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Old 01-31-2008, 10:38 AM   #1
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Question Pain control without narcotics

I have an advanced neuroaxonal inherited sensory/motor peripheral neuropathy that causes extreme neuropathic pain in my feet, the typical burning, cramping pain so many of you experience. My question is this: has anyone learned mental techniques that allow you to just stop the pain? I know that may sound like a ridiculous question, but I also know that when I really concentrate on relaxations and focus on the pain coming from my feet that for brief moments I can stop the pain almost entirely, which leads me to suspect that since we experience pain sensations in our brains coming from signals from injured or diseased nerves, there should be a way to learn a conscious technique to stop the brain from receiving those signals. I have been on narcotic pain management for over ten years now, and I am totally sick of it, I hate the drugs that I need in order to live somewhat pain free, never quite completely pain free, but enough so that I am not distressed. Now I have reached a point where I feel utterly trapped by this cycle, and I believe there must be some way out using the mind; meditation, relaxation, visualization etc. But when i am successful it is only for the time that I am consciously engaged with all my focus on stopping pain. As soon as I divert my attention, I am right back to zero. If anyone has had success stopping pain without the use of drugs, and I have been on everything, neurontin, lyrica, cymbalta, topomax, antidepressants, elavil, you name it, I've used it, so if anyone has had success in what I am talking about, please share with me your technique. I know I cannot cure myself from a disease that is progressing and taking with it tendons, ligaments and muscle, but if i could achieve freedom from drugs that would make me one very happy man Peace to all...Paulo

Last edited by paulo60; 01-31-2008 at 10:39 AM.

 
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Hi Paulo, i have heard good reports from Biofeedback for chronic pain, you may like to talk to your doctor to see if it is suitable for you.
I know that the burning feeling can be aggravated by emotional upsets, i used to use a breathing technique to calm myself and then the burning would lesson a lot.
good luck with it all.
Aussie

 
Old 01-31-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie100;3***487
Hi Paulo, i have heard good reports from Biofeedback for chronic pain, you may like to talk to your doctor to see if it is suitable for you.
I know that the burning feeling can be aggravated by emotional upsets, i used to use a breathing technique to calm myself and then the burning would lesson a lot.
good luck with it all.
Aussie

thanks Aussie, I have a biofeedback unit in my home which I use daily, everything that focuses me on relaxation and conscious control and contact with my body helps. Thanks again for your input. Peace....Paulo

 
Old 02-02-2008, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Paulo, i know that your question was for anyone that had any possible mental techniques to help you, but i am wondering if you have thought of trying Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or more commonly known as a T.E.N.S machine, as the theory goes, by using low electrical pulses from the TENS, it interrupts those abnormal signals from the damaged nerves to reach their normal destination, sorta blocking the gate to the central nervous system, It would most probably take some time to find the ideal position to place the electrodes in the best position, but possibly worth a thought.

I have used a very similar device to help with burning on my feet, at the time i found more benefit to have it set to low setting rather than the strong current.
I couldn't even imaging how much pain you have to contend with but i really do hope you find something that can help, i only had 5 years of it and that was bad enough, i was lucky that my cause of PN was found early and these days i have nearly fully recovered, thank god.
regards
Aussie

 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:36 AM   #5
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie100 View Post
Paulo, i know that your question was for anyone that had any possible mental techniques to help you, but i am wondering if you have thought of trying Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or more commonly known as a T.E.N.S machine, as the theory goes, by using low electrical pulses from the TENS, it interrupts those abnormal signals from the damaged nerves to reach their normal destination, sorta blocking the gate to the central nervous system, It would most probably take some time to find the ideal position to place the electrodes in the best position, but possibly worth a thought.

I have used a very similar device to help with burning on my feet, at the time i found more benefit to have it set to low setting rather than the strong current.
I couldn't even imaging how much pain you have to contend with but i really do hope you find something that can help, i only had 5 years of it and that was bad enough, i was lucky that my cause of PN was found early and these days i have nearly fully recovered, thank god.
regards
Aussie
Hello Aussie,
I do have a very high tech TENS machine, which I use regularly. Yes, you are right, getting the electrodes on in a good position is about the only real problem. I will use it today, along with my biofeedback machine, meditation and relaxation. Lord, if i had ever dreamed I would be spending such quality time with myself, well i don't think i could have imagined it, There is a point at which you do max out on how much pain signals your brain can handle. I am at that place, completely maxed out, which is not where you want to be. But I have also learned, pain cannot kill me, and there are ways to get your mind in the right place to cope. I'm looking to advance that technique to the degree that I make all pain go away, or stop the signals before they reach my brain. Peace.....Paulo

