FIBROMYALGIA AND SWELLING…

Did you know that Fibromyalgia and swelling go together? At Fibro Treating they say that one of the most basic symptoms of fibromyalgia is swelling and inflammation. Due to this fibromyalgia swelling, it can sometimes be confused with arthritis. This is due to the fact that both fibromyalgia and arthritis affect the joints.

Individuals who have fibromyalgia typically experience more of a feeling that their joints are swelling rather than the joints actually swelling. Additionally, an individual who has fibromyalgia may actually experience what is known as a “creepy crawly” sensation on their bodies, which is very uncomfortable for them. Though it’s almost the same as with arthritis, the “swelling” of the joints that is part of fibromyalgia isn’t actually swelling at all, but a feeling of swelling.

The swelling of the hands and feet in those suffering from fibromyalgia actually resembles oedema, something I really thought I was suffering from while away recently. However, it subsided when I got home so I felt it must have been something else (heat etc) but after reading this article I now appreciate it could easily be from my Fibromyalgia.

Fibro Treating says that the amount of swelling and fibromyalgia is actually directly related to the amount of stress that the affected individual is currently undergoing. Swelling is one of the most common symptoms that an individual with fibromyalgia will experience. Both swelling and inflammation is one of the first things an individual will notice when there is a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. This is what makes it so difficult to diagnose- the swelling takes on the appearance of arthritis. The swelling can actually occur at any time and almost anywhere on your body. It can last a short time or a long time.

Swelling related to fibromyalgia can disappear and appear without even a warning. It can last for a few hours, days, or weeks at a time. Sometimes, individuals will even report that their feet swell so large that they cannot wear their shoes. If you are experiencing this level of swelling, you must know that there are some things that you can do to counteract this.

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REVIEW OF THE QUELL – WEARABLE PAIN RELIEF DEVICE…

I was given the Quell device as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this Quell wearable pain relief review are my own, and I was in no way influenced by the company.

I was delighted when Julie at Chronic Illness Bloggers offered me the opportunity to review the Quell wearable pain relief device. I must admit that I was a bit sceptical at Quell’s owners claim that it works by strapping the device to your calf muscle and when the device is activated, it stimulates nerves in the leg that send signals through to your brain to induce your body to release its own pain blocking chemicals, known as endogenous opioids, which should reduce or eliminate chronic pain or even temporary pain.

I have tried tens machines in the past without much success as the relief didn’t last long enough so I was keen to see how long the pain relief would last using the Quell.

It can be connected to your smartphone and even works while you sleep and as I am an avid user of my smartphone it sounded perfect. It arrived charged and ready to use which was great.

When I started the trial, I was going through a rough patch with not only awful pain from Fibromyalgia but also a disc problem and foot problem. This year has been quite a trying year for me in managing my chronic pain including a new problem with some trapped nerves in my elbow which resulted in surgery.

I scored my pain level at the beginning of the trial at a 7 – 8.

The best part of the Quell is that it is 100% drug free, doctor recommended and clinically proven, and has a 60-day money back guarantee and a 2-year warranty for any technical defect, so you are on a win, win situation right from the start.

I started using the device after following the Quick Start Guide and I also looked at the information on the Quell Wesite. It tells you to use the device for at least two to three full 60-minute session per day for the first few weeks to ensure that you give the technology time to work.

With my pain being in many places and not just in one spot I was interested to see how it would work. I didn’t expect it to take all the pain away, but some release was better than none.

The app that you download on your smartphone or tablet will track how many sessions you complete each day but as I was taking my device away on holiday with me I was unable to use it this way, as I turn off data roaming on my smartphone while in Europe.

When the Quell is working, the initial feeling is a tingling or buzzing sensation like a tens machine but at no stage did it become uncomfortable for me. Its technology will automatically adjust the intensity of your stimulation ensuring that you get the exact amount of pain relief you need. Initially I felt that for a woman, having something strapped to your calf would be a bit inconvenient but you can always wear it in bed or under trousers.

It’s simple to collaborate the Quell with the company using their Simple 123 set up. It has a rechargeable battery that will run for an average of 30 hours on a single charge and is extremely easy to operate. The electrodes are meant to be used for approximately 2 weeks and then disposed of so unfortunately this means there is an ongoing purchase needed to continue with the pain relief.

