Patients Helping Patients Blog
Pain Management of Chronic Pain Conditions
Editor’s Note: This blog was written by Lisa Davis-Budzinski
(Photo courtesy of: worldwideintegrative.com)
If you found your way to this article, that means you or someone you know and love has a chronic pain condition and are searching knowledge for treatments.
I have been managing a chronic pain condition known as Central Pain Syndrome, due to having a stroke, since 2002. I am also managing an autoimmune condition known as Grave’s Disease that wreaks havoc on the endocrine system and dealt me cancer of the thyroid. Plus a few other blood & spinal fluid related autoimmune issues.
I wanted to write this article to give you some direction and knowledge that you can take along the way with you as you put together a treatment plan that will help you manage a better quality of life.
First, we are all different and a blanket medication is not going to work for everyone. Example: penicillin helped a lot of people but not people like myself who is dangerously allergic to it. We know this because we all have different DNA codes. (See my DNA article HERE.) So that would stand to reason that we all need a more precision type of pain management treatment. We can also take into effect that men and women have different reactions to pain sensory levels. See this article for more information: Brain differences between male and female on pain.
Now we have to take all of that into account when trying to find what will work for you.
Once you find the doctor who can help you with your type of condition; Endocrinologist for Diabetes, Neurologist for MS, Parkinson’s and other nerve conditions etc., the doctor will tell you about treatments. There are many types and below is an outline:
In addition to medications, you want your pain management treatment to be well rounded:
- Try acupuncture, chiropractors, etc.
- Get hormone labs done; hormones affect pain levels
- Meditation, aromatherapy
- Heating pads, cold packs
- TENS unit
- Spinal stimulator
Diversionary tactics help to raise dopamine/serotonin levels:
- Doing something to make you laugh or makes you happy
- A fun activity that can raise adrenaline levels
- Keep it lighthearted to counter stress and depression
- Cognitive-Behaviorial Therapy: CBT
Find your Teams:
- Healthcare Team
- Support communities
Find your pain triggers:
- What triggers your pain
- Write them down so you can actually “see” what they are
- Sound, heat, cold, walking to far, over-doing anything, staying somewhere to long, sitting up to long while visiting
Seek natural treatments as well:
- Herbal treatments from Eastern medicine
As you can see, there are many treatments available to us than ever before. But we must know of the dangers before trying treatments and medications or putting them together as a whole. Before taking any medications it’s imperative to weigh the benefits vs the side effects. There is a huge book called the PDR that all physicians have. It stands for Physician’s Desk Reference for medications. This book is extremely expensive. It contains information just like the printouts you see from your pharmacy. What the medication was made to do, the color and shape for identification purposes, its molecular state, adverse reactions and side effects. You can ask the pharmacy to print this information for you and you can look up medications on sites like: https://www.drugs.com/pdr/ . This is something that you can talk to you doctor and family about. I’ve tried medications that the side effects were worse than any benefit it provided. It’s not worth continuing with that type of reaction. Since medications are synthetic, there is always a danger of it damaging the liver and kidneys because of the process our bodies need to take to break it down. Your doctor can also keep a watch on your organs while you take the medication with lab work.
Another danger of natural and/or synthetic medications are the interactions caused by mixing the wrong ones together.
Find out from your doctor or pharmacists, or online: http://www.webmd.com/interaction-checker/ , to make sure it will not be a lethal mix.
In this new scientific technological era, healthcare is changing more quickly than ever before. Keep apprised of new medications, new medical technology and methods. The internet helps us to be in the know of what is out or coming out to help with different diseases and conditions.
Though it has taken me a decade and more of trying different medications, trials and errors to find my right combo of teams and treatment; it doesn’t have to take you as long by learning from those of us that have gone before you. You can find help this type of help for answers and up to date information in forums, online groups and sites, like this one, and Twitter chats.
Please know you are not alone and there is help and there is a way to live a better quality of life than suffering in pain.
Citations and Resources: