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Today's Item:

What Works for Me...... and some others

Inversion tables

This is one of my favorites when my back is really hurting. I usually lay on it for 15 to 20 minutes at an angle of about 30°. Any longer than that and my back get so stiff that it is difficult for me to get going again. If I am on it for any more than 10 minutes I have to go easy when I first get up until things get settled into place.

What it does for Me I think what it really does for me is take the pressure off of the facet joints at all levels of my damaged vertebra. I don't have any radiculopathy or sciatica but I think it would be very helpful for that type of pain as well.

My Best Advice My best advice for people using an inversion table is to go low and slow. For people with arthritis in their back a low angle for a few minutes is a good place to start. Then once you get a feel for it you can increase the angle and/or time as much as is comfortable for you. Hanging upside down is for teenagers.

Learn more about inversion tables at
How Do Inversion Tables Work? and Can They Help My Back Pain?







Traumatic Arthritis

Traumatic arthritis can cause joint pain that is severe but there are things that can be done. Learn what causes it and what your options are for treatment.

Continue reading "Traumatic Arthritis"

I was diagnosed with colon cancer and for 3 days I have had middle back pain

I am a hairstylist and have colon cancer.I have never had back pain before. It started with pain under my left breast, now that is gone but have back pain

Continue reading "I was diagnosed with colon cancer and for 3 days I have had middle back pain "

Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Everyone needs a goal.

Whether you are living with pain or not, you need a reason to get up in the morning. Find yours. Whatever you can do. Finding a cure for cancer or just cooking a nice meal for your family. Everyone has things that they can do and things that they can work on.

Find Yours.







Gout will Cause Severe Joint Pain

Gout can cause severe pain and disability. Diagnosis is easy and treatments are effective. Get started today. Find out what needs to be done and get back to living your life.

Continue reading "Gout will Cause Severe Joint Pain"

What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

Physical Therapy and Acupunture For Back Pain

Lesley in Sydney says

I've had back pain on and off for years. Sometimes it disappears for months on end, but then comes back. I think it is probably mostly caused by stress.

I'd had some success with osteopathy in the past, but nothing was working and the pain had gone into my feet and I could hardly walk. No-one could diagnose me, until I was lucky enough to be recommended to Sarah Key - famous physiotherapist and author of the The Back Sufferers Bible amongst other things. She said I had a curvature of the spine and one leg longer than the other. She cured my foot pain in one treatment, she and physios who have trained with her use a wonderful massage using their feet which releases the vertebrae and I've been using her back block method ever since with fantastic results.

I also find keeping up my core strength with pilates helps enormously, as well as regular acupuncture treatments.

Its a work in progress and I find if I get lazy with my back block or exercises I stiffen up again, but all these things really help. Now I only go to Sarah Key's clinic twice a year or so, and they say my spine has staightened out considerably.

Finally, relaxation. I think a lot of the pain comes from tense muscles, caused by stress. I do a lot of relaxation and meditation and it helps enormously. I'm reading The Secret at the moment and truly believe that mind over matter is very powerful. If we believe that our backs are relaxed and pain free and don't focus on the pain, we will be better. So I'm working on positive thinking and I never let my back stop me from doing anything. I love gardening for example, so nothing is going to stop me doing that. I think its probably beneficial in any case, as I have heard from many sources that the best thing is to keep moving.

Basically, I think that the best thing is to take control over your own health and body, and work at it, with exercise, relaxation. And never give up.

My Best Advice

Exercise, stretching and strengthening can help everyone. But you need to be careful because it is easy to overdo and make things worse. Whenever you're starting a new activity began gently and progress slowly.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Learn to meditate and start making time for it everyday. You will get better with practice and you really can start to forget about your pain, if only for awhile. It suppresses your sympathetic nervous system and stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system.

Learn more about your autonomic nervous system at The Autonomic Nervous System is Your Natural Pain Management System.







What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

Deep Brain Implants

From Bionic Kate

No I'm not kidding. I have two electrodes inserted deeply into my brain connected to two implanted battery packs. The electrodes have two functions. One partially blocks the pain messages between the brain and the targeted left leg. The second electrode increases endorphin levels.

Three questions I am frequently asked:

Do the batteries need changing? Yes, but they last for years before they run out of juice.

Do I set off security alarms. Not yet. :) I have a letter from my doctor that I keep with me when I fly.

Do they help manage the pain? Yes. I have been told I received better than expected results. Since the initial injury, this is the one and only time I've heard that statement!

One hitch. Before I get a haircut, I ask the stylist if she's squeamish. Obviously, the surface of my skull is full of funny lumps and bumps from connecting hardware.

More from Bionic Kate

After viewing the electrodes in my brain on xray, I know why they call them DEEP brain implants. To say the image gives me occasional pause would be an understatement. The decision to have the surgery wasn't a light one.

A freak accident involved twisting. The pain was severe and the doctor visits, medication, physical therapy etc began. 30 minutes just to get out of the car. You know... anyone with extreme back pain understands.

