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Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Pain Therapy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Therapy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Coping with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is physically and psychologically stressful and its constant discomfort can lead to anger and frustration with yourself and your loved ones. By definition, chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than six months and affects how a person lives their daily life. While physicians can provide treatment for the physical dimensions of chronic pain , psychologists are uniquely trained to help you manage the mental and emotional aspects of this often debilitating condition.

Several medical treatments may be used to alleviate chronic pain, including over-the-counter or prescription medication, physical therapy and less utilized treatments, such as surgery. However, these options are only a few of the pieces necessary to solve the puzzle of chronic pain. Mental and emotional wellness is equally important — psychological techniques and therapy help build resilience and teach the necessary skills for management of chronic pain.

The Following Tips are for Coping with Chronic Pain:

Manage your stress. Emotional and physical pain are closely related, and persistent pain can lead to increased levels of stress. Learning how to deal with your stress in healthy ways can position you to cope more effectively with your chronic pain. Eating well, getting plenty of sleep and engaging in approved physical activity are all positive ways for you to handle your stress and pain.

Talk to yourself constructively. Positive thinking is a powerful tool. By focusing on the improvements you are making (i.e., the pain is less today than yesterday or you feel better than you did a week ago) you can make a difference in your perceived comfort level. For example, instead of considering yourself powerless and thinking that you absolutely cannot deal with the pain, remind yourself that you are uncomfortable, but that you are working toward finding a healthy way to deal with it and living a productive and fulfilling life.

Become active and engaged. Distracting yourself from your pain by engaging in activities you enjoy will help you highlight the positive aspects of your life. Isolating yourself from others fosters a negative attitude and may increase your perception of your pain. Consider finding a hobby or a pastime that makes you feel good and helps you connect with family, friends or other people via your local community groups or the Internet.

Find support. Going through the daily struggle of your pain can be extremely trying, especially if you’re doing it alone. Reach out to other people who are in your same position and who can share and understand your highs and lows. Search the internet or your local community for support groups, which can reduce your burden by helping you understand that you’re not alone.

Consult a professional. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by chronic pain at a level that keeps you from performing your daily routine, you may want to talk with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, who can help you handle the physical and psychological repercussions of your condition.

Article Provided By: American Psychological Association

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Pain Management, Pain Therapy, Pain Relief, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Truths

5 Hard Truths about Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain—often associated with conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis or osteoarthritis—can be accompanied by many frustrating realizations. If you are living with chronic arthritis pain, understanding and accepting these truths can make you better equipped to confront challenges that arise, head on.

1. Medication may not eliminate all pain

A major challenge of living with a degenerative disease like arthritis is that medications may become less effective as the condition progresses.

Taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), may eliminate mild arthritis pain, but may be less effective in reducing moderate or severe pain. Similarly, prescription pain medications, such as celecoxib (Celebrex) or a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac sodium (Voltaren gel), may become less effective as arthritis progresses. In addition, current medical treatment guidelines recommend that the use of opioids for arthritis or similar degenerative conditions, should be avoided and reserved for only exceptional circumstances.

Finding relief from chronic pain will involve trial and error and might not be as simple as taking a daily medication. A willingness to try alternative therapies, such as tai chi or yoga, and a supportive health care team can help you live with chronic arthritis pain.

2. Chronic pain is isolating

Chronic pain can be debilitating and keep you from doing the things you enjoy. You feel lonely and isolated. This is especially true if others don’t understand what you’re going through or why you can’t just overcome it.

The easiest way to combat this isolation is to make connections with others who know what you’re going through. For example, online chronic pain forums and exercises classes tailored for people with arthritis (such as an aquatics exercise class) allow people with chronic pain to find each other and share support and experiences.

3. Chronic pain is unpredictable

Each person’s experience with chronic pain is completely unique. Two people can have the same condition and be in the same general health, and yet their pain experience can be completely different.

When it comes to chronic pain, the amount of tissue damage does not necessarily predict the pain that will be experienced. This is very true for those with arthritis. For example, someone with a badly damaged joint may feel only minor pain, while someone else with only mild joint deterioration can be in serious pain.

4. Chronic pain doesn’t help the body heal

Acute pain due to tissue damage from something harmful—like touching a hot surface or a sharp object—acts as a warning to the brain to take evasive action and avoid further injury. But with chronic pain, the nerves are sending repeated signals to the brain for no protective purpose. Chronic pain can be very frustrating since it is not as simple as finding the cause of the pain and “fixing it,” like in acute pain. Even when pain starts as acute pain resulting from tissue damage, the pain can linger long after the tissues have healed.

