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More Pain Patients Rejecting Opioids




Rejecting opioids, pain patients find relief with marijuana

“It’s a little strange for me to be part of this world,” said the 52-year-old freelance writer, who lives in Cambridge. “I’m the straightest arrow, the unlikeliest stoner.”

But in 2015, she joined the thousands of people who have registered with the state to legally possess marijuana for medical purposes. And she is among an unknown number of people who use marijuana to quell chronic pain. For them, cannabis brings relief without the perils and discomforts of prescription opioids.

 

Having Trouble Getting Your Pain Medications? You Are Not Alone!

According to a new study, 50 percent of patients are having difficulty getting from their doctors and pharmacists.

 

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/9/12/half-of-patients-have-trouble-getting-pain-meds

 

 

Not Sure About Your Tailbone Pain? It May Be a Pilonidal Cyst.

Pilonidal cyst (pie-low-NIE-dul)

  • pilonidal abscess
  • pilonidal sinus or
  • sacrococcygeal fistula
  • pilonidal disease

A cyst or abscess near or on the natal cleft of the buttocks that often contains hair and skin debris. There seems to be some debate as to how the community refers to Pilonidal Cysts and or Pilonidal Disease.  What can be agreed upon is that the condition is a painful one.  I would liken it to an ingrown hair in your butt crack near your tailbone:)

Symptoms include:

  • Pain generally located near your tailbone
  • Redness
  • Drainage/Discharge
  • May Be Smelly

Risk Factors

  • Pilonidal cysts most commonly occur in men in there 20’s
  • Recurrence is common
  • Having excess body hair
  • Having thick or course body hair
  • Being Obese
  • Being inactive
  • Having a sedentary occupation (i.e.) truck drivers
 Treatment Options
  • Pilonidal Cyst Home Treatment Options
    • Keep Area Shaved – Remove the Hair
    • Keep Area Clean – Wash with Mild Soap Twice Daily at least
    • Steer clear of perfumed creams or gels to clean the area as they may make things worse
    • Avoid Tight Clothes
    • Try To Avoid Long Periods of Sitting – get up and move around
    • Essential Oils
      • Jojoba
      • Tea Tree
      • Peppermint
      • Sage
    • Epson Salt – Warm Bath or Sitz
  • Pilonidal Cyst Medical Treatment Options
    • Drainage – cyst is excised at the doctors office.  Your doctor will numb the area with an injection and then make a small incision, draining the cyst.
    • You may be given antibiotics so any infection won’t spread.
    • Surgery – in certain cases the entire cyst needs to be removed.  Oftentimes the doctor will leave the wound open and pack it with dressing so it can stay dry.

 

The Currency Of Chronic Pain #Spoonie

It often occurs to me that I’m forced to make decisions and choices that most normal healthy people can’t imagine.  I believe there is a common term among the chronic pain community, that uses the idea of spoons as our currency.  The Spoon Theory, as it has come to be known, was coined by Christine Miserandino in a blog post on her blog – www.butyoudontlooksick.com.  So, if you see the #spoonie hashtag now you know what it means.  In all honesty, I had no clue what a spoonie was until recently. I guess it sounded a bit goofy so I never really bothered to see what it actually was referring to.  I guess its crazy to me that we have to be so literal.  Like why can’t people in chronic pain be taken at their word? In any case, I guess having a chronic disease or chronic pain puts me in the #spoonie club.  Not quite sure how I feel about it.  In a way it shows some solidarity in a very lonely space.  On the other hand, it’s another label and I don’t love labels.

What do you guys think?

 

 

Hyperextended Knee – Help My Knee Bent Backwards!!

What Is a Hyperextended Knee?

Knee hyperextension (Genu Recurvatum) in simple terms is when your knee is straightened beyond your joints normal range of motion.  More technically speaking knee hyperextension is a condition where the back of the knee joint opens too far and the tibia is allowed to slip backwards.  The normal range of motion of the knee-joint is from 0 to 135 degrees in an adult. Full knee extension should be no more than 10 degrees, so once you surpass that you are getting into hot water.  As you can imagine, the damage from a hyperextended knee can range from mild to severe.  A severe hyperextended knee can involve meniscus tears and/or ligament tears including your ACL, PCL, or MCL.

