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Old 07-22-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
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Post Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

Hi,

For people who use multiple methods to control pain [in addition to meds], I'm curious about what techniques, methods have been most helpful. Thought a thread might be good for posting what has worked, what hasn't. It would probably be helpful if you posted the condition or pain that other pain control methods have helped with. I would think it would be helpful to mention both Eastern and Western techniques here -whatever has helped the pain...Also, before posting what has helped me and what I have heard about, I wanted to mention that I have read that the following supplements may help with pain, though obviously check w/ your doctor first. I have a list of a number of other herbs and supplements but not handy!:

Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Tumeric, Bromelin, Amino Acid DLPA

There are a number of other herbs and supplements considered helpful for pain but I don't have the list handy right now. Obviously, anything you take orally (and sometimes topically) can interact w/ meds, including foods, so it's not something to just try on your own.

What I've used or plan to try--

Acupuncture has been great. The cost has been prohibitive though. In the last couple years, a movement has sprung up to create low cost clinics so that everyone can afford acupuncture and this seems to be spreading. You find low cost acupuncture if you look up community acupuncture clinic or working class acupuncture [it's in Oregon or Washington - where the low cost clinics started -they have now spread all over the country] Cost is on a sliding scale and ranges from $10 to $30/treament [most acupuncturists in private practice charge closer to $60-$90/treatment. I would not have made it through this year w/o acupuncture. It's also one of the few alternative treatments that is backed up by good evidence.

Ice -sure *no one* has heard of this one before - I actually find baths more helpful.

Meditation - unfortunately, I haven't gotten this down, but have heard it's incredibly helpful.

Hypnosis - Haven't gotten to try this yet either but if hypnosis gets people thru surgery w/o analgesia, I would think it could be helpful for chronic pain.

Cranio-sacral treatment -

Distraction - helps unless the pain is too overwhelming!

Epidural and other injections-- haven't had the money to try it yet

Omega Fatty Acids - I take them - no idea if they're helping!

Bromelein - supposed to be helpful

Biofeedback...(too expensive right now)

Prolotherapy --mixed scientific evidence supporting efficacy - curious if anyone has given this a shot...

TENS - has been helpful in the past

Physical therapy - was helpful after my injury

Capsacin --sometimes called zostrix [not spelling it right!] - hot pepper cream that affects substance P - which affects pain signals traveling to the brain. During the first few weeks, produces a burning sensation which later goes away. VERY important not to get it in your eyes! However, if you do, it may take away your perception of your usual pain!

Exercise...

I'm simply curious about the extent to which people have used multiple therapies and the ones that have worked best for them. If anyone wants me to find the link to the list of low-cost acupuncture clinics that are springing up, let me know. I've gone the private route [there are also acupuncturists specializing in CP] and the community clinics seem to be just as good.

Last edited by Confused089; 07-28-2008 at 10:35 PM. Reason: shorten

 
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:52 PM   #2
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

I can see this topic is catching on like wildfire...;-) I'm curious, do most people use meds exclusively and feel that eastern medicine or other western methods are simply not helpful? I think I am still holding out hope of getting of meds, which is one of the reasons I'm interested. But, if taking magnesium for example, can lower my pain level, and is reasonably priced, I'm definitely going to supplement. For people who read the post but don't respond, is it b/c you have only found meds to be effective? I'm also interested in sterioid shots, facet blocks, occipital nerve blocks...etc. and looking for info from people who have used these to help with pain.

I want as many tools as possible...;-) Hope others will post. I wasn't suggesting people put down everything they had tried...but possibly just the most effective things in addition to meds.

Last edited by Confused089; 07-28-2008 at 10:37 PM.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 05:57 AM   #3
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

1. Prayer.

2. Ice, Ice, and more Ice. I should buy stock.

3. PT for shoulder never properly rehabbed after rotator cuff surgery.

4. Exercises, mostly stretching and walking for DDD in Lumbar spine.

5. Traction and stretches for neck to minimize further damage from DDD, arthritis, osteophytes, etc.

6. Inversion table for lumbar.

7. Massage therapy, mostly for ribs, but works for anything. (3 doctors, 1 PT, 1 chiro, and only the student massage therapist can come up with anything other than opiates that helps for the ribs). Only helps ribs for a few days at a time, but I'll take what I can get. Highly recommend if you have any muscle problems, some schools for massage therapaists run clinics where you can get treatment at a reduced price.

8. Chiropractor to put my hip back in when it goes out. He is very cautious if he works on my back/neck and does anything other than some stretching. He looked at all my MRI's before doing ANYTHING.

Tigg.

Last edited by tiggertoo2174; 07-23-2008 at 05:58 AM. Reason: Forgot something.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

I am always looking for other answers.

For my endometriosis I have used:

Lavender oil, applied directly to abdomen

Rasberry Leaf Tea

A Sock "heating pad" This works great because it conforms to your body. (Take a large tube sock and fill with rice. I just used cheap long grain white rice you buy in a bag). Tie a knot in the end of the tube sock. Microwave until to your desired temp....careful....this does not take long! This provides "moist" heat in a small, conforming unit. It can smell kindof weird, so I have also added aromatherapy oils to the rice so when heated, you get best of both worlds.

I haven't been able to try acupuncture or massage yet due to $$$, but I really want to try them and I think it would really help.

Hope some of these ideas help someone!