5. Chronic pain triggers other health problems

Those with chronic pain are much more likely to have depression, fatigue, sleep problems, and more. Often, these problems increase the pain, triggering a dangerous downward cycle both physically and emotionally.

The health problems that accompany chronic pain can be identified and treated at the same time chronic pain is being treated. Treating sleep problems and depression, for example, can help increase your quality of life even if the pain intensity is unchanged.

If you have chronic pain and you struggle with some or all of these factors that make life difficult, seek emotional support from others who understand what you’re going through. Also, don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor and share how chronic pain affects your day-to-day, so you can work together on finding appropriate treatment options for both the pain and the suffering.

Article Provided By: Arthritis Health

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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5 Things to Know About Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important that your friends and family know what you’re going through. With this in mind, here are 5 things to know about chronic pain that you can share with your loved ones:

1. Chronic pain is real

People with chronic pain are often treated as if they are making up (or at least exaggerating) their pain. But the truth is that all pain is real, even if there is no known cause. Additionally, almost all people with chronic pain want nothing more than to be pain-free.

So what your friend or family member needs from you is your support and kindness, not condemnation. Statements like “Get over it” or “It can’t be that bad” don’t accomplish anything other than to discourage those with chronic pain.

Thankfully, there is an increasing consensus in the medical community that all chronic pain is real, and that it needs to be treated even if there is no known cause.

2. Chronic pain commonly leads to disuse syndrome

Chronic pain often leads to long-term lack of physical activity and a condition recognized as disuse syndrome. This syndrome can negatively impact your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, psychological, and emotional processes. At its worst, disuse syndrome leads to a pervasive lack of wellness that in and of itself can be debilitating.

Of note, disuse syndrome can both perpetuate and increase the likelihood of chronic pain worsening over time.

3. Chronic pain commonly leads to sleep-related problems

Chronic pain can create a troubling cycle when it comes to sleep. That is, chronic pain can make it harder to sleep, and in turn a lack of sleep can make chronic pain worse.

Common sleep-related problems caused by chronic pain include an inability to fall asleep, constantly waking up at night, and not feeling refreshed upon waking up in the morning. Because of the close connection between sleep problems and chronic pain, the two need to be treated together.

4. Pain is deeply personal

Everyone persons experience of pain is different. For example, two people may have the same condition, and one may display no ill-effects, while the other may be incapacitated. When it comes to back pain, this is especially true. Two people can have the same type of herniated disc, but one feels only slight discomfort and the other feels burning, debilitating sciatic pain.

There are a number of possible reasons for this, including individual physiology, a person’s upbringing, etc.

5. Happiness does not equal health

Often times, when a person with chronic pain is smiling or having a “good day,” people assume that the person is not experiencing pain. However, this is not necessarily the case.

It is important to recognize that a person can be happy and at the same time be experiencing pain. So be careful to not assume that a friend or loved one is “healed” simply because they seem to be enjoying themselves.

The bottom line

There are so many secondary and related issues that accompany chronic pain that it would be a real challenge to address them all. This list is intended to at least get the conversation started—and for anyone living with any type of chronic pain , please pass this along to your loved ones to help them better understand and support you.

If you have chronic pain, your may also find it does you a world of good to have increased emotional support, more effective and sustainable pain management, and even possibly harnessing the power of your mind to assist in coping with the pain.

Article Provided By: Spine Health

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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Chronic Pain Diets That Work

Chronic pain is defined as pain that has lasted for longer than three months and is generally unresponsive to treatment. Many times your diet can be effecting your pain, so it might be time for a chronic pain diet.

Creating a chronic pain diet 

One of the ways that many chronic pain patients find improvement over time is through a holistic chronic pain diet. Although “diet” usually refers to fad weight loss plans or severe, “quick fix” changes, diet in this case means making healthy lifestyle changes that are meant to be permanent and functional. Improving the quality of the food you eat to improve your health should be “usual and customary food,” in the truest dictionary definition of the word “diet.”

For many, the information on dietary changes for chronic pain can be overwhelming and difficult to sift through. Here is the ultimate guide to a chronic pain diet to make it easier.

Step 1: Talk to your doctor 

Every change in your treatment plan should start with a conversation with your doctor. They may be able to recommend specific resources related to your diagnosis.

