Skip to main content

Chronic Lyme Disease: Potentially Chronic Pain Condition

Those of us who live in areas where Lyme Disease is prevalent have learned about the early symptoms and why early diagnosis and treatment are key to preventing a whole host of problems.  If you are not up to speed on this topic, here is a brief overview:

Deer tick (Source: Wikimedia)

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is caused by an organism known as Borrelia burgdorferi.
A person or animal can become infected with this organism when an infected deer tick, commonly found in the US and approximately sixty other countries across the globe, attaches itself to a "host".

The early symptoms of infections in the human population are varied. They include a flu like illness (fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, and/or nausea), a characteristic "bulls-eye" rash around the site of the tick bite, Bells Palsy, or perhaps no symptoms at all.  It is reported that 30% to 80% of all patients diagnosed with Lyme disease report some/all of these symptoms.

Bullseye rash (Source:Wikimedia)

If left untreated--or treated insufficiently--Lyme disease may progress to a late-stage or chronic form. Many of the symptoms in this phase of the disease can be a source of chronic pain. Problems stemming from chronic Lyme disease include joint, muscle and other forms of pain, including headaches and neuropathy.  In addition, affected individuals may experience sleep issues, fatigue, cognition problems, depression and cardiac issues.

Our pets can also be affected by Lyme disease, and it can be fatal.  An extensive discussion of that topic is beyond the scope of today's post, but your veterinarian can be of great assistance in this matter. For us humans, it is important to check ourselves and our pets for ticks whenever we may have been exposed.  If a tick is discovered, it should be removed promptly using tweezers or a device especially designed for tick removal.  Contact your physician for further instruction at this point; they will assist you on what to do next.

This is one of those cases where prevention can really pay off.  It's not always easy to immediately if a tick bite has occurred--or if an infection is present--it's not always straightforward.  However, when it is obvious that one of these things has taken place, it really pays to act fast!

Sources: Wikimedia;


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…