Monday, January 23, 2012

11 Tips for Living With Chronic Pain

1. Learn deep breathing or meditation to help with chronic pain.

Deep breathing and meditation are techniques that help your body relax, which eases pain. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as they receive a quiet message to relax.

Although there are many to meditate, the soothing power of repetition is at the heart of some forms of meditation. Focusing on the breath, ignoring thoughts, and repeating a word or phrase -- a mantra -- causes the body to relax. While you can learn meditation on your own, it helps to take a class.

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Deep breathing is also a relaxation technique. Find a quiet location, a comfortable body position, and block out distracting thoughts. Then, imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon.

2. Reduce stress in your life. Stress intensifies chronic pain.

Negative feelings like depression, anxiety, stress, and anger can increase the body's sensitivity to pain. By learning to take control of stress, you may find some relief from chronic pain.

Several techniques can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Listening to soothing, calming music can lift your mood -- and make living with chronic pain more bearable. There are even specially designed relaxation tapes or CDs for this. Mental imagery relaxation (also called guided imagery) is a form of mental escape that can help you feel peaceful. It involves creating calming, peaceful images in your mind. Progressive muscle relaxation is another technique that promotes relaxation.

3. Boost chronic pain relief with the natural endorphins from exercise.

Endorphins are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals. Exercise has another pain-reducing effect -- it strengthens muscles, helping prevent re-injury and further pain. Plus, exercise can help keep your weight down, reduce heart disease risk, and control blood sugar levels -- especially important if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor for an exercise routine that is right for you. If you have certain health conditions, like diabetic neuropathy, you will need to be careful about the types of activities you engage in; your doctor can advise you on the best physical activities for you.

4. Cut back on alcohol, which can worsen sleep problems.

Pain makes sleep difficult, and alcohol can make sleep problems worse. If you're living with chronic pain, drinking less or no alcohol can improve your quality of life.

5. Join a support group. Meet others living with chronic pain.

When you're with people who have chronic pain and understand what you're going through, you feel less alone. You also benefit from their wisdom in coping with the pain.

Also, consider meeting with a mental health professional. Anyone can develop depression if they're living with chronic pain. Getting counseling can help you learn to cope better and help you avoid negative thoughts that make pain worse -- so you have a healthier attitude. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

6. Don't smoke. It can worsen chronic pain.

Smoking can worsen painful circulation problems and increase risk of heart disease and cancer.

7. Track your pain level and activities every day.

To effectively treat your pain, your doctor needs to know how you've been feeling between visits. Keeping a log or journal of your daily "pain score" will help you track your pain. At the end of each day, note your pain level on the 1 to 10 pain scale. Also, note what activities you did that day. Take this log book to every doctor visit -- to give your doctor a good understanding of how you're living with chronic pain and your physical functioning level.

My link to free pain diary:

And a second one:

8. Learn biofeedback to decrease pain severity.

Through biofeedback, it's possible to consciously control various body functions. It may sound like science fiction, but there is good evidence that biofeedback works -- and that it's not hard to master.

Here's how it works: You wear sensors that let you "hear" or "see" certain bodily functions like pulse, digestion, body temperature, and muscle tension. The squiggly lines and/or beeps on the attached monitors reflect what's going on inside your body. Then you learn to control those squiggles and beeps. After a few sessions, your mind has trained your biological system to learn the skills.

9. Get a massage for chronic pain relief.

Massage can help reduce stress and relieve tension -- and is being used by people living with all sorts of chronic pain, including back and neck pain.

10. Eat a healthy diet if you're living with chronic pain.

A well-balanced diet is important in many ways -- aiding your digestive process, reducing heart disease risk, keeping weight under control, and improving blood sugar levels. To eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet, choose from these: fresh fruits and vegetables; cooked dried beans and peas; whole-grain breads and cereals; low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt; and lean meats.

