Home Treatment of Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia and More

Home Treatment of Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia and More

By Cindy Perlin, LCSW.

One of the worst emotions pain patients can feel is helplessness. In the face of severe pain, whether from low back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, migraine and tension headaches, or other chronic pain conditions, when the medications don’t work, don’t do enough or cause intolerable side effects, patients can feel helpless to ease their suffering. And helplessness leads to hopelessness and fear, which creates more pain.

Cindy Perlin, LCSW

I know this because I have been there. After I was disabled by chronic back pain many years ago, I spent three years feeling helpless, hopeless and frightened about what was going on in my body. Then I began to discover self-care strategies and my life changed dramatically for the better. I’ve spent decades learning about simple home care strategies, tools and remedies. Now, when I have pain I have so many options to choose from that help and I just don’t worry about pain getting unmanageable or acute pain becoming chronic.

What follows is a list of strategies you can use on your own that are helpful for managing and even eliminating pain.

  • Rest. This may sound so obvious that it is not even worth mentioning. However, often we push ourselves beyond endurance just to get things done or we get a good day and decide to do everything at once while we’re feeling good, making pain worse later. Pace yourself and take a break when you get tired.
  • Move. Pain increases when you stay in the same position and don’t use your muscles. Muscles get stiff and weak. If you have trigger points, which are small round nodules within tight bands of muscle that form after muscle injuries, they become activated, causing pain with inactivity. When you exercise, your body produces natural painkillers, including the opioid endorphin, and the same pain-relieving cannabinoids that are found in marijuana. Exercise has also been shown to decrease inflammation, improve mood and lubricate joints. Do slow movements and stretches throughout the day and get involved in a program of moderate exercise such as walking or swimming if possible. A physical therapist or a chiropractor can guide you in developing an appropriate exercise program. A program that helped me a lot when I was recovering from my back pain was the Kraus-Webber exercises you can find in the book, End Back Pain Forever, by Norman Marcus, MD.
  • Relax. This has been the most powerful pain reliever for me for decades. Stress and fear, including fear about the pain, causes muscle tension, reduction in blood flow to the extremities, suppression of digestion, suppression of immunity and many other physiological changes that create more pain. Chronic stress increases inflammation by depleting our body’s supply of natural cortisol, an anti-inflammatory. Use of relaxation techniques, including meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, visualization and body scanning, can induce relaxation, decreasing pain. I’ve also found that an inexpensive biofeedback device, the Stress Thermometer, that measures hand temperature, an indicator of stress level, is great for letting you know how well you are doing. As a result, it increases proficiency and motivation.
  • Resolve your trauma and emotional distress with energy psychology techniques. Studies have shown that psychological trauma, especially chronic childhood trauma, predisposes people to chronic illness. So does protracted emotional distress. One type of easily learned and applied technique that can process the undischarged energy from past or current duress is called energy psychology. Learn how to specifically use it to reduce pain levels from Nick Ortner’s book, The Tapping Solution for Pain. You can also find a free, more generic guide to the technique at www.emofree.com. Need more help than that? Find providers at www.energypsych.org.
  • Clean up your diet. Many food additives, including MSG and aspartame (Nutrasweet), increase pain for many people. Eliminating processed foods in general is a good idea. Some find eliminating gluten from their diets reduces or eliminates pain and inflammation. Sugar can also increase inflammation, while fruits and vegetables and healthy fats can reduce it.
  • Use self-massage tools. Most pain is generated by muscles, even in so-called disc disease and arthritic conditions. Inexpensive vibrating massagers like the WAHL Deep Tissue Percussion Massager can be life-savers. Massage tools that allow you to put pressure on a painful part of the muscle can stop spasms and passively stretch the muscle to reduce pain. For some bodily locations, a tennis ball can be readily used for this purpose. Another tool I like is the SKLZ Dual Point Massager. I keep one on my desk chair and one in the driver’s seat of my car for self-massage as needed. A whole body system along with a DVD and book with instructions is the Melt Method Bundle.
  • Need to take something for the pain? For over 35 years I have relied on inexpensive and completely safe homeopathic remedies instead of over-the-counter and prescription medication. Homeopathics gently stimulate your body’s healing system to relieve symptoms. Try Arnica for muscle soreness, Ruta for inflammation or Hypericum for nerve pain. Other options that pain patients are finding very helpful are kratom, a Southeast Asian herb, and CBD, a derivative of hemp and marijuana.
  • Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium and supplementation can be very helpful. However, magnesium is a laxative so taking a lot orally can cause problems. Epsom salt baths are very soothing and, because they contain magnesium, can get magnesium into the muscles by absorption while bypassing the gastrointestinal system. There are also topical preparations like lotions and oils containing magnesium that can be easily applied to the skin. One I like is Asutra Magnesium Oil Spray.
  • Topical preparations. There are many other topical preparations that can be helpful when applied locally to painful areas. These include homeopathic preparations like Arnica Cream , Topricin and Traumeel, essential oils like doTerra, and topical preparations containing CBD oil.
  • An innovative and inexpensive patch called the nCap uses nanotechnology to alter pain signals to reduce pain.
  • Pulsed electro-magnetic frequencies (PEMF) is a recent innovation that reduces pain and speeds up healing. The Oska Pulse is a new, lightweight, wearable device that uses optimized PEMF to restore the electrical potential cells need to receive nutrients and oxygen, which stimulates cellular regeneration–relieving pain, and activating the body’s natural recovery process.

