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Showing posts from March, 2014

NonDrug Pain Management Ideas: Mind Over Matter (aka the M.O.R.E. intervention technique)

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: Finding Joy

Have you ever seen "The Bucket List ?" If you haven't maybe you should. In the 2007 comedy, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson portray two cancer patients who become the most unlikely friends.  As hospital roommates, they discuss their lives, their hopes, and what they hope to achieve before they die.

We can all stand to learn from this movie--that life is not a dress rehearsal and the we should do things that we want to do while we still can do them.  Even when having a chronic illness or chronic pain gets in the way of living life in the fast lane, many things can still be achieved.  Focus on the possibilities.  Find the joy!


Taking your comments and suggestions

I have been writing this blog for several months now. Thanks to statistics, I know that some posts have been more popular than other posts, and some topics get more readers than others.  But what I don't know is this--

Are there any topics that I have not covered that you would like me to write about?  I would like to stay within the theme of my blog, but aside from that I would like to know what you have say.

Are there any subject areas that I have covered that you would like me to expand upon?

Any other thoughts, suggestions, or ideas?  I am all ears (eyes, really!).

I am at your service!  Do not hesitate to comment to this post, as I would love to know how I can make this blog the best it can be!

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: It's You I like!

If you are a product of the Mister Rogers generation like I am, you might think back to some memorable moments from the show even as an adult...because he had some very wise words for us all.  Today I am taking you back to one of his old TV episodes, because it illustrates the point of this post so well.

When dealing with chronic illness, chronic pain, or sometimes just life in general, there are some days when things just are not going well.  If you are having a day like that today, you may need to find our own way to cope with the problems at hand.  That being said, it's awfully good to know that you are loved just the way you are!

Source: YouTube

Dealing with the Yo Yo/Roller coaster life of chronic pain and chronic illness

Here are a few words of wisdom from Dr. Kent Smalley of

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: Recap #2

Thinking outside the bottle!

Someone else's post, but my thoughts EXACTLY!Pain relief outside the pill bottlePosted June 18, 2012, 1:47 pm Kay Cahill Allison, Former Editor, Harvard Health

When you feel pain, do you automatically reach for a pill?
Maybe it’s time to rethink that reaction. The idea that pain relief
resides only in a bottle of pills is a common misconception, Harvard
Medical School experts say. While medication often plays an important
role in quelling pain, there’s a large arsenal of drug-free pain-relief
therapies and techniques.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that 116 million adults experience chronic pain
each year. It has called for “a cultural transformation in how the
nation understands and approaches pain management and prevention.”
Improved pain management should include a combination of therapies and
coping techniques, the institute said. And a recent New York Times
investigation revealed that the use of strong pain killers used too
early and for too long can delay a pers…

Is the brain hard-wired for pain?

Is the brain hard-wired for pain? Analysis of white matter sheds new light on chronic pain By | Posted November 4, 2013
Posted in: Blogs, Health Blog
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , The last thing anyone in pain wants to hear is that “it’s all in your head.” But a new study, published this month in Pain, revealed that some chronic pain might, quite literally, depend on the state of the brain. Analyzing the brain structure of chronic pain sufferers may help explain why some people recover quickly from an injury while others experience ongoing pain. Researchers think these findings could lead to more specialized pain treatment.
Physical pain is one of the most universal forms of human stress. But not all pain is created equally. While acute pain is a temporary reaction of the nervous system to disease or other threats to the body, chronic…

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: Water therapy can help those with chronic pain

KXLY TV  April 2008 via YouTube

Today's post is a short video about water therapy and the benefits of water therapy for chronic pain patients.  Warm water relaxes the muscles, as stated in the video Additionally, the buoyancy of the water takes the gravity effect off the spine and joints for those who are overweight.  It's a lot of fun if you've never tried it!


Addiction or Psuedoaddiction?

This is a poster that I did for a Pain Awareness Fair that was held the hospital where I was working last year.  The poster is my attempt at trying to help health care professionals determine whether a patient is really an addict, or if their current pain management regimen is insufficient for one reason or another.

While manning my poster, I presented this example to the various doctors, nurses and patients who visited my poster:

A young woman who becomes a frequent visitor to an ER.  She always complains of headache, for which she is treated and given a prescription for pain medication at discharge. The staff think she is an addict and express their concerns to the ER physician time and time again.  The doctor, however, is unsure if this is the case or not.
After this pattern goes on for a time, the young woman returns to the ER to thank the staff for all their help. She says she's going off to college and asks the doctor for a prescription so she can get medication while away …

Fibromyalgia: A picture is worth a thousand words

5 Surprising Facts About Pain

Pain is a normal part of the human existence.  At the same time, it is mystifying because the pain experience varies widely from person to person and from one medical condition to another.  I recently read a post @ Live Science that presented these surprising facts about pain.

