Archive for the ‘Pain Management’ Category

The Social Consequences of Chronic Pain

https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2020/9/12/the-social-consequences-of-chronic-pain

The Social Consequences of Chronic Pain

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By Ann Marie Gaudon, PNN Columnist

When someone suffers acute pain from an accident or injury, a positive consequence is that it evokes care and compassion from others. However, when that pain becomes chronic, you don’t often receive flowers, cooked meals and offers of help. Your social connections may suffer, too.

That’s not a small issue for pain patients. A 2008 study found that maintaining social activities are just as important for people in pain as many of the physical and psychological consequences of chronic pain.

Let’s take a look at a short list of five ways that chronic pain challenges the maintenance of social relationships.  (See link for article)

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**Comment**

An unfortunate truth not only experienced by pain patients but any chronically ill person.

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/06/26/why-social-distancing-should-not-be-the-new-normal/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/09/02/10-years-of-headaches-vertigo-and-other-pains-dismissed-as-depression/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/03/12/no-rash-no-fever-so-much-pain-the-case-of-illy-jaffers-painful-year/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/08/13/ldn-for-pain-autoimmune-disorders-cancer-and-lyme-msids/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2020/02/23/testosterone-replacement-in-chronic-pain-patients/

New Guidelines Issued on Medical Cannabis

https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/painweek/88593

New Guidelines Issued on Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain

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— International task force shares recommendations for dosing, administering

Chronic pain patients can be treated with medical cannabis following one of three protocols based on patient characteristics, according to an international task force at the virtual PAINWeek meeting.  (See link for article)

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Among their recommendations:

  • Treat the majority of patients along the “routine” scale. This means starting patients with 5 mg of cannabidiol (CBD) twice daily. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) should only be introduced if patients do not respond to at least 40 mg of CBD daily, starting with 2.5-mg daily THC doses. THC doses should be capped at 40 mg daily.
  • Frail and elderly patients, and those with severe co-morbidity or polypharmacy should be treated via a conservative route. This means starting the THC dosses at 1 mg daily and titrating up the THC more slowly.
  • Patients suffering from severe pain and those who have significant prior cannabis consumption can follow the rapid protocol. This mean starting with a CBD-THC balanced dose of between 2.5-5 mg per each compound once or twice daily.
A task force member admitted there is a major barrier to overcome due to a knowledge gap regarding medical cannabis.

 

 

LDN For Pain, Autoimmune Disorders, Cancer, and Lyme/MSIDS

https://www.womensinternational.com/blog/ldn-endorphins-and-the-brain/

LDN, Endorphins, and the Brain

When it was introduced in the mid-1980s, naltrexone was used for blocking opioid receptors. These receptors are meant to be activated by hormones produced by the body called endorphins and enkephalins. However, opioid drugs also stimulate these receptors.

Large doses of naltrexone were originally used for treating drug addiction by blocking the body’s opioid receptors, and therefore the effects of opioid drugs, completely. In doing so, however, it completely blocked the body’s endorphins and enkephalins as well. This was ultimately harmful to health since these hormones play critical roles in myriad parts of the body, such as the immune system.

In contrast, low doses of naltrexone act by temporarily blocking opioid receptors. This causes the body to increase its production of endorphins and enkephalins. In turn, these hormones work to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and contribute to well-being while avoiding the adverse health effects associated with larger naltrexone doses.

Studies have shown that low-dose naltrexone (LDN) offers multiple health benefits. It has been used in a wide range of treatments for a variety of conditions, including:

  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Cancer
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Dry Eye Syndrome

(See link for article)

https://www.womensinternational.com/blog/low-dose-naltrexone-treating-pain-and-more/

LDN, Autoimmune Disorders, Cancer, Treating Pain, and More

The late Dr. Bernard Bihari discovered and developed the therapeutic use of low-dose naltrexone (LDN) in the mid-1980s while practicing internal medicine in New York City. He was treating drug addicts with a new drug, Naltrexone, which blocked the heroin “high.” Unfortunately, 50 milligrams daily had unpleasant side effects. When his addicts started dying from AIDS, he began to search for a drug that would help them.

Dr. Bihari knew that endorphins, small neurochemicals produced by the body, had pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. Bihari and his colleagues hired a lab scientist to measure patient endorphin levels. He discovered that his HIV patients had sub-normal endorphin levels. His team determined that LDN doses ranging from 1.75 to 4.5 milligrams increased endorphin levels by two to three hundred percent. By blocking the body’s endorphin receptors, LDN caused an overproduction of endorphins.

Dr. Bihari then started a small foundation to study the use of LDN in HIV patients. After one year, he discovered that the patients who took LDN had an eight percent death rate while patients taking placebo had a thirty-three percent death rate. He and his colleagues went on to treat hundreds of patients with LDN.

Endorphins have a positive effect on the immune system by increasing T-helper and natural killer cells. Not only does LDN help people with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), it also seems to be beneficial as an adjunct treatment for certain types of cancer.  (See link for article)

For more articles by Women’s International Pharmacy on LDN:  https://www.womensinternational.com/low-dose-naltrexone-resources/

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**Comment**

If you are a Lyme/MSIDS patient and do not know about LDN, please learn about it and talk about it with your doctor.  Many patients have benefitted from LDN which is an inexpensive, compounded drug that helps so many things patients struggle with.  For more:  

 

Live Tonight: Lyme Disease & Chronic Pain Webinar

Live Webinar: Lyme Disease & Chronic Pain – Dr. Bill Rawls

erasing pain, hand written word on blackboard being erased concept

The list of symptoms that can come with chronic Lyme disease is long and varied, but pain — in the joints, muscles, nerves, neck, eyes, even teeth — seems to be a common denominator.

