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Guide to Pain Management" - Your Health Success ezine
June 27, 2017
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Health Report: Guide to Pain Management
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Optimum Health Tip:The best foods are ones that don’t come with a list of ingredients.
If you want something “Made with Real Fruit”, buy fruit. Processed food products with such labels are rarely healthy choices.
“All Natural” on a food label may not mean what you think it does. Read the ingredients first.
If you see “Trans Fat Free”, look closer. Many of these foods are still packed with other fats you should avoid.
“Made with Whole Grains” can mean that some whole grains are used, but refined grains are also added. Read the label first.
Meal planning is a great way to ensure you eat healthfully, skip the fast food drive through and stay within your budget.
Beware of salad dressings that can ruin that “healthy” salad. A little bit oil, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice can add big flavor.
If you’re enjoying packaged snacks like chips, take them out of the bag and serve them in a single-serving bowl.
"Nature is a numbers game. We need all the support we can get as our immune systems and health are under assault from pollution, stress, contaminated food and age-related diseases as our lifespans increase."
- Paul Stamets
I have a generally optimistic temperament and am thrilled by what I see as a rapidly growing food movement, especially among young people who care about how food is produced and what it does to their health and the environment."
"Abstainer: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. "
REPORT: "Guide to Pain Management"For many people, pain is a chronic condition - or at least one that occurs frequently enough that they feel they have to seek out on-going relief for it when it rears its ugly head.
There is no one size fits all pain management tool. Everyone is different in terms of what we find effective.
You have to find a tool that's right for you - and that means understanding all of your options as well as taking precautions for safety purposes.
Understand that with long-term pain management, you might have to switch things up over time. Sometimes, with pain, a certain treatment will become less effective and you'll need to give your body a break and try something different.
One thing you need to know as you navigate this journey is that you're certainly not alone. The American Academy of Pain Management offers statistics that more than 50 million Americans have chronic pain.
It hinders your ability to work, and can result in a lower quality of life.
What Kind of Pain Should You Be Managing?
There are many conditions that cause pain. You might suffer from one - or a combination of many conditions, making your treatment more difficult - but not impossible.
Frequent headaches are the most common type of pain that men and women seek help for. They can affect you all over your head, just behind the eyes, or on one side of your head.
They can vary from a mild, dull feeling to a throbbing, blinding migraine.
Some come and go in a flash - repaired before you even have a chance to take something for it. Others won't go away, and then you're stuck having to find relief in some form.
The first thing you want to do is see what's causing your headache pain. Is it stress? Your nutrition? Do you only get it after physical exertion, or when you fail to get a good night's sleep?
You might be able to manage your pain simply by making lifestyle changes.
Sometimes you have headache pain due to other medical conditions like a sinus infection - or something more serious like a blood clot or brain tumor.
This isn't usually the cause, but if your pain never ends, it's time to make an appointment with your doctor.
Pregnancy pain is another common type of pain that people (women) seek relief for. There are many sharp, sudden or dull, lasting pains during pregnancy - and for a new expectant mother especially, this can be alarming.
Back pain affects millions of men and women - most often after the age of 30. It can be caused by a simple spasm or tenses up muscle - or something more serious like a ruptured disk or broken bone.
Sometimes it's a symptom of another disease like Scoliosis, kidney stones, or Endometriosis.
Even stress can cause back pain in a person's body because you're constantly tensed up during the day.
Like headaches, back pain can be mild and dull or sharp, intense and throbbing.
Your best bet is to be proactive and strengthen your back to prevent injuries. Lose weight and exercise your core.
Back pain can come and go. Sometimes it will only last a day, or maybe 2-3 days. But for other people, it's a never-ending chronic pain that has to be managed for a better quality of life.
Find a Pain Management Option That Fits Your Level of Pain
Have you ever been in a doctor's office where they had a cute little pain chart for you to look at? No matter what your age, the doctor will point to the smiley face chart and ask what your pain level is.
The chart typically goes from a scale of 1 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable).
The smiley face loses its smile as you go up the chart, until you see a red-faced icon with tears streaming down its face.
You need to first diagnose how bad your pain is. You don't want to be getting surgery for a mild pain, and you don't want to try treating yourself with a single dose of Aleve or Tylenol if you've just been hit by a car.
Frequency is an important part of your pain management strategy. Whichever option you choose, make sure that using it too often won't actually hinder your ability to manage your pain.
Using headaches as an example, sometimes you can actually cause your own headaches because you over-medicate. Medication overuse headaches are technically known as an analgesic rebound headaches.
Track how often you use headache medicine. Is it more than twice a week? If so, you could be doing more harm than good by taking headache medicine.
Not only can the frequency increase, but also the amount of pain that you have and the length it lasts.
If this happens, you have to rely less on headache medicine and more on other pain management strategies.
It might feel hard to do at first but then you'll actually suffer less intense and less frequent headaches.
Non-interfering relief is important to consider when working on a pain management strategy. You'll often see certain pain relievers with warnings, like you might get drowsy, you shouldn't operate machinery (like a car), etc.
If you're dealing with frequent or chronic pain, and you have to work and stay alert, you don't want to be out of it 24/7.
