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    Combatting the Pain
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    Caprice_WebMD_Staff posted:
    After reading this WebMD article on 'When Pain Medications are Not Working ' I wondered again what approaches you use other than medication to combat your own pain, anything from distraction to exercise and everything in between.

    We have newcomers looking in here all the time and I'll hope you'll all join in to share your tips. You never know who you may help.
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
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    schrode responded:
    I pray and I meditate. I find it hard to concentrate enough to meditate so I listen to guided imagery meditations. It does not help the pain but it calms me down and helps the stress.

    Deb
     
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    Randm2220 responded:
    I too do a lot of praying. It calms me down as well and helps me to concentrate on something other than the pain.
     
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    sp2001 responded:
    This is a good idea

    For me, I call a friend or family member to chat. Especially my wonderful Aunt, who makes me laugh even when I'm having a terrible day. Sometimes, laughter IS the best medicine!
    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy sht! What a ride!' ~Hunter S. Thompson
     
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    georgia888 responded:
    Hello Caprice,
    Things that help me with pain include:
    - warm water therapy (walking, swimming, etc.); my daily visits to the pool offer me a bonus in the distraction from pain while engaging in commoraderie (sp?) with the other pool users.
    - gentle stretching exercises performed throughout the day help to ease the stiffness.
    - deep breathing exercises performed especially during tasks that become difficult (such as getting dressed, etc.).
    - reading (but I must make sure to get up & move around every 20 minutes or so as staying in any position for too long is not good).
    - watching a good movie (or anything without commercials).
    - checking in on WebMD communities - better than a visit to any doctor's office!

    georgia
     
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    SherryAnne57 responded:
    I have found that reading distracts me enough to ignore the pain. So far, that is the only approach that works for me. I have tried the water therapy but my skin reacts to the chemicals in the pool.

    The percoset that I occasionaly use really only takes the edge off on the really bad days. You know, the days that you just sit and cry because you just can't tolerate the pain anymore.

    This is my first post to this community. I have been around for several months just reading the posts and I am so very impressed wtih Dr. Pellegrino. I only live 45 minutes away from his office in North Canton, Ohio so I know where to go should my PCP fail me!

    Thank you for all of the insight and information that you provide here. It helps to know that there are other people with the same symptoms and that I am not crazy!
     
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    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Thank you all for your helpful responses! Meditation, prayer, exercising, distraction... all good things.

    I hope others will continue to chime in.
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
     
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    jdhnay25 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    I pray and take deep breaths. I also read or play the guitar. If it's too severe, sleep is good.
     
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    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to jdhnay25's response:
    It's good to hear you can still play the guitar, Jdhnay.
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
     
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    smann68 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
    I do all of the same things that have already been mentioned. I find that watching tv helps me to ignore the pain. It has to be something to keep my attention though.

    By the way, I love the quote from Joseph Campbell. I also have chiari malformation and that quote is spot on for anyone that has chronic pain.
     
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    Lauralizzie01 responded:
    have learned that distraction is the greatest tool. if i sit around and think about the pain, its,worse (duh). on a bad day when i may be stuck in bed, an audio book can provide me lots of distraction without even getting out of bed!
     
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    KMT333 responded:
    Distraction is my best alternative. I have severe depression, anxiety with panic attacks, and agoraphobia as well. TV doesn't work to distract me. It just increases my anxiety. So I'm a big fan of Netflix. I put in my earbuds and watch things I enjoy. I sometimes feel guilty about how much time I spend on Netflix, but it definitely helps distract me from the pain, anxiety and despair I usually feel. And I often have my little dog snuggling with me, which also helps with the depression.
     
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    angelldakota replied to KMT333's response:
    Netflix and my little Angel... my chiwawa... keep me company and distract me a lot...

    I am like you with depression and anxiety and they say I am walking on the border of agoraphobia for going out just isn't easy anymore... every little thing panics me... I don't leave the house except to see a dr or maybe go to the grociery store once a month... but never on my own...

    My Angel helps me with my depression too... She is so cuddly and loving... I spend a lot of time in bed with other problems to deal with also and she is always rigt there... just don't know what I would do without her...

    take care my friend... just wanted to know I am right here with you...

    love... jan/dakota
    When it Rains... It Signifies Life... There is Hope... It Strengthens My Soul... And Brightens My Spirit... Think Of Our TRIALS in Life as RAIN...
    Written with love by Kelly and Jan
     
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    crazytaurenswife responded:
    I play a video game (World of Warcraft) when I have to be off my feet and I bake when I can't sit down. Calling someone and pacing through the house sometimes helps when I can't sit or stand in one place. I also do a lot of reading. Unfortunately, most of my school books (the only ones I let myself read during school) aren't quite as good for distraction.

    ~Jessi
     
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    Kinkatia responded:
    ooh, this is a lovely question. I don't use medication at all. Long answer incoming:

    1. Extremely thorough stretching first thing in the morning. I try to get all the muscles. It takes between thirty and sixty minutes depending on how well I can actually manage. Over time (I'm talking months) it significantly reduces general pain.

    2. Low impact exercise. I'm fond of tai chi, mowing my lawn (I've got a non-motorized reel mower!), bicycling and short sprints with my dog.

    3. Maintaining good sleep hygiene. (How I manage that could take up an entire other reply!)

    4. Heat! Hot showers, hot baths, heating pad, hot water bottle, rice socks, wearing too many layers, snuggling under blankets, keeping the AC off in summer. For heat application, lots of people like to alternate with cold, but cold always worsens symptoms unless I've got a legit injury (in which case it helps the injury and worsens fibro symptoms).

    5. Menthol or capsaicin topical creams and stuff for especially achy muscles. Be careful, they can be very uncomfy the first few times you use them.

    6. Epsom salt soaks. I try to have a long warm soak once a week with epsom salt. It does wonders.

    7. Be social regularly. Improved mood takes your mind off the pain, reduces stress. And less stress means less pain.

    8. Physical therapy. I went once a week for three months. My therapist knew how to handle fibro patients and has been the single most helpful healthcare professional I've ever seen.

    9. Massage. Exchange backrubs with a friend willing to be trained (tender points plus most amateur massage are a badbadbad combo) or see a professional massage therapist (I know a massage therapist. She's assured me they get trained for fibromites.) Massage relaxes the muscles and also helps get rid of painful muscle knots. I accumulate them like mad and I always feel so much better overall when they're gone, even if I'm sore for a few days afterward. (I am known to gain up to six inches in flexibility from knot elimination in my back. I'm serious.)

    10. Watch your diet. I've found that a lot of preservatives and artificial food additives actually worsen my pain. And other symptoms. Eliminating problem foods and ingredients is immensely helpful.

    11. De-stress. Stress makes you tense and being tense means more pain. Try prayer if you're faithful, meditation, mindfulness, etc. Cuddle your pet or borrow someone else's. Watch a funny movie. Take a forest bath (trees release chemicals that reduce stress! Go stand around them a while!)

    12. This is something I discovered quite by accident: having another chronically ill friend who's *not* a fibromite to gripe with is lovely. Mine has POTS and we whinge at each other all the time and it really, honestly helps take my mind off my pain more than anything else does.

    13. Make sure your shoes fit properly and aren't worn out. Same with the rest of the wardrobe. My shoes were causing me extra knee pain and too-big sweaters and shirts were actually giving me neck and shoulder problems. Go figure.

    14. Keep moving. Look around once in a while. Stand up every now and then. I do what I can to avoid letting myself stay still too long and get stiff.

    15. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. Overdoing it is the number one cause of more pain.

    And I'm sure there's more but I really can't think of anything else at the moment.


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