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The Blend

dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072

Managing Pain requires a Blend


I wrote this many years ago as a means of documenting all of the various modules that can be used in total pain management and control.   I quickly talk about medications, but the main purpose of this discussion is to identify those pain control techniques that do not involve medications.   I have picked up these treatments along my 40+ years in dealing with chronic pain.   Many of these came about because the conventional treatments were not working and I was told there was nothing more than can really be done.   I've never believed that, there is always something more than can be done, you just have to look harder and further at times.  I was fortunate in the past to have doctors that were open to different types of treatment.   Since 2006, I've been seeing on physiatrist, who besides handling all of my conventional treatments has turned me to explore the wide open area of Eastern medicine.   There is nothing in here that will guarantee pain relief for everyone.  I do know that I have used many of these techniques and have benefitted greatly.   --   Ron DiLauro, 2018


The objective of this thread is to document that pain medications(narcotics) are not the only way to manage chronic pain.   In this thread I will talk about various modules that can be used to enhance the over pain management.   

Please note that the information provided below are just examples and may not pertain to every member.  You always need to check and verify any treatment or suggestion provided here with your doctor


Conventional Medicine

 Medications

   Pain  The various Immediate Relief medications and the Extended Release type. (Oxycontin, Oxycodone, etc)

  Nerve  Specifically designed to address nerve pain (Neurontin, Lyrica)

  Muscle Relaxers Medications that are aimed to help reduce muscles spasms and tightness ( Baclofen, Zanaflex, Rhobaxin, Flexeril)

  Sleep  Medications that are designed to bring you REM sleep, which is so important for the healing process.  The better REM sleep you get, the more time 

                       you  body has to help heal itself.  Sleep alone is good, but a deep REM sleep is what is soul to our bodies.

 Treatments

    Physical Therapy or other approved exercise programs.

   Aqua Therapy which is one of the better forms of total exercise while remaining more passive than Physical Therapy

   Spinal Injections To help provide some relief from the immediate pain.  This could include ESI (Cortisone) Trigger Point (lidocaine) and others

   Massage To help relax and reduce muscle spasms and tightness that normal muscle relaxers do not address. (Western and Eastern)

   Tens unit  Personal  device that uses mild electric impulses to reach deep into painful areas. Effective and any spinal patient should have one.

   Traction Can be aggressive or passive. The aggressive style is done at treatment center, while passive can be done at home.

 

Eastern Medicine 

Acupuncture 

Use of medical needles inserted into specific points of the body. The idea of harmony and balance are also the basis of yin and yang is also one

of the principals.   I have had many acupuncture sessions.  During and after those periods, I definitely had a reduced level of pain and was in a more

'relaxed' state.  That feeling did not last for more than a couple of days. I found that I needed to go at least weekly for this sessions to keep up the

reduced pain levels.   There are so many people that 'claim' they do acupuncture, so before you try it, make sure you check into the background of

the people providing that service.  Mine was always done by a medical doctor.

Aroma Therapy

There are a number of essential oils that can be used to help place your mind and body where you want it to be.  I have used over 10 different essential oils, each one designed to help in different ways.  (ie Sleep, Muscle Relaxation, Mood changes, Bliss, etc)

Cupping

There is the ancient Chinese medical procedure that involves Dry or Wet cupping.  The principal is providing 'suction' to a given part of the body.  This is to   promote  more blood flow.  The more blood flow to   an area, the quicker the healing process.  

There is also a modern method of cupping that is much easier and not as involved. 

Herbal treatment

There are specific herbs that are valuable in reducing some medical aliments.  For example, capsaicin - the active ingredient in hot peppers 

 is  effective.  Its the ingredient that is used in many of those topical creams for pain.   Turmeric is effective as an anti-inflammatory.   I use this daily, both

 in pill format and powder format.   The turmeric that you can buy from a grocery store can work, but you want a purer powder that you can purchase

 from herbal stores.

Magnet Therapy

The use of special magnets to help promote blood flow.  Once again, with the increased blood flow healing is faster.  I have used various types

 of these medical magnets. (they are not just any ordinary magnet).  I have different sizes, including large magnets for the back.  I have these

 magnet pillows and even a sheet.  They have been help in reducing acute pain, though nothing in terms of long term relief (at least for me).

Mediation balls 

These Chinese Medical balls  also utilize the principals of yin and yang.  They can be really helpful to reduce some pain in  your hands.

They also are used to help you get into a more relaxed state.

Music Therapy

Combined with Aroma therapy, this is one of the more powerful tools in managing pain.

Osteopathic Treatment

Quoting directly from Wikipedia, Osteopathy (from Greek ὀστέον, "bone" and -πάθεια, "disease of") is a type of complementary and alternative medicine. It is an alternative medical approach emphasizing the physical manipulation of the muscle tissue and bones.  I had several treatments done by an Osteopathic doctor.  It involved 'soft' touches of their hands over specific parts of my body.  Ir reminded me very much like acupuncture, in the fact that it was a very calming and relaxing state.

Relaxation and Mediation

This is where you put the power of your mind at work.  There are many books and aids available to help you get started in this area.  I have been able to 

get into a totally relaxed state which does seem to reduce the pain.  But honestly, I've never really get into a total state with meditation where I could

eliminate any pain during that session.  Meditation is powerful, but it takes work to get there.

Tapping

Tapping, also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), is a powerful holistic healing technique that has been proven to effectively resolve a range of issues, including stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight control, and limiting beliefs, just to name a few.  

Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy

Thai - Deep/Soft Tissue Massage

Many times this is considered "Thai' massage.  I have been seeing a Master of Thai massage that incorporated the best of Traditional Thai Massage along with

Deep/Soft tissue massage.  The treatments can be very painful.  The massage is done with fingers, elbows, heels, toes, etc   This type of massage was able to go very deep into the muscles/tissue, more so than any physical therapist could do.   When all other treatments failed for my thoracic problems, I had weekly sessions with this Thai master and after 6 months, my thoracic problems were almost eliminated.  This man kept me from a wheelchair!  Its been over 6 years since I started with him and I still see him monthly for a 'tune up'

So many more

 

Feng Shui

Flower Essences

Gem Therapy

Holistic Medicine

Reiki

Rolfing

Yoga Therapy

 These  therapies work best when you have an open mind.   Western medicine is so accustomed to chemicals to combat pain and discomfort.  Eastern medicine does not look at it that way.  They view the more natural ways to 'heal' the body.  It can work, It has worked for me, but you need to have an open mind about it.

Exercise and Diet

  • Proper and approved daily exercise required to build up strength and endurance

    Food behaviors.  Eating the proper foods to maintain a healthy body

Emotional Control

People who are living in chronic pain, or have first started to deal with pain on a daily basis, need to 

maintain a positive attitude and outlook.   Its easy for someone dealing with this to get depressed.  If that happens, besides your 'normal' medical treatments, you should consider some counselor to help.

Pain itself is difficult, but having to deal with it yourself becomes more difficult.  Having the support of loved ones is so very important


As I mentioned in the beginning, these are just some of the various treatments that can augment the normal chemicals and medication.   Before trying any of these, you  need to discuss it with your doctor to make sure that anything you try is not going to cause additional problems for you.

Putting all of these together or other actions that your doctor has prescribed is what really can address the total picture

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