Share your experiences with alternative pain therapies
Hi to all:
What are some of the different experiences you have had with alternative pain therapy? (acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, physio, warm water exercise, diet, ect....It would be interesting to see how many of us use these different techniques.
When I had ulcerative colitis I went to a chiropractor for years. He also helped with my neck pain. My husband eventually banned me from going when all the lawsuits and strokes started happening. I do believe it is still a safe therapy providing your doctor is not manipulating your neck unnecessarily. My son goes for his sciatica and it gives him great relief.
I've had acupuncture a few times but didn't stick with it long enough to see if it benefitted. I did find it very relaxing though.
I've gone to a massage therapist for many years. Before my Lupus treatment I suffered terribly with TMJ, migraines and tension headaches as well as neck and shoulder pain. My Lupus treatment is helping with these areas and I continue to go for massages ever week or so and am now trying to stretch out my appointments. My pain is very much in my muscles and fascial tissue. Ensure you get a certified therapist with experience in myofascial massage. This really helps with my pain and allows me to reduce my use of opiates.
I go to a local Lupus support group and one of our members runs a warm water exercise class. A couple of the pools in the city have warm water pools for people with arthritis and disabilities. The exercises are easy on the joints and the warm water helps the comfort level. I've not tried it as it is not convenient to where I live. She has also promoted meditation. I soak in a bath each morning for 20 minutes to help loosen up my sore body and find meditating while doing this has really helped.
I have increased my omega 3's and healthy fats and vegetables in my diet and think it may be helping. I also take fish oil caplets. Now if I can only get up the gumption to start some exercise I know it will be good for me. I can't get over tired or will get sick and when sore you don't want to get started. The exercise will also help me to lose weight which will also help my pain levels - less weight on the connective tissue is a good thing.
Thanks Trudie. I feel that a good combination of things are the most helpful. I too was incorporating warm water therapy into my weekly routine and it helped as well. The problems for me were getting there. I had to force myself out of the house and on bad days which are many... isn't the easiest of tasks.
I would love to try a Massage Therapist but the cost stops me from participating. I had some awesome insurance while I was working but that has since stopped. I now have Medicare which is the only insurance and I don't believe that they will cover things of that nature.
Acupuncture was relaxing but did nothing. TENS Unit actually increased my pain. I couldn't make it through Pilates or even water aerobics. PT (3 times) injured my SI Joint even more so than it was prior to PT. The exercise kept knocking my SI Joint out of place and pulling on the large mesh that is a substitute for my right abdominal and lower back muscles, which causes horrific spams. Massage therapy twice provided some temporary pain releif for a few hours but at $85.00 an hour it was not cost effective.
My PCP is an Internal Medicine D.O. Every other week I have manipulations that keep my battered and torn body in better alignment and that allows me to keep walking and function to some degree.
I am also blessed to have a large jacuzzi and massage chair. They are part of my "I can't stand this pain a minute longer.." routine. I am not sure they really help but I tell myself they do and I have found that sometimes pain can be mind over matter.
Most of all I am blessed to have MedHelp's PM Forum and now the Chronic Pain Couch Group where I can commensurate with others that suffer with chronic pain. Though I was not happy to find that there are others that experience horrific chronic pain, it was a relif to know that others felt as I do. When I first joined MH's PM Forum I would read a post and make sure my name wasn't on the bottom of it. I'd think, "I know what they are talking about."....or..."That's just how I feel."
I am so much more fortunate than most of you, I have pain with my back somedays it too can be overwhelming but only during a few acute episodes has it been what i consider horrific....
for my legs it is pain everyday and again not what I would consider horrific.
I have tried acupuncture(for both back and legs) for 2 yrs with only minimal relief and not long lasting, there again I couldn't afford to go more than 2x a month and was told it should be alot more often to obtain lasting relief...very expensive and insurance wouldn't cover.
Massage same thing, relief minimal for back and leg pain. again very expensive and can only afford to go occasionally.
I have not tried a chiropractor...because of horror stories I have heard from a neurologist..who is very much against this practice.
physio...I am currently trying to comply with but can only exercise on good days and in very moderate routines, this gives some relief.
better days to us all!!
love this forum, helps us all to vent.
I have suffered with myofascial pain in my neck due to lax ligaments for 18 years. This has caused all the muscles in my upper back, shoulders and neck to tighten up and spasm, and it also pulls my neck out of alignment. I have tried virtually everything alternative, and what helps me most is: A machine called Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), www.frequencyspecificmicrocurrent.com.
