THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NERVE BLOCK AND FACET JOINT INJECTIONS…

As my readers will have read before I had great success with lumber facet joint injections for low back pain. I have never had facet joints injections in my cervical spine but nor have I had a nerve block in my lumber spine so it’s interesting to find out the difference between them both.

The cost is definitely different for these two injections with the facet joint ones coming out a lot more expensive.

To explain the difference with these two types of injections I will start with a facet joint injection which is a type of steroid injection that is administered to a very specific set of joints. Steroid injections directly into these joints of concern can help relieve both inflammation and pain in the neck or back. Several injections to different facet joints may be needed depending on the site of pain.

As explained by the Spine Institute of North America a nerve block injection can be done anywhere along the spine. This particular injection targets the sympathetic nervous system and helps to reduce inflammation in nerves that branch from the spinal cord and the ganglia that is present at a particular location. Nerve blocks are a form of pain management as the substance that is injected numbs the nerves and helps to block pain signals. This one can consist of a local anesthetics, steroid and lidocaine (a numbing agent).

In a facet injection procedure, a physician uses fluoroscopy (live X-ray) to guide the needle into the facet joint capsule to inject lidocaine (a numbing agent) and/or a steroid (an anti-inflammatory medication). If the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the pain generator is the specific facet joint capsule that has just been injected.

A nerve block injection is also done using Fluoroscopy (live X-ray) to ensure the medication is delivered to the correct location. If the patient’s pain goes away after the injection, it can be inferred that the back pain generator is the specific nerve root that has just been injected.

So, basically both injections administer similar drugs and both are done using live X-ray but they are put into different parts of the spine. Why they vary so much in price is something I cannot seem to find out about except that you seem to need more than one facet joint injection at each session. Let’s hope that nerve block injections funding doesn’t change to a postcode lottery like the facet joint ones have done.

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SPONSORED REVIEW ON FAY FARM’S SERENITY CBD LOTION FOR ANXIETY AND NERVE PAIN…

“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “

THE FAY FARMHandmade Organic Bodycare....

The Fay Farm Serenity CBD Lotion was sent to me to try for Fibromyalgia and nerve pain and to then write a review on it.

The CBD Lotion is said to help with nerve pain and the added cannabidiol oil in this lotion can help to improve relief from anxiety as well as nerve pain.

The Fay Farm was started by Stacy Anderson and Michael Yocco, both from the Bay Area in Whidbey Island, Washington. They both had farming in their roots and began to search the Northwest for land when they came across Whidbey Island. They made an immediate connection with the Island and it’s locals and natural landscape.

They are dedicated to creating quality natural body care products and offer extensive lines of natural Shea body butters as well as highly acclaimed Healing Hemp Salve. Their warming muscle rub has been used for the relief of sore muscles, rheumatoid arthritis, cluster headaches, migraines and as a pre and post workout balm.

The Serenity CBT Lotion which I tried is made with organic ingredients which included hemp oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, essential oils, chamomile, green tea, passion flower, skullcap and much more.

They added the cannabidiol oil to their Serenity Lotion to provide improved relief from anxiety and nerve pain. I have been putting the lotion on nightly before bed as I was suffering badly with nerve pain in my feet and low back at the moment. As many fibromyalgia sufferers know, nerve pain can suddenly start anywhere in our bodies and arrive out of the blue.

For a number of years I used to go regularly to see an aromatherapist who would massage me with oils that had relaxing effects on my muscles to help with my pain. When she retired I never found anyone that mixed the oils the way she did, but the minute I opened the bottle of the CBD Lotion the scent took me back to those treatments which I found so beneficial.

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I found the scent of this lotion extremely relaxing which I am sure helped me to go off to sleep. It definitely helped my foot nerve pain which frequently woke me up. Several of their ingredients come right from their farm which is located in the rain shadow of the Olympics near Seattle, Washington. The milk from their herd of Nubain goats and herbs from their greenhouse ends up in many of their products so you can’t get closer to nature than that.

My sister is also suffering from nerve pain at the moment and has Myasthemia Gravis and is riddled with Rheumatoid arthritis and I feel this lotion would help her greatly.