In a nutshell:

1) Pain is normal, but because of it can vary so widely there really is no single ideal way of treating it.  Billions of dollars are spent on pharmaceutical treatment for pain every year.

2) Scientists do not really understand pain--how it works and why.  If they did, they would be able to find better treatment(s) for it.

3) Chronic pain is different than acute pain, largely due to the stress of having to endure it for prolonged periods of time. Research findings indicate changes in the brains of people with chronic pain.

4)Sexual desire and migraine seem to be linked.  (You have to read the post if you really want to try and understand this one!)

5)Women have more nerve fibers per square centime…

Non Drug Pain Managment Ideas: Live Your LIfe to the Fullest!

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”                                                                               ― Ashley Smith

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: Reflexology

Reflexology, also known as zone therapy, is defined by Wikipediaas "an alternative medicine involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion. It is based on what reflexologists claim to be a system of zones and reflex areas that they say reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, with the premise that such work effects a physical change to the body.

It is questionable whether or not this specialized form of massage us the be all and the end all in the world of pain management.  But that does not mean it is useless either.  An April 2013 report in Medical News Today cites a small study that demonstrates increased pain threshold and tolerance when reflexology was used.  Additionally, Everyday Health  reports that, if nothing else, reflexology can help with the anxiety associated witch chronic pain.

Sources:  Wikipedia, Medical News Today,Everyday Health

New FDA Warning:Acetaminophen

 USA Today January 15,2014:
FDA warns against high-dose prescription acetaminophenThe Food and Drug Administration is asking doctors to stop prescribing combination medications that contain more than 325 mg. of acetaminophen per dose, because of long-standing concerns about liver damage.
The risks of liver toxicity from acetaminophen have been well known in medical practice for as long as I can remember. This post is just a friendly reminder in case you did not see this recent news in USA Today, or any other news outlet.  It is very important, and it cannot be stressed enough.
Back in December I  posted "Ten things you should know about acetaminophen."  You can re-read the post by clicking the link in the title.  Many people do not realize that they might be ingesting more acetaminophen then they thought possible because it's an ingredient in so many products.
My best advice: Read the label.   If you are caring for someone who takes multiple those lab…

Non Drug Pain Management IdeaL Study Examines Meditation Programs of Psychological Well-Being

Newswise — Mindfulness meditation programs may help reduce anxiety, depression and pain in some individuals, according to a review of medical literature by Madhav Goyal, M.D., M.P.H., of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues.

Many people meditate to cope with stress and promote good health. To counsel patients, clinicians need to know more about meditation programs and how they might affect health outcomes, according to the study background.

...story continues here     


What is Lupus?

Not unlike rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)  is an autoimmune disease. The basic problem is that antibodies that attack the body are formed; they circulate in the blood stream and attack normal human tissue as if it were a foreign invader.  The result: inflammation, damage and pain in various parts of the body.

Lupus has numerous signs and symptoms, but perhaps the most well-known is a butterfly shaped rash on the face, across the bridge of the nose and cheeks. Other symptoms include fatigue, swelling, joint pain, clotting disorders and anemia.  SLE is a difficult disease to diagnose because the symptoms mimic those of other disease states.

There is no specific drug treatment for lupus, so treatment is based on symptoms that are present. Over a person's lifetime these symptoms can the treatment changes as well.  Finding a good rheumatologist is essential for SLE patients.

As with many other chronic pain issues, many of the non drug pain manageme…

Interstitial Cystits: A lesser known chronic pain issue

Today's post focuses on a little different chronic pain issue..interstitial cystitis.  I wrote this piece a few years ago when we had a patient in our hospital who suffered from this condition, and questions arose about appropriate medication therapy for the condition.  This document is mostly about the medical treatment, as the patient was an inpatient at the time.  Years later, I have been wondering about her current situation.  I am hoping that she is aware of the many non drug pain management therapies available, and if she has tried any of them.  While modern medicine is truly miraculous, a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to enhance the effectiveness of treatment. Multi modal Therapy for Interstitial CystitisMarietta Ledonne, RPHInterstitial cystitis is a poorly understood medical condition of uncertain etiology. Patients with this diagnosis experience a range of symptoms, including urgency, frequency, and pelvic pain. It is proposed that symptoms arise from a multitude of…

Here's what you say to yourself when you wake up feeling under the weather~~

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