Step 2: Find the chronic pain diet that works for you

Not all diets are created equal when it comes to managing pain symptoms, but there are a few that have been shown to result in longer, healthier lives. Below, we cover four diets that embrace holistic lifestyle approaches to food that may also have the benefit of pounds lost. What’s more important is how you’ll likely feel once you start these.

Many of these diets follow the same basic guidelines (e.g., focus on fresh food, eliminate or cut back on sugar, etc.) but what matters most is what’s sustainable for you and your lifestyle. Managing chronic pain through diet is not a quick fix, and going back and forth from healthy eating to old habits won’t work.

Step 3: Focus on your symptoms

While there are some similarities in diets that work for chronic pain, there are some specific tips that apply more to some conditions than others.

For example, people with arthritis may want to focus their efforts on losing weight. Eating for weight loss may bring about lasting pain relief, especially for those who suffer from arthritis in the knees and hips.

These types of eating plans are best combined with exercise and can help ease pain by:

  • Relieving weight-based pressure on the joints
  • Providing more energy and ease in daily tasks
  • Improving mood

For rheumatoid arthritis, there is growing evidence that a vegan diet that eliminates all animal products is effective for pain relief when other approaches are not.

Arthritis is not the only type of chronic pain that can benefit from a specific chronic pain diet overhaul. Fibromyalgia is a whole-body pain condition that is characterized by tender points that can flare to unbearable levels of pain. Diets that may work well for this condition include:

  • Macrobiotic dietAlong with eating fresh food in season and plenty of traditional Japanese foods such as tofu and miso soup, this chronic pain diet advocates energy work and maintaining a positive outlook.
  • Paleo diet: A Paleo diet focuses on healthy fats; grass-fed, organically raised meats; fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. This diet also eliminates all processed foods, all added sugar, and preservatives or artificial additives. The research is largely anecdotal, but as the foods consumed on this diet are anti-inflammatory, it stands to reason that proponents would feel some level of pain relief .
  • Vegetarian diet: If eliminating all types of animal products (including honey) is not for you, those with fibromyalgia might consider trying a vegetarian diet on for size. If committing to eliminating all meat and fish all at once is too much, try Meatless Mondays or becoming a weekday vegetarian to start.

Step 4: Manage stress

While not a typical piece of advice when considering making a significant change to your diet, stress can throw every good plan out of whack. Stress eating is a real thing, and even just one day of fat- and sugar-filled indulgence can be enough to cause a painful flare-up of symptoms.

When daily life becomes hectic, stay on track with stress-busting comfort foods. You can snack and still stick to a pain-healthy diet.

Step 5: Focus on health

Sure, cutting back on sugar and focusing on whole, fresh foods will help you drop some pounds, but the end goal is not weight loss. The end goal with a chronic pain diet is overall health and wellness. To that end, make all of the changes based on what is good and healthy for your body. It’s not about getting a “bikini body” or squeezing into your high school jeans. Changing your diet for pain management and increased well-being goes far beyond those goals. Love the body you are in while making positive, healthy changes.

Step 6: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Oscar Wilde

Except for extreme cases or doctor-ordered, life-preserving dietary changes, there is nothing wrong with an occasional indulgence. You may be more likely to stay with a new chronic pain diet if you allow yourself a little wiggle room every now and then. Dark chocolate is very nearly a superfood, and an occasional sweet-tooth satisfying bite can actually help you stick with your other changes. There are many satisfying swaps for your favorite foods (even burgers and pizza) that require just a little creativity.

How To Create A Chronic Pain Diet That Works | PainDoctor.com

Chronic pain diets that can help

When the word “diet” is mentioned, most people think of restrictions: a long list of everything you cannot eat, followed by strict portion control and feelings of guilt on “cheat” days.

It’s time to re-think what “diet” means, starting with the proper definition. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “diet” means “The usual food or drink of a person.” Technically, under this definition, a “diet” could mean a steady stream of soda and chips, but that is obviously not optimal. Instead of thinking in terms of restrictions and calorie or fat-gram counting, there are a few diets that work to change “the usual food and drink of a person” into something that is delicious, nutritious, and supportive of good health.

Here are four diets that actually work to keep you healthy and satisfied.

1. Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is less a diet and more a way of life. This way of eating and living is based upon geography in the Mediterranean region of the world, a geography that focuses on fresh vegetables, seafood, seeds and nuts grown in the hills, a generous amount of olive oil, and a glass or two of daily red wine.

