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Chronic Pain Thread???

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I searched and found one or two, but none that are active. Instead of bumping, I thought I'd post about my situation and  maybe there are some others in similar situations here.


I'll try to be as brief as possible. My pain started about a year ago now when I thought I had 'thrown' my neck out but I hadn't really done anything to cause an injury. I was rough housing with the kids a little one Sunday afternoon and when I woke up Monday morning I couldn't move. I thought maybe I had slept on it wrong since I felt a kink along with the extreme stiffness and swelling. I was given some pain meds, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory to take. It took about two weeks to really feel better. I was 'better' for about two weeks and then suddenly it flared up again, just like the first time. This time, I was referred to a Chiropractor and started seeing him and a physical therapist 3 times a week. We did muscle stim and retraction. I bought a 'cane' used to do my own massage work at home and had a 3 times a day stretching assignment which I followed diligently. During PT we 'uncovered' quite a bit of physical problems that had always been there but had gotten really bad. My posture is horrible which was causing serious pain in my shoulders, especially my right. My shoulders pop in and out of place. My rotators are not rotating all the way, so I literally have to wiggle around to lift my arms straight up and down without having a painful crack or pop out of place. The same can be said for my jaw, as I have severe TMJ and have for years now. In fact, we suspect that could be the root cause of all of this. My jaw is out of alignment 100% of the time, and my Chiropractor said the bone is wearing away at itself, basically creating a new joint socket. He tried several times to adjust it back into the intended joint socket, but it felt SO strange when it was there. I can't open up my mouth hardly at all when it's in the correct place and without even thinking I adjust it out of the socket to be able to open and close my mouth (which is still very limited movement). My upper back is taking a beating with all of this going on and I have constant headaches. Most days, even holding my head up is hard. I often lean my chin on my hand for support to just sit at a desk.


After paying a substantial amount of money toward my Chiro and PT work, I quit my full time job and got a work from home job. When I was working full time, I would come home so tired an in so much pain that I would just crash.The job change caused a lapse in my insurance so I've been relying ONLY on pain medications for the last few months.  We did do some blood tests and everything came back normal. My regular Dr. said I could still have RA because the blood tests aren't always accurate. I need to do an MRI as well but need to wait until April 1st for my medical insurance to activate. For now, the pain meds are the only thing that give me any quality of life. I can't do even basic tasks without them and I'm basically a bump on a log all day. With a minimum amount of pain meds, I'm at least able to function somewhat normally. Do a load of laundry or a sink of dishes, pick up my son, or brush my daughters hair. Unfortunately the meds bring their own crappy side effects. They started me on Vicodin which makes me sick, irritable, constipated, and sometimes tired. They switched me to Tramadol which worked way better, just caused dry mouth which was tolerable. However, at my last doctors appointment I had quite high blood pressure so I was taken off the Tramadol, told it can cause HBP in some cases. I got Tylenol 3 which nocked me out. Couldn't function on that because I had to literally take a nap if I took one. So my Dr. just put me on Norco which is basically the Vicodin again with less Tylenol in it. So I'm back to having some relief for the pain, but dealing with the sick feelings. I spent all day Saturday throwing up. Ugh.


I have to get my blood pressure done again this week to see where it's at. I have a feeling it's still high. I have HBP headaches and I just feel like it's high, but I could be wrong. To top it all off, my vision has been going. I just had an eye appointment and need full time glasses, and have astigmatism in one eye. I know that is causing head aches as well, and maybe even some nausea. I can't wait to get my glasses to see how much of this is linked to my poor vision.


Anyway, I feel like I'm aging so quickly all of a sudden. I only just turned 28 but I feel like I'm falling apart. Anyone else dealing with chronic pain and want to offer advice, or talk about good coping options? I am starting a juicing diet today to do a little detox and I'm hoping that helps. I also intend to try acupuncture since I've heard it's amazing. Any other recommendations? Share your stories!

post #2 of 5

I'm very sorry that you are suffering. My only advice is to modify your diet away from carbohydrates, especially sugar, and toward wholesome fats. The nervous system is made of fat, and fat supports every system in the body.