You don’t ever have to feel helpless. Have as many of these tools in your toolkit at home as possible and you will greatly reduce or even eliminate your pain.

Author Cindy Perlin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, certified biofeedback practitioner, chronic pain survivor and the author of The Truth About Chronic Pain Treatments: The Best and Worst Strategies for Becoming Pain Free and the creator of the Alternative Pain Treatment Directory.

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Authored by: Cindy Perlin

There are 20 comments for this article
  1. maureen M. at 8:39 pm

    Cindy, I can appreciate your info for one reason… Now I know that I’ve pretty much tired everything that you’ve suggested, and then so much more, also.
    None of which help.
    You haven’t mentioned that you have had spine surgery, or have any other chronic illness. The bulk of us commenting here and in the chronic pain/illness community are moderate to severe and for most… Opioids are what does help us.
    Regardless, none of us like being on them therefore… We have tried it all in hope of finding ‘any other way’ of decreasing our pain. We’d give anything to not have to live as we do. But, we are INCURABLE.
    We have all proven to ourselves the truth… Our meds are the best help of all.
    And even with them…our lives are still not easy. But, we can survive life
    well enough on them.
    We’d all give anything to be able to survive or get all better on your suggestions, as you have. But, that is not our truth of our existence.

    To all, I am so proud of each of you and of your comments.
    We won’t back down, we won’t be pushovers, we will continue to spread our word and stand up for ourselves.
    Keep strong Pain Warriors, keep FOREVER STRONG.
    MAY GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU WITH HOPE. Maureen M.

  2. Jill at 4:23 pm

    I have to admit I get confused regarding pain relieving options such as massage, meditation, visualization, creams, ect. These can help provide a temporary, maybe short distraction from pain but that’s different from relief. When pain becomes chronic severe 24/7 these alternative methods just don’t cut it. Perhaps with post surgical pain which should go away with time. Or mild pain. I’ve done it all like so many and know what works. And it ain’t magnesium.

  3. Neldine Ludwigson at 6:42 pm

    Bravo Judith. I have tried too many methods du jour to count, but, sadly, without a narcotic I am really up the creek. Even with it I barely function. Not possible to get the dosage that works now. Thanks DEA for ruining what freedom I had.

  4. Ibin at 9:32 am

    Well stated Judith, Missy, and Cat. NO recognizing fact from the authorities for the now un managed patients with lifetime, incurable pain issues.

  5. Marguerite Martin at 11:00 pm

    So then i don’t need to worry about the FDA making the kratom i take for pain away or thr wild lettuce? I’m 3 wks away from another spine surgery this one 3 level acdf i am in extreme pain. That’s all i got.

  6. judith petree at 8:48 pm

    I’m glad alternatives to opioids work for some, but neither I, nor anyone I know who have severe pain, they simply are not enough to restore the person to some degree of function and quality of life. If the DEA, CDC, PROP and others’ main concern truly is reducing deaths (from overdoses), I wish they would study how many people have taken their own lives rather than endure another minute of one more day in intolerable pain, with no hope of finding a healthcare provider with enough compassion who reserves the right to treat their patient’s pain with appropriate and effective medication designed for that purpose. The vast majority of overdoses and deaths are not happening with those who take their drugs responsibility while being monitored with urine screens, pill counts, and regular visits to determine effectiveness and use, with only 2-5% of them being addicts (taking more than prescribed, seeking drugs from more than one provider or source). They occur in 85% of the cases as a result of illicit Fentanyl being smuggled here from China, with an additional 15% found with heroin in their system as well, and those combining opioids with benzodiazipines such as Xanax, Valium, etc. and/or alcohol.

