All posts filed under: back pain

Boston Herald, Quell 2.0, Pain Awareness Month (and Some Thoughts)

Hey kids! It’s been a while. Things have been busy with a new part-time job, so my attention has been diverted. Much has been happening. September came and went without me even mentioning Pain Awareness Month. Good job, me. My only contribution was being quoted in this Boston Herald piece about the Quell’s newly-released version 2.0. I think it explains wearables in a good way and how they can be added to a patient’s self-care toolbox. It won’t end the opioid epidemic, but it might help. Read the Boston Herald article here. Chronic pain patients are (rightly) suspicious of anything available over the counter. It always seems like someone is trying to take advantage of our suffering and pull a fast one on us. Considering Stephen Colbert’s recent pointed slap to the Sackler family, there is a basis to this collective suspicion. For those unfamiliar, the Sacklers own pretty much all opioids in the universe (OxyContin, most importantly, a drug for which they pushed a hellishly inaccurate marketing campaign), and they also manufacture generics of …

CBD Oil for Pain Relief: Legal Status, Side Effects, Drug Tests, Traveling, and More

I recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic. It was a 30th birthday bash for a friend at an all-inclusive resort, possibly one of the greatest vacations I’ve ever experienced. Rather than actually be excited for the trip, however, I spent months fighting crushing anxiety. I hadn’t traveled internationally in years, since before my first car accident. I figured I could handle this because we wouldn’t be doing much besides sitting on the beach or by a pool. Despite this knowledge, I was frightened. What on earth could I do to handle what I knew would be increased pain, much less participate in fun activities with 15 friends? I wanted to go, and I was determined to go. I knew there would be few chances to travel with my friends like this again, and if I didn’t go, I’d regret it on my death bed. How can anyone not want to go here? So, how could I enjoy this trip?  My husband is a fan of Instagram. (Stay with me, this is relevant.) He follows …

New Report: Flipping the Script: Living with Chronic Pain amid the Opioid Crisis

The folks at Neurometrix just published a new report regarding their survey of 1,500 Americans living with a variety of chronic pain conditions. The results were startling (and hey hey, I’m quoted on pg. 7!): As the opioid crisis continues to make headlines, the chronic pain community has found themselves in the midst of this chaos – grappling with how to manage their conditions under increased scrutiny. We wanted to get a better understanding of how the opioid epidemic is impacting this community, so we partnered with Vanson Bourne to survey 1,500 Americans living with a wide range of chronic pain conditions about their feelings around the opioid epidemic, opioid use and their ongoing search for alternative treatments. We’ve compiled the findings in our latest report, “Flipping the Script: Living with Chronic Pain amid the Opioid Crisis.” Below are just a few of the top findings you’ll see in the report: The unfair stigma as a result of the opioid epidemic: The majority of respondents (84 percent) believe a stigma exists, and as a result, 50 percent …

Contributor: Go Holistic for Pain Management

The best approach for pain management, especially long-term chronic pain, is holistic. Pain-killing medication is avoided — as well as their associated side effects, such as an addiction to prescription pain killers.  Holistic therapies are often more effective, too. The American Society of Addiction Medicine states that, of the 20.5 million Americans age 12 or older who had a substance use disorder in 2015, 2 million people had a substance use disorder involving prescription medicine.  The holistic way is totally natural, and the benefits are far beyond pain management.  As the population ages because of longer lifespans, chronic pain has become a bigger issue, the most common of which is lower back pain, followed closely by migraines and neck problems. Less stress using a holistic approach The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has advised that there is growing evidence suggesting complementary approaches are working for pain management.  Holistic therapies change the way the person perceives pain, and this can be as a direct result of reduced stress …

Contributor: Managing Chronic Pain in Seniors

More than 100 million American adults have chronic pain, which is more than the total number of people with diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer combined, according to figures provided by the American Academy of Pain Medicine. As the population ages, the issue of chronic pain in senior adults becomes more prevalent. Pain management and awareness are becoming more common. One such venture is Pain Awareness month, which is run by the American Chronic Pain Association. Why Chronic Pain is Such a Big Issue In 2016, there were approximately 46 million U.S. adults aged 65 and older, with this number expected to rise to 98 million by 2060. Unfortunately, research published by the National Library of Medicine confirms that 50% of adults who live alone and 75 – 85% living in elderly care homes have some form of  chronic pain. Causes of Chronic Pain There are many conditions that lead to chronic long term pain in seniors; however, in a survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Statistics, they noted that there are four conditions contributing to the majority …

How to Succeed on Your Terms When Life Interferes

Success is only what you put into it. The harder you work for something, the better the success will be. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. I Googled “stupid quotes about hard work and motivation.” How pithy are these quotes? How out of touch with reality are they? My reality, anyway. I think about quotes like this often, especially now, because I thought I was done with this blog. I thought it had taught me all I needed to know. Except… I had another MRI that shows degeneration above and below my two fusions, which explains the pain down my arms and up into my head that grows with intensity every day. Breakdown isn’t supposed to happen after a fusion for at least 10 years. My surgeon said that, unfortunately, I have “bad connective tissue.” Yay. This could lead to what is called the “ladder effect,” which is when you have fusion after fusion, laddering up and down the spine until there …

Contributor: The Latest Approaches To Joint Pain Management 

Arthritis is now the most common cause of disability in USA, and it is on the rise. In a study by John Hopkins Arthritis Centre, the average time lost from productive work as a result of back pain and arthritis was a staggering 5.2 hours per week. Long-term use of pain-relieving medication can have unpleasant side effects, so let’s look at a few of Nature’s remedies that are at our disposal. These, in combination with stretching, weight loss and other techniques, may be useful tools in the fight against pain. Glucosamine – an amazing sugar Glucosamine is what’s known as an amino sugar, which means it’s a kind of sugar/protein hybrid. It is produced in our bodies, but its production naturally slows as we get older. It is needed to produce substances that are the building blocks of our cartilage – the layer of tissue that keeps our joints well lubricated – and reduce the possibility of our bones painfully grinding together, which is essentially what happens in arthritis. A supplement of Glucosamine may therefore help in the …

Contributor: Herbs for Helping with Chronic Back Pain

It can be tempting and convenient to reach for the pills when it comes to chronic pain, especially in the back. However, strong medication often has its adverse side effects that sometimes outweigh the benefits. There are numerous natural alternatives when it comes to pain relief that can be worth checking out. For thousands of years, native plants like herbs have been used in aid of relieving bodily pain and discomfort. Let’s take a look at some herbs that can help with chronic back pain. Ginger Ginger is known for its numerous healing properties, including the ability to calm an upset stomach and subside overwhelming feelings of nausea. But recent research has shown that it just might be the perfect remedy for chronic pain issues as well. Another property that ginger has shown promise is inflammation. While there haven’t been too many studies that can conclusively state how effective ginger is in relieving inflammation, it is known that it has some benefits. The presence of phytochemicals in the ginger extract help with this. The other …

A Look at “Zero to Hero” When You Feel Like a Zero

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “You get to work from home! That’s so great!” Whenever people say that, I never know how to respond. Like, yeah, of course, it’s great to be home all the time… I guess. I forget what day of the week it is. I wear sweatpants. I shower when I want to shower. I work in the living room from my recliner or in the office, whichever is more comfortable. The television is on for “background noise.” I keep the cat and bunny from murdering each other. I also have very little human interaction other than Slack, Gchat, Facebook, or email. I’m a slave to the elements, meaning my Quell says, “Today’s weather may worsen your pain. Consider increased Quell use.” I’ve gotten that warning for the past two weeks straight. If it’s cold or raining, I stay …