As a long time sufferer of lower back pain, I have tried a plethora of physical therapies for relief. This one sounds like it has some positive possibilities. For the record, I have experienced acupuncture and acupressure in the past with very good results.
A recent study finds that acupressure, a traditional Chinese medicine technique, can improve chronic pain symptoms in the lower back.
Michigan Medicine illustration
“Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles, pressure is applied with a finger, thumb or device to specific points on the body,” says Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Michigan Medicine and lead author of the study. Continue reading
Besides the arthritis pain that greatly restrains both hands, I recently underwent oral surgery and had a pain reliever prescribed for after-care. For the most part, I live without taking pain relievers. I use topical solutions like CBD Oil, Australian Dream Cream, Mustard Seed Oil regularly for my hands as well as Chinese exercise balls for flexibility. Nonetheless, pain relievers can be a temporary solution at times. It helps to know what you are putting into your system.
Headache? Have an aspirin. Back hurts? How about some ibuprofen? Feeling feverish? Time for some acetaminophen.
Over-the-counter pain relievers are often the first thing we turn to when we’re injured or under the weather, and for good reason. They can be extremely effective at reducing pain, fever and inflammation.
But because they’re in just about everyone’s medicine cabinet and you don’t need a prescription to buy them, it can be tempting to treat them a little too casually — taking too many, too frequently or for the wrong reasons.
We talked to Patricia Russell, MD, a primary care physician at Rush Oak Brook, to learn the facts about over-the-counter pain relievers, including a few that may surprise you. Continue reading
I have a bad case of arthritis in both my hands. I use exercise balls, ice packs and CBD oil for temporary pain relief. That is pretty much the only pain I deal with regularly. So, I guess I have a lot to be thankful for as a guy who turns 79 in January. I do realize, however, that many seniors are not so lucky. For them, I recommend these tips from the National Institute on Aging.
Exercising when you’re in pain can be hard. You might think that you should rest until your pain disappears. But depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, exercise can help reduce your pain and improve your mood.
Most people living with chronic pain can exercise safely. In fact, research has shown that exercise combined with education can reduce one’s risk of lower back pain.
Follow these tips for exercising with pain:
- Pace yourself. Begin your program slowly with low-intensity exercises and work up from there.
- Talk to your doctor. Pain usually doesn’t go away overnight, so talk with your health care provider about how long it may take before you feel better and about what exercises you can do safely.
- Know which exercises to do. Endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises all have their own benefits, so doing a combination of exercises may be best.
- Don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. Avoid overexerting yourself when you feel good. If you have pain or swelling in a specific area, switch your focus to another area for a couple of days.
Learn more about exercising with pain from Go4Life.
I exercise regularly and I also suffer from severe arthritis of the hands, so the subjects of exercise and painkillers touch me where I live. Following is a very informative write up of painkillers in general and NSAIDs in particular by Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications
“Not long ago, I took ibuprofen after a dental procedure and was amazed at how well it worked. Millions of people have had similar experiences with ibuprofen and related medications (called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) when used for a number of conditions, including arthritis, back pain, and headache. That’s why NSAIDs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide.”
Coincidentally, I stumbled across NSAIDs by accident. You can read about it in my post – What about a bubble on my elbow?
“More than a dozen different NSAIDs are available, including naproxen (as in Naprosyn or Aleve), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Voltaren) and indomethacin (Indocin). Aspirin is also an NSAID, though it is usually taken in small doses for its blood thinning effects (to prevent heart attack or stroke) rather than for pain.
NSAIDs are fairly safe, but not risk free
“The safety profile of NSAIDs is generally quite good, especially when taken in small doses for short periods of time. That’s why several of them, including ibuprofen and naproxen, are available in low doses over the counter in this country and elsewhere. Continue reading
Filed under arthritis, chronic pain, Exercise, hand arthritis, joint pain, muscular pain, NSAID, osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis pain, pain, Pain relief, Uncategorized
Regular readers know that I have written repeatedly about the importance of happiness in our lives. A couple of the posts include, Why Should I Be Happy?, What is Positive Psychology? You can click on the happiness or kindness tags at the right to read others.
A paper published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health on Psychological Variables that Influence Placebo Responses says that “There is also growing evidence that personality may affect the placebo response. The main personality traits for which there is evidence of an effect are optimism, pessimism, trait anxiety, and neuroticism. Dispositional optimism and pessimism are habitual styles of expecting good or bad outcomes in life and therefore can be regarded as a dispositional bias in expectation. Optimists demonstrate an attentional bias for positive information and, even when faced with negative information, will tend to reframe the information in positive ways. Optimism correlates negatively with trait anxiety and neuroticism and positively with reported use of positive coping strategies in general. Scheier and Carver [another study] suggest that the general positive expectations associated with optimists lead to persistence and striving toward goals in the face of adversity. Optimism may therefore influence the extent to which a patient, given a placebo treatment, persists in the treatment and interprets it positively.” Continue reading
Chronic pain is complex. Research over the past 25 years has shown that pain is influenced by emotional and social factors. These need to be addressed along with the physical causes of pain. Chronic stress is one factor that contributes to chronic pain. The good news is that you can get natural pain relief by making relaxation exercises a part of your pain-management plan, according to WebMD.
Too often folks combat stress and pain by eating. That is a bad coping strategy. Herewith five good coping strategies from WebMD.
“Relaxation exercises calm your mind, reduce stress hormones in your blood, relax your muscles, and elevate your sense of well-being. Using them regularly can lead to long-term changes in your body to counteract the harmful effects of stress.
Don’t get stressed trying to pick the “right” relaxation technique for natural pain relief. Choose whatever relaxes you: music, prayer, gardening, going for a walk, talking with a friend on the phone. Here are some other techniques you might try: Continue reading
Filed under blood pressure, chronic pain, general well-being, happiness, health, healthy living, meditation, obesity, relaxation, Uncategorized, yoga