  7. Missy at 8:14 pm

    To Marguerite, no the FDA is not making homeopathic remedies illegal. You can Google it to see they are focusing on certain things quicker than I can explain it. To Cindi, I’m so glad these tools help you, but for me I honestly felt like I was at the pain doctor while they explained all the activities I could do since our pain meds were being reduced or taken away. It was nearly the same list, (exercise, massage, acupuncture, meditation etc..) I know I’ve done almost all these and more. Before I was diagnosed with RA and Fibromyalgia I was trying everything to try and help my suffering. My rheumatologist started helping me thru medications for that disease but I still hurt so bad. When she referred me to a pain dr my life finally changed. With the help of opioids I finally got relief and was able to better exercise and function well at work as well as home. Since the “crackdown on patients and doctors” I’ve gone back to misery. Exercise is now out of the question! But to end my rambling let me just say it’s my view that if all the techniques you’ve (cindi) suggested really help that much, then you probably didn’t need much if any pain meds to begin with. Well wishes and blessings to all.

  8. Leslie Meadows at 5:37 pm

    Thanks doc for the heads up on the homeopathic healing/anti-pain products list. I know about some of them but now I believe my list is complete,thanks again much needed 🤗

  9. Cat at 2:42 pm

    Don’t forget the spoonful of sugar. Sorry. I ain’t buyin’. After all the erroneous information and manipulated statistics, and having tried many of the above methods already, I know what works and what doesn’t work for me. If these “guidelines” are so great, why did drug overdoses increase to 60,000 in 2016 when from 1999 to 2015 they only totaled 183,000? Rates were lower without depriving legitimate chronic pain patients of their meds and treating them like criminals. A lot lower. Now I will not be convinced that my brain will control my pain or that my diet must be poor. Stop blaming us and give us back what has been working just fine without turning us into addicts.

  10. Denise at 2:38 pm

    I have to agree with Ibin “been there done that” In 1999 after the second surgery to repair the split Disc and to remove the broken hardware, I had already been through the Gauntlet of trying to find anything to relieve this pain that started in 1988, when I injured my back while working. I was naive to believe I would be ok, and back to work so that I could provide for my Son as I was a single parent. That did not happen, and now as I have spent 29 years 3 months 26 days 15 hours 36 min. and the seconds keep on ticking. Just exactly how much more Precious time should I waste in trying appease those that do not live in life or my Chronic Pain. I’m not saying that any of what the Doctor wrote won’t work, but we are all different. Opioid Epidemic? illegal narcotics,drug abuse,Overdoses, and what is the plan? We are just going to call everything in a neat little package”Opioid” I have never been so disappointed my Country, and those that have any kind of power, make dissensions that can directly affect people and the quality of ones life. to quote the President in his speech yesterday, let me paraphrase an Alcoholic Mentor told him to never drink, and he never did? I was raised by an alcoholic mother, and she never said don’t drink and I never became an Alcoholic. So what exactly am I to take away from that statement. People in Chronic Pain are being out right Ignored! I can only Hope at this point that the TRUTH will come out. because the LIE has been give a BILLION dollars!

  11. Katie Olmstead at 12:40 pm

    Marguerite, no, homeopathy has not been declared illegal. Check Snopes. As a matter of fact, I just had a hip procedure done for the 3rd time for chronic bursitis. The first two times, it took 8-12 weeks to heal, which is much longer than “normal” people. I have CRPS. This time, I started Arnica the day before the procedure and am still taking it 2 weeks later. This time, I was out dancing last night for more than 2 hours. This is a huge difference, just huge. I am going to look into Hypericum for nerve pain next. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Kathy C at 10:20 am

    I used to think these kinds of things were harmless, when in fact they are making things worse for all of us. They reinforce the idea that Pain is all in our heads. When I was first injured, I wanted to believe I would get better with a Chiropractic adjustment or any of the other “Treatments.” I trusted the Physicians and Practitioners. Now I know that though they may believe in whatever they are selling, they just don’t know any better. Their livelihoods and reputations depend on repeating this nonsense. The Research has not been done by design, in some cases any research to disprove this, could be met with a huge Lawsuit with Industry funding behind it. This is the end of Science!