 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:53 AM   #6
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Unhappy Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo60 View Post
Hello Aussie,
I do have a very high tech TENS machine, which I use regularly. Yes, you are right, getting the electrodes on in a good position is about the only real problem. I will use it today, along with my biofeedback machine, meditation and relaxation. Lord, if i had ever dreamed I would be spending such quality time with myself, well i don't think i could have imagined it, There is a point at which you do max out on how much pain signals your brain can handle. I am at that place, completely maxed out, which is not where you want to be. But I have also learned, pain cannot kill me, and there are ways to get your mind in the right place to cope. I'm looking to advance that technique to the degree that I make all pain go away, or stop the signals before they reach my brain. Peace.....Paulo

 
Old 02-02-2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie100 View Post
Paulo, i know that your question was for anyone that had any possible mental techniques to help you, but i am wondering if you have thought of trying Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or more commonly known as a T.E.N.S machine, as the theory goes, by using low electrical pulses from the TENS, it interrupts those abnormal signals from the damaged nerves to reach their normal destination, sorta blocking the gate to the central nervous system, It would most probably take some time to find the ideal position to place the electrodes in the best position, but possibly worth a thought.

I have used a very similar device to help with burning on my feet, at the time i found more benefit to have it set to low setting rather than the strong current.
I couldn't even imaging how much pain you have to contend with but i really do hope you find something that can help, i only had 5 years of it and that was bad enough, i was lucky that my cause of PN was found early and these days i have nearly fully recovered, thank god.
regards
Aussie
I have been reading your post concerning a TENS unit. I have had one for years that I got only for the area of my neck, for severe headaches.. I broke my neck way back in 68. Due to this injury and a neck fusion I used to have these blinding head aches.. But my question to you is this... I now have neuropathy pain starting in my calfs and going into my feet.. I go to a pain management doc. and she has me on the strong narcotic morphine..My pain has gottin so severe that it takes this narcotic to give me any relief.. However I would like to try the tens unit for my feet, and after reading your message I would like to know where to start to apply the pads to treat this neuropathy. I am a bit confused as to what area of my hips or legs should they be applied...I am desparate to try something else besides the morphine. and or use it in addition to my meds..I thought well, I couldnt exactly put the pads on the calf area probably as this would send that particular muscles into spasms... Should I put the pads on the backside of my hips??? Any advice as where to start etc.. would be appreciated.. Thanks Russel

Last edited by russelann2; 02-02-2008 at 09:09 AM. Reason: additonal infor needed to be acquired

 
Old 02-02-2008, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by russelann2 View Post
I have been reading your post concerning a TENS unit. I have had one for years that I got only for the area of my neck, for severe headaches.. I broke my neck way back in 68. Due to this injury and a neck fusion I used to have these blinding head aches.. But my question to you is this... I now have neuropathy pain starting in my calfs and going into my feet.. I go to a pain management doc. and she has me on the strong narcotic morphine..My pain has gottin so severe that it takes this narcotic to give me any relief.. However I would like to try the tens unit for my feet, and after reading your message I would like to know where to start to apply the pads to treat this neuropathy. I am a bit confused as to what area of my hips or legs should they be applied...I am desparate to try something else besides the morphine. and or use it in addition to my meds..I thought well, I couldnt exactly put the pads on the calf area probably as this would send that particular muscles into spasms... Should I put the pads on the backside of my hips??? Any advice as where to start etc.. would be appreciated.. Thanks Russel
Hi Russel,
I am so sorry to hear that you have developed neuropathy, and I'll get to your question about the TENS unit in a second. But first have you had a comprehensive neurological examination that includes ALL the latest sophisticated blood serum tests to determine why you might have neuropathy, as well as nerve conduction and EMG tests? If not you would be well advised to see a neurologist and have those tests run. You could be one of the many who have a reversible form of neuropathy that responds to one or more of the many non-narcotic drugs used to slow it down, halt it altogether, or reverse it. I have a genetic inherited type, which resembles the classic CMT inherited neuropathy, but remains outside of classification due to a lack of medical literature on the significance of the mutation on a sequence of genes. So there is no treatment options for me. As you undoubtably know, neuropathy and the pain you feel in your feet and legs is a complicated process of injured or dying nerves sending out pain signals. Putting TENS unit pads on the feet would probably not be useful; the feet are too bony, and the bottoms and toes from which most of the burning pain sensations come from would probably not respond (don't let that stop you from trying) because the pain sensations have to go through a complex dance when they enter the spine to convey pain all the way to the brain. I personally place the pads in various locations around the lumbar spine area, and sometime get a bit of relief, most of the time I just get mild relief from back pain, not neuropathy. There is a process called spinal decompression which is going to be my next approach. You can look up those two words on the internet and get more information. Finding a practitioner in your area might be easy, might not, as it is new technology and mostly utilized by chiropracters or osteopaths. I really feel that the way to control neuropathic pain has to come from a combination of modalities, and of course morphine is one of those. I am on narcotics also, and I truly hate taking drugs just so that I don't have to be disabled by burning feet. But until I can find another way, well let's face it, the drugs are better than distressing pain....I hope I have not been more confusing than i have been helpful. This is a darn hard problem to deal with, much less fix. Have a peaceful and happy day.....Paulo