It delivers the treatment for an hour, then it stops but you can change the frequency in the app. The app shows you how long you have left of your treatment, and you can stop or start a session any time you want. You can also stop Quell manually if you are not using the app simply by pushing the button on the device four times quickly.

When I arrived on my holiday I was desperate for some pain relief and I found I could soon walk for longer and the pain was down to a 4 -5 (in my foot). I wasn’t expecting miracles for the rest of my pain but walking without a limp was a great advance for me.

I decided to wear it at night and used it every night while away. It has three settings for sleep, Bedtime only – this cycle only lasts while falling asleep and turns itself off once you are asleep (this is the one I used ) Gentle overnight – this cycle continues throughout the night but at a lower intensity and Full power – this cycle continues through the night at the same setting as you have it on for using during the day.

There is in-depth information on the Quell website where you can also find a user manual, instructional videos and troubleshooting tips. They also have a dedicated Customer Care department and will answer any questions or concerns you have.

I think most of us chronic pain sufferers want a quick fix which this isn’t but patience is a virtue and the Quell will without doubt help alleviate some of your pain, which at the end of the day is all we wish for. In a study published in the Journal of Pain Research, 80% of participants responded to the Quell reporting that their chronic pain had improved in 60 days.

Overall, I would give it the thumbs up and is more effective than a Tens machine.

 

 

 

 

TOP TEN OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS THAT CAN CAUSE BACK PAIN

Apparently, sleeping policeman can be one of the worst culprits so driving can be quite high on the list.

People in the construction industry due to all the lifting of heavy goods.

Cooks as they have to lift heavy pans of vegetables.

Cleaners as they have to bend and stretch so much.

Joiners as there are heavy objects to lift and awkward positions to work in.

Store check out personnel as work requires workers to stand in one place for a long time.

Extensive driving, particularly in the haulage business.

Construction workers personnel who climb ladders or work on scaffolds are at risk for falling.

Nursing home workers, including nurses as transferring a patient between their bed, bathtub, and toilet requires lifting, carrying, holding, pulling, pushing, and turning.

Dentists and Surgeons as both professions require prolonged standing, stooping, bending, and awkward body positioning.

 

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF PAIN…

The Secret Life of Pain is an article in New York Times which a friend sent me to read, and I just felt I had to share with my pain pals.

The article starts off by telling you about the double life that David Roberts, a former academic physicist and diplomat who lives and works in New York City.

He goes on to explain how he hid is chronic pain in many ways, one being that he had an orthotic cushion inside his briefcase and would make a joke out of sitting on the briefcase. He also wore a corset and heat wrap which he disguised under his tailored suit. He had become adept at hiding his back pain from everyone except his family.

He would even sneak upstairs when working at conferences to get some pain relief from his wife who would work on his back. Eventually he had to tell the Embassy where he worked about his double life.

He had medicals and tests and saw a number of people in the medical field but no-one said they could help him. So he joined what he called no-hopers at Mayo’s pain rehabilitation centre. 

At this clinic pain was treated quite different to anywhere else where they explain that the brain becomes addicted to dramatizing pain, and the more you feed it, the stronger the addiction. So, they said, don’t dwell on the pain, and don’t try to fix it – no props, no pills, and eventually the mind should let go.

Obviously he said he was a bit skeptical at the beginning but after reading up on it as much as he possibly could he began to understand that this was quite logical. He decided to give the Mayo clinic program a go. Stripped of all his props the clinic told him to turn his mind towards his breathing.

He tried it, and noticed that as he sat and concentrated on his breathing he could see flickers of awareness. After practicing every day for a couple of months, he was able to sit back and see the difference. Although they try not to talk about the pain anymore, he knows his props are locked up in a cupboard, out of view. He says that the old panic doesn’t rise like it used to, the sensations rise and fall but that he now acts and looks like a healthy man.

I found this article inspirational, and although I have written in the past how I feel that my writing takes me away from my pain, maybe I am wrong and that writing takes my mind away from my pain by focusing on something. Obviously this is no quick fix but certainly ‘mind over matter’, must come into the equation of coping with life in chronic pain.