Pain Management Thread

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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Canoe » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:10 pm

BBadger wrote:
Canoe wrote:The machine had a series of Far Infrared "domes" that went over me while I laid on a Far Infrared heating pad, followed by a "chi machine" ...

Far infrared, beyond the spectrum of heat then?

These are from "special" electrical heating elements. The claim is it is supposed to radiate heat at the same wavelength one gets from a cedar line sauna, where the heated cedar re-radiates heat in the Far Infrared spectrum, thereby providing the "unique" health benefit of the Swedish Sauna.

Infrared 700 nm – 1 um
I though the range was divided into Near and Far, but apparently there are different schemes to divide it up within that range:
- Near Infrared (NIR) is the range of infra red closest to the visible spectrum,
- Mid Infrared (MIR) between NIR and FIR,
- Far Infrared (FIR) is the range of infra red farthest away from the visible spectrum.

And wikipedia shows Mid Infrared decided up into, in order: Short Wave (SWIR), Mid Wave (MWIR) and Long Wave (LWIR).

The claim is that FIR penetrates human tissue further than NIR or MIR, thereby providing more benefit. Some additional claims start to sound like snake oil.

I suspect (not know) the benefit arises from relaxing muscles and other tissues, including promoting blood flow through capillaries, hence letting the blood take away the bad and bring in the good, promoting the bodies own healing, while allow delivery of meds in blood serum. This is not a replacement for massage therapy or physio therapy, but it sure is a great pre-treatment to enable/maximize the other treatments. As this is not scientifically validated, I HUGELY emphasize Your Results May Vary! And HUGELY caution checking with your doctor before subjecting your body to the movement of the 'chi machine'.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Canoe » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:23 pm

Coping with pain is interesting.

If you have to take a breath, lock your chest muscles, then walk 20 feet, cycle another breath, lock your chest, walk another 20 feet, repeat, then that is what you do. It becomes automatic. You don't even notice you're doing it. Others do. Nurses on the street will, and many will stop you to ask if you're o.k.. By the way people look at you, you quickly learn to identify nurses vs. doctors among the general public.

If you are lucky enough to have your pain level be stable, your mind learns to keep that at the back of your mind as you attempt tasks. You suffer the effects of being distracted from focusing on tasks fully/normally, but the pain sits at the back until it gets significantly aggravated. I found that my first indicator of an increase in pain wasn't the pain, but I would first notice I was moving slower, differently, or was avoiding breathing. This prompts me to do a "pain inventory", where I pass my attention from head to toe to see where and how I hurt and how that is affecting me right now.

On top of the chronic pain, I once stepped barefoot on the remains of a metal post in the ground and got a rather deep puncture wound. I carefully limped to get my camera and photograph my foot and the post remains, then drove to the clinic. While I was face down on the table and the duty doctor was examining my foot, my doctor happened by and stopped to talk - my camera was sitting there on the table. The duty doctor continued what she was doing while we discussing the properties of my top end Nikon. We were interrupted by the duty doctor, stating that she was probing around inside my foot, didn't I feel any pain? I explained that I sure did, but I was accustomed to pain. Although devoid of flinching or involuntary movements, my conversion was normally verbally animated and undisturbed by her probing within my foot. One of the major signs that my chronic pain condition was improving, was that involuntary movements returned, including flinching upon application of a pain source.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby tatonka » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:37 pm

boxed for 6 years , have permenent nerve damage and knee damage from running 10 miles, 2x a week . Used to race motorcycles = broken and fractured bones . Chronic ear problems , tintitis being one . also ear drums are all scar tissue now. Got cancer at 50 and that radiation messed me up , also the 9 mths of being on pain meds which reduced me to 125lbs. Everyone of these ive used herb to help , it has worked everytime . My boss knows I smoke but he dont care
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Canoe » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:56 pm

Coping/consequences.

If you drop anything, as with a dropped knife or other sharp tool, you learn not to grab for it. The pain consequences of moving quickly/suddenly is too severe.

If you drop money:
  • it's change - you leave it,
  • it's a bill, a one or a two - you leave it,
  • it's a bill, five, ten, twenty or fifty:
    • you're unable to work, so money is dear - you step on the bill so it can't blow away,
    • while you consider:
      • the pain you will go through to pick that bill up,
      • what elevated pain you will endure after having done so,
      • and for how long:
      The Question: is it worth "paying" the value of that bill to get to not endure that pain, by walking away and leaving it there on the ground?
      How many days is that bill on the ground supposed to feed you?
Depending on your pain level and your financial circumstances, that internal debate can take quite some time.