In addition to the food basics of the diet, the Mediterranean culture centers around the pleasures of eating, featuring long, leisurely lunches of delicious foods, traditionally prepared. Key components of the Mediterranean diet include:

  • Fresh fish at least twice a week
  • Minimal red meat
  • Olive oil replaces butter and is used generously
  • High concentrations of fresh herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Primarily plant-based foods are featured, including seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Eliminates processed foods almost entirely
  • Red wine in moderation

This diet is recommended for heart health. Those on the Mediterranean diet also showed reduced incidence of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. One study found that women who followed the Mediterranean diet lived beyond 70 and about 40% did so in good health; that is, they aged without major health issues or chronic conditions.

2. The Okinawa diet

Another traditional diet (are you seeing a pattern?) that helps more of its adherents reach the century mark in good health is the Okinawa diet. Japan has the largest proportion of centenarians in the world, based in large part on their traditional, regional diets. This diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, based on the fruits of the sea and the land and steeped in traditional ways of preparation.

Featured in the Okinawa diet are:

  • Three or more servings of fish a week
  • Traditional soy products such as miso and tofu
  • Pickled items like radish and vegetables
  • Seaweed
  • Very little processed foods
  • No butter
  • Little, if any, dairy products
  • Use of medicinal herbs and spices, such as turmeric and ginger, in all preparations
  • Sweets in moderation, traditionally prepared

An Okinawan meal would feature plenty of rice, a bit of fish or tofu, pickles for digestion, and vegetables either steamed or stir-fried. Dr Craig Willcox, a gerontologist who has spent years studying the Okinawans and their centenarians summarizes the benefits of the Okinawan diet like this:

“The Okinawans have a low risk of arteriosclerosis and stomach cancer, [and] a very low risk of hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.”

Professor John Mather, a director of the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University, says that these traditional diets work the same way in the body. He notes:

“All of these diets work on similar mechanisms. One hypothesis is that the secret about ageing is to avoid accumulating molecular damage, and eating fish, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and not so much red meat, dairy or sugar may help us to reduce that kind of cellular damage.”

For more information on how to implement this way of eating, take a look at this site for meal planning, recipes, and shopping help.

3. Mayo Clinic diet

This research-based diet has two phases. The first phase may be what we think about when the word diet is mentioned: weight loss. The second phase is what diet should really mean: a healthy lifestyle change in the way you eat. The Mayo Clinic diet follows these basic guidelines:

  • Cut sodium levels
  • Reduce intake of saturated fats and eliminate transfats
  • Eat plant-based proteins more frequently than animal-based
  • Keep meats lean and limit servings
  • Include two servings of fish weekly
  • Eat unlimited amounts of fresh vegetables
  • Restrict or eliminate refined sugars and grains
  • Just add water – hydrate
  • With the exception of vegetables, watch portion sizes

In addition to these dietary changes, the Mayo Clinic diet stresses adding more activity to your day to ramp up weight loss and increase health. Along with the other diets, the Mayo Clinic diet is great for heart health. Its main focus though is reducing health risks associated with obesity. Losing weight and increasing physical activity lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. The emphasis on long-term lifestyle change can help people sustain their healthy habits and live healthier lives in general.

4. Weight Watchers

The research on Weight Watchers is in, and the results are good. Two recent studies say that it does work for weight loss and can help people develop healthy eating habits for life. The key to Weight Watchers is the support system. Here’s how it works:

  1. Meeting with a nutritional counselor or completing a survey online
  2. Determining the number of daily “points” you will be able to consume, based on weight, BMI, activity level, and goals
  3. Follow up with meetings and check-ins

Weight Watchers stresses that they are not a diet plan, per se. Although they sell their own food that has the number of points printed on the packaging, they also offer a long list of other foods and their point values so that people can make their own choices. One of the criticisms of this system has been that the Weight Watchers-branded food is processed and filled with preservatives, but they are constantly adding point values so that you need not rely on pre-packaged food.

This program also focuses on the health benefits conferred by losing weight and increasing activity. The personal support and long-term coaching helps people to stay in the program and increases their chances of losing weight and keeping it off. While the program does not explicitly focus on certain types of food, fruits and vegetables have lower point values than fats and sweets, allowing you to eat more of what is healthy and less of what is not.

Weight Watchers offers an extensive printable list of point values as well as online options for people who cannot meet in person and one-on-one coaching for those who need extra support.

Get help

It’s time to stop thinking of dieting as something you only do to drop a few pounds. Diet is a whole life makeover with far-reaching benefits to health and wellness. For more help managing your chronic pain diet, contact a pain specialist for more information.