Another suggestion is to reduce stress in every way you possibly can. You can start by assessing your stress reactions to things that happen during your day and then "changing your mind" about them. I adopted the policy to be "free from making and receiving judgements from others" and it helped reduce my stress tremendously.


Best wishes to you!


post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice Puma, I appreciate it!


I do have a fairly healthy diet. I've always eaten pretty well. We are currently Vegetarian (well Pescitarian I guess since we do eat a little bit of fish). I don't do a lot of sugars in my diet, although I haven't cut it completely, we don't ever have sweets in the house and I'm not really a desert person. I don't drink pop or other sugary drinks, but I know I could stand to cut out premade sugars in sauces and such. I could also cut carbs, and I know your body turns carbs into sugars but I don't eat a ton of carbs either. As for fats, we don't eat processed foods or saturated fats. I cook every meal, so we don't eat out a lot and when we do it's usually sushi :) I don't use butter or oils in my cooking. I've gained 15lbs since this pain thing started but before that I was a healthy weight. I'm just trying to figure out how extreme my diet would have to be to see some change in the pain. Do you think I would need to cut carbs completely? Do you have any links you could offer that link poor diet to arthritis or chronic pain? Or any that show improvement in pain after a drastic change in diet? Also, if you can offer any advise on the types of foods I should be eating, that would be great! I'm searching my brain trying to think of what I would replace carbs with since we don't eat meat (mostly for ethical reasons so I'm not willing to do any diet that includes animal meat other than small amounts of fish). We do a lot of grains and beans, fruits and veggies, and then usually smaller portions of carbs. Any specific diet plans you could recommend that you think would help steer me in the right direction?


Sorry that got so long, but thanks for your help! As for the stress, my stress is high. It has been for a long time. I suffer some anxiety and OCD. Nothing super bad, but it's enough to know that I'm sure it's causing some level of the pain to be severe. Unfortunately, for me it's not as easy as just 'changing my mind' about stress. I know that works for some and that's great. I do try to relax myself and follow a path of stress-less living. Working out is my biggest stress reliever, which is pretty much out the window right now.

post #4 of 5
Yes! I have been tentatively diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I'm 25 and rely on a cane to walk sometimes. My right SI joint is starting to fuse. I have tension headaches, neck and shoulder pain, mid back pain and the SI joint problems. Sigh.

I just had a baby Saturday but as soon as I am recovered I am walking, doing yoga and stretching daily. I'm also transitioning to a primal diet slowly...
post #5 of 5

Hi MammaB21, I don't have any links for you, sorry. What I can tell you about diet is what works for me and what others have claimed success with as well, which is any diet very low in carbs (less than 100g per day) and very high in fatty meat and animals fats. At least 50% of calories from fat. Since you prefer not to eat animal foods, I don't know what to recommend. The profile of fats to consume is: mostly monounsaturated fats, some saturated fats, and a little FRESH polyunsaturated fat (poly fat oxidizes almost immediately, so any poly "oils" like flaxseed oil are very likely oxidized before you even buy them; it's better to eat some fresh nuts and seeds rather than use the oil). If you are willing to use dairy products, organic grass-fed butter is absolutely excellent.


As for "changing your mind:" there are times when even prolonged stress is unavoidable. If you are able to literally stop thinking in certain ways, such as worrying, as much of the time as you can this may help. It won't change the external situation but it can reduce stress hormones for even a short time. Also becoming more aware of how you hold your body, such as shallow breathing and muscular guarding, and try to change that as often as possible, because your body tells your brain what is happening (feeling stressed or scared) and the brain tells the body in return (feeling unable to cope), so try to break that cycle by introducing wellness into the loop (taking a deep breath, daydreaming for a minute, enjoying the sight or smell of flowers, praising yourself,etc).


Maybe these suggestions will help.


I hope that you are soon feeling much better!



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