Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Spoon Theory

This is an excellent tool and very inspirational to me in my life. My husband and I use this on a regular basis so I don't have to say I feel like sh*t all the time. Instead I can say I don't have enough spoons. Please read at the link below. This is about Lupus, but relates to ANY chronic pain. Hope you find this as helpful as we do.

by Christine Miserandino www.butyoudontlooksick.com/the_spoon_theory

TENS Unit

TENS Unit


One of my saving graces is my TENS unit. If you have stiff muscles, knots or cramped muscles this is a great alternative or addition to medication. Here is more information from Wikipedia on what a TENS unit (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)

(TENS or TeNS) is the popularized name for electrical stimulation produced by a portable stimulator and used to treat pain. However, TENS stands for Trancutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and so, by definition, covers the complete range of transcutaneously applied currents used for nerve excitation. Nonetheless, the term TENS is often used with a more restrictive intent, namely to describe the kind of pulses produced by portable stimulators used to treat pain. TENS is the application of electrical current through the skin for pain control. The unit is usually connected to the skin using two or more electrodes. A typical battery-operated TENS unit is able to modulate pulse width, frequency and intensity. Generally TENS is applied at high frequency (>50 Hz) with an intensity below motor contraction (sensory intensity) or low frequency (<10 Hz) with an intensity that produces motor contraction.

For further info here is the rest of the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TENS_Unit

Also, I have a really fancy one that has very complicated settings that are set by my physical therapist. Some just have like 10 options of settings. Either way, they are all helpful. There are also ones that are made for physical therapists that are way bigger. They do about the same but give you a chance to try it before you buy it. Most insuarnace compaines do cover these. Good Luck!

Doctor's who believe in YOU!

Do you have a great doctor that believe's in you and your Fibromyalgia and other Chronic Pain? I'd like to start a list around the world here for our fellow sufferers that are having a hard time finding help. Please list, doctor's name, location and phone # here:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pain in the butt traveling!

I've been out of town for 4 days and my pain is beyond control. At least I'm headed home. I try to get out and stretch as much as I can. I have a travel pillow for in the vehicle. I would like to hear what you guys do on trips to stay comfortable. Any ideas or suggestions?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Discovery Health Channel: Identiying Fibromyalgia

Discovery Health channel: Identifying Fibromyalgia

Pain expert Dr. Scott Fishman answers questions about nerve pain: 
Q:   How do I know if I have fibromyalgia?
A:   Fibromyalgia is a hodgepodge of symptoms characterized by mild to extreme discomfort emanating from skeletal muscles and soft tissue throughout the body. It is also referred to as myofascial pain and can encompass other disorders, including temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ).
Over the years, fibromyalgia has had a number of medical labels: muscle hardening, muscular rheumatism, fibrositis, myofascitis, myogelosis, and interstitial myofibrositis. The terms fibromyalgia and myofascial pain often are used interchangeably, but they are not identical twins. Myofascial pain is the umbrella term, and fibromyalgia is a specific kind of pain that encompasses widespread symptoms in muscles throughout the body.
The centerpiece of this disorder involves tender areas of muscle and trigger points (small areas of muscle that cause pain in a distant area when they are pressed). Trigger points are often associated with tender, hard knots within muscle tissue but are not always tender themselves. Trigger points and tender points often are confused, but they are not the same thing.
As with many pain conditions, there are no laboratory tests to diagnose this pain. For years, patients have been complaining to their doctors about achy pain in their muscles that comes and goes, moves around their bodies, and produces fatigue. Yet the shifting character of the condition, seemingly vague symptoms that come and go, and undetectable causes have confounded successful treatment.
In 1990, doctors with the American College of Rheumatology developed specific criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. To be diagnosed with it, a patient must have widespread pain and clear signs of muscle tenderness at eleven of eighteen identified spots on the body. The scientist who first spotted these clumps within muscle described them as feeling like "rubbery Rice Krispies."
Lodged within a taut band of muscle or neighboring tissue, they are tight knots. When pressed, they are unusually tender. When pressed hard, they may cause the whole muscle to twitch or a person to flinch, which is known as a jump sign. They frequently congregate in one area of the body, such as in the neck, shoulder, or back, and radiate discomfort to neighboring muscles. If you have had occasional knots in your muscles, like a kink in the neck, you may have had what is called latent trigger points because they can radiate pain but quickly disappear.
The underlying cause of trigger points is frequently a mystery. They can crop up after an injury or disease, from repetitive motion (like lots of lifting or a repeated sports motion), or for no apparent reason.

