I know many here started using drugs because of a pain problem. My pain problem is going to be with me for life, and I need to be able to manage it without opiates. I will need more back surgeries in time, and I fear having to use opiates for a short time, but at least for "normal" life, I don't want drugs ever again.
So far, my efforts include faithfully going to physical therapy, FINALLY loosing weight (I wish I wouldve known that methadone would cause such weight gain), being more active, improving my diet, and keeping positive.
Deal with what? sorry...u mean deal with chronic pain?....acceptance...yes i have done that..dealt with the fact that narcotics will dig me an early grave if i use them long term...yes.... I think sometimes many have to deal with the fact that some problems can not be cured...acceptance and moving on/living life to the best of our ability becomes a big factor....wallowing in pain and feeling like we can not live life because of pain will sink us everytime....people with chronic pain can live...and enjoy life....unless we do not accept it and think of ourselves as disabled...it is all upstairs
My mother lives with chronic pain from 3 back surgeries, and has a brain injury that leaves her with daily migraine headaches.
She manages the pain a multitude of ways. Mind you, she makes less than $20,000 a year and has no medical insurance so money is tight.
I have listed some very helpful things she does consistently- which have allowed her to go bike riding with me and do other outdoor activities which she would never do before because she was always in pain.
I'll start with the supplements:
-Valerian Root (provides a calming effect to the nervous system)
-Cayenne Pepper (Circulation+Capsaicin, natural analgesic)
-Caffeine (in moderation, obviously. Dilates blood vessels)
-Excedrin, Tylenol, Motrin- Although combining valerian and cayenne is very effective for pain management
-Acupuncture<<< VERY important
-Exercise<<<<The BEST medicine
-Massage (Indulge once a month and you will feel the effects)
-Analyze your sleep situation. Replace your bed if necessary; your back can feel MUCH better if you go from a saggy old mattress to a new, firm one.
-Posture. Sounds simple, but good posture does some amazing things.
AND.. Last but not least, and should be #1, is diet.
What you put into your body can have a profound impact on how much pain you are in. Fruit, berries in particular, and any fruit containing bromelain, will be especially helpful not only short term but long term as well for inflammation and pain management. I've learned all this from my mom, as she leads a very healthy lifestyle-- even after the surgeries and the brain injury, she's feeling great and attributes that to her lifestyle.
Lots of people dont want to admit it, but diet and exercise are the most important things when it comes to quality of life, pain, stress, and injury. We have been accustomed via allopathic methods, to treat symptoms rather than take a holistic approach to healing- which includes factoring in our food choices and our activity levels BEFORE we jump for that pill bottle to find relief.
By the way, I made my mom sound perfect- she isn't, she binges on ice cream and eats way too much cheesecake. haha.
This is all easier said than done, but my point in typing this was to prove that there IS another way to manage pain besides DRUGS!!!
Accupuncture/accupressure, nerve stimulation, as you said- physical therapy, swimming is a good exercise and low impact. Massage therapy, hot/cold application. These are all some alternatives, however if you do have surgery chances are you'll have to take something strong but the key is FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. If you can, take for as little time as possible. Have someone else hold onto your meds and distribute them for you. We will all have to deal with pain at some point in our lives, I don't envy you having to deal w/chronic pain, but sounds like you are aware of what you are facing and are looking at alternatives and all your options--good job.
thanks seeksolice. you have some real good suggestions. and yes -the diet is so important. also keeping in shape.
i would like to add some things also. (for chronic back pain)
i sleep on my couch (love seat) almost every nite. that way you can put your feet up and it really relaxes your back while you are sleeping.
moving to a less humid climate really helps. it is proven that the humidity constricts something (can't remember the termonolgy) in our bodies which causes inflammation and pain. i have moved to Arizona and it has really made a difference. also the bitter cold reaks havoc on our bodies and causes pain too.
and lets face it, there are some things we just cannot do. certain types of jobs. and even though they may be the answer to money problems, we will just have to pass on them. while you are in pysical therapy it is a good chance to drill your therapist on what types of jobs are suited for you. i asked mine to come up with a good way to drive and other daily things that caused pain.
ask your physical therapist to check if one leg is longer than the other. most people do have a difference but it does not bother their back. if so, you can put an insert in your shoe and that helps.
Chronic pain...for me, ice, heat, yoga, massage, chiropractic, steroid injections when i have to...and supps like glucosamine, pregnenolone, the omega 3s...lecithen is what i have been using, InFlamactin is a supp that helps alot as well....i got a Shiatzu massager from Homedics...60 bux or so but has saved me money on massages as it can get expensive and my insurance doesnt cover massage...puts me to sleep at night as well...inflammatories/ibuprophen as well when i am flared up....good luck to u
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