All posts filed under: therapy

Guest Post: Water Exercise for Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain comes in many forms: aching in the joints, dull burning in the muscles, or shooting pains throughout the body. While some bodily pain after an injury or surgery is normal, pain that persists beyond average recovery time or that arises inexplicably is considered chronic. The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines chronic pain as “any pain lasting more than 12 weeks.” These pains can be sharp or dull, localized or felt throughout the body. The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) widely recommends exercise therapy, or “active therapy,” to increase the range of motion, strength, and flexibility and to enhance the quality of life. Though resting the body may seem like a tempting option, doctors have come to recognize that inactivity typically exacerbates symptoms. Dr. Edward Laskowski, a rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic, explains, “[w]hen you rest, you become deconditioned — which may actually contribute to chronic pain.” Whether you suffer from fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, or another physically debilitating illness, remaining active is paramount to managing pain. Exercise for …

Pain News Network: The ActiPatch

Here’s my latest column for the Pain News Network! Loyal readers, I have returned. It’s been a tumultuous month of bad days and flares, so while I was absent from my writing duties, I was trying out a hodgepodge of products designed to offer pain relief. Naturally, none of them worked. Let’s discuss. A while ago it was suggested that I try the ActiPatch. I was originally introduced to this new form of pain product by Lil’ Bub, the celebrity cat. I should probably explain that. Lil’ Bub, full name Lillian Bubbles, is a perma-kitten, meaning that she will retain her kitten-like characteristics for her entire lifespan. She also has an extreme case of dwarfism and a rare bone condition called osteopetrosis (the only cat in recorded history to have it), which causes her bones to become incredibly dense as she grows older. This causes pain and difficulty when she tries to go from Point A to Point B. Her person, called the Dude (like Jeff Bridges in “The Big Lebowski”), discovered the Assisi Loop, which …

Pain News Network: the Emotional Insight App

Here’s my latest column for the Pain News Network! Biofeedback is probably the closest thing to having actual superpowers. To quote the Mayo Clinic, it’s “a technique you can use to learn to control your body’s functions, such as your heart rate” by using electrical sensors to “receive information (feedback) about your body (bio).” In theory, this can help you learn to control things like muscle relaxation, which often helps to lessen pain. What if you want to go deeper than that, though? In my own experience as a chronic pain patient, I’ve come to realize that much of pain — or rather, the compounding of pain — is emotionally derived. It can be stress from work, an argument with a spouse, dreading a rent payment, or anything else that thrills against your nerves. How does one separate the emotional aspect of pain from the physical? How do you know when you’re being your own worst enemy? You look inward. Somehow my father stumbled across the Emotional Insight app and sent it my way. I was …

Pain News Network: Aroga Yoga

Here’s my newest column for the Pain News Network! One of the most popular remedies that pain management doctors like to recommend for patients is yoga. Not only has yoga created a revolution in the fitness and apparel worlds, but it also is touted as a great way for chronic pain patients to exercise. This generally leaves us patients in a strange spiral of “I hurt too much to work out” and then feeling worse because we aren’t moving. Physical activity is necessary in whatever form we can manage. I have several instructional DVDs, but only a few of them are actually tailored to people with illness and pain. I decided to go hunting for the Big Kahuna. My search was not in vain: I discovered Kayla Kurin, creator of Aroga Yoga. “Aroga,” which I thought was just a great rhyme, actually means “healthy, well, or free from disease.” Ms. Kurin is a yoga teacher based in London who focuses exclusively on chronic pain and illness, as she uses it to manage her own chronic fatigue …

Pain News Network: The Quell Pain Relief Device

Pasted below is the content of my first column as a regular contributor for the Pain News Network! When presented with the Quell pain relief device, people make one of two assumptions about me: 1.) I injured my knee, or 2.) I am a paroled felon wearing a very forgiving Velcro GPS. As I said in my recent guest column, I have made it my mission to test as many pain relief products and therapies as possible. Some of them might be familiar to you; others will be of the “new and bizarre” variety. Whatever they are, I will be your Friendly Neighborhood Guinea Pig and review them for your convenience. I only draw the line at “Made for TV” products that are out to swindle the desperate consumer. Pain patients are certainly desperate. We have a constant refrain humming through our bodies that plays a different tune for each person. Doctors are the musicians taught to hear those tunes — but how can they possibly learn all the music? How can they hear your …