Fibromyalgia Video from Discovery Health Channel

 Very good program!

http://health.discovery.com/search/results.html?query=fibromyalgia&search.x=0&search.y=0&search=search

Pain Medications from Discovery Health Channel

Pain Medications


Overview

Pain medication is taken in order to reduce the amount, duration, or awareness of pain.

What is the information for this topic?

Over-the-counter pain medicine Many pain medicines are available over the counter without a prescription. Common over-the-counter pain medicines include:
 acetaminophen
 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are all NSAIDs.

Prescription pain medicine These are available only with a prescription from a healthcare professional. Examples include:
 anticonvulsants, which can relieve chronic nerve pain. Examples include phenytoin (i.e. Dilantin), carbamazepine (i.e. Tegretol), and gabapentin (i.e. Neurontin).
 antidepressants, which may relieve certain kinds of chronic pain. Common antidepressants include amitriptyline (i.e. Elavil), trazodone (i.e. Desyrel), and imipramine (i.e. Tofranil).
 capsaicin, a cream that can relieve skin pain caused by shingles, nerve problems, and other causes
 corticosteroids, such as prednisone, which can relieve pain from inflammation
 Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitors such as celecoxib (i.e. Celebrex) and meloxicam (i.e. Mobic) are helpful for inflammatory pain such as from arthritis.
 narcotics, which are the most effective for moderate to severe pain. Common narcotics include morphine (i.e. Avinza, MS Contin), codeine, meperidine (i.e. Demerol), oxycodone (i.e. OxyContin), hydromorphone (i.e. Dilaudid) and methadone.
 sumatriptan (i.e. Imitrex) and naratriptan (i.e. Amerge), which can relieve the pain of a migraine headache
 tramadol (i.e. Ultram), which is used mainly for chronic pain

Side effects All medicines have potential side effects, including allergic reactions. Other common side effects of pain medicines include:
 stomach upset, gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney failure are potential side effects of NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors
 liver damage with high doses of acetaminophen, especially when it is used for long periods of time
 diabetes, osteoporosis, and increased risk of infection with long-term use of corticosteroids
 dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea with tramadol
 drowsiness and confusion with anticonvulsants, especially within the first 2 weeks of starting the medicine
 drowsiness, nausea, constipation, itchiness, urinary hesitancy and potential addiction with narcotics. Patients taking narcotics for more than 2 weeks may experience withdrawal if the narcotic dose is not gradually tapered.
 dry mouth, drowsiness, and constipation with antidepressants
 rarely, increased blood pressure with sumatriptan and naratriptan

Some people have severe pain that will not respond to over-the-counter pain medicines. These people should talk to a healthcare professional. First, the cause of the pain can be investigated, and possibly treated. If no cause can be found, or if the cause is not treatable, the healthcare professional can prescribe a medication or combination of medications to provide relief. In some persons, physical therapy or other non-medication forms of treatment may work better than medication. Pain specialists are available to help with the care of persons whose pain problems are especially difficult to manage.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Free Pain Diary Worksheet

Let me know what YOU want!

I'm interested in what you guys want posts on. Any idea's or suggestions are welcome. Will be adding more to the links above soon.

Thanks!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Free copy of Fibromyalgia for Dummies!!!

Free copy in pdf or word form of Fibromyalgia for Dummies! Great book, mine is well worn and used a lot. Great info in there. There's a really good section for friends and family to read also. Enjoy! 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dr Oz 4 Treatments for Fibromyalgia

Mehmet Oz


Dr. Oz will see you now! In his first O column, he analyzes the different treatments for fibromyalgia.


Defining Fibromyalgia: Though classified as a disorder of the musculoskeletal system, the condition is now seen as a central nervous system problem. Symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain, achy and stiff joints, fatigue, and specific tender points on the back, chest, arms, and legs. Migraines, sleep disorders, and irritable bowel syndrome are also common complaints. Up to 3 percent of the population may suffer from fibromyalgia, but with no clear cause, the condition is difficult to diagnose.

