All posts filed under: pain management

Dr. Death — IE, What Happens When Your Spine Surgeon has a God Complex

“I can fix you.” No doctor worth their degree says, “I can fix you.” It is a promise that no one can keep. The beginning of “Dr. Death,” a relatively new podcast from Wondery, speaks to that resigned place in the soul of someone weary with suffering, and this doctor said the words all pain patients are so desperate to hear. “Imagine. You’re struggling with back pain for months. No one can tell you what’s wrong. Then, you find a doctor, and the words that he said that I wanted to hear were, ‘I can fix you.’ Those are magic words. I was in pain.” — via Wondery My gorge rose while listening to the vivid details of a patient’s head literally being separated from his cervical spine by this surgeon’s sheer ineptitude. Another patient’s esophagus was cut and a sponge left inside to fester. Yet another’s vocal cords were destroyed, rendering her voice a strangled, raspy whisper. Nerve roots severed. Bone fragments digging into muscle and even the spinal canal. All of them suffering …

Contributor: Conquering The Pain Of Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff injuries (RCIs) are one of the most common causes of shoulder pain for people of all ages. They occur when damage is done to the group of muscles and tissues that surround the shoulder joint and are most prevalent in groups of people who perform frequent overhead motions. Examples include carpenters, painters, and baseball and tennis players. However, injury can also occur because of age. When the tendons are worn down, they can even tear. If you notice sudden pain or you have been battling pain for a while, take a proactive stance to injury and find the best combination of treatments so you can get back to normal life as soon as possible. Rotator cuff injuries can cause chronic pain The pain from an RCI can be acute or chronic. When the injury is caused by a sudden blow or brusque movement, acute pain can ensue but when damage is caused by wear and tear (which occurs in jobs that require frequent lifting, for instance), pain can be chronic. Symptoms that indicate injury or worn-out …

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 …

Guest Contributor: The Pain Companion by Sarah Anne Shockley

  As many of you know, I write an occasional column for the Pain News Network. One of my compatriots there, Sarah Anne Shockley, recently published a book called The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living With and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain that everyone who experiences pain or chronic illness should read. She was diagnosed with TOS (thoracic outlet syndrome) in 2007 and has lived with intractable nerve pain ever since. It’s a very easy read and covers the necessary topics for a chronic pain lifestyle manual, such as anger, acceptance, relationships, self-image, and more. It’s the way Sarah writes that stands out; she is accessible, not only because she’s lived it, but also because she can relate her unique experience to other types of pain and offer constructive guidance. My pain isn’t her pain, but she showed me that we’ve been in the trenches together. This talent always stood out to me in her columns for PNN, and it’s translated very well to book form. Since Sarah can say it better than I can, here is …

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: 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 …

Hey Guys, Free Stuff! (Maybe!) Pain Awareness Month Giveaway

September is almost over, guys. That means that our month — Pain Awareness Month — is almost over. However, there are still a few things that I want to share with you. Backer Nation, a website that profiled me recently and is also keeping in line with the American Chronic Pain Association’s mission this month, is doing a giveaway for a gift basket filled with back pain and wellness goodies valued at more than $1,000. They have partnered with companies like Quell and others so they can get the message out for pain patients, using the hashtag #effbackpain for people to share stories and inspire others. Disclaimer: I’m not getting anything for telling you that. I hope you win the basket! Funny story, Backer Nation approached me independently of Quell, and then Quell said, “Hey, we’ve been working with Backer Nation and made these graphics for Pain Awareness Month [see below]. Maybe you can share them?” It’s a small world, people. So the graphics! NeuroMetrix (AKA, the Quell people) have come up with some interesting graphics …

Pain Awareness Month 2017

Hello there, my lovelies! It’s September 1st, and you know what that means — and if you don’t, let me drop some knowledge on you. It’s Pain Awareness Month!   *Sound the trumpets* Yes, it is the month that those of us with chronic conditions have taken as our own to raise awareness of our maladies. Naturally I won’t be here for the Boston Abilities Expo (gotta celebrate my dad’s birthday!), but there are plenty of things happening this month, and the U.S. Pain Foundation is keeping track of many goings-on, like fundraisers, the 30-day challenge (follow @US_pain on Twitter and @USPainAwarenessMonth on Instagram for this year’s challenge), proclamations, etc. You can even change your profile picture on Facebook to raise awareness, since many of the most common pain conditions are invisible to the eye. So that’s cool! Keep on the lookout for Pain Awareness Month-related things and see if there is a family member or friend you can help. Also, side note, I was featured on Dr. Melissa Cady’s “Pain Out Loud” blog, though …

The Quell Pain Relief Device: Entering the Third Year

Here we are again, folks. We’re entering the third year (since I can’t do math), and I am still using the Quell pain relief device (give or take two weeks when I forgot to wear it because my schedule was so disrupted that I forgot). Five bands, who knows how many electrodes — both normal and the new sport model, which I very much prefer in these extremely humid summer months — and two Quell models later, we’ve made it to this point. Well, I still like the Quell! At one point before I upgraded to the new model, I feared that either my pain was getting worse or I was becoming sensitized to the electric current. Turning it up didn’t help, but I still couldn’t go without wearing it for very long before I was overcome with pain. That has been my overall plan, you know. To eventually go without wearing it, trying to set myself to absolute zero to see what my pain really is. I’ve been throwing medication at my pain since …

Effective Alternative Therapies for Dealing with Chronic Pain

We have another guest post from Jackie Waters of Hyper-Tidy.com!  There’s no silver bullet approach for dealing with chronic pain. Everyone’s pain is specific to them, and you can’t solve everything with a single pill or by eating more kale. A true holistic approach to chronic pain management will utilize a variety of coping methods. For some, the risk of developing dependencies to medication is enough reason to seek out alternative therapies for their pain. Others find that a combination of treatments works best for them. Some are still searching for the right treatment. Whatever the case, the good news is there are alternative treatments that show promise and are already being relied on by millions suffering from chronic pain. Add some specific foods to your diet Proper diet and exercise is vital for anyone suffering from chronic pain. It’s important to reduce refined carbohydrates, excess sugar, and caffeine. Do everything that you can to maintain a healthy weight, as obesity exacerbates most forms of chronic pain. But did you know that there are some specific foods …