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Showing posts from December, 2016

Recent National Poll Finds Connection Between Sleep and Chronic Pain

Chronic and acute pain affect a person's ability to get sufficient good quality sleep. Conversely, the lack of sufficient good quality sleep contributes to the problems faced by those who are in pain--worsening pain, anxiety, depression, and the like.  You have to ask what came first--the chicken or the egg?  It seems like an endless cycle that's difficult to break. A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation entitled "Sleep In America" sheds some light on this puzzling phenomenon and offers some evidence that there is a solution to the problem. According to a press release about the study,  The 2015 Sleep in America ™Poll finds that pain joins two related concerns--stress and poor health--as key correlates of shorter sleep durations and worse sleep quality. But there are paths to resolving the problem: The sleep gap narrows sharply among those who make sleep a priority.  "Taking control of your sleep by being motivated, setting a routine b

Pain Management: Does Race Play a Role?

Have you ever wondered if certain factors caused provider bias in the realm of medical care..especially with respect to pain management? Today's post explores a study of racial factors in pain management. A study conducted jointly by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has found that patient race, provider bias, and clinical ambiguity interact to influence a provider's assessment and treatment decisions.  The researchers suggest that understanding these factors and their influence might be important in terms of improving patient care.  Their results were presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Pain Society in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Adam Hirsh, a psychologist, and his colleagues studied 110 medical residents and their interactions with twelve computer simulated patients, all of whom presented with acute pain. The highlight of their finding is interesting:  In the end, race mattered but not in a way you might expect. In situations where the diagnosis was unce

Good Pain Management Requires a Good Manager!

 Happy New Year! I have to ask all of you who suffer from chronic pain..are you happy with how well your pain is managed?  Do you feel like the pain levels in your life have control over you more than you have control over them?  Now that the new year has begun, it might be time to think of a new strategy if you aren't happy with the old one. Everyone will have good days and bad...some days will be better than others, and some days you just won't have the upper hand.  In a business, when a manager does not produce as expected--they may have to change their strategy to improve in the problem areas. The same is true in pain management.  If you think it's time to change some things up it might be time for a new strategy! This is the purpose of my blog.  I hope you will keep reading it and that 2014 will bring you many new ideas to try in your personal pain management strategy.  Have a look around. I wish you all many more days of pain free living in this new year!

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: Applying the 80/20 Principle

The idea for today's post comes from my husband, who has in recent years become a follower of the paleo/primal diet.  Most of the time he is very strict about this diet, making sure not to eat anything taboo.  On occasion, he breaks from the rigidity of his new found way of life and enjoys a few cookies, maybe a bottle of beer, or a new pasta dish. Why, you ask?  He says that according to others who follow this course, there is an 80/20 rule.  This means that that if you adhere to the rules 80% of the time, you can allow yourself some leeway the other 20% of the time.  It is important to bring this concept to the readers of this blog for a number of reasons: 1)If you have been following this blog at all, you know there are a lot of lifestyle changes that can tremendously enhance relief from chronic pain.  For a lot of people this not an easy thing to do.  By opting to follow the 80/20 rule these lifestyle modifications suddenly become much easier to follow

Don't Let Chronic Pain Take Charge of YOUR Life!

For this post, I am sharing an article I saw back in July... "Taking Your Life Back From Chronic Pain."   The author raises some very good many health conditions, such as migraine, can overwhelm our lives when they are in full force.  She goes on to say that.... in spite of increased scrutiny over some aspects of health care, including prescription medications...there are still many ways to get a handle on the problem before it gets a handle on you! Many of the things she brings up are things that have been mentioned in this blog before--smoking cessation, weight loss, dietary measures, etc.  Now that the New Year has begun, maybe it's time to think about these things once again.  Even if medication is required to manage one's medical condition, adding healthy lifestyle changes to the regimen will further improve the treatment plan. Happy 2015!  Go for it! Sources: Yahoo! News; Flickr Originally posted January 23, 2015

Chronic Pain Management: How To Train Your Inner Dragon

Many people see chronic pain management as strictly a medical issue...and that, it is not.  Pretty much every person living with chronic pain can benefit from many alternative and complementary practices.  At first you might think it's crazy to see a psychologist for treatment of chronic pain. For some folks, the idea of going to a psychologist implies some kind of mental health problem, or that the pain your feeling is all in your head. Nothing could be further from the truth! A psychologist can help a pain patient in some very significant ways. First of all, a psychologist can help an individual how to self-manage their pain. Think of it this way--many of us would go to a doctor about being overweight, but their are many weight loss plans and health clubs that can help us to get back in shape.  In a similar manner, a psychologist can help to explore which things in our lives improve or worsen pain levels and how to get those things into balance. Secondly, a psychol

Fighting Inflammation: Include These Foods!

A few weeks ago, Prevention Magazine posted an article about anti-inflammatory foods. While they can be easily included in the diet as smoothie ingredients,  I am taking the liberty to tell you that you don't have to be a smoothie lover to take advantage of their healthful properties.  You can read the article in entirety here . For those who want a quick synopsis, I will share some ideas in the following paragraphs... 1) Matcha powder is a powdered form of green tea.  It pairs well with peaches, mint, cocoa, coconut and vanilla.  It is said to be a powerful cancer fighting anti-oxidant and has an anti-inflammatory effect on immune cells (associated with inflammation). 2) Ginger has been used to quell stomach upset for years and years.  But it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can work as a natural ibuprofen!  This spicy root is a good additions to dishes with leafy greens, coconut, lemon, apple, pineapple, or chocolate. 3) Baby Kale is rich in vitamin K and

Inflammation: Friend OR Foe?

Inflammation is a natural body process.  It is a natural body response to disease--in response to infection, allergens, and other bodily invaders.  This can be a good thing because it can save us from things foreign to our bodies. But in can be a bad thing when it's a  chronic response to chronic illness. Swan Neck Deformity--Rheumatoid Arthritis Celiac disease is a good example of this.  Those diagnosed with this condition experience an inflammatory response to gluten, a component of wheat and some other cereal grains.  The problem is, the antibodies produced also attack the lining of the small intestine.  The resulting inflammatory damage causes reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food, causing diarrhea, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, neurological damage, etc. Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition in which antibodies to one's own tissue are produced, causing damage to body joints and internal organs as well. Historically, anti-inflammatory medications h

Chronic Wound Healing--New Study Shows That Opioids Help The Pain But Slow The Gain

Chronic wounds--often the consequence of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic illnesses are a very expensive and very challenging problem the world of health care. In 2009 it was reported that 6.5 million Americans suffered from this problem. At that time the annual expense of treatment was estimated to be $25 billion and growing, primarily due to longer life expectancies and the sharp rise in the incidence of diabetes. Typically these wounds are a source of pain--and being chronic wounds, the pain can also be chronic. Sometimes diabetic wounds in particular are very slow to heal due to changes in circulation to the limbs, and sometimes amputation is necessary.  Therefore it's logical to remediate the discomfort of these wounds with pain medications, including opioids. But a new study released by George Washington University is causing second thoughts. After completing a study of 450 subjects who were victims of chronic wound problems, an interesting observation came ab