The Fay Farm has offered a discount for my readers on their products. If you type in ‘back pain’ in the comments box while placing your order you will receive 10% off and free shipping for any products you may buy. For further details head to The Fay Farm Product page.

DULOXETINE FOR NEUROPATHIC AND CHRONIC #PAIN WEEK 4…

PAIN...

As you will see from my post on 11th March I was about to embark on trying Duloxetine for my chronic pain.

However, in order to try Duloxetine I have had to reduce my Tramadol right down to 100mg a day and my Amitriptyline to the lowest I could manage on. I started on 30mg of the Duloxetine tablet a day increasing it to two a day of 30mg and then in after two weeks just one a day of 60mg.

Unfortunately I ended up in a real mess with my pain. My worst pain is the sciatica down my leg which I was really hoping the Duloxetine would help but it didn’t touch it, and with my Tramadol down so low the pain was excruciating.

The only way I could relieve the pain slightly was lying flat with my heat pad and taking Paracetamol regularly, but my sleep was also disturbed. I cope with pain 24/7 but “I” control it, and without my usual medication I had no control over it. Sleep deprivation is bad enough anyway as I am sure many people can relate to this but pain and sleep deprivation just make it all worse.Deprived Sleep...

I saw my GP today and we decided I should just go straight back onto what I was taking before and she will let the Pain Consultant know the outcome. I have another appointment next week for some Physiotherapy so I am hoping that I can get some help with the sciatica as my next injection isn’t for another couple of months.

I’m a bit disappointed but I will always give anything they offer a try, as you just never know you could be trying something that worked great.

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Swine Flu Vaccination – what awful side effects

Hi all,

I’m sorry I haven’t been here for a few weeks but I’ve had a trying time over the last couple of weeks helping my daughter get over some surgery she had to have but I felt quite proud of myself on Tuesday when I left to come home. At the end of the day I’m a middle aged lady and left my daughter early evening to get on a bus on my own to the tube to get the tube on my own to St. Pancras International to get on the train on my own home !!! Did I do well or what? The most important thing of course was that my daughter got better soon and nothing would have kept me away from helping her when she needed me most.

When I got home I had an appointment with the nurse at my doctors for a swine flu vaccination which my Doctor felt I needed, so, off I popped for the jab in the arm which of course was nothing but I was in no way prepared for the side effects of the injection after having had numerous other flu vaccinations without any problems.

The first thing that started to bother me was my arm which went as stiff as a board so bad that I couldn’t even lift it up and then I was woken in the night with what felt like every muscle in my body aching and in pain. I’d had my usual concoction of drugs before I went to bed and so when the pain woke me up all I could take was Paracetamol which didn’t touch it. I made every effort to get up and get ready to take my dog for her morning walk but I found the wind outside too painful so came back and went straight back to bed.

The pain go no easier but got so bad that my husband started to get a bit worried and told me to try and find out if it was normal to suffer so badly from the injection.

I decided the best thing to do was to go on the Internet to find out what the side effects of the vaccination were and everything I was suffering from were listed so our feeling of anxiety soon left us and I realized it would soon be over.

After another restless night I felt tons better this morning although far from 100% yet but after suffering what I can only presume was a taste of the real flu, I am just so pleased I had the vaccination done.

I’ve got my epidural a week on Tuesday and just feel grateful for another few days to get over this before having another needle stuck in me !!

Well I hope your all well and nearly ready for the Christmas fun. I’ll be back before then though, take care all.

Non-surgical treatments for neck pain

As you know I try very, very hard to control my back and neck pain but in particular I find the neck/thoracic pain very troublesome and debilitating.

I love making things with my fingers and decided I would knit some fun mug cozies for the family for Christmas to dress up the Christmas table. Now we are only talking about 45 stitches and a few inches long and I had them made in a night but if you had seen the state I was in afterwards, you would have thought I’d done ten rounds in the boxing ring.

I couldn’t even raise my arms without pain and the only thing that helped in the end was my electric head pad which I lay on in bed. I had an awful night but decided today that I would ring up the pain clinic tomorrow to request another epidural as I think I have slipped through the net it has been such a long time since they contacted me.

