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Are You Making Your Pain Worse?

No one wants to be in pain, and most of us will do anything we can to avoid it. But what if your daily habits were making your pain worse? What would you be willing to give up?

Bad Habits for People in Pain
Chronic Pain Spotlight10

Medical Marijuana for Nerve Pain

Sunday July 11, 2010

Well, we found something else medical marijuana can help: chronic nerve pain. This comes from the International Anesthesia Research Society, or IARS. Using a compound similar in makeup to marijuana, they were able to significantly reduce neuropathic pain symptoms in adults. What's even better is that this compound, currently called MDA19, successfully treated chronic nerve pain without the usual painkiller side effects.

This is great news, considering how hard it is to treat neuropathic pain. Often, pain doctors prescribe painkillers originally designed for other uses, such as anticonvulsants or antidepressants. Even then, pain may not be well controlled.

Here's hoping that MDA19 research carries on! This could be a major breakthrough for people who suffer from chronic nerve pain every day.

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Happy Independence Day!

Sunday July 4, 2010

Today we celebrate Independence Day. This is a holiday filled with celebrations, gatherings and of course lots of explosives. Having recently had a baby, however, this is a holiday during which my husband and I will be leaving the party early so that we can put our daughter down in time for her bedtime. And our plan to still join in the celebration, minus the fireworks, got me thinking: anyone with any chronic pain condition can still enjoy a holiday. You just have to moderate!

So, rather than indulge in too much picnic food, have a little taste of your favorite barbecue fare and load up on the veggies. If sitting outside and craning your head to watch the fireworks leaves you in pain, why not watch a display on television? If heading out of the house is too much today, why not just give your friends and family a quick call, and let them know you are thinking of them this holiday?

Having chronic pain doesn't mean you can't enjoy the same things you used to: sometimes it just means you have to find another way to work a holiday into your life. Happy fourth. Enjoy it any way you can!

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Coping Strategies for Chronic Pain

Wednesday June 30, 2010

I talk about coping strategies for chronic pain pretty often. In fact, I have an entire page devoted to coping strategies for chronic pain shared by readers. And today, I have three new strategies to share.

As an occupational therapist, I am frequently tasked with the job of making life easier for people in pain. Here are some strategies I learned back in the college days that still apply today:

  • Energy conservation. Energy conservation revolves around saving your body some effort during routine tasks. For example, sitting instead of standing in the shower can prevent fatigue.
  • Work simplification. Work simplification involves taking your day to day routines and making them easier. Buying wrinkle-free clothing can save you from some of your weekly ironing.
  • Joint protection. Joint protection techniques prevent unnecessary strain on your joints during daily activities. One example is using a jar opener in the kitchen.

Check them out, and see what techniques you can apply to your daily routine. It can only help!

Spotlight on Neuropathy

Saturday June 26, 2010

What is neuropathy?

Neuropathy is one of six main types of chronic pain. It's pretty common, so chances are good that you or someone you know has one of the many different types of neuropathy. Neuropathy is another term for neuropathic pain, a condition that occurs when the body's nerves are damaged or simply not functioning properly.

While many cases of neuropathy are caused by disease (such as multiple sclerosis) or nerve irritation (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), some cases are a mystery (such as phantom limb pain). One thing is certain, however: treating neuropathy is often a challenge.

Now's your chance to chime in: do you have neuropathy? If so, how do you cope?

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