In fact, even if you're home, you don't want to sleep your life away, so find a management tool that lets you remain active and alert if possible.
Sometimes age will factor into the equation. You never want to give a young child or even a teen a dose of pain reliever that isn't fitting for them.
And even with elderly individuals, sometimes some medications aren't suited for them - or they may interact with other medicines negatively, so you have to be careful.
Safety with other medical conditions is important. It's not just the medications, it's the conditions themselves.
You need to make sure that if you have any kind of medical condition, you ask your doctor if a particular pain management medication is okay for you to take.
For example, let's say you have asthma, ulcers, or a liver or kidney disorder.
You might not want to take even a simple over the counter aspirin like Excedrin because it's not good for people with those conditions.
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REPORT: "Guide to Pain Management" cont:Medical Pain Management Sources
Aspirin, Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen are the most common pain relievers that you're probably used to.
You go to your local grocery store, pick up a bottle of Aleve or Tylenol, and you hope to rid yourself of the pain of a headache or even a mild aching back.
Prescription medications are the next step up. This is when a simple over the counter pill won't help dull the edge of the pain you're feeling.
But the problem with these is, you usually eel drowsy and if you work and have to drive, it can cause problems by interfering with your daily routine.
Nerve blocking can be used as a solution because it's not as invasive and risky as surgery is. This is when the doctor injects a medication directly into a spot where your nerves are causing pain to your body.
It numbs the nerves so that you don't have to feel pain in that area anymore.
Surgery is an option depending on what your type of pain is. If it's a chronic condition and pain relievers that basically keep you sedated or drowsy aren't an option, then you might want to consider this path.
Surgical treatment varies. Sometimes, a doctor can snip something (as in the case with a discectomy where a portion of a herniated disc is removed) and your pain is gone for good.
Other times, you may have to have something inserted into your body to help you manage pain. For example, back and neck pain might be managed with a pain pump or stimulator.
A pain pump delivers medication right to the source so that you don't have to run to the doctor whenever you're hurting. An electrical stimulator delivers electric impulses that help get rid of or minimize your pain.
Physical therapy can range from simple ice or heat packs to more individualized treatment where you're working one on one with a specialist to help you regain normalcy in your life.
The trainer might have you do a variety of stretches, help you gain strength in certain areas of your body, and work with you to assist in making you more flexible.
Exercise is something your doctor might actually prescribe when you're in pain. Again, back pain is a good example of this.
There are stretches you can do on the floor to strengthen and stretch muscles without the need of a trainer.
Chiropractic therapy is perfect for those who are in pain due to a misalignment of your bones and muscles. This is a natural, non-medicated option for those seeking pain relief.
Psychiatric counseling is another thing your doctor might recommend.
When you do suffer from an on-going pain issue, it can result in depression and anxiety - and that, in turn, adds to the severity of the pain.
It's a vicious circle. Having a psychiatrist to unload your emotional stress to can help alleviate your pain to some degree, and help you to better manage it using other therapies.
Natural Pain Management Options
Meditation and hypnosis are relaxation methods that you might try to relieve your pain.
Some people don't realize the power that your mindset - your mood and stress levels - have over how much pain you're in.
You might find that your pain goes from an 8 on the pain chart to a 5 or 6. This type of alternative pain therapy helps you get more mileage out of your other pain relief strategies.
Deep breathing can help. Prevention Magazine had an article about how deep breathing is commonly used in childbirth to alleviate pain - but it's not just for women delivering a baby!
At the very least, deep breathing is an opportunity for you to learn how to make the pain matter less, and not focusing on it will naturally alleviate it to some degree.
Acupuncture is a holistic practice for dealing with many things - pain being one of them. It might sound like having small needles strategically placed in your body would increase pain, but it's just the opposite.
You might even be able to manage your pain just through your nutrition choices.
Caffeine, for example, has been known to contribute to headaches. Sometimes a lack of caffeine, like when you're weaning yourself off of sodas, can cause a headache.
There are also fun ways to manage pain that have proven effective. These are off-the-wall pain relievers that you may not have considered. They include:
* Looking at pictures of loved ones
* Shouting words (swear words for some, not for others)
* Smelling an apple - green in particular
* Socialization with friends
* Listening to music for relaxation
No one should have to live in a state of pain. Even infrequent bouts can cause many people to have increased anxiety and stress.
Make sure you stay aware of the frequency and length of these episodes and talk to your doctor to see what kinds of options you have.
Remember that not all doctors think alike.
You may want to have a second or third opinion so that you get a well-rounded view of what you can do to manage and hopefully eliminate your pain for good.
Check out our online product guide here if you would like to check out some of the products I use and recommend, like Joint Support supplement and also including Tang Kuei for muscle pain relief and relaxation: Herbalife Supplements ... Use password: WT (capitalized) to open the page.
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Warren’s Notes :Further on to the Report topic this week of "Pain Management", last week I talked about finding that my sciatic nerve pain went a lot deeper than a strain or a locked muscle and that the ‘repair’ option on the table was to cut out my hip and retrofit an artificial one.
‘Hip replacement’ is a common term and it seems to be taken for granted today but when it gets personal then you see it in a different light.