Article Provided By: Pain Doctor

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Relief, Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Pain Therapy, Carpal Tunnel, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Facts

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy refers to a problem with the peripheral nerves. These nerves send messages from the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body.

The peripheral nerves tell the body when, for example, the hands are cold. It can lead to tingling, prickling, numbness, and muscle weakness in various parts of the body.

Peripheral neuropathy can affect a range of different nerves, so it can impact a variety of locations in different ways. It can affect a single nerve, or several nerves at the same time.

It is also associated with a number of different underlying medical conditions. Sometimes there is no identifiable cause.

It affects some 20 million people in the United States (U.S.).

Fast facts on peripheral neuropathy

Here are some key points about peripheral neuropathy.

  • Neuropathy is a common complication of a number of different medical conditions.
  • It can involve the autonomic nerves, the motor nerves, and the sensory nerves.
  • Sometimes it affects a single nerve or nerve set, for example, in Bell’s Palsy, which affects a facial nerve.
  • Physical trauma, repetitive injury, infection, metabolic problems, and exposure to toxins and some drugs are all possible causes.
  • People with diabetes have a high risk of neuropathy.

Treatment

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a mononeuropathy, which affects a single nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a mononeuropathy, which affects a single nerve.

Treatment either targets the underlying cause, or it aims to provide symptomatic pain relief and prevent further damage.

In the case of diabetic neuropathy, addressing high blood sugars can prevent further nerve damage.

For toxic causes, removing the exposure to a suspected toxin, or stopping a drug, can halt further nerve damage.

Medications can relieve pain and reduce burning, numbness, and tingling.

Managing neuropathy

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may help control pain. These are available over the counter.

Topical ointments and creams, such as capsaicin 0.075 percent cream, containing chili pepper, may ease pain. Patches are also available.

Treating mononeuropathies

When neuropathy is caused by compression of a single nerve, treatment is similar whichever nerve is involved. The approach depends on whether the compression is fixed or transient.

A palsy of the ulnar, radial, or peroneal nerve may be transient and reversible, simply by avoiding the cause of the nerve compression. For example, a person with ulnar nerve palsy should not lean on the affected elbow.

The patient may be advised to rest and to use heat and a limited course of drugs to reduce inflammation.

In carpal tunnel syndrome, conservative therapy includes splinting the wrist, oral or injected corticosteroid drugs, and ultrasound.

If a single-nerve neuropathy does not respond to these measures, surgery may be an option. Surgery may also be necessary if the nerve compression is fixed, for example when caused by a tumor.

Referral to specialist pain services or a relevant clinical specialty should be considered at any stage if:

  • pain is severe
  • pain significantly limits daily activities and quality of life
  • an underlying health condition is getting worse

Symptoms

Symptoms vary according to the types of neuropathy.

Sensory neuropathy

The person may have:

  • tingling and numbness
  • pins and needles and hypersensitivity
  • increased pain or inability to feel pain
  • loss of ability to detect changes in heat and cold
  • loss of co-ordination and proprioception
  • burning, stabbing, lancing, boring, or shooting pains, which may be worse at night

It can also lead to foot and leg ulcers, infection, and gangrene.

Motor neuropathy

This affects the muscles.

Symptoms include:

  • muscle weakness, leading to unsteadiness and difficulty performing small movements, such as buttoning a shirt.
  • muscle wasting
  • muscle twitching and cramps
  • muscle paralysis

If the autonomic nerves are affected, there may be problems with sweating, heat intolerance, bowel or bladder problems, and changes in blood pressure, leading to dizziness.

Causes

Many types of neuropathy are “idiopathic,” or of unknown cause, but a number of conditions can trigger it.

Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy. It happens when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves.

Other medical conditions and injuries include:

  • Chronic kidney disease: if the kidneys are not functioning normally, an imbalance of salts and chemicals can cause peripheral neuropathy.
  • Injuries: Broken bones and tight plaster casts can put pressure directly on the nerves.
  • Infections: Shingles, HIV infection, Lyme disease, and others can lead to nerve damage.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome: This is a specific type of peripheral neuropathy, triggered by infection.
  • Some autoimmune disorders: These include rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Other causes include:

  • excessive alcohol intake
  • some drugs, for example, chemotherapy and HIV treatment
  • B12 or folate vitamin deficiencies
  • poisons, such as insecticides and solvents
  • some kinds of cancer, including lymphoma and multiple myeloma
  • chronic liver disease

Disorders of the small blood vessels can reduce blood supply to the nerves, resulting in nerve tissue damage.