Then discs out, spine fused which actually helped much of the creepy slipping, sliding, popping, tearing in the low back. But the verdict was in. Inflammation had taken up residence and wasn't moving out. In fact, it was getting worse.

The US government has since ruled that implants can be used for Parkinson patients only. But I am one of the success stories from using it to control chronic spinal pain. (Parkinson patients only have 1 electrode which is implanted in a different area of the brain.)

Not to say this is a panacea. I had to give up my beloved mortgage company. Ice is part of my daily life.

But I participate in our family. I go to the gym and walk -slowly- on a treadmill. Yesterday I took a stroll around our neighborhood and dropped off someone at the airport. I have since created and author 3 websites that I work on daily. I don't take any of this for granted.

Kate

My Best Advice

This might not be for everyone but it is certainly worth investigating.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Nobody likes a whiner. Big problems? Little problems? Whatever, keep them to yourself. Find a subject that you are interested in and talk about that. Look things up. Become an authority on your favorite subject. Share what you have learned with your friends and family.

Be positive and find happy things to talk about.

Be a fun person to be around.







What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

Emotional Freedom Therapy

Wendy says

Okay, before you scoff, EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy), while typically used for issues like stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological states, it has amazing effectiveness on physical pain!

I haven't used it on my back pain lately, because I haven't had any, but I have used it recently for headaches and stomach aches. I love it. Google it. There's tons of information on it.

EFT is along the lines of acupunture in that it relies on energy in the body and meridian points. But instead of using needles, you tap with your fingers on various meridian points. You use affirmative statements to lock in whatever it is you want to change. You can also use complete protocols, like I would suggest for back pain, to effectively eliminate the pain from your body.

It's amazing. And it works.

My Best Advice

Everybody is an experiment of one. Everybody is different and we are all trying to find the right combination of stuff for our combination of stuff. This sounds great and with no side effects.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Try not to complain, just for today.







What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

When Nothing Helps You just have to Get On with Your Life

Sammy from Eire

Hi there, I had back surgery twice on the lower back (L4 and L5). I'm in constant pain, it took me a few years to learn to live with it.

It's an burden put upon me, maybe I was bad in my other life I really don't know. I have tried everything from tablets, to physio's, to pain clinic, acupuncture, tens machines, you name it and I have tried it.

There is no cure for this dreaded disease. I am bent over and gone sideways from it and I can tell you there's no cure for back pain. A person just has to get on with it.

Yours sincerelySammy

My Best Advice

But everybody has a different situation to deal with and it is important to try all of the recommended treatments before you decide that you have to live with it.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Stretching exercises will make you feel better. Pilates, Yoga, other stretching programs, can all be adjusted to fit your personal situation. Nothing changes when nothing is done.

Learn more about Pilates at Pilates for Back Pain.







What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

These can be a double edged sword. They can help to relieve pain by reducing inflammation. However, for some people they can also have severe side effects. They can cause gastric ulcers and damage your kidneys or liver. Talk to your doctor before starting any medication.

What it does for Me I've tried many of the other anti-inflammatories and ibuprofen always works best for me. I've taken it for years, 800 mg every morning. A few years ago when I was going through a hard time with my back that got increased to 800 mg every 8 hours. Then my kidney function started to deteriorate. I saw a nephrologist and they did all kinds of tests to decide that my kidneys were still OK. I stopped the ibuprofen and my labs and kidney function returned to normal.

Since then I have returned to taking 800 mg in the morning and my kidneys seem to be doing OK. I think it does make a difference in how my back feels throughout the day.

My Best Advice For the people that are sensitive to anti-inflammatories the side effects can be life threatening. Talk to your doctor to see if they would be safe for you.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

The words you use affect what you feel. If you say "the pain is horrible", guess what? The pain will be "HORRIBLE". If you say "this is really annoying", guess what? It will be "REALLY ANNOYING". It is your choice to make.

I did not say that it would go away. When you're living with chronic pain, nothing is going to make it go away completely. Not drugs, and certainly not more of the drugs that are already not working. Not exercises, not happy thoughts, not your family, not your friends, and not your doctors.

The things that you think and do can make your pain less or make your pain more. It is a management problem. You need to learn to manage your chronic pain.

We all hate these words but you really do need to "Learn How to Live with It".

AND YES YOU CAN!!!







What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

Staying Active

Finding something that you are interested in and passionate about is not likely to make you pain free. However, it can be a great distraction and minimize your discomfort for hours at a time. Things like working on a hobby in the garage or in a spare bedroom. Finding an exercise or a sport that you enjoy can have multiple benefits and who cares if you don't always win. Working as a volunteer at the local hospital you can learn that there are many people with worse problems than you.

What it does for Me For me this is important on many different levels. Working has always been a great distraction for me. Especially, working in construction I was afraid to tell anybody about my back because somebody with a "bad back" is always the first to get laid off.

As I've gotten older exercise has become a good distraction and it helps me control my weight. Working on this website also gives me something to think about and do besides lying around thinking about how much my back hurts.

My Best Advice I have said it a million times, Find Something To Do. Everyone is interested in something. There are lots of things that you can get involved in that are more important than you and your pain. Everyone can do something.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Pain is inevitable. Everybody has some. You can decide to get on with your life or you can decide to let the pain control your life. Whatever you decide is probably how it is going to be. How will you decide?

People must choose to suffer.







Learn Why and How to Meditate

Doing Your Best Requires Taking Care of Yourself

Making time for yourself should be a priority in everyone's life. Even if you have children depending on you, even if you are the sole caregiver for your invalid parent or spouse, even if your boss is counting on you, ...............you must make time for yourself.

Help Yourself Sign

Your body is not designed to be on high alert and running at full speed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If you don't take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of them for very long.

You must take care of yourself so that you can take care of them.

The practice of meditation suppresses all of the stress hormones and it allows your organ systems to slip into the rest and relaxation mode. Your heart rate goes down and the blood flow returns to your intestines, your stomach, your liver, and all of your other internal organs.

Your immune system starts performing all of its many functions more efficiently. Anger and anxiety begin to evaporate. Minor aches and pains become more tolerable and chronic pain becomes less overwhelming.

Life is Good Again

You will notice many of these benefits immediately. Others may take longer to make a difference in your life.

The good things that you notice may fade when you jump back into the ratrace, but that is okay because you now know how to get them back. Meditation is a skill. The more you practice it, the better you are at it and the easier it is for you to close your eyes and slip back into that relaxing state of mind.

Coming Next:
We will talk more about Meditation.

Don't let pain cramp your style.
Learn more about back arthritis at The Arthritis Foundation.







What Works for Me...... What Works for Others

I have been living with back pain for many many years. Other people have different pains in different areas but we are all trying to manage it and live our lives the best we can. Here are some comments about things that we have tried for managing our pain.

Acupressure Mat / Bed of Nails

I have one of these acupressure mats that has hundreds of the little plastic spikes. It does not exactly feel good; but when I am on it I do not notice my back pain.

What it does for Me I use it in my chair when I am meditating.There is a "sensation" when you first lay down that some people could interpret as pain, but you can get used to it. I was afraid of it when I first got it. I started out wearing a tee shirt and then gradually pulled the shirt up exposing more skin.

When I realized that these little points do not actually break the skin I became more comfortable with it and now I can say that it is "stimulating" without being painful. When I am lying on this mat I do not notice my back pain; and the relief will often last for a few hours if I'm careful about what I am doing.

This mat has helped me understand the difference between a "sensation" and "pain". Everything we feel is just a signal traveling up the nerve to your brain. How your brain reacts is what makes it a "sensation" or "pain". You can decide to feel "pain" or just a "sensation". People must choose to suffer.

My Best Advice Just like everything else, Give It A Try. Everyone is different and you don't know if you don't try. You can start off easy by wearing a light tee shirt or placing a thin towel over the mat. People have been using this kind of treatment for hundreds or thousands of years. There must be something to it.







Learn Why and How to Meditate

Meditation can Save Your Life by Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Many different diseases and physical conditions are brought on by stress or made worse by stress.

The evidence is clear that things like depression, hypertension, stroke and heart attacks can be caused by stress.

Stress Related Diseases

Flare-ups of viral diseases such as cold sores, herpes, AIDS, and the common cold can begin with stress or a stressful event.

Stress is the cause of many different diseases.

anxiety

Stress will lead to skin conditions like dermatitis, hives, and rashes. It can aggravate gastrointestinal disorders like peptic ulcers, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Our Modern World is
One Stressful Event after Another.

It starts when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. Then fixing breakfast, getting the kids off to school, and driving to work continues the storm of adrenaline and cortisol.

Talking to your boss and worry about deadlines at work rush you through the morning. A hurried fast food lunch and then rushing back to work keeps your heart racing.

Finally quitting time and you run to pick up the kids and get home to get dinner started. You then clean up the kitchen, help the kids with baths and homework, and rush them off to bed so you can fall onto the couch exhausted.

The exhaustion itself contributes to your stress.

Life has always had stressful events. But, for our ancestors, there would also be periods of rest and relaxation. Only in the past 100 years have our lives become so hectic that we rush from one stressor to the next. Only in the past 50 years have we become so completely buried with non-stop stimulation that there is no escape.

Coming Next:
We will look at how important it is to find time for yourself.

Learn more about stress from Psychology Today: The Physical Dangers of Stress.








  


  

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  1. What Works for Me...... and some others

    Inversion tables

    This is one of my favorites when my back is really hurting. I usually lay on it for 15 to 20 minutes at an angle of about 30°. Any longer than that and my back get so stiff that it is…

    Read More

  2. Traumatic Arthritis

    Traumatic arthritis can cause joint pain that is severe but there are things that can be done. Learn what causes it and what your options are for treatment.

    Read More