  13. Ibin at 10:15 am

    A flare up of non continuous pain may be managed in many ways. There are many patients that have never ending, moderate/severe pain from various ssues. These are the people that are not getting adequate pain management with any…. therapies.. I can identify with never ending pain that a “tylenol” or two, or three, or four will not touch, even for 30 minutes pain relief. Plus, it is estimated that about 20,000 people die, each year, from the prolonged, overuse of the “safe” (if used as directed) medication that contains acetaminophen. These high numbers of a death causied by over the counter remedies are “OK”? I am just saying that there are people with fibromyalgea, injury, and other constant pain generating issues that never stop, 24/7. A flare up of continuous pain can simply put the mind in a place, we can not stop. Pain management flare ups, constant moderate to severe pain, overdose from illicit drugs, cannabis use, physical therapy, there is no “one” remedy for all. This is the reason that we should be able to trust our physicians judgement with pain management therapy to achieve a pain level that can be humanly tolerated, through a talored, safe way, including medication to manage individual pain.. For those that have found effective pain management without having to be examined at an appointment every 4 to 8 weeks, just to leave with what we know will be a difficult time until the next appointment, is truly disappointing to say the least. I would consider effective pain management without use of continuous medication, a blessing because true, worsened, ineffective pain management is occurring. I have seen very few days that my wife has had a “good” day in 10 years after finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgea. She was a “champion” body builder….at one time. NO drug use….period. I can’t help her with pain management. Her specialist can’t help her with effective pain management now. What do you do? Like everyone else. Read, about other patients experiences, try alternative therapies, natural remedies but, in the end, her pain management has been worsened through our health “experst” enforced policy.

  14. Kathy C at 10:09 am

    I wonder if these kinds of Articles, even though they might be well meaning, are setting us all back. This kind of thing is chosen becasue it sounds nice. If only we could “Cure” pain with the latest gadget, supplement or cream. Each and every new thing that is presented as a treatment, is either recycled from earlier discredited Snake Oil, treatments or was over hyped by a misleading biased, few “Studies” or limited “Research.” These “Treatments” can be easily disproved with a little science, yet no one chose to fund that kind of science. The FDA crackdown on Homeopathy is a good start, but it was only done because some infants died. The rest of these treatments, can only lead to death, from inaction, delay or postponement of medical care, something they conveniently have not studied. Since they did not study how these Treatments have negatively impacted anyone, they only appear benign. People spend billions on these so called “treatments” it is a huge industry with no beneficial effect on our health.

  15. Kathy C at 9:53 am

    It is clear this woman is trying to help, but we need more Science. These remedies are mostly just distractions from pain. They are not “Cures’ and offer little in the form of relief. The Fact that many people find some relief, and can get on with their lives with opiates, is carefully left out. I have drawer full of these ‘remedies, a box containing thousands of dollars of Gadgets, Creams, and Devices. They are all in a drawer or gathering dust. The reason is that none of these things worked.
    I feel stupid for sitting in “Therapy Sessions” where we discussed pain, and distressing topics, re-traumatizing myself. We wasting time, that would have been better spent relaxing, Tapping.” The “Therapist” completely believed that Tapping worked, while every minute I wasted only added to the damage to my spine and nerves. The fact that I had gone to these appointments after a full day of work, already in pain and exhausted, did not register with the Therapist.
    Of course if any of this stuff actually worked we would not even be here. We would not need Physicians, Surgeries, or Medications. The most horrifying aspect of all of this, is the time wasted and the frustration. I try not to dwell, but if I had not wasted my time with Chiropractors, and other “Alternate Therapies, I would not have pain now. Instead of an MRI, I was repeatedly referred to a Psychiatrist, which did nothing for the damage to my spine. All of this only added to the damage, until I almost lost the use of my Leg. The Physical Damage to my spine was only made worse by wasting time with these Placebo Treatments.
    In post science America, people who are skeptical are told, these treatments won’t work for them. These “Treatments” gets more attention than factual information, due to the lack of any kind of ethical considerations. The more ridiculous and unscientific treatments will get more coverage. No one checks the science or the Facts. The most contorted, short term, and limited “Studies” are represented as Science. Since pain effects so many people, there is a lot of money to be made. At the same time any treatment that reinforces beliefs and prejudices, and shows no actual benefits, will get a lot of media coverage and hype. The books that get attention overstate the effectiveness in order to advertise the book.