Been there, done that, not there anymore, on the street I'll feed anyone who asks. One guy returned the favor by teaching me his trick: get the small chilli and small fries and mix them together, "grows hair on your chest".
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Thecatman » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:33 am

tatonka wrote:Chronic ear problems , tintitis being one


Same here. It does wake me early in the mornings at times. Probably got it from lighting firecrackers and shooting cap guns as a kid. Then as a teen and early to mid 20s adult cranking up hard rock like Ted Nugent and target shooting with my 22lr rifle, 20ga shotgun and 30-30 w/o hearing protection. When I go out shooting now, I have some hearing protection.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby AntiM » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:37 am

There's a low ringing in my ears, but usually I don't notice it. I still get random blasts at specific frequencies from when I worked on secure voice gear. Signalling frequencies, woooo.

Two days without calcium supplements, the knee still hurts, but less, and most of my other arthritis aches are back down to the "background noise" levels I am used to. I can live with that, although if the knee keeps it up, I'll need to have it looked at so I know what approach is best.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby BBadger » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:34 pm

I got some tinnitus after my first year at BM -- mostly something I could hear when trying to fall asleep. It faded over time, but at the time I was a bit concerned.

On the calcium supplements: it looks like other people suffer the same symptoms from taking calcium and Vitamin D, and that after ceasing their use the added pain went away. So at least it appears that the pain you've suffered from those supplements will eventually end.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:46 pm

BBadger wrote:I got some tinnitus after my first year at BM -- mostly something I could hear when trying to fall asleep.

This makes me wonder if tinnitus is nerve damage--hardly a startling thought, I realize. But the "pins and needles" that I have often seem more active when I turn out the light to sleep. I think that as the stimuli of the day fades, this stimulus takes up a larger proportion of the active nerves and seems greater. But I can feel it all the time--whenever I mention it on this thread, I am again aware that it's going on.
And the "buzz" and "pins and needles" seem like they might be the same thing in different "media".
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Elliot » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:51 pm

Amusing anecdote about tinnitus:

21 years ago I bought a brand new home in Sacramento. Living there I noticed a slight hum or hiss in the house, and I spend hours searching for it. After a couple years I traveled to Norway and stayed in the house where I grew up. Yep -- exactly the same noise.

It has become downright loud at times. I can only guess... all those race cars, power tools, target shooting, rock concerts and so forth. Wear those ear plugs, kids!
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby BBadger » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:59 pm

[quote="Elliot"It has become downright loud at times. I can only guess... all those race cars, power tools, target shooting, rock concerts and so forth. Wear those ear plugs, kids![/quote]

Definitely important, even for something like operating a lawn mower or vacuum cleaner. Still, kids should really be more wary of their ubiquitous iPod earbuds. The power output, poor ability to block out ambient noise, and uniform loudness of a lot of music these days may result in a "Generation Deaf" by age 30 or so.



Thread reply drift: speaking of tinnitus, my computer mouse emits a high pitched squeal sound from it that sounds like tinnitus whenever it is not moving. It's really annoying.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Elliot » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:38 pm

The electronic gadgets that power EL wire do the same thing. I had a 100' wire wrapped around the roof of my bus, and I had to give up using it.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby AntiM » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:21 pm

Oh yeah, I can hear el-wire. I can tolerate it now and then, but it can make me twitchy. Twitchier.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Savannah » Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:30 pm

BBadger wrote:[quote="Elliot"It has become downright loud at times. I can only guess... all those race cars, power tools, target shooting, rock concerts and so forth. Wear those ear plugs, kids!


Definitely important, even for something like operating a lawn mower or vacuum cleaner. Still, kids should really be more wary of their ubiquitous iPod earbuds. The power output, poor ability to block out ambient noise, and uniform loudness of a lot of music these days may result in a "Generation Deaf" by age 30 or so.[/quote]

The reported damage that earbuds are doing (in comparison to older headphones) have concerned me enough that I experimented and plugged an old pair of Philips "behind the head" headphones ($14) into my iPhone for a 4 mile run.

Not only do they work just fine, but the sound (particularly the bass) is dramatically better. :o
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby BBadger » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:58 pm

Savannah wrote:The reported damage that earbuds are doing (in comparison to older headphones) have concerned me enough that I experimented and plugged an old pair of Philips "behind the head" headphones ($14) into my iPhone for a 4 mile run.

Not only do they work just fine, but the sound (particularly the bass) is dramatically better. :o


Thread drift wall-of-text inbound... with footnotes too!

Remember though that it's not that ear buds are necessarily dangerous, but rather that they just have the capability of output audio at ear-damaging volume levels from the power-output of those digital music players. People just never had that kind of power literally in the power of their hands before -- let alone with ear phones that came with the player they bought.

More to the point though: any headphones/speakers can be dangerous for your hearing if given enough power. Don't expect that other headphones types are inherently safer. They may just be less efficient in producing sound -- or have different response characteristics (e.g. more bass).

The real problem in my mind is not with the ability of headphones to output loud audio -- that's more a choice matter -- but that cheaper ear-buds lack the ability to block out environment noise. Environment noise -- the sound of traffic, the engines of the buses, airlines, the crowds of the streets, etc. -- is already loud and can damage your hearing. Add that noise to the fact that you want to hear your music too and you'll be increasing the volume of your music to ear-damaging levels to raise your music above the noise-floor.

The bass you mention is important too. Lots of times the bass is what people really want to hear; however, the bass is often what gets drowned out by the environment noise. Rather than using a graphic equalizer on the music player to increase the bass response -- if that setting even exists at all -- most people will just crank the volume. You then hear the bass, but at the same time the higher-frequency spectrum of the music is also increased in volume.

The higher-frequency spectrum is where most hearing loss occurs. The most tragic part is not so much the inability to hear the treble in music, but rather your ability to decipher sound sources. Your ear and brain uses the differences in phase of the audio that it receives to determine where a source of sound is coming from. Without that ability, everything sounds cluttered. You can't tell, for example, which person is talking to you in a room full of guests. Hearing aids don't help much with this either, as they can't capture that phase information and translate it to something your brain can use for triangulation. My grandmother suffers from this (we joke that it was from listening to too much acid trance music in her youth), and she's essentially socially dead in any larger group gatherings as she can't participate in any conversations (having to yell so that she can hear us doesn't help either).

If you find yourself cranking the volume because you can't hear over the noise, try buying some noise-blocking earphones (I don't like noise-cancelling variants though). They cost more than regular ear buds [1] [2] -- or even a lot more [3] -- but you'll be able to hear your music in even the noisiest of environments at very low volumes, and the music sounds much better too. Not only that, you won't be fatigued by the environment noise, such as the engine noise on airlines, or even the engine of your car.

I own [3] and while some may balk at the price ($225), I've used them for nearly a decade, often daily. They sound great and keep my ears in good condition. There aren't many investments that get used to that extent -- and protect your health. Those headphones can output 122dB of power -- 22dB more than the pain-threshold -- but I rarely need to go above -35dB in the volume [4] even on airlines sitting near the wing.



[1] Etymotic MC5
[2] Shure SE215-CL
[3] Etymotic ER-4P

[4] Each 3dB is double the perceived sound volume. The reference 0dB is ~90% of full volume I believe.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Thecatman » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:52 pm

Never thought of using ear plugs while vacuuming. While mowing the front yard (whatever it is that's growing out there) I do use them now, which I didn't do while growing up. While growing up I'd use a power edger and deliberately hit the concrete curb with the metal blade just to see the sparks. Didn't wear safety glasses either ,which I do now.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby fernley1 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:44 pm

I have Tinnitus in both ears, can hear the hiss most of the time.
I hear F-16's at idle, boost pumps on a C-130, and a lower frequency hum.
Thats what working on different Air Force aircraft for 26 years do to them.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Oldguy » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:37 am

For the last couple of months, I have been taking Allopurinol for my Gout. I still have some pain at times at movement. My Uric acid blood levels are going down. It only took my doctors 2 years to find my problem, a non-cancerous cyst on my left kidney. I occasionally treat my " twinges " with aspirin, which works ok. Gout ... who knew ? :coffee:
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby KinestheticThought » Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:14 am

Anyone else out there ever had facet injections? If so, please pm me...
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby KinestheticThought » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:11 am

KinestheticThought wrote:Anyone else out there ever had facet injections? If so, please pm me...


Facet injections helped significantly (reduced my pain 9 to 3), but didn't last as long as I'd hoped. However, there is a nerve-ablation procedure that would kill those nerves for 1-2 years (depending on how fast the nerve regenerates), which is what I think I'm gonna need.