Neuromas, benign tumors that affect nerve tissue, can lead to neuropathic pain.

Diabetic neuropathy

The most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. Around 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some degree of neuropathy.

High blood sugar levels cause damage to the walls of the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves in the ends of the hands and feet, and the essential organs in the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, and heart.

As a result, not only does the skin becomes damaged, but the loss of sensation further increases the risk of damage.

In the U.S., diabetic neuropathy is the main cause of foot problems and ulcers in people with diabetes. Around half of all people with diabetes are believed to have diabetic neuropathy.

Types

The nervous system is a complex web of communications in which different types of nerves interact. Peripheral neuropathy refers specifically to a malfunction of the peripheral nerves.

Over 100 types of neuropathy have been identified, each with its own causes and symptoms.

Neuropathy can affect the:

  • Sensory nerves: These nerves control sensation, and damage can cause tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in the feet and hands.
  • Motor nerves: These nerves allow power and movement, and damage can cause weakness in the feet and hands.
  • Autonomic nerves: These nerves control body systems such as the digestive or cardiovascular system. Damage can affect the heart rate, blood pressure, and other functions.

Mononeuropathy involves a single nerve. In polyneuropathy, several nerves are affected.

Examples of neuropathy include:

  • postherpetic neuralgia, which can follow shingles. Sensory neuropathy can last for many months after the rash disappears.
  • ulnar nerve palsy, following an injury to the elbow
  • carpel tunnel syndrome, a compression of the nerves in the wrist
  • peroneal nerve palsy, caused by compression of a nerve in the leg that runs by the neck of the fibular, or the calf bone, between the knee and ankle
  • Bell’s palsy, a single-nerve neuropathy that affects the face

Natural treatments

Hot or cold packs may help relieve discomfort.

Hot or cold pack may help relieve discomfort.

  • wearing fabrics that do not irritate, such as cotton
  • covering sensitive areas with a plastic wound dressing or cling film
  • using warm or cold packs, unless the problem is worsened by heat or cold

Stress-relief and other complementary therapies include meditation, relaxation techniques, massage, and acupuncture.

Some people find that using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine helps. This device interrupts nerve messages by delivering a small electric current. Its effectiveness has not been confirmed by research.

Any supplements should first be discussed with a doctor.

Outlook

The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause, and which nerves have been damaged.

Some cases may improve with time if the underlying cause is treated, but in others, the damage may be permanent or gradually worse with time.

Article Provided By: Medical News Today

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Pain Management, Pain Relief, Chronic Pain, Pain Therapy, Pain Treatment, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carpal Tunnel, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Pain Can Spread

How Your Pain Can Spread

Pain that starts in one place doesn’t necessarily stay there. Over time, pain can spread, shift, expand, or radiate, from one part of the body to another, making treatment even more challenging.

One common way that pain spreads to other parts of the body is through over-compensation, where we start to change our movement patterns to compensate for a part of the body that is injured or hurting. One typical example is a back ache caused by chronic pain in a knee or foot. When a part of the lower leg, such as a knee or foot, is chronically irritated, it can disrupt our normal body mechanics, which can lead to a limp when walking. If this altered gait pattern continues for an extended period of time, then this puts added stress on other parts of the body that may have to work extra hard to make up for weakness in the leg. Before you know it, the muscles in the lower back start to tighten up and get sore and stiff, and this can easily spread to the right hip and even up the spine to the neck.