Why are Lyme sufferers so prone to chronic pain, and what can you do to find fast and lasting relief?

Join a live webinar with Dr. Bill Rawls, author of the bestselling book Unlocking Lyme, who knows firsthand what it’s like to live with chronic Lyme disease and related aches and pains. He’ll shed new light on the underlying forces that drive persistent pain, and share natural ways to resolve them so you’re not just managing discomfort, but overcoming it.

PLUS: Don’t miss an exclusive gift for webinar attendees, and have your questions ready for a LIVE Q&A on Lyme and chronic pain with Dr. Rawls.

Watch June 17th, 8pm EDT

Lyme & Chronic Pain – Live Webinar

  • The causes and telltale symptoms of different types of pain
  • How Borrelia burgdorferi and common Lyme coinfections like Mycoplasma, Bartonella, and Babesia contribute to pain
  • The best herbs and natural remedies for immediate and long-term relief
  • Additional diet and lifestyle tips to help keep symptoms at bay 
  • Numerous insights during the live Q&A with Dr. Rawls 

RESERVE MY SEAT »

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For more:

My #1 Headache Trigger? Lyme Disease

https://globallymealliance.org/my-1-headache-trigger-lyme-disease/

Listen to the audio version of this blog below:

Skiing has always been part of my life. I went to a college in Vermont that had its own ski run. After graduation, I moved to Colorado to teach high school, and to become a ski instructor. It was supposed to be the high point of my life, and in many ways it was, but there were also some very low points because I was wrestling with undiagnosed tick-borne illnesses.

One such low found me on the bathroom floor, writhing in pain from an excruciating migraine. The throbbing started over my left eye, working its way up over that side of my head and around the back to my neck. I felt as if my brain was going to explode out of my skull.

“It’s probably from the altitude,” a doctor later told me. In the years since I had started developing strange symptoms—fever, joint aches, exhaustion, hand tremors, hives—I grew accustomed to doctors writing them off with a simple explanation.

But altitude was not causing my migraines. In fact, I was suffering from Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Babesia, the last being a tick-borne parasite that consumes oxygen in red blood cells. Due to these infections, a scan would later show that I was not getting enough oxygen to the left side of my brain. Living at a high altitude certainly didn’t help this situation, but the root cause was the fact that my oxygen levels were already compromised by infection.

Babesia is not the only tick-borne disease that can cause headaches; so can Ehrlichia and relapsing fevers. But with or without co-infections, the vast majority of Lyme disease patients complain of headaches as a chief symptom, with pain ranging from moderate to severe. Many patients, myself included, have encountered migraines so debilitating they’re relegated to bed in a dark room due to pain, light sensitivity and nausea. Though tick-borne diseases can cause pain throughout the cranium, migraines are usually focused to one side. As a child, I had four surgeries to correct weak muscles in my eyes, especially on the left, leaving scar tissue over that eye. I later learned that Lyme bacteria, spirochetes, like to hide out in scar tissue, which may explain why my migraines always started over that eye.

So why are headaches so common for Lyme patients? Spirochetes can enter the central nervous system by crossing the blood-brain barrier. This barrier is supposed to protect the brain from infection, but spirochetes are tricky and swift and can coil their way across, causing headaches for their victims.

Lyme is an inflammatory disease, so once spirochetes enter the central nervous system, they cause swelling there. In his book Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme & Chronic Disease, Dr. Richard Horowitz equates this inflammation to a fire that ignites heat, redness, pain, and loss of function.[1] Feeling like my brain was going to explode out of my skull was not really hyperbole; my head was indeed swollen, but I just couldn’t see it the way I would be able to if  I’d had a swollen ankle or knee.

At my lowest points of illness, I got migraines several times a week. I tried to try to push through the pain. I wanted to be living my life, teaching and skiing. But I always paid a high price for not listening to my body—or in this case, to my brain. Ignoring the headache only increased the pain, sometimes sending me to bed for two or three days at a time. I got prescription medication, which I learned to take as soon as I felt a headache coming on, rather than trying to wait it out. I also found that staying hydrated, eating foods rich in iron, and stretching gently—to help increase blood flow—sometimes helped alleviate my headaches.

The best treatment, however, was rest. If you have a swollen ankle or knee, you stay off that joint, giving it time to heal. The same is true for your brain. Your head needs time to recover from inflammation, and nothing has helped that process more for me than sleep. Though I rarely get migraines these days, I still get pressure on the left side of my head when I get tired or neurologically overwhelmed. I never want to spend a day in bed, but one is better than being there for several days—and it’s certainly better than writhing on the bathroom floor. A day spent recuperating means more days on the slopes, and I’ll take as many of those as I can get.

[1] Horowitz, Richard I. Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme & Chronic Disease. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 2013. (186)


Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

Jennifer Crystal is a writer and educator in Boston. She is working on a memoir about her journey with chronic tick-borne illness. Do you have a question for Jennifer? Email her at  jennifercrystalwriter@gmail.com

 

 

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**Comment**

Headaches with Lyme disease can be excruciating – particularly if you have Lyme and Babesia.  Bartonella also can give severe head pain.  Since I had all three, the head and spine were always my thorn.  I wondered if I’d ever have a day free from head pain.

Please know that appropriate treatment is necessary for this and YES, I am free from head pain after 5 years of treatment and a few relapses.  While I give credit predominantly to antimicrobials (for me, antibiotics) here’s a few things that seemed to help:

Lastly, I know of a few Lyme patients that also have a Chiari diagnosis.  In short, this is when inflammation from an infection causes the brain to be pushed through the opening at the base of the skull.  Since this is where most of my pain was I had a MRI to rule Chiari out.  Read about this condition here:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/04/02/chiari/