produced these days makes them better for natural healing of localized pain compared with full-body chronic pain. Capsaicin treatments are primarily formulated to deal with extremely localized predictable pains like arthritis or overworked muscles. Considering the prevalence of these forms of chronic muscle pain it’s no wonder that capsaicin is reaching the level of popularity and widespread acceptance that it is. There are no known negative side effects of capsaicin pain relief treatments when they are applied properly, though it’s important to avoid letting the cream come in contact with your eyes or other extremely sensitive parts of your body.