Last edited by paulo60; 02-02-2008 at 11:18 AM.

 
Old 02-02-2008, 11:38 AM   #9
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Hi Russel, generally speaking you would place the electrodes on the part were its given you the most discomfort, given the structure of peripheral nerves i would think by placing them on top of your feet it would also have an effect to the nerves going up your legs, [alter the signal to some degree] but it would take some experimental placement of electrodes to find the most beneficial position for them, that may even be further up above the calf muscles.
I wish i could be more pacific, but i do think its worth trying them in various positions to yield the maximum benefit out of them.
good luck with it anyway, i hope it helps.
regards
Aussie

 
Old 02-02-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie100 View Post
Hi Russel, generally speaking you would place the electrodes on the part were its given you the most discomfort, given the structure of peripheral nerves i would think by placing them on top of your feet it would also have an effect to the nerves going up your legs, [alter the signal to some degree] but it would take some experimental placement of electrodes to find the most beneficial position for them, that may even be further up above the calf muscles.
I wish i could be more pacific, but i do think its worth trying them in various positions to yield the maximum benefit out of them.
good luck with it anyway, i hope it helps.
regards
Aussie
I agree that trying different places might be helpful. But do remember that TENS therapy was developed for the back and neck, and injuries to those areas. The problem with placing them on your calfs is veins and arteries. If you have any type of venous problem, say deep vein thrombosis, and you put a TENS pad inadvertendly on that vein, you could stimulate a problem you really don't want to have. But if you try anyway, please let us know if it helped. Best of luck to you.........Paulo

 
Old 02-04-2008, 06:29 AM   #11
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo60;3***063
I have an advanced neuroaxonal inherited sensory/motor peripheral neuropathy that causes extreme neuropathic pain in my feet, the typical burning, cramping pain so many of you experience. ..............I know I cannot cure myself from a disease that is progressing and taking with it tendons, ligaments and muscle, but if i could achieve freedom from drugs that would make me one very happy man Peace to all...Paulo
Paulo.........I have also had neuropathy for about 10 years and only took neurotin one month. I have not wasted my time and money on doctors who can do nothing and only want to drug you and run expensive tests to tell you that you have what you already know.

This has helped me. I give myself B-12 shots every week and plenty of other B vitamins, fish oil-walnuts-almonds-flax seed oil, and when needed especially at night, vilerian root. I loved asprin when I could take it.

From testing myself, I am not diabetic but I think there is still a link between my neuropathy and SUGAR. I was a sugar addict all of my life.

My conduction tests are so bad the doctor said I should not be walking. He was shocked for me to say no to his drugs and thank God for pain. Pain is how I know where my feet are!

Good luck with your condition.

 
Old 02-04-2008, 09:06 AM   #12
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

hi there. I am very happy that non=drug is helping you. But I think, you did not have
what the veteran diabetic-based pn sufferer suffers with:
Like: Throbbing lightening strikes of pain which "bowls you over" coming every 20
seconds, more or less, sometimes for two days. The pain is so excruiating that
it is impossible to sleep, although, you do have to close your eyes every once in a while.
DRUGS ARE NOT INHERENTLY EVIL, AND SHOULD BE USED ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY
NEEDED. I have had that pain for 21 years and it is directly associated with
carb and cheese ingestion, lack of exercise, and diet beverages made with
certain chemicals which I can't recall at the moment...benzoate is one of them.
(alsos causes parkinsons) One easy way of determining if you have sugar
diabetes, is if it occurs after you ingest thinks that make your glycemic index (you eat too many carbs) higher.....if it does, you probably have diabetes-related pn.
THE OLD WOONDOG

 
Old 02-04-2008, 09:28 AM   #13
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

Quote:
Originally Posted by wers View Post
Paulo.........I have also had neuropathy for about 10 years and only took neurotin one month. I have not wasted my time and money on doctors who can do nothing and only want to drug you and run expensive tests to tell you that you have what you already know.

