#Spoonie, arthritis, Back Pain, Backcare, CHRONIC PAIN, DRUGS, facet joint syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, low back pain, pain, pain relief, X RAYS

WHAT IS THE TRUE COST OF FACET JOINT INJECTIONS?…

Today I had my third lot of facet joint injections on the NHS at the Circle Nottingham Hospital. For me personally these injections (I have one in both sides of my spine) have been the most effective pain relief I have ever had.

For the first time in many years I have been back in control of my pain and I had reduced my Tramadol right down to taking it ‘only‘ on my bad days instead of taking it on slow release. While slowly cutting down on my Tramadol I started to feel quite different in myself without the awful side effects of the opioids.

Painkiller addiction is an increasing problem in our society, and it’s certainly receiving more media attention than ever before. There’s a lack of understanding about the dangers of prescription painkillers—opioid drugs that are both extremely powerful and addictive. Long-term addiction is usually preceded by tolerance to the drug, which means you feel as though you need a regular supply of them.

The reason I wanted to cut down on my Tramadol was to prepare myself for my Cubital Tunnel Operation. A few years ago I was unexpectedly faced with awful pain after foot surgery and was told I could not have any more pain relief due to what I was already taking. Tramadol is routinely prescribed after major surgeries so I told myself if I ever needed surgery again I would make sure I had cut down on my medication prior to the surgery.

I have struggled over the last few weeks as my facet joint injections were due but they were put on hold for six weeks due to my elbow surgery so today could not have come soon enough. I’ve had the same compassionate pain consultant who has looked after me for a number of years and who has tried everything available to help me with my chronic pain.

Before I signed the consent form he informed me that due to the cost of facet joint injections they were being cut right back and may not be available in the future.  He assured me I would still be having some today and that he would put me down for another set in four months but pointed out that he would have to put a case together in order to hopefully get the all clear to carry on giving me these injections.

I was bitterly disappointed that there was a possibility of these being stopped. When I told my husband about it on our way home he told me to try and find out how much these would cost if we went privately to have them done.

I was quite shocked at what I found out which in our area were roughly about £1,145 – £1,500 (each) and I have two of these. I then realised that it’s not just the injection that I would be paying for as I need the use of the Xray department for these and so a radiologist is required, plus two nurses and of course my consultant.

It’s not until you encounter something like this that you appreciate just how lucky we are to have the availability of the NHS in the UK. We just arrive, have the treatment and follow their advice and hopefully get the benefit but you can see why they are now having to question who should be the ones that can have this treatment and who are the ones that cannot. I guess I will just have to hope that my case is one they sympathize with and continue letting me have them otherwise I guess I will be back on the opioid route again.

#blog award, #Spoonie, arthritis, Back Pain, DRUGS, facet joint syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, low back pain

HOW I SPENT 10 DAYS PAIN FREE TIME…

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As my followers will know I had some more facet joint injections 10 days ago into my lumber spine. I’ve tried numerous types of lumber injections from trigger points to epidurals but I’ve never had the reaction I got from the facet joint injections. They made me feel completely pain free.

This is only my second lot of facet joint injections but the last one lasted 3 weeks and this time I had two instead of one so I was hoping it would last longer. However the pain free time was broken after just 10 days when my back went back into spasm.

After the injections I rested up for 24 hours, which was what they advised. Just being able to get dressed in a morning without pain was a bonus. I decided I would take no pain medication whatsoever but continue taking my muscle relaxants.

For the next 48 hours I had the most awful shakes which I had been warned could happen when you come off Tramadol.  What I could not believe was how clear my head felt, how much more in control of I felt. The fuzzy head which you also get with Fibromyalgia is doubled when you are on a high dose of Tramadol.

Apart from writing, which is my first passion, I also love to make hand made cards. I sell a few through my local post office but otherwise I just make to send to friends and family. But my husband has always been an avid fan (obviously) and has said on numerous occasions that I should open an online shop.