That put me in the same position as so many people have been in: questioning if this was the time to engage with medical intervention or to search for alternative answers.
The guy who first introduced me to Herbalife is now a very wealthy man. I was talking with him and he said that he had similar problem and was hobbling like an old man. He is not much older than I am and is 65yo now. I imagine his issue was not bone on bone and he had more options when he reviewed alternatives.
He engaged with a procedure where they take your blood, separate the plasma, and from there create a dense liquid that they inject into the joint. This gives lubrication and frees up the pain. I believe the process needs to be repeated every 4 or 5 months.
In my own case the cartilage was 100% degenerated and the idea of ongoing procedures rather than just ‘dealing with it’ did not appeal. Medical intervention with high tech blood manipulation or medical intervention through a surgeon’s scalpel are both the same in that they are not natural healing.
With that in mind I checked on what a hip replacement means in a practical sense. I’ll put a page up on The Health Success Site about hip replacement sometime soon but basically, for a full hip replacement, they replace the whole hip joint, cutting the top off the bone and replacing with a titanium alloy head.
They then create a socket into which the joint fits and then cut the hip bone to create a space into which the new socket is clicked into place. Time them allows the bone to bind to the metals and ‘hey presto’, just like that, new hip.
Of course, there are lots of options from processes. They can ‘just’ put a new layer over the existing bone to partial replacement through to full replacement.
They can do a partial replacement with something called the ‘Birmingham Method’. There are also options of plastic based surfaces or metal, or ceramic.
In my case, with weight training in my background and, God willing, in my future, as well as the fact that I am 6 ft 2 in (186 cm), and so bigger than a lot of people, the partial options did not seem practical. Full replacement with Ceramic coating on both sides offered best option.
Next question was how do you prepare for something like this? What can you do before an operation to assist with recovery after the operation?
I was talking with my GP (General Practitioner – Medical Doctor) and I said to her that it “only hurt when I stepped with my right foot, so half the time it was fine”.
She was amused by that but then she turned very serious and said that this is much of the secret of pain management. She said that in her opinion 60% of pain management was mental. If you focus on your pain then the pain is a major thing in your life.
If you focus on the things you are doing and going to do then the pain has much less impact on the way you live your life and, indeed, on the level of pain you actually experience.
Having the hip issue issue clarified and finally understanding what was going I pulled back on weight training for lower body and concentrated on upper body instead. That seemed logical.
Within a couple of weeks my pain level had increased markedly.
I thought to myself, if is going to hurt anyway I may as well keep the muscle tone and strength. If they were going to cut the bones out anyway then even if there was a bit more damage it would not make any real difference.
I talked that through with my trainer and we moved lower body over to using weight machines rather than free weights. This allowed us to control which muscles were being exercised and how much stress was put on the hip.
Building weight level slowly, I found the muscles quickly responding and that there was plenty of strength.
What was more interesting to me was that the pain levels dropped as soon as I was putting load on the muscles again. I tried to estimate for myself the improvement and I believe that the pain level dropped by 60%.
In addition, with the whole range of Herbalife nutrition products to work with, I increased use of our calcium product to reduce my nerve pain, Tang Kuei (angelica) to keep the muscles relaxed, Lifeline (fish oils) to give the Omega 3 fatty acids as they are anti-inflammatory.
Adding the new sports products including our after exercise tablet, Restore, and a nutrition shake before exercising and the new protein shake to support muscle growth after exercise, all had impact on exercise while still protecting the hip.
I wondered how far we could take this. I only do one session on lower body and one session on upper body per week. For the main lower body exercise, I was using a leg press machine where we could protect the hip.
Week by week we increased that till topping out with all the warmup exercises and then 4 sets of 20 presses on 450 kilos (990 lbs). At that level muscles were fatigued and I knew I had been exercising but there was no complaint from the hip.
After that I backed off to lower weights to maintain muscle mass but I was very surprised that this level of strength could be maintained even with the hip issue.
I think the lesson I took out of this was that when we have a problem with our health, with our body, we need to keep investigating till we really know what we are actually dealing with.
After that I found I needed to put a program in place where I was doing as much of the things I wanted to do, and was doing before, as possible. The more I set aside the issue of the hip and focused on doing the things that I had in front on me the less pain and disruption to my life the hip caused. . . Interesting.
The weight training and activity, as well as increasing nutritional support, seemed to me to be the best way to get a head start on rehabilitation for the hip once the operation was done.
What do the kids say now? “Suck it up princess and get on with what needs to be done”. That seemed to make sense to me.
Remember, any time you want to learn more about anything in this ezine, or just need a chat about your health, drop me a line and I'll email back as soon as I can, and if you leave your phone number I'll even call you back on my dime!
Have a Laff!Chocolate RULES!!!!
If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices & strawberries all count as fruit,so eat as many as you want.
The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in hot car.
The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.
Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.
A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?
If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer
But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?
If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge.
Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually counteract each other?
Money talks. Chocolate sings.
Chocolate has many preservatives.
Preservatives make you look younger.
Q. Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous?
A. Because no one wants to quit.
If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated.
I'd give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!!!
Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.
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