Symptoms You May Have a Knee Hyperextension

  • You either hear or feel a pop at the time of the injury
  • Swelling or Inflammation
  • Instability – unable to bear weight or continue your activity normally
  • Pain in the back or on the sides of your knee



Treatment Options                                                                          

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Elevate – get your leg up
  • Crutches
  • Compression
  • Knee Brace
  • Physical Therapy
  • Surgery
    • If there is ligament damage or tear involving your Anterior Cruciate, Posterior Cruciate, or Medial Cruciate ligaments
    • If there is cartilage damage or tear involving your Meniscus

For a mild knee hyperextension, you can expect your knee to heal in 2-4 weeks. For sever knee hyperextensions with additional injuries such as a meniscus tear and ligament tear (acl,pcl,mcl), it will probably be necessary to have surgery.  In surgical cases recovery times will vary and be much longer.

Consulting a doctor is the only way to know which treatment option is best for you.

Medical Marijuana – Yes? No? Maybe So?

The debate over medical marijuana is definitely bubbling in the United States at the moment.  Many U.S. states now have active medical marijuana laws, but the federal government still classifies it as a Class I controlled substance, which is illegal to possess. In fact, on August 11th The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said would not camedicalmarijuanall for reclassifying marijuana, dashing the hopes of advocates of legalization and rejecting calls from some states and members of Congress who say growing knowledge and public acceptance should result in looser regulations.

With strong supporters on each side of the debate, the arguments for and against the legalization or marijuana are hot topics.

What side of the debate are you on?

As a person living in chronic pain, living in a state wherein medical marijuana is mostly illegal, the thought that medical marijuana could improve my quality of life is both intriguing and frustrating.

Intriguing because there is a growing body of research that suggests it’s a viable option in the fight against chronic pain.

For example according to one a 2012 study,

Cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for opiates in the treatment of chronic pain.

There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of medical cannabis as an adjunct to or substitute for prescription opiates in the treatment of chronic pain. When used in conjunction with opiates, cannabinoids lead to a greater cumulative relief of pain, resulting in a reduction in the use of opiates (and associated side-effects) by patients in a clinical setting.¹

Another study by UCSF suggested patients with chronic pain may experience greater relief if their doctors add cannabinoids – the main ingredient in cannabis or medical marijuana – to an opiates-only treatment. The findings, from this small-scale study, also suggest that a combined therapy could result in reduced opiate dosages.²

Both studies are similar in both nature and conclusion.  The moral of the story is that there is a growing amount of evidence that medical marijuana can and is improving chronic pain patients medical marijuanaquality of life.  That being said, many of us will never be able to find out if it could help ease our battle with chronic pain.  The fragmented state of marijuana legalization does not help matters.  Some states have full legalization where others have none and pretty much everywhere in between.

I’m hopeful yet skeptical that at some point in the near future the federal government will make the move to legalize marijuana across the board so that each state doesn’t have different laws.  Honestly the current situation is a nightmare.  To know that there is an opiate alternative and not have legal access to improve your own quality of life, is depressing to say the least.

As always, much love

Leave me a note and tell me your opinion on the state of medical marijuana legalization.

¹J Psychoactive Drugs. 2012 Apr-Jun;44(2):125-33. Review. PMID:22880540
²Donald Abrams is the lead author of the paper; co-authors are Paul Couey, BA, and Mary Ellen Kelly, MPH, of the UCSF Division of Hematology-Oncology at SFGH; Starley Shade, PhD, of the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies; and Neal Benowitz, MD, of the UCSF Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
The study was supported by funds from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 

What I Wouldn’t Give? Trade This Pain Away!

Have you ever considered what you’d be willing to give away or sacrifice to get rid of your chcrying,pain,chronic painronic pain for good?

This is one of my many funny thoughts as I live this chronic life. I have come to the conclusion that I would gladly go through drugless childbirth a few times if I could live the rest of my life pain free. Probably give up an arm. I know it’s morbid in a way but hey pain sucks.

What would you trade if you could get rid of your chronic pain?

Stop Suffering From Neck Pain at the Base of your Skull?

Ever have neck pain at the base of your skull and not be able to tell if its a headache or a neck ache?
A severe headache at base of skull pain may radiate to the shoulder and alter the function of the shoulders and neck. The pain can make the muscles in the neck firm and inflexible resulting in stiff neck. It can radiate down to the arms, causing arm weakness. With severe pain, it will be difficult for the neck to bear the weight of your head and the neck may bend on either side. Considering an adult head weighs around 10 to 11 pounds (4.5 to 5 kg), there’s a lot of pressure.

