Pain Management with the Help of Alternative Medication

Pain management and healing are often inseparable and there is no reason why alternative methods such as self-hypnosis should not be used to manage pain and bring about positive effects in the healing process.

Pain management is a problem that contemporary medicine has struggled with for quite some time and often people only find relief when using alternative methods. There are various different management strategies for chronic pain in the alternative health field and methods such as acupuncture and massage therapy have proven to be highly effective.

These can often reduce the dependence on pain-killing medications. One of the problems that is seen with chronic pain management through the use of medication is that fact that the brain habituates to pain-killing drugs and this requires higher and higher doses of the medications.

Using some of the more powerful painkillers that are often prescribe by doctors such as Hydrocodone and Oxycontin, can often lead to serious addiction of taken for long periods of time.

They are effective but this is one of the reasons why many people prefer to try the alternative methods as the first resort for their pain management. Obviously the strategies that are taken for the management will depend on the type and the severity of the pain.

Many of the pain clinics will focus initially on one form of treatment, as this will allow better feedback on the effectiveness of that treatment. This treatment will often be a course of anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids to reduce the inflammation.

In more severe cases the drugs will be injected into the area that is causing the pain. Additionally, pain clinics will prescribe anti-anxiety medication to relieve the tension that has built up from the pain.

Obviously these steps will only be taken after the patient has had no success with the milder over-the-counter drugs.

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Reducing Back Pain with Back Exercise

Back ExerciseBack exercises are often prescribed effectively as an alternative to surgery. Doing daily back exercises can significantly reduce back pain related to a variety of common ailments.

However, not every exercise is appropriate for some conditions and certain back exercises may even make the problem worse. This is why it’s important to check with your doctor about which exercises will help or hinder you.

One of the simpler back exercises that you can do is a pelvic tilt. Lie on your back with your feet flat and knees bent. Keep your legs together and put your hand straight at the side of your body with your palm on the floor, and then you are going to tilt your pelvis and push your low back off the floor.

Slowly lift your buttocks off the floor as far as you can without straining your muscles and stay in that position for 5 second. After maintaining the position for about 5 seconds, slowly lower your buttocks back to the floor.

Of course there are many other back exercises that can help strengthen your back and alleviate the back pain. You will just need to experiment to see what your back can handle. If an exercise doesn’t make you feel better, or worse yet, causes further back strain, then you should move on to another exercise that is better suited for your particular back problems.

If you can avoid surgery by alleviating your pain through exercise then you will not have wasted a moment with back exercises. Working with your doctor or physical therapist to reach that goal is certainly going to be in your back’s best interest.

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Basic Symptoms, Signs & Diagnosis of Foot Pain

Foot PainWhen it comes to foot pain, everyone is different, but the most common sign is going to be discomfort in one or more parts of the foot. The first thing a foot pain sufferer needs to do is to make sure the source of the pain isn’t coming from something that isn’t easily fixed, such as an ill-fitting pair of shoes or a high pair of heels.

With those common culprits removed from the picture, it’s a good idea to notice things like where the pain starts and if it migrates at all, what time of day and during what activity the pain is most acute, a particular event that might have caused the pain, any lingering health concerns that might have attributed to the pain and so on.

The symptoms of foot pain are pretty much common sense. Anything that you feel in your foot that isn’t right. Things like swelling that won’t go away, random numbness for no apparent reason in the feet, unexplained redness and either the feet being too warm or too cold without any cause. Considering how important your feet are to your basic health and wellbeing, don’t’ wait for one of these specific symptoms to worsen before you go seek the advice of a doctor.

Diagnosing foot pain is a fairly straight-forward affair. A podiatrist is a foot specialist, and goes to school for a lot of years to be able to hold someone’s foot in their hands and listen to the type of pain you’re suffering from and be able to tell you what the problem is.

You should expect your doctor to ask you about the types of shoes you wear and what physical activity you engage in that might have resulted in the foot pain. If the doctor is unable to diagnose your condition by touch, medical science has equipped the intrepid doctor with several tools that might just do the job.

X rays are used to take a picture of the inside of your foot using low doses of radiation. While excessive exposure to x-rays has proven to be bad for you, getting an x-ray once in a while won’t hurt. The x-ray can tell the doctor if there are small breaks, fractures or fissures that could be causing your foot pain.

MRI machines (magnetic resonance imaging) can be used in the same way as the x-ray to see inside your foot without having to cut you open. The MRI machine uses magnets to make images on a computer screen. The doctor can then tell if there are any problems with the bones and the soft tissue inside the foot. It can also help pinpoint small fractures that might not be clear on the x-ray.

If the doctor thinks it’s arthritis that’s causing your foot pain, he can request a synovial fluid analysis. Don’t let the big medical name fool you, it’s a straight forward procedure where the doctor takes fluid samples from the joints in the foot and tests them to see if the surrounding joint is arthritic.

A proper diagnosis is extremely important to ensure that you are properly treating and curing your type of foot pain.

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The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

The Symptoms of FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a syndrome (fibromyalgia syndrome, or FMS), or a cluster of problems. People who have fibromyalgia suffer with pain, either all over or in particular places, have sleeping problems, are overwhelmingly tired and may have many other symptoms.

Five to ten per cent of the population has fibromyalgia. Most of them are women, but men and children do experience the symptoms, too.

Pain is the most distinguishing characteristic of fibromyalgia. Medically, it’s described as generalized musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness. For the pain to be diagnosed as fibromyalgia, it has to be present in all four body quadrants (arms and legs) for at least 3 months, and there has to be pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of the 18 identified trigger points.

The pain waxes and wanes, varying in intensity. People have good days and bad days. Some days it’s not too bad; some days it’s pretty much disabling. The pain of fibromyalgia often gets worse on cold or humid days, when you haven’t slept well, when you are too inactive or too active, when you are stressed or when your hormones change.

The second most disabling characteristic of fibromyalgia is fatigue. Recent findings suggest that the fatigue is due to a stage four sleep disorder called alpha EEG anomaly. During deep stage four sleep, the brain has bursts of awake-like activity, so there is not enough undisturbed deep sleep for the body to get sufficient rest.

In addition to alpha EEG anomaly, many FMS sufferers also have sleep apnea, upper airway resistance syndrome, bruxism (teeth grinding during sleep), limb movement and jerking and restless leg syndrome. All of these contribute to the fatigue of fibromyalgia.

Pain and fatigue are the most disabling features of fibromyalgia, but there are other distressing symptoms, too. 40-70 per cent of fibromyalgia sufferers experience irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal problems. Constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, excessive gassiness, nausea and gastroesophageal reflux are common.

Many fibromyalgia sufferers are distressed by associated mental and emotional problems that manifest themselves alongside the physical ailments. Anxiety and depression are common. It’s not known whether they are independent factors, or if they are related to living in constant pain and fatigue and the social stigma of fibromyalgia. People also complain of confusion, experiencing difficulty thinking clearly and a reduction in ability to perform mental tasks. This overall mental fogginess has been termed “fibro fog.”

Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include headaches, restless leg syndrome, skin sensitivity and rashes, dry eyes and mouth, Reynaud’s syndrome, and various neurological problems.

Fibromyalgia is an invisible disease. Sufferers look fine on the surface. However, under their outward appearance they are often exhausted and in excruciating pain. Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that is, at its worst, incredibly disabling. The symptoms have to be managed, and even then the pain and fatigue wax and wane. It’s a difficult disease to live with, but it’s not hopeless. Medical care and lifestyle management can make a big difference in how you feel if you are suffering from fibromyalgia.

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