Following the facet injections not lasting as long as we'd hoped, the pain was averaging 5ish instead of 3ish, but was still significantly reduced from what it was (8-9ish)...so I tried the next idea/treatment: an occibital nerve block (hoping to bring my 5 to 0-1ish)..

Well, that was Thur and my pain has just gone through the sky.

The good news, however, is that I now have a better understanding of where I am injured and what to do (and not do) to fix it. I've looked at lots of images of the nerve structures and think I have a better understanding now of why I hurt the way I do, and what I can do to get better. So that's good.

GOOD NEWS:
I can and will get better.
I also have a better understanding of my body, including these important nerves.

BAD NEWS:
It's gonna take time. Gonna be at least a week before I can see the doctor that will order either additional facet injections or ablation surgery, then have to get insurance approval, then schedule. *deep breath/sigh*

****Distractions and/or love gladly accepted. I'm happy to help someone else with their problems, exchange hugs, share art, talk about the weather, or any number of other topics. But please, help me feel supported/distracted in the next few days/weeks. PMs and emails welcome :) Thanks! :-)
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Canoe » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:52 am

> the pain was averaging 5ish instead of 3ish, but was still significantly reduced from what it was (8-9ish)

If you can get it under 8, that's a huge improvement in quality of life.

> I now have a better understanding of where I am injured and what to do (and not do) to fix it.

That's certainly good news!!!

> I can and will get better.

Truly great news!!!

p.s.
In addition to medically addressing the pain, and of course the cause of the pain, can you get a reference to a pain management clinic? There they know all of the tricks techniques regarding living well with pain. Which, in practical terms, means living as well as you can.

Among those techniques, sharing. You've seen that you get some benefit from sharing your experiences & frustrations here, and likely elsewhere. Turns out such is well known to actually reduce suffering. Not the level of pain, but the suffering you have from it. Not sure how that works, but I saw for over a decade that it does work. In addition, I've seen many second hand cases where that helped, and dozens third hand. Being able to share at a clinic where they know this could be rather beneficial to you. I was at a pain clinic for an assessment, carefully and slowly making my way to the door, when a nurse made a comment about my looking in pain. Invited, I made a few acknowledging then depreciating comments, when I realized "... but I'm sure you've heard this before." Her response was "But we haven't heard it from you before."

p.s.s.
Don't forget the trick about finding some contact/exposure to nature, even if just looking out the window...
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Elliot » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:09 am

:D
This sounds like good progress, KT! A rough road still ahead, yes, but you will get there.

I've been thru similar stuff. A couple years ago I collapsed in a heap on the floor at the local pain specialist's front desk. I drove down there, parked, walked in... and that was all I had. A few Trigger Point Injections later I was "mo betta".

Passing out in the waiting room was kind'a... unseemly. But that too... passed. :D
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Canoe » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:11 am

p.s.s.s.
(My Pain has been a little aggravated for some days. I've been pushing to do more than I can right now. It's been ranging up around 5 to 7 with regular spikes to 8, 8.5 and a few hit 9, fortunately quickly recovering if I stop moving and pause my breathing (which is a little rough, as over the years I've grown accustomed to breathing...). If I sit still long enough (which also means no typing, so it took 50 minutes to type this and the last half of the previous post), it will recover back to sixish, which is pretty good.)
So I'm up early (in pain today), when a friend emails me with a subject line of "MLK day", and I'm like wtf? Did he forget the "i"? Am I getting milk to go with the chicken he brought me the other day?
Inside the email: "I think today would be MLK day, US markets could be closed?"
When I get it, it was immediate LOL, which is both what I need and NOT what I need, spiking up to 9 again for a few instants...
Oh well. wtf
Time for that old classic, meds & bed. But it's great knowing I'll be fine in a few hours. This time I'll take the morphine, trading the headache it gives me for relief from the other pain. Likely 5, possibly 4, and down to 3 while I lay still, which is great. I can take 8 on a regular basis, but 8.5 and 9 are special. I'm sure glad I'm past where life was those continuously.
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Re: Pain Management Thread

Postby Elliot » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:18 am

I've been awake since 1, and got up at 5. No idea why. Perhaps I mixed up my sinus medicines -- have a nasty cold.
Hey Canoe, you have an avatar!
All right, KT, when you get up later, I'll tell you about the weather here: Dry. Official Drought. Night frost. Nice days.

Hmm, maybe it's time for my mid-morning nap. :wink:
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