I then spent some time reading on the net and one of my favorite sites is spine-health which seems to have everything about spinal problems and I came across an article about non-surgical treatments for neck pain.

It said that with the help of the forum community of neck pain sufferers, they have managed to compile some suggestions that have worked for these people, who certainly know what it’s like to deal with neck pain on a daily basis.

Take a Swim – well when I read this as the first option I thought the rest would be what I already know but then when I read on a little I realized that maybe I could go swimming – not to swim but to float as they stated that forum members noted the therapeutic effects that swimming has on back pain and neck pain, specifically in reducing inflammation, providing quick pain relief and allowing for unrestricted movements.

Some of the ways to do this were simple things like getting the water level up to the neck and simply moving around squatting until the water reaches the chin, and then moving back and forth and to the right and to the left.

Another suggestion was to utilize a Water Pillow which is something I have never tried before. It said that the rejuvenating effects of water pillows allow patients to dictate the firmness of their pillow. Specifically, more water equals a firmer pillow; less water provides a softer pillow. So now I’m going to find out who sells them and give this a try.
For me even the greatest pillow has no chance against neck pain that interferes with my sleeping, so I would be delighted if I found something that would help.

Of course, various supplements were suggested with some that stimulate the hormone Melatonin (which is highest prior to bedtime) and allowed some to at least get some much-needed quality restorative sleep. I am afraid I have tried every single one in the health store and supermarket and just when I get excited that I think I am sleeping better I have a terrible night but I would never give up on this as there are so many more to try. My Doc will not give me sleeping tablets as I am on so much medication. I guess it would totally knock me out.

One thing they did suggest was to take Magnesium as many cases of neck pain are the result of muscle strains or sprains, speaking with a nutritionist about magnesium (an essential mineral that helps contract and relax muscles) so that may be worth learning more about as some forum members noted how taking magnesium helps with muscle tightness in the neck.

I knew that Acupuncture had to be on the list and as you know I have had very little help with this and had many many treatments which again seemed to work at first then nothing the next time. But it did say that some people find no benefit whatsoever so I don’t think I am on my own on that score.

But deep tissue massage which was mentioned is something that I find does help me but is only for a short time but as I find it very relaxing I try and have one a month but its not a cheap form of pain relief at the end of the day and often depends on the skills of the practitioner. Remedial massage was another one mentioned which I must admit I have not tried and as I have a spa day package given to me by my son on my birthday I think it will be something I could try. However I am always a bit skeptical that they may not know enough about the type of surgery I have had.

Holistic treatments like aromatherapy (during which essential oils are used for relaxation and mood improvement), meditative music, candlelight, etc. were also suggested but again that is something I use and do all the time – in fact I could not cope without my meditative music when I am lying awake in pain at night.

It then went onto say how limiting instances that often spur and exacerbate neck pain (like sitting at a computer for long periods of time, driving, heavy lifting, other activities that require heavy use of the arms) have helped achieve relief, but for me there is so little left that doesn’t bother it that my life would not be worth living if I stopped everything and I think i know how to pace myself after all these years.

One thing they did suggest which my Physio told me to do recently when I had a lot of numbness was to put ice on different areas of the body (between the thumb and index finger, on the bone 1.5-2 inches behind the ear, on the indent between the middle of the eyebrow) to help achieve relief from such symptoms. The main reason I have not tried this is just simply because I am a warm person and just the thought of something cold on me would put me off trying it, but apparently one creative forum member noted using a headband to secure the ice in these different spots and on the temple. And when his neck pain got really intense, he suggested slowly moving to and lying on the floor with a towel behind the neck.(Yuk !, how uncomfortable does that sound :??

Finally it suggest sharing experiences with other neck pain sufferers which may help spark other ideas for achieving desired pain relief and at least provide comfort that there are people out there who really do care but I know I have my blog friends who care so I don’t need to go to any forums for that help.

So, after taking it all into consideration I think I should try the swimming (I mean floating) in a pool, a water pillow, start taking Magnesium and try a remedial massage. Ice is something I really don’t think I could try unless it was very hot lol 🙂

Thanks for reading my blog friends :wave: