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"Yes You Can" Live the Life You Want
June 01, 2014

"Yes You Can"
Living with Back Pain Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
My name is Dave and I run the website at Just like you, I am living with back pain and have been for many years. I started his website to try and help people, like myself, who are living with pain that will never go away.

Thank you very much to everyone who has responded to the questions I had posted on the blog and on some of my web pages. Your response has been overwhelming and very heartwarming. It makes me feel good to know that someone is reading and appreciating all of this stuff I am writing.

I don't have a way to respond to questions through those forms but if you can post your questions on the Back Pain Q&A page at Back Pain Help I will make sure an answer them as soon as possible.


The Second Edition, #0002

Well, here it is the second edition of "Yes You Can". We start off with a story about a courageous woman who began dealing with pain as a child because it was part of what she wanted to do. Over the years her pain got worse but with grit and determination she refused to let it ruin her career or her life. These stories are an inspiration for everyone who is living with chronic pain.

In our distraction section we bring you a real scientific evidence on the benefits of distraction. But, like so many things in life, distraction only works when you go get it and make it work. It really is all up to you.

From the Internet would bring you an article about the people who suffered, and many who died, from fungal meningitis in 2012 following injections of tainted steroid medication. These people and their families are finally being compensated.


Who Is This Person?

Paula was born in 1962, she was always a hard worker and she showed a talent for dance and choreography, and enduring pain, at an early age. At the age of 8 she started using toe shoes for dancing classes, she remembers the toe shoes as being very painful.

Dancers need to endure pain, and being "thrown around" as a cheerleader for many years also required a high pain tolerance.

As a 17 year old she was an honor student, class president, head cheerleader, member of the science team, and first chair flutist in the high school band.

As a cheerleader her small frame, hard work and fearless attitude always got her the position of "flyer", the most dangerous cheerleading position. Even when things went well there was always pain associated with these difficult and high flying stunts.

Her first back injury came in 1979 when while cheerleading she was caught incorrectly by one of her team mates. She declined surgery to repair her injury and decided that she would "live with the pain".

Unfortunately, her pain got worse following a series of accidents.

In 1991 she broke her leg rehearsing an elaborate stage routine.

In 1992 she sustained a neck injury in a motor vehicle accident

In 1993 a flaming plane crash in an Iowa cornfield lefter her partially paralyzed.

A total of 15 different spine surgeries that left her one inch shorter and with four titanium plates in her neck.

In 2005 Paula was diagnosed with RSD(Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). A condition that caused constant severe burning pain.

Through it all Paula was the consummate hard working professional and really believed that "the show must go on". She did whatever she had to to keep going, including using large amounts of pain medication

Even with the pain medication Paula had many sleepless nights, and as she reports, it caused her to "get weird". This led to many reports in the media that she was abusing her pain medication, an accusation that she still denies

In spite of all of her pain and problems she has had a remarkably successful career.

At 18 years old she was a choreographer and cheerleader for the LA Lakers.

In 1984 she was discovered by The Jacksons, and she began choreographing their dance moves and then soon after began working with Duran Duran, Janet Jackson, and ZZ Top.

In the 80's and 90's she produced her own string of Pop Music Hits, including 6 songs that went to #1 on the Billboard Charts.

She won a Grammy Award for the Best Music Video in 1991 for "Opposites Attract"

Twice she won the Primetime Emmy award for the best choreography.

In the 2000 she spent 8 seasons tolerating Simon Cowell as a fellow judge on the hit TV show American Idol.

Currently, Paula has stepped out of the spotlight but she is still beloved by millions of fans for her music and dancing. She may be even more remembered for her time on American idol where she was always the caring and compassionate mentor for young artists. Even after all she had been through she still cared about people.

Yes, you could say that Paula Abdul refused to let chronic pain ruin her life.


What Is In A Distraction?

"Riddle me this Batman"

Can thinking about and finding a distraction, Be A Distraction?

Can you convince your doctor to write you a prescription for a Wii game?

Will your insurance pay for it?

Recent research is showing that electronic gaming is effective for relieving pain and reducing pain medication requirements.

This study Electronic gaming as pain distraction had volunteers place their hand in very cold water to provide the pain while watching television or playing games on a Wii.

Active distraction while playing the Wii showed a better reduction in pain than the passive distraction of watching television.

The article is somewhat dry and difficult to read but one of the things that they commented on was that thinking about your pain will make your pain worse, and by focusing on something besides your pain you can make your pain less.

Further research has shown that people are less likely to notice pain when they are distracted by cognitively demanding tasks.

Okay that's the distraction for today. It is up to you. You can sit on the couch and think about your pain, or you can get up and do something.

Have a nice day.


Latest from the Web

Justice is Done

News Channel Daily reports:

It was announced on May 7 that the men and women who contracted fungal meningitis from tainted pain shots in 2012 will get something for their pain and suffering, even if it doesn’t ease that pain or, for some families, bring their loved ones back.

You can read the entire article on their website at

The people that produce these medications are well paid for their work and they have a responsibility to take the appropriate precautions and safeguards. One of their most important departments should be quality control and patient safety.

This is no different than a doctor re-using needles or using dirty equipment. In my opinion,This company was just derelict in their oversight and quality control, bordering on criminal.

Even if this judgment cannot bring their loved ones back I am happy that the family's are being compensated in some way for their loss.


Latest News from

Finding Arthritis Pain Relief

Millions of people are suffering with painful joints from osteoarthritis. It is the price we pay for living active lives.

Degenerative Joint Disease and Cartilage Damage

Painful arthritic joints can limit our activity and damage our quality of life. There are things that can be done, but many of the more conservative treatments do not help when your arthitis is severe, and many of the more aggressive therapies have risks and still may not take your pain away completely.

This latest webpage on Living with Back Pain discusses the options for Finding Arthritis Pain Relief.


Well, that is it for this month.

I hope you enjoyed it. Keep fighting the good fight and don't let pain get you down. Look for us next month for more thoughts and ideas about living with back pain because "Yes You Can".


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