I have also been helped by a good masseuse, a backyard spa, aqua aerobics in a warm pool (as long as I don't use the weights which flare me up), and walking. I take Tylenol at night along with 1/4 to 1/2 Flexeril to help relax my muscles, as sleeping is very painful for me. I can't take anti-inflammatories anymore because they have ruined my stomach, although I do find them helpful and will take them only occasionally when things are really bad.
During the early years that I had this pain I was seeing a chiropractor a few times a week and I was undiagnosed at that point. He was doing forceful adjustments on me for several years, and that actually exacerbated my condition, stretching the ligaments even more, which I learned too late.
thats sounds interesting I will pass that info onto someone else that suffers from cervical problems.
I also at one time had a booklet (can't find) that sold neck collars that actually inflated and eased the compression on the neck.
does anyone out there have info on these maybe even a website?
I went to acupuncture for years but I found that it just trigger more pain and finally I just got fed up and got tired of the MORE pain I was getting after every appointment. It was just too much to deal with so I stopped going.
Same with massage therapy... it just triggered more pain. I went to lots of different people too... but, I finally just got tired of it. When I am not in a really bad pain cycle, I can get massage therapy and it is nice and sometimes even helpful... but when I "need it" ... it just makes things worse.
I tried homeopathy. It didn't help. I also did a lot of research on it and found out that it wasn't really... well... it's not science and it makes no sense at all. I felt like I'd been wasting a lot of money.
I did try an elimination diet (for my migraines) .. I lost so much weight and was so depressed and my migraines didn't stop... they weren't even reduced. Actually, I was in the hospital a LOT for pain when I was on the diet.... and since I went off the diet I haven't been in the hospital that much at all! Haha. It was pretty brutal.. I could hardly eat anything. I've never been so down about my life or having migraines... that was such a depressing time... I am so glad that's over. I feel like I almost died that fall when I was on that diet... seriously... I lost so much weight and I was always at 10/10 pain and I was always in the hospital... it was just awful. But, actually, elimination diets aren't really an alternative therapy... they're something doctors usually do for migraines and it was something my family doctor did... but, it was a diet so I thought I'd mention it since you listed diets in the list. My neurologist, at the time, was the one that took me off the diet though because he said it was pointless.
I go to physiotherapy. It helps A LOT!! But.. it also hurts and is boring and I have to remember to do it in my free time and I am tired all the time and ... but, if I do it, it helps. The problem is doing it... It doesn't cause MORE pain, it just hurts while I do it. It sometimes will cause more pain for a bit temporarily after but over all the benefit has been worth it. I feel stronger and healthier and I know my muscles are stronger and that means less pain and less triggering pain. I just have to keep doing it... which is the hardest part. I wish exercise was fun and didn't hurt. :(
I use mint oil... I guess that's aromatherapy, which is an alternative therapy... like I will put it on my body or smell it, too distract myself from the pain. I sometimes buy this aromatherapy gum for pain, it's kinda gimmicky but I just like the way it tastes and it's sometimes a distraction because it is such a strong flavor.
I also sometimes use epsom salts in my bath... my family doctor told me to do that as well as the acupuncture doctor I saw. It feels nice, I dunno.
I use ice therapy. I guess that could be considered alternative... like ice/heat therapy, but I only use ice therapy... but, ice/heat therapy is pretty common place and prescribed by medical doctors too, so it's not really alternative I guess.
Oh... and, I've taken magnesium @ 400mg for pain and B2 @ 400mg a day for headaches and I am currently taking CoQo10 @ 300mg a day for headaches... but, my regular family doctor told me to do that... and, at this point I probably wouldn't if I hadn't seen scientific studies that showed they were all effective. But... even so, I guess they could sort of be counted as alternative treatments since they are all supplements.
Someone else mentioned TENS... I use one of those too.... it used to help a lot. I'm not sure how much it is helping these days. My family doctor prescribed that.
Something that both my mom and I use that isn't really alternative, but isn't something that's really a prescription or anything... is those muscle patches with topical muscle cream/gel on them that you can buy at the pharmacy for muscle pain. My mom likes the "IcyHot Patch" the best and I like the "MyoFlex" patch the best but I also use the "IcyHot Patch" too a lot just because my mom has them around the house all the time so I don't have to buy them, hehe. Mom finds they work great for her neuropathy oddly enough and I find they work great for my chronic upper back neck pain that comes with my chronic migraines. Sometimes they work better than the naproxen and the hydromorphone even... oddly enough.... I mean, sometimes not... but sometimes they do... like, usually if the pain killers aren't working, if I put one of those patches on, sometimes they help the pain killers work or something, or maybe like, keep me distracted while the pain killers start to work. I don't know what exactly... but sometimes I sure am sooo grateful that they exist!! Same with my mom, she feels the same way.
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