The pain free time inspired me to have a go at setting up a shop. My local post office asked me for some Valentine cards so I thought this would be an ideal time to get the cards on the market. I happily sat without any pain making lots of new cards and designs and felt confident I could get this launched and off the ground.

I felt well enough to walk more and my sleep was better waking up with a clearer head which is something I always appreciate when I am off the medication. I was on a roll and soon decided I would set up a shop on Etsy. It looked easy enough but I took my time putting it together as I really wanted it to work.

By my 7th pain free day I had made a number of cards, taken great pictures of them and had started to build my online shop. I was in heaven. Life was just peachy and nature soon helps you to forget about the sort of pain you had been in before. I was starting to have a few twinges in my cervical spine but I put that down to all the card making and the fact that I had two disc’s fused in my neck does put a bit of pressure on the disc below it. However I could sit with a heat pad around my neck which soon soothed the pain away.

On day 8 I was starting to feel some pain in both my hips but I put that down to the fact that I had been sitting for a long time making the cards and just took a couple of paracetamol for it. By day 9 I was feeling a few more twinges and realised that my pain free time was limited but I felt elated about my online shop and what I had achieved in such a short space of time.

On day 10 I woke up without pain and had a few more cards to photograph. As I put the cards in a position to take the photos of them my back went. I completely froze as the pain when it goes into spasm is so bad that you are frightened of moving at all. I went straight for my heat pad and decided to lie on the settee to rest it and keep it warm as I have always found heat a great healer.

By the afternoon I knew it was well and truly in spasm and that I could not attempt to take any more photos or make any more cards, at lease for the time being. By the following morning I was in such pain I went back onto the Tramadol and struggled to even get dressed again. I spent most of yesterday just keeping it warm and resting in the hope the spasm would ease. I didn’t even look on my new site once as I felt so flat after being so high about it all.

Today is a new day and the pain is more under control but that is with the help of my pain medication.  I have decided I need to start looking at how to adjust certain areas in my house so that I can continue with my cards and my writing. My pain free time made me realise that this is how my life is going to be from now on as there is no more surgery they can do for my back.

Pain free time will always be something I will treasure, but trying to plan around it can be hard to say the least. Just keeping my eye on any new products/drugs to help ease pain will always be at the top of my list and writing is something I can manage without being in pain.

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#Spoonie, arthritis, Back Pain, CHRONIC PAIN, DRUGS, facet joint syndrome, FIBROMYALGIA, low back pain, osteoarthritis, pain

#TUMERIC GIVES AMAZING RESULTS FOR ARTHRITIS…

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Turmeric is increasingly being used in formulas for back and arthritic problems. Many people report that turmeric can help, but it’s important to choose a high potency turmeric product. And recent studies have shown that turmeric may also help people with bloating and digestive discomfort.

Tumeric is safe to take long term and Nature’s Best have the High Potency capsules at 10,000 mg. We often see and read about different herbs that can help with pain and arthritis but not all of them come up to scratch. However my twin sister who suffers from severe inflammatory arthritis was in so much pain she felt it was worth a try.

After only 10 days of taking the Nature’s Best High Potency capsules she felt the benefits. Taking a sweater over her head was very painful and uncomfortable and yet she could easily take her sweater off after such a short period of being on Tumeric. She was so impressed that she rang me to tell me to try them.  Although some of my spinal problems are mechanical I do have arthritis in my facet joints.

They are not expensive at only £14.95 for 60 capsules and with the potency being so high you only need to take one a day. According to Arthritis Org “several recent studies show that turmeric/curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. A 2006 study showed turmeric was more effective at preventing joint inflammation than reducing joint inflammation.

A 2010 clinical trial found that a turmeric supplement called Meriva (standardized to 75 percent curcumin combined with phosphatidylcholine) provided long-term improvement in pain and function in 100 patients with knee OA.

In a small 2012 pilot study, a curcumin product called BCM-95 reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active RA better than diclofenac, an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).”

I can’t wait for mine to arrive and will post how I get on with them on this blog.

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