    We have all been led down the wrong path, by a Profit driven system. New Age Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and other practitioners want to promote their Industry, and make money. They also want to undermine Factual Reality, because it is just more profitable. At the same time everyone wants to believe their is an easy cure for pain, because the idea of .living with long term Chronic Pain is unthinkable.

    Americans have been Brainwashed by years of Media Messages, about Healthcare in general. The occasional Scientific “Breakthrough” is broadcast as if it is proven. The more attention grabbing the headline, the more funding the ‘Researcher or Institution gets. Science requires multiple Studies Trials and Tests, and these have to be worked into a body of knowledge. Our Media, and Medical Industry Media find that kind of thing boring and tedious. Researchers found that credible Science, just does not get the funding. Research has to be topical and get attention, so the results and conclusions, are over hyped and attached to misleading titles, and headlines.
    The Medical Industry decided years ago that pain was too difficult or expensive to treat, for most Americans. They had to redefine it. The Psychologists and Psychiatrists wanted to increase their market share and get equal footing with real Medical Practitioners. They re-branded pain as a Personality Disorder, a noxious, incurable Mental Disorder. A Condition along the same lines as being a Psychopath. They also used the pain and frustration experienced by people with untreated chronic pain, often with underlying Medical Conditions, as proof they were “Catastrophising.” When a patient with Chronic pain, who waited months for a referral, tried to explain to a stoic non believing, patronizing Physician or Psychotherapist, got frustrated or upset they declared it was “Catastrophizing.” Patients who experienced post surgical pain, were redefined as Mentally ill, or they did not want to get better. Even though there is no “Pay Off’ for having ones life limited by chronic pain, they decided there must be one, so they applied that to everyone.. That “research’ was probably funded by the Insurance Industry. Instead of doing Scientific Research on the causes of pain, or the incidence of things like “Hyperlagia” they only researched areas that appealed to industry interests.
    In the year 2000 they declared a decade of pain control and research, yet we are no closer to any real description, clear diagnosis, or real treatment. Since the research was only done in a way to increase Corporate Profits, avoid Liability and confuse people, there has been no progress. In Fact we are going backwards, recycling all of the treatments, that already failed> No real research was done on the effectiveness of any of that, since it was already understood it did not work. In order mislead the public about the effectiveness of any of these “treatments” they did the same thing the advertising world did.

    They only mentioned anecdotal Outlier “stories, while tweaking the Studies, to give the appearance of a credible Scientific basis for this nonsense. They relied on the Placebo effect, and projected ideas of improvement. They also conflated the short term effect of participating in a “Study,” where contact with other human beings who were nice or validated ones existence made the research appear positive. Biased misleading Surveys, Studies and data, often cherry picked or containing incomplete data are all presented as “Science” or Fact. Many of the “Studies” we see in the Media contain Biased and incomplete information, by design. Remember Science requires hundreds of observations, in order to confirm a new idea, or to prove something is valid. Years of only Studying what is popular, Industry and Profit driven “Research” have led us to an Impasse. If we ask how much we have learned in the last Decades, even though we have computers and access to a lot of data, we have not come far at all.

    If we look around, and pay attention, there are a lot of people suffering, from all kinds of distress. We live in a Country that has to Debate whether children deserve medical care, or education. Thousands of Studies have been done on that, leading to some very basic common sense conclusions. Yet there is a Debate, as children are exposed to trauma, and a preponderance of evidence clearly outlines that something is wrong. They even re branded childhood distress, as “character building.” We live in a country where facts are no longer relied on, and belief has taken it’s place. I guess it is better than nothing.

    https://www.painweek.org/brainfood_post/will-lessons-learned-from-the-decade-of-pain-control-drive-better-outcomes-in-pain-management.html
    We are all being Gas Lighted.

  16. Amy at 7:48 am

    I utilize many of these things in my home care dept. and find they all keep me healthier and saner than Drs and meds (though I use them as needed as well.) Just wanted to add 2 items that have been real gifts to me and to add a comment.

    Instead of using tennis balls on trigger points, which were too hard or too small, I’ve discovered Carnegie Gel Balls. They’re about the size of a softball, but filled with gel and you can find them with the exercise equipment at any big box store. I get terrible pain in shoulder, neck, head that can lead to migraines, vertigo…it can get so bad it involves the muscles of the sternum making it difficult to breathe. My chiropractor at the time advised using tennis balls on the trigger points beneath my shoulder blades, but they weren’t working. A friend rolled one of these gel balls across the floor to me and it was a true Eureka! moment. Helping me to stand/sit straighter and not too hard to flare up what’s already in pain…they have become indispensable to my “tool box.”