Pain at the base of neck is responsible for an occipital headache.  The vertebrae of your neck (cervical spine) support the weight of your head and all its motions, which may not seem like much – until you consider your head weighs as much as a bowling ball. When your neck bones are not positioned properly, the result is tightening of the muscles and irritation of the nerves that connect with your head.

Any of the following can contribute to a headache at the base of the skull.

  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Poor posture
  • Slipped Disc
  • Arthritis
  • Trauma
  • Bone Spur
  • Skull Base Tumor
  • Stress
How do I make it stop?
One very common cause of tension headaches is rooted in the neck, resulting from muscle tension and trigger points. At the base of the skull there is a group of muscles, the suboccipital muscles, that can cause hSuboccipital_muscles_-_animation04eadache pain for many people.
Pain from the suboccipital muscles commonly feels like a band wrapping around the head.  Also, tension in these muscles may cause compression of a nerve that exits the base of the skull, and trigger pain that wraps over the head and above the eyes.
So you see the headache is sometime an actual pain in the neck!  Now what?  With muscle rooted headaches it seems that one could start by eliminating some of the causes that one can control such as posture and stress.  We are all guilty of looking down at our phones too much:(  I’m sure technology is a contributing factor to many a skull base headache!
Other helpful therapies could include
  • warm/cold compresses
  • massage
  • chiropractic care
  • anti-inflammatories
  • muscle relaxants
  • traction
  • physical therapy
  • surgery
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.

Interested In Guest Posting?

I have had some inquiries regarding possible guest posting opportunities.  If any of you are interested in contributing to the blog just drop me an email at admin@beyondmypain.com.  Let me know what your interests or expertise is and we can go from there!

As always much love!

 

Pudendal Neuralgia – Rare and Devastating Pelvic Pain

What is Pudendal Neuralgia?

Pudendal neuralgia is a rare painful neuropathic condition caused by inflammation pudendal nerveof the pudendal nerve. The condition can affect both men and women. The pudendal nerve runs through your pelvic region, including your genitals, urethra, anus, and perineum. Your perineum is the area between your anus and genitals.

Pudendal neuralgia was first described in 1987 as a painful, neuropathic condition involving the dermatome of the pudendal nerve by Amarenco et al.1

The International Pudendal Neuropathy Association estimates the incidence of this condition to be 1/100,000; however, most practitioners treating patients with this condition feel the actual rate of incidence may be significantly higher (Hibner et al, 2010). Pudendal neuralgia can occur in either men or women although about two thirds of patients are women.

Also referred to as

  • pudendal neuropathy
  • pudendal nerve entrapment
  • cyclist’s syndrome
  • pudendal canal syndrome
  • Alcock’s syndrome.

What Causes It?

Damage to the nerve during surgical procedures in the pelvic or perineal regions

Transvaginal Mesh Surgery

What Is Transvaginal Mesh?  How Does Surgery Contribute to Pudendal Neuralgia?

  • Transvaginal mesh is a term used to describe a surgical mesh used for repairing pelvic organ prolapse
  • Direct Injury to the pudendal nerve during surgery is commonly found to cause Pudendal Neuralgia

Trauma to the buttocks or pelvis including childbirth

Cycling

Bio-mechanical abnormalities (e.g., sacro-iliac joint dysfunction, pelvic floor dysfunction)

Chronic Constipation

Compression from lesions or tumors in the pelvis

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Primary Symptoms

Burning, numbness, increased sensitivity, stabbing or aching pain, abnormal temperature sensations in pelvic region

  • Other Possible Symptoms
    • Pain sitting
    • Loss of sensation, difficulty achieving orgasm or pain after orgasm; possible scrotum/testicular pain
    • Problem with urinary retention after urination; urethral burning with or after urination; urinary frequency
    • Pain with bowel movement; constipation.
    • Buttock sciatica including numbness, coldness, burning sensation in legs, feet, or buttock, often due to a reaction of the surrounding muscles to the pain in the pelvic region
    • Pain with intercourse in females
    • Erectile dysfunction in males

What Are My Treatment Options

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medication Management
  • Botox
  • Pudendal Nerve Blocks
  • Pudendal Nerve Decompression Surgery
  • Neuromodulation
  • Intrathecal Pain Pump

 

 

Amarenco G, Lanoe Y, Perrigot M, Goudal H. [A new canal syndrome: compression of the pudendal nerve in Alcock’s canal or perinal paralysis of cyclists]. Presse Med 1987;16(8):399

Disclaimer

I’m not a health care professional. All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider for medical advice.