Additional pain can also come from avoidance, where we avoid using a body part that is hurting. This often occurs when patients develop lingering pain in a hand or shoulder. As they try to keep doing their normal chores at home or activities at work, they resort to relying primarily on their opposite hand and arm. This over-dependence on one side of the body can lead to significant over-use and new pain. For example, a right-handed person who develops carpal tunnel syndrome with pain and numbness in the right hand can eventually experience similar symptoms in the left hand just by using it more.There is also something known as referred pain, and we can see this occur from painful muscle “trigger points.” Trigger points are tight and tender when you press on them, but they can also cause referred pain that appears in a different location. Because many of us spend so much time on computers or smart-phones, trigger points often develop around the trapezius muscle, which is a large muscle behind the neck, upper back and shoulder blades. Headaches, jaw pain, eye pain, and even pain the ring finger have in some cases been attributed to trigger points in the trapezius.
Nerve irritation can also cause referred pain. Sciatica is a classic example, where a bulging or herniated disc in the lower back presses on a nerve, causing pain to shoot down the back of the leg. This type of referred pain can feel like an electrical shooting sensation that radiates down the leg.The way pain gets processed in the brain can also lead to a spread of symptoms in the body. Intense nerve pain that arises from an injured arm or leg can start to crop up in a different arm or leg that was not injured. It is still not clear what causes this to happen, but the new pain that arises in the uninjured limb can mimic the original nerve pain.As you can see, there are a whole host of ways that pain can spread or move around the body. In each circumstance, the better we understand the causes, the more likely we are to treat it effectively. Reviewing how the pain feels with your health team can provide helpful clues. For example, muscular pain typically feels achy, throbbing, twitching or tight, and if you start to experience that in a part of your body that was not previously injured or affected, then there is a good chance it is due to some sort of muscular over-compensation. But if what you are feeling is more electrical, shooting, burning, or tingling, then that likely indicates nerve irritation, such as a pinched nerve from a herniated disc in the back. In many cases, restoring function and activity where the pain first started can help reduce the stress and strain on other parts of the body that get overworked. Listen to your body for clues to help guide the process.

Article Provided By: WebMD

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Emotions That Come With Chronic Pain

There is an overlap in the brain between feeling emotion and pain. This overlap may provide a path for people to gain control over their chronic pain.

According to Ashley Boynes-Shuck, a blogger and health advocate, being positive and staying hopeful while helping other people has been a wonderful way to get through the pain.

As more attention is being given by the scientific community, it is becoming more evident that the brain has evolved a certain amount of overlap between its emotion and pain centers. According to a practicing physician, “the areas of our brain that are associated with sensory perception, they share real estate with the areas of our brain that are involved in the processing of emotions.”

Since emotions are closely linked to the sensory centers of the brain, emotions may determine in part, our perception of pain in our bodies. People with chronic pain often avoid exercise and social interaction which are two activities that can often times provide relief.

Moreover, pain itself may increase negative emotions. Getting up every day with debilitating pain that will not stop can lead to frustration, resentment, and stress. People with chronic pain are also more likely to develop mood or anxiety disorders. Additionally, depressed individuals have three times the possibility of developing chronic pain. The subsequent cycle is hard to break.

Understanding the way emotions play a role in how we experience pain may provide some relief. There are many different options for dealing with chronic pain, from being evaluated by a physician or psychologist, to trying other methods like biofeedback, acupuncture, and yoga. Exercise of any kind is also a very helpful treatment for pain. Since its different for every person, depending on their age and their condition, its important to seek out personalized medicine and to find a balanced treatment.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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10 Tips for Walking with Chronic Pain

Walking is one of the least expensive and easiest forms of exercise. It only requires a pair of sneakers, a place to walk, and the motivation to begin. Once a walking exercise routine is established, the length and intensity of walks can be modified based on individual goals and abilities.

Ten simple tips for an effective walking workout routine include the following:

Talk to a health care professional

Consulting a health care provider to be sure that walking will not worsen chronic pain is important. While studies show that walking can substantially lessen the intensity and frequency of pain episodes, talking with a health care provider before beginning any new exercise regimen is recommended.

Invest in a good pair of walking shoes

A good pair of walking shoes is essential. They should fit appropriately and support the feet and legs during exercise. Walking sneakers should have good arch support and a slightly raised heel that adds support and prevents wobbling while walking.

Warm up the muscles

Warming up the muscles with a slow five-minute walk prior to engaging in a longer brisk walk helps prevent injury.

Watch breathing and heart rate

Take note of breathing and heart rate. While the heart rate should be elevated to gain cardiovascular benefits, carrying on a conversation while walking should not be difficult. If it is, the intensity of the workout should be decreased.

Focus on good posture

Maintaining good posture while walking is important. The toes should point straight ahead, the head up, back straight and abdominal muscles engaged. The elbows should be bent at a ninety-degree angle and the arms should swing with each step.

Count steps

A pedometer will track the number of steps taken or the distance walked. This will help monitor improvement and encourage motivation.

Buy a wearable fitness tracker

Wearable fitness trackers count steps and allow for friendly competitions among friends, which can offer extra motivation.

Drink water

Keeping hydrated is important, especially if walking long distances or in high temperatures. In very hot weather conditions, replenishing electrolytes with tablets or fitness drinks is a good idea.