11. Find ways to distract yourself from pain so you enjoy life more.

When you focus on pain, it makes it worse rather than better. Instead, find something you like doing -- an activity that keeps you busy and thinking about things besides your pain. You might not be able to avoid pain, but you can take control of your life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fibromyalgia song - Let Me Live Fully

Fibromyalgia Network sent this out, unknown artist really, TheYerMoma and a very awesome song!! Read the lyrics too! This girl rocks!! Also an unlisted video, only available if u have the link. 


Let Me Live Fully
I may look alright but the pain 
the struggles inside they're all inside
this life ain't life
nothing seems right
I'm alive on the out
but I'm dying inside
stuck in the middle
I'm halfway there
so hard to handle cuz I'm so scared
halfway between 
life and death
let me live fully or put me to rest 
oh, pain
leave me alone
oh, pain 
my body's not your home
I don't wanna be
trapped inside myself
I keep reachin out but
no one seems to help
this pain is so physical
but on the outside it's so invisible
you don't know, your could never understand
what I do though cuz
your weren't dealt my hand
it doesn't matter
what you do
whatever i am
so are you
oh, pain 
leave me alone
oh, pain
my body's not your home
so many symptoms
so much pain
i go to sleep and wake up to do it again
whats it like to feel free
Wish I was someone else buy i'm stuck being me
tired of feeling hurt
what did I do
is this what I deserve
halfway between life and death
let me live fully or 
put me to rest
oh, pain
leave me alone
oh, pain
my body's not your home
not your home

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting the root of Fibromyalgia

Getting to the Root of Fibromyalgia 
by Janis Leibold, Assistant Editor, Fibromyalgia Network Posted: October 28, 2011 

While many researchers are studying blood and urine of fibromyalgia patients to determine if mineral abnormalities exist, one team from Korea is taking a novel approach by going directly the root of the problem.* Their study of trace elements in hair samples shows fibromyalgia patients have lower levels of important minerals compared to healthy adults. Using 44 women with fibromyalgia and 122 healthy controls, the researchers snipped hairs from the tops of heads, very close to the roots, to perform their analysis. Like crime scene investigators, the research team led by Nam-Seok Joo, M.D., carefully selected patients and controls who had similar characteristics related to age, body mass, and lifestyle habits. Women with other illnesses that could possibly influence their hair sample were excluded from the study. All the participants, averaging 44 years of age, had to refrain from using hair gels, or applying any type of chemical processing (such as coloring or perms) at least two weeks before the snip. The clean hair analysis showed fibromyalgia patients had significantly lower levels of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Many other minerals, such as chromium, selenium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, and zinc, did not differ between the patients and controls. Previous reports looking at mineral status in fibromyalgia patients have been very mixed and often conflicting. Joo points to the inherent problem of these prior studies that sampled blood or urine. The body is made to adapt to changing demands, such that many minerals are robbed from the bones to maintain sufficient blood levels. And alterations in the urine may not say much about the level of mineral storage in the bones or other tissues. However, hair analysis should provide a more accurate picture of the body’s overall mineral status. So what exactly does it mean to be low in the five minerals identified by Joo? More studies are needed, but Joo points out that several reports have shown that fibromyalgia patients lack the necessary antioxidants to neutralize reactive chemicals that can interfere with cellular functions. This, in turn, leads to an oxidative stress environment and could account for symptoms involving muscles spasms and cramps, fatigue, neuromuscular weakness, and insomnia. “Several studies have explored the relationship between fibromyalgia patients and oxidative stress. Still other studies investigated elemental composition of patients, but they surveyed only blood and urine samples,” reported Joo. “The latter studies, while potentially useful, overlooked the mineral content of hair. The hair mineral assay is a good method to explore the mineral status at the cellular level.” While it is not practical to start taking a whole barrage of expensive mineral supplements, fibromyalgia patients should consider taking a daily broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains 100 percent of the essential nutrients including iron. 

Mineral levels (average) Healthy Controls Fibromyalgia Patients 

  • Calcium 1,093 mcg 775 mcg 
  • Magnesium 72 mcg 52 mcg 
  • Copper 40 mcg 28 mcg 
  • Iron 7.1 mcg 5.9 mcg 
  • Manganese 190 ng/g 140 ng/g