This has helped me. I give myself B-12 shots every week and plenty of other B vitamins, fish oil-walnuts-almonds-flax seed oil, and when needed especially at night, vilerian root. I loved asprin when I could take it.

From testing myself, I am not diabetic but I think there is still a link between my neuropathy and SUGAR. I was a sugar addict all of my life.

My conduction tests are so bad the doctor said I should not be walking. He was shocked for me to say no to his drugs and thank God for pain. Pain is how I know where my feet are!

Good luck with your condition.

Hi, thanks for the reply. It sounds like you have a pretty good program working for you. I take Omega 3 fish oil every day, B-12 and other supplements, but unfortunately, I have too high of a level of pain to not treat it; I would be disabled and have no quality of life. But my hat is off to you for being able to do so.........Paulo

 
Old 02-13-2008, 08:13 AM   #14
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

I have to agree with the poster about the sugar connection. When I was first diagnosed with neuropathy, I found this board and a poster had posted many articles and information on the sugar link. Even though I am not diabetic, I decided to cut out as much sugar as possible. I do limit even complex sugars but it is the simple sugars that cause the worse pain. After eliminating sugar, you will see a difference in pain levels if you suddenly eat say, a hot fudge sundae. A few hours later, the pain will sharply increase.

One thing I have found is that sleep helps immensely with the pain. If I haven't slept well, the pain is almost unmanageable. And getting enough rest is essential but daunting when you have pain. First, talk to your doctor if you are not sleeping well at night. Several things can be tried along with natural remedies.

I also have restless leg symdrome from the neuropathy and was put on Requip at night. That solved the sleep issue right away. Requip knocks me out even though I have been taking it for over a year. The difference of a good night's sleep was amazing and now I don't have a single night where I lay awake but I had previously found an alternative.

You can program your mind for sleep by sticking to a strict routine. Make sure your bedroom is uncluttered and you have the best mattress and bedding you can afford. Choose a time for sleep and don't vary it, even on weekends. One routine is to spray your bedding with aromatherapy linen spray and turn on a low light. Brush your teeth, wash your face, and then get into a warm bath with some light reading material. You can also use aromatherapy candles or bath salts. Lavender is a good one. Soak at least 20 minutes, rinse, and dry off. Go immediately to bed and turn off the light. Don't stop to go lock the doors, get a drink of water, etc. Have those things done already. It will take a few weeks but then you will start feeling very drowsy while in the bath as your mind will know it is time to prepare for sleep.

The consistent routine is actually a method used for children who have difficulty falling asleep but I decided to modify it for my own purposes before I started taking the Requip and it worked very well. I still had the occasional night of restless sleep or trouble falling asleep but nothing like I had had previously.

 
Old 02-14-2008, 08:19 AM   #15
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Re: Pain control without narcotics

I have to add something to this conversation.
My husband is diabetic for many years, doing very good on his meds, treadmill and diet. He never had any neuropathy pain, any burning in his legs or feet. I guess he is lucky and nobody knows what future brings him.

I had 2 spinal fusions. After first one in '06 I got nerve damage in my legs and feet dropped foot included.
I am a "health freak": no sugar, no lactose, very healthy eater, raw food advocate. I used to excercise for years: cardio and weights (not now of course).
I leave on PK and Neurontin since my neuropathy pain is killing me, not to mention back pain. Burning, stubbing, shooting, numbness, weakness... when i walk my toes go under neath of my foot causing so much pain and discomfort. But they are so weak that can't take pressure from me walking (My walking very limited since my first surgery due to pain).

B-12 shots is an excellent thing, but it's defisionsy has to be confirmed by blood work: does not really matter how good a vitamin is, but excessive dose of any can cause liver intoxication.
I love valerian root - just make sure don't indulge on it often, can cause liver damage if used often.

 
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