Amanda

 
Old 07-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

I have used:

Accupuncture: I am on my 6th round and am not sure if it is doing anything. I have found that if my pain is really high it does not do anything. If my pain is fairly controlled, it appears to work better.

Prayer

Healthboards: Chatting with others who really understand

My dear friend - Moldova

Relaxation Tapes: They actually put me to sleep and if I wake up during the night I immediately put them on.

Heat - Definitely a necessity for me.

Ice - Helps sometimes

Paraffin wax treatment - makes the skin soft and deep heating.

massage therapy - realaxing but needs to be gentle or pain will zoom up

Spa Therapy - It helps with those nerve leg pains. I tell hubby that I am boiling the pain out.

Pool Therapy - Relaxes my back but the minute I get out - BAM the pain is right back.

Tens Unit - Helps somewhat.

Biofreeze - it is a pain relieving gel you can purchase over the internet or a alot of chiropractors use it.

PT - increases my pain

That is all that I can think of for right now.

Last edited by ms_west; 07-23-2008 at 12:04 PM.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

Quote:
Originally Posted by butrfligirl28 View Post
I haven't been able to try acupuncture or massage yet due to $$$, but I really want to try them and I think it would really help.
Amanda
For low cost acupuncture in your area [$15-$40 - sliding scale], look for the community acupuncture network on the web - you can search by state to see if there is a clinic nearby.

Last edited by Confused089; 09-11-2008 at 12:49 AM.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123dietdrpepper View Post
I have used:

Accupuncture: I am on my 6th round and am not sure if it is doing anything. I have found that if my pain is really high it does not do anything. If my pain is fairly controlled, it appears to work better.
I *don't* own stock in acupuncture...;-) but I would consider trying a different acupuncturist if you're not getting a lot of relief - possibly one who specializes in pain or just a different one. I have honestly gotten different results from different acupuncturists.

Last edited by Confused089; 09-11-2008 at 12:48 AM.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123dietdrpepper View Post
I have used:
massage therapy - realaxing but needs to be gentle or pain will zoom up
.
Massage used to be one of my favorite things in the *whole* world... hurts too much now...

Last edited by Confused089; 09-11-2008 at 12:48 AM.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

I've used massage and found that it gives me a great deal of temporary relief.

The other non-medical helper: A good sense of humor!!!

 
Old 07-23-2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

A good sense of humor imo is essential for "life" but now that you mention it, my pain [when stable and relatively well controlled] reliably flares when my emotions turn dark. So, a positive attitude, which can be REALLY hard to maintain sometimes w/ chronic pain, seems important to controlling pain as well.

Not sure why this was moved to a new sub-board. To me, it signals that meds are the central focus of the board since there are discussions about meds all the time - recs about meds, and discussions about what has/hasn't worked for people. But, maybe I missed something in the guidelines for posting. I just hope the link doesn't disappear from the main board since it usually takes a while before people begin posting elsewhere or looking at a new forum. Not sure if I'm allowed to mention my confusion about the move...

Last edited by Confused089; 07-23-2008 at 04:32 PM. Reason: clarity

 
Old 07-23-2008, 06:23 PM   #11
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

Thanks for the thread. My pain is based in my neck and upper back, I'm 6 months post-fusion, and there are some yet unanswered questions about where my pain is coming from. I'm a relative newcomer, but here has been my experience with non-med techniques:

TENS unit: work great for about 30 minutes at a pop. Electrodes are expensive, and I can't reach the area well of my body where I have to place them (upper back). If I use this, I usually have to wait for my husband to get home from work to put them on for me.

Massage therapy: although I love massages, even weekly massages did not have an impact on my daily pain levels.

IcyHot patches: I have them in an emergency kit in each of my cars and at work. They work pretty well for me for about an hour when the sensation is at it's highest. Again, these are difficult for me to place by myself. If I have a meeting coming up that I know will mean pain for me, I put them on about 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. It's a small dent in my pain, but still a dent.

Chiropractor: I was very hopeful, but it hasn't helped at all.

Hypnosis: I have done it once with my psychologist, I can't really make an assessment yet. When I have more experience, I'll post about it.

Meditation: I'm am not very good at this, but I think it helped when I took a meditation class and had guided meditation. I haven't been able to accomplish this on my own.

Exercise: seems to help moderately. I stretch every day and it seems to reduce my pain for a few hours. I am starting some more vigorous exercises in PT, and so far so good. I really think my pain level would improve if I could get a good workout in several times a week. Unfortunately, I don't feel good enough to even make it to the gym. Such is the catch-22...

Acupuncture: I haven't tried it yet for my pain. I am going to start it once I have fewer appointments to deal with (probably about a month from now). Up until this point, I could not lie in one position for more than about a minute, so I didn't make an appointment. I have now found a position I can lie in, so I am hopeful that this technique will help somewhat.

This is a great thread, because I want to do everything I can to reduce my reliance on pain meds to manage my pain. I hope more of you post so we can read about your experiences. I look forward to reading your responses.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 07:15 PM   #12
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Re: Thread for experience w/ different pain control methods [aside from meds]

Edited our question about Toonces1' injury/surgery - read old post so no need to repost info again.

Forgot to mention tiger balm - While it doesn't give major relief, takes the edge off sometimes.
I also forgot caffeine! I am amazed by quickly it can relieve some of my intense headaches.

Last edited by Confused089; 09-11-2008 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Answered my own question, added info.

 
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