Apply sunscreen when outside

Wearing sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses when exercising outside protects the skin from sun damage.

Select a new route

Varying the walking route helps prevent boredom. Once the body is acclimated to the amount of time and distance walked, considering a route with some hills or terrain changes will keep it interesting.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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Managing CIPN after Cancer Treatment

Though doctors and researchers are continually working to refine cancer treatments, therapies to treat the disease can still have side effects. Chemotherapy is often used as a strategy to kill cancer cells, but it can also affect the nerves that connect the spinal cord to muscles, skin, and internal organs. This condition is known as peripheral neuropathy.

“The likelihood that a person will develop peripheral neuropathy after cancer treatment varies widely, and is largely dependent on what kinds of chemotherapy drugs were given and the dosage that was used,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering physical therapist Laryssa Buoneto.

Symptoms of Neuropathy

A person’s particular symptoms related to neuropathy also may vary based on the type and dosage of drugs received. Certain types of chemotherapy affect the small sensory nerves in the feet and hands, causing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain in fingers and toes. Treatment with chemotherapy can also result in weakness, muscle cramps, and muscle fatigue.

Less commonly, chemotherapy can have an impact on the nerves that control movement and autonomic (internal) functions. People with autonomic nerve damage may become dizzy when sitting or standing up, or may experience urinary or bowel symptoms, blood pressure changes, or irregular heartbeat.

“People who experience any of these symptoms during or after being treated for cancer should discuss them with their doctor,” says Ms. Buoneto. “These symptoms are common after cancer treatment, but they may also have other underlying causes.”

Diagnosing Peripheral Neuropathy

The first step in diagnosing peripheral neuropathy is to meet with your oncologist to discuss your chemotherapy regimen, symptoms, and any preexisting medical condition that could cause similar symptoms. Your oncologist may refer you to a physiatrist (a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation), a physical therapist, or an occupational therapist for evaluation and treatment.

In a typical exam, you would be examined for cuts and injuries, which can occur due to decreased sensitivity of the skin, and evaluated for your reaction to light touch, sensitivity to sharp and dull stimulation, finger muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and autonomic symptoms.

You may also undergo neurophysiologic tests such as:

  • electromyography, nerve conduction studies, and quantitative sensory tests to further examine peripheral nerve function
  • laboratory tests to look for metabolic disturbances and nutritional deficiencies
  • imaging tests to look for other possible causes of nerve damage

“These tests also can help your doctor or therapist to tailor a treatment plan to your needs and to measure progress to see if treatments are working,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering occupational therapist Gabrielle Miskovitz. “During your evaluation, your physical or occupational therapist will ask you to think about your goals. The therapist is there to help you maximize your safety, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your quality of life.”

Treating the Effects of Neuropathy

Medications are available to reduce the pain and sensory symptoms related to chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

In addition, physical and occupational therapy can help those with neuropathy to improve balance and gait, fine motor skills, dexterity, and coordination. Many of the treatments are focused on decreasing the risk of falls, and injuries that can result from neuropathy.

Article Provided By: International Myeloma Foundation

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5 Exercises to Help Ease Chronic Pain

While medical treatments and physical therapy are vital components of managing chronic pain symptoms, increased physical activity as a daily habit can increase quality of life. Physical activity results in the release of natural endorphins; these are the “feel good” chemicals in the brain that enhance mood while simultaneously easing pain signals. Regular exercise also helps to improve sleep quality and may even result in a reduced need for pain medications.

Walking

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Walking is a low-impact aerobic activity that is safe and effectively provides the muscles with oxygen. By increasing circulation, exercise often decreases pain and stiffness.

Aquatic exercises

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Gentle exercise in warm water often aids in decreasing chronic pain symptoms. Research shows that this may be due to low impact on the joints in water-based workouts.

Stretching and yoga

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Stretching and yoga are often valuable exercises for the improvement of chronic pain. Maintaining good posture, gentle stretching and relaxation exercises are helpful pain-reduction tools to incorporate into a daily routine.

Strength training

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Strength training can significantly ease chronic pain and benefit a person’s overall health. Workouts that use free weights or resistance machines are helpful for balanced strength training. Starting slowly and building strength gradually is important to prevent injury.

Activities of daily living

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If going to the gym seems overwhelming or an individual’s chronic pain prevents them from exercising, everyday activities and daily chores can help. Routine activities, such as doing laundry, getting the mail, cooking, bathing and dressing are also valuable ways to incorporate movement throughout the day.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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