    Another great tool is simply called “the stick,” (google it) which I got on-line thru Amazon. I don’t know how many of you have tried laying on or using a foam roller in an attempt to ease a totally freaking out cramped muscle only to find they make it worse?! The stick is a plastic baton about 2 ft. long with hand grips on either end covered by moveable rings that can really work a muscle gently. I can’t tell you how much they’ve helped me, esp. with leg spasms and tight glutes!

    The biggest “tool” of all is our brain. Knowing that all flare ups end (or subside) eventually is the biggest tool in my arsenal. Not kicking my own butt for a flare up is really important (stop with the “If I didn’t, if I hadn’t, I should haves…”) just accept it, go with it and use what you know will help lessen it. Over time (and I’m talking years) I’ve managed to “manage” my pain…having fewer flare-ups and of shorter duration. But they have never stopped completely. In fact, I’ve been enduring the worst one in a number of years with no pain medication at all (muscle relaxers, yes, pain meds, no…Dr wouldn’t prescribe them ) We are talking full body, screaming pain, feeling like burning chemicals as opposed to blood is flowing through my system? Curled and weeping in a fetal position? The hardest thing to do was for my saner mind to get a word in edgewise…”OK. You’re flared. It has not killed you yet. You always come out the other side. There IS another side.” Focus on that. Do what YOU need to do to get thru this episode. THIS has literally been my hardest lessen to learn…esp. when my brain has hit the primitive lizard sector where I’d gnaw off a limb if it would reduce my pain? Trust me. I’d rather have medication, it really, really helps…but I’ve found the one constant through all my trials is myself. I started with wee, little steps and built on them. I am not 100% and never will be, but I AM in control of how I react to my pain…and No. It doesn’t cure you, stop pain or flare-ups…but taking back some control over my pain is empowering. And isn’t that something we are all searching for?

  17. Ibin at 7:36 am

    Thanks Cindi for the info. Don’t mean to sound negative but, been there, done that. I never wished to use ANY medication, however after 23 years as a patient I agree that movement, one of your points does in fact help relieve the pain.Again, after one year of med sanctioning, to find the will to move much is almost nill.I never considered myself an “addict”, simply used medication to work and pay the bills. Can’t do either one now. Med sanctioning to help reduce drug overdose, by the incoming information is not working. 56,000 overdoses for the very unfortunate people and families to grieve over. 66,000 drug overdoses in 2017, a year after medication sanctioning to one and all without my providers judgement to do so, millions of less opioid medication scrips written in 2017, millions more have become totally disabled.

    I hope kratom, cbd oil in the no pot states works but again, been there, done that. The information for those that have not tried alternative remedies for pain management is great. I hope it works for those that have not tried some of your remedies. I truly do. There ARE going to be many that will continue to descend into a worse state of hoplessness.I really hate to see what is happening to the responsible med users though. A one for all. the same, in health care actually scares me. What’ts next. Thanks though Cindi. Good luck to all patients. I hope you find a realistic therapy that dot/gov don’t control without being judgemental and not regard ANY documentation of beneficial treatment with adequate medication from our providers and patients. Worse, dot/gov disregarding doctor amd patient statements, testimony of worsened pain management AFTER a patient has tried alternative treatment and medication sanctioning..

  18. Ali de Groot at 6:00 am

    I know that pain is real and often insurmountable. I have had trigeminal neuralgia for 6 years now. I also had a back injury about 15 years ago that I thought would never stop hurting. And it can be frustrating when well-intentioned people say “Have you tried this, or that…?

    But I agree with the author that having a variety of tools and strategies at home can help in small ways even if you aren’t sure they are helping. And even if addressed along with medications and other actions.

    It’s important to get out of the cycle of fear and worry about one’s body or health. Aqua aerobics, movement for people in pain, and other classes help me immensely. I found two psychotherapists who specialize in chronic pain and have helped me tremendously. Guided meditations before bed help me to relax.

    I know I might not beat my illness, but any moments of peace and self-care surely do make a difference. Yes, my back stilll hurts at times, but I don’t spin into a state of terror as I used to. Yes, trigeminal neuralgia is still here for me, but I have a different attitude in some moments. I know it’s the other tools in my home kit that have helped me in this way.

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