(Closed) Chronic pain and no help.

posted 7 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
425 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Ugh, I am so, so sorry. I have a hip malformation (called FAI) that causes chronic pain, though not at the level you’re at. It sometimes interrupts my sleep, hurts just to sit at a desk or ride in a car, and sidelines me from running and lifting, which I love. Last week the pain was just constant. Anything besides lying down was uncomfortable. 

One thing that has helped a lot is basic breathing/meditation exercises. Lie down in a quiet space, breathe long breaths (5-8 counts on the inhale and and equal exhale. The inhale should be an expansion of your muscles. Imagine the oxygen traveling through your body, especially to your back and wherever else hurts and really breathing into those spaces. A lot of time chronic pain causes us to tense our muscles around the site, exacerbating the pain. Really focusing on relaxing those muscles through breath helps tremendously.

My yoga teacher (who is trained in restorative/rehabilitation therapy) also told me that pain is associated with rapidly firing neurons. If we can quiet those neurons (relaxing, lying down, listening to calming music) that can help relax the pain. 

Lastly, calming thoughts about your pain while you’re relaxing and breathing helps too. My yoga teacher admits it is a little funny, but she sometimes has patients “talk” the joint or muscle that is in pain in their head. Asking it what it needs, wishing for its calming recovery, are some of the things she suggests. 

I know it sounds suuuuper hokey, but I think a lot of pain can be managed by quieting the brain and the breath. I didn’t realize how much anger and frustration I felt towards my hip until I went through one of her exercises. That inadvertently led to a tightening and tensing of the muscles around it. Calming that frustration and verbalizing loving kindness towards it in my head, and really trying to breath into the joint and relax it helped tremendously. (This all sounds crazy as I type up but it works. So much of what we feel and perceive is related to our mental state. If we are tense and upset it will negatively impact us physically. If we are calm and relaxed, it positively impacts us physically.)

I am one of those people who always used yoga as a hardcore workout and skipped out before sivasana, but I really see the benefit of yoga and meditation to pain management. I try to do around 10 minutes every day to help my hip. 

This is not a “cure” but hopefully it can help quiet the pain while you seek doctors’ help for the long-term problem. Don’t hesitate to get second, third, fourth opinions,  find doctors that specialize in your exact trauma, and do what it takes to get there. My condition is still pretty new and a lot of doctors have never heard of it. I am finally making an appointment with one of the only 10 or so specialists in the US in July to take the next step (probably surgery). Had I stopped at the first or second doctor, I would be out of options now. 

Wish you all the best and hope you find peace amid the pain! xo

Post # 4
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Ask for tramal (but gives headaches and nausea) or Lyrica, or Topamax, but it sounds like you have a pinched nerve to be getting numbness and spinal canal stenosis.

Post # 5
Member
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Honestly, it kind of depends on what the pain is? I know it sounds silly, but it really may help your doctors be able to give you the right kind of pain meds. Have you been able to describe the quality of it to your doctors? It doesn’t sound inflammatory at this point (which is what Ibuprofen would be best for)

Is it tingling/stinging/stabbing?

Is it dull/throbbing/aching?

What makes it better?

What makes it worse?

What is your pain on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain IMAGINABLE)? What is the average? What is the highest in your normal day? What is the lowest? I would recommend keeping a diary of this from now until you see a practitioner to try to show them some kind of pattern.

Have you tried physical therapy at all?

Be sure to tell your doctor all of the pain meds you have tried AND whether they have taken your pain away.

Tramal in the US is called Tramadol or ultram. Lyrica and topamax are generally for the more neuropathic (burning, tingling, stabbing) kinds of pain, but they’re not necessarily first line. This might sound a little odd, but some of the tri-cyclic anti-depressants are actually also first line for this kind of pain. They’re just used at much lower doses than they would be in someone taking them for depression.

 

Sorry if this was too much. Just know that you still have options. I hope you feel better!

Post # 6
Member
2559 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m starting to study pain and just wanted to chime in that since pain is so subjective and some medications only work for some people, etc, there’s not always a quick fix like a magic pill that’ll take your pain away. Especially post-trauma/surgical or other relatively poorly understood pain. But that’s not to say give up – keep trying with doctors and scans and anything you can do! Just be prepared that it may take a while to get to the bottom of it. Also different types of drs will have different solutions (chiropractors vs general meds vs a medical clinical psychologist), so there’s always those options to explore as well.

Good luck and I empathize, I had four years of an all-consuming pain and vividly remember how it impacted my life, so I hope you get relief ASAP.

Post # 7
Member
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I can’t believe they haven’t ordered an MRI yet. I really hope the MRI sheds some light on what’s going on. 

I had issues with low back pain that finally got so bad I could barely walk. I had been to a chiropractor and he told me that my spine was malaligned and all this stuff. But his treatments didn’t help at all.  I finally saw an orthopedtic spine specialist and he ordered an MRI. It turned out I had 2 herniated discs in my low back.

He gave me a steriod injection to help the muscles relax and relieve some of the pain and then put me on steroids and muscle relaxants as well as a 3 month course of physical therapy. 

That was in March and my back is now 100% back to normal. I have to be careful to keep my core muscles strong to support my spine but once I got the right treatment for my injury things got better.

I really hope this MRI sheds some light on what is going on.

Also, I was told not to use heat, but to use ice. Heat draws more blood to the area and if the muscles are inflamed and spasming it’ll just inflame them more and increase the pain whereas ice will slow bloodflow to the ara and help with the inflamation and spasming. 

Only a doctor can truely tell you what’s wrong, but I think getting an MRI should be first on your list becasue x-rays cannot show soft tissue damage (like disc herniations).

Best of luck to you.

Post # 9
Member
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@SouthernGirl:  I’m so so sooooo sorry to hear that! Hopefully the MRI will shed some light on some things and help you get some relief!

Post # 10
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

ohhhh, i feel your pain. i had a herniated disc in my lower back that had bothered me for years – but it was never properly diagnosed and just kept getting worse.  i literally could not sit and would come home from work crying because i was in so much pain.  i had lots of physical therapy, stretching, etc, and the doctors would give me meds for muscle pain. i had an xray, but that doesn’t really show anything if it is a disc issue. finally, an awesome physical therapist with a ton of experience suggested i ask for an MRI from my primary care doctor. once i had it done, the problem was completely obvious (i mean, even someone with no medical training could tell something was wrong) i got a referral to a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion.  both recommended surgery (microdiscectomy) but that is a whole other story… hopefully, your insurance will cover a referral to a specialist – once they figure out the real problem, they can really treat the cause of the pain and you will feel tons better very quickly. i never tried it, but several friends have recommended acupunture in addition to conventional medicine/procedures. 

oh, and if you are faced with a decision regarding possible surgery for any reason, feel free to reach out – i did a ton of research before i decided to go forward with it. 

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