HOW CHRONIC BACK PAIN CAN HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE…

Suffering from chronic or even just acute back pain can be a very challenging ordeal. Only a fellow back pain sufferer can truly understand just how debilitating and depressing the condition can be.

Your quality of life suffers when you’re in pain all the time. Most people not suffering from this condition just can’t seem to understand the devastating effects of this condition. It often seems like the patient is exaggerating or ‘weak’… when in reality, the pain can last for months or even years.

 

The mental and emotional toll

The first step to coping with this condition is to understand how it can impact your life. Depending on the severity of the pain, besides just medication and physiotherapy, you may also wish to speak to a counselor or a professional. The emotional and mental toll that back pain takes can leave you feeling stressed and depressed. You just might need someone to speak to.

 Everything gets harder

When even a slightest jolt makes you groan in pain, you must come to terms with the fact that your mobility may be limited. You may have to walk slower, move more carefully, and tasks that were a breeze before may be of a Herculean nature now.

Carrying a bag of groceries may leave you in agony. Even simple actions like getting up from a chair or reaching for the TV remote may send spasms of pain shooting up your spine. You must be careful of everything.

When your activities are severely restricted, you may find yourself becoming more dependent on others. This may make you feel like you’re imposing and your sense of self-worth decreases. It’s important that you know that you’re not incapable. It’s just the pain wreaking havoc in your life.

As difficult as it may seem, now more than ever, you need a positive attitude and the grim determination to persevere and beat the pain.

 

Fear

This is nothing to be ashamed of. Almost all adults fear pain. It’s just the extent that varies. You may experience fear and not just of pain but also your general wellbeing. What if things got worse? What if you develop other problems like diabetes or paralysis?

Most of these fears are often unfounded. You can always talk to your doctor about the problem and clarify your doubts.

On the other hand, you may fear going out or engaging in other activities just in case you worsen the pain. The advice here is to use common sense. If the activity is a visit to the beach or a walk by the park, go ahead. The fresh air and change of scenery will do you good.

Fearing everything will just make you stay indoors and your life will become monotonous and sedentary. This will actually worsen the situation. Activity will improve your blood circulation and keep your muscles stronger and reduce your back pain.

 Social life

Your social life may suffer because of your pain. You’d rather stay indoors than go out and have fun. It’s difficult to have fun when you’re in pain. If you’re married or have a partner, intimate relationships will suffer too.

The pain will make the entire activity a chore. You’ll need to be open and speak to your partner about it. Do not withdraw and get angry or disappointed. Experiment with new positions that are easier on your back.

 Your career

The hard truth is that you may have to quit your job if it’s one that has a lot of manual labor. If you work at a desk, your workstation may need to be adapted to suit your condition. If your condition is so bad that even leaving your house to get to work is not a possibility, you may wish to ask your boss if you can work from home. All these situations are possible, and you must be ready for them.

I had to sell my last business after my fourth spinal surgery kept me in hospital for nearly three months. It was a big decision and a new chapter in my life.

At the end of the day, just know that you’re not alone in this. It may seem like a small consolation, but the fact that there are millions of people with chronic back pain doing the best they can to lead ‘normal’ lives should inspire you to stay strong.

Keep finding ways to improve your condition and get better. Even if all it takes is a positive attitude, that itself will reduce your mental stress and make you feel better.

IS YOUR PAIN FIBROMYALGIA PAIN, OR SOMETHING MORE SINISTER?…

As a Fibromyalgia sufferer myself I know that pain from Fibromyalgia can be just about anywhere in your body with extreme sensitive tender points, stiffness, chronic fatigue, IBS symptoms and much more. But, the question is how do we know if the pain could be something a little more sinister than Fibromyalgia ?

I have read on numerous websites, blogs, Facebook groups, and forums how many patients new symptoms can be ignored or even dismissed as just another possible problem linked to Fibromyalgia.

As we start to mature in age there are many other conditions which these symptoms could imply. Simply checking yourself for such conditions can be quite painful and off putting but none of us are Doctors so we can only listen to their advice.

Even a leaflet with suggestions of other conditions that mimic Fibromyalgia like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Lyme disease, and lupus to name a few could be useful. But should we be looking out for anything else that is not linked to these types of conditions ?

With my skeletal problems in my cervical and lumbar spine and my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and IBS I simply put any symptoms new or old as something I just have to live with as it must be coming from one of my conditions.

Webmd wrote that there are some symptoms which can overlap with the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia which could possibly be a more serious disease like Hypothyroidism, Sleep Apnea, or Malignancy. Of course it can also apply that a person with a coexisting condition like Lyme disease, or arthritis could also have Fibromyalgia.

They finish by saying that ‘ Health professionals, especially those unfamiliar with Fibro, May limit themselves to treating one disease and fail to check whether Fibro could be contributing to the symptoms”.

What are your thoughts on this ? I find it a very interesting topic and I suppose the only solution at the moment is for us all to be vigilant and check our own bodies on a regular basis.

FIBROMYALGIA AND STEM CELL TREATMENT…

With stem cell therapy being used for a number of medical condition it was no surprise to stroll across a website that said they are now using it to treat Fibromyalgia.

Apparently the cell searches out and in fact detects and then attempts to repair any damage or deficiency discovered, as well as releases growth factors, which stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms.

‘A medical procedure whereby Human Fetal Stem Cells are transplanted into a Fibromyalgia patient These cellular building blocks are usually administered intravenously and subcutaneously (under the skin) It is a painless procedure, which takes place in approximately one hour, and has no known negative side effects.’

They say that ‘significant positive change are seen between three to six months post treatment, but can occur in as little as weeks or even days after receiving treatment’.

They can take the structure and function of existing cells. For example, if doctors introduce them to the muscle tissue, those cells also become muscle tissues.

Stem Cell Research says that Stem Cell For fibromyalgia patients, could mean stimulating the body’s natural healing process. They can reduce the dependency on medications. They can also deal with the root cause by developing new muscle tissues. In the process, they can reduce or eliminate pain.

To treat a condition with stem cells is also simple. A patient visits a stem cell therapy doctor. The doctor performs the necessary evaluation and then harvests the existing stem cells. Once ready, the physician injects these stem cells into the painful areas.

There are a number of different types of stem cell treatments as shown in this infographic from Stem Cell Research.

TAI CHI – A FIRST CHOICE OF TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA PAIN …

According to My Fibro Team, tai chi is one of the first choice of treatments for Fibromyalgia pain.

A new study was led my Dr. Chenchen Wang, of the Causes for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Tufts Medical Centre in Boston.

His study included 226 adults who had Fibromyalgia for an average of nine years. The patients were an average age of 52 and the vast majority were females. None of the patients had tried tai chi nor any other type of alternative therapy for six months before the study started.

The findings showed that NONE of the patients who engaged in the tai chi reported any negative side effect or complication. One patient said it had helped to improve balance, reduce anxiety and manage pain.

The NHS has a guide to tai chi which says Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, tai chi is now practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.

It is essentially a gentle activity that is unlikely to cause injury if done correctly. The exercises involve lots of flowing, easy movements that don’t stress the joints or muscles.