Western Medicine Approach: A formal diagnosis for fibromyalgia didn't exist until 1990, but now there are three FDA-approved meds to combat the pain. Still, says Nancy Klimas, MD, director of the Allergy and Immunology Clinic at the University of Miami, "there is much more to treatment than a pill." Strategies are needed to improve sleep, stretch and restore symmetry to muscles that have been shortened by spasm, and raise overall conditioning through exercise.

Energy-Based Approach: Practitioners believe the root of fibromyalgia is a disturbance in nerves that blocks energy. The disturbance, says Devi S. Nambudripad, MD, PhD, and a licensed acupuncturist, is caused by sensitivities to substances ranging from pollen to vaccines to chemical agents in fabrics. Anxiety and depression may also play a part. Practitioners use acupuncture to release energy and allergy testing to identify problem substances.

Psychological Approach: "The pain of fibromyalgia is not caused by depression," says Leonard Jason, PhD, professor of psychology at DePaul University, "but depression can deepen a patient's experience of pain." Mental health professionals may play a complementary role in treatment, but it's a vital one. Cognitive behavioral therapy can relieve depression and help patients identify sources of stress that magnify their symptoms.

Nutrition-Based Approach: Fibromyalgia is a systemwide breakdown, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of the nationwide Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers. After suffering from the disease in the 1970s, he developed his own protocol; in studies, patients improved by as much as 91 percent. He recommends supplements to help sufferers sleep, balance hormones, boost immunity, and improve nutrition. He also prescribes regular exercise. (Try Dr. Oz's 20-minute workout plan)

My Recommendation: Because Western medicine was slow to accept fibromyalgia, it is behind in its work; this is an area where patients will want to take a serious look at alternative approaches. Energy-based medicine could offer some important advances in treatment over the next decade, but since it has yet to be tested by independent research, I think it's premature to base your therapy solely on this approach. I'm more impressed by Teitelbaum's supplement regimen, and not only because he has tested his theories: I've put patients on this program with very good results. I would add counseling, as it should always be a part of fibromyalgia treatment. If after a couple of months you don't see improvement, talk to your doctor about drug therapy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Foods for Fibro Teleconference

Seven Simple Steps to Help
Repair Brain Fog and Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms
In this free seminar you will learn:
  • How to reduce or completely eliminate brain fog
  • How to prevent or eliminate migraines and headaches
  • What nutrients boost brain cells and where to find them
  • How to stop poisoning your brain and disrupting your biochemistry
  • How to have more energy, more stable moods, and enjoy a better memory
Date:Wednesday, March 24
Time:8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST
Where:On the phone and on the computer
8:00 p.m. Eastern / 5:00 p.m. Pacific
   



or

Shocking!!

Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

This is very common in people with Fibro. Next time you go to your doctor, have your Vitamin D levels checked. I did and mine was almost non-existent! Now I take 2000 IU a day. I have heard of people able to get off their pain meds once their Vit. D levels are up again. Something to ponder and it can't hurt.

Sleep

I've been up all night working on my blog's. A couple of the links don't go anywhere yet, but it's 10am and I need some sleep. Will be back at it soon. Thanks for your patience.

Update on last doc appt.

I started on requip to help with my shaking and twitching, it has worked wonders!!! My muscles don't seem to hurt as bad. Also I started taking the Flexeril 3 times a day instead of just when it got really bad. I'm starting to learn you need to be proactive with muscle relaxers.


I also had my Vitamin D levels checked and they we WAY low. So now I'm taking 2000 I.U. per day of Vitamin D. I found some very interesting info about have a deficiency. It can lead to major depression and chronic pain among other things. This is a great article to check out: http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/the-truth-about-vitamin-d

Also, my heart rate is through the roof. Resting is around 140 after wearing a heart monitor for 2 days. So, off to the cardiologist I go. Oh, and the neurologist too, for another brain scan to check for MS and whatever else they check for.

Still not sleeping much at all, hope that changes soon. I will be working hard on this blog to get it up and running smoothly. If you have any suggestions or comments please contact me.

Hoping you have a pain free and relaxed day!
 

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