Aug 282013

Young Man Holding His Lower Back In Pain w creditBy Graham Gillies – Lake Country Calendar
Published: August 28, 2013 3:00 AM

In this column I am going to focus on the treatment of chronic muscle and nerve pain and why it can be so difficult to find a solution for this type of pain.

It is estimated that over one third of the adult population in North America suffers from chronic pain.

That is a staggering statistic. This means that one of out of every three people out on the street is dealing with ongoing daily pain.

Research shows that suicide is nine times more prevalent in people with chronic pain than with depression and it is estimated that, in the United States, chronic pain affects more people than diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined.

So, is chronic muscle and nerve pain so common?

To understand this question we have to look at the gradual process that happens to all of our bodies to some degree over many years.

Read full story…


Aug 092013
By Christine Lin Epoch Times

10 ml bottles of Ketamine (Wikimedia Commons)“While ketamine does not cure neuropathic pain, treatment can put the patient into remission long enough to give the nervous system a chance to repair itself.

NEW YORK—As human beings, we instinctively avoid pain—the sting of nettles, the burn of a hotplate, the pinching of door hinges. Pain is useful because it communicates immediate danger and helps us keep out of it. However, some pain is chronic, as neuropathic pain often is.

Neuropathic pain derives from the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system. It is pain that comes from the nerves, as opposed to common muscular aches and arthritic pain. Sometimes it is triggered by traumatic accidents.

In support forums, patients suffering from neuropathic pain describe their symptoms as “burning all over,” “shooting pains in the arms and legs,” “agony,” and “unbearable.” Many of them recount their experiences in seeking relief “frustrating,” that they’ve “tried everything,” or that “not one doctor can give me an answer.”

Neuropathic pain, as a broad category of conditions that include neuralgia, phantom limb syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and central pain syndrome, is a little-understood realm in medicine. We don’t always know its causes. And current treatment methods are mediocre at best.

Read the complete story on Epoch Times

In British Columbia, Dr. Brenda Lau at St. Paul’s Hospital, provides Ketamine infusions. I don’t know enough personallly to speak to it, but you can read a little about it at the website ‘Imagine A Lifetime – Living With CRPS’. I consider Trudy a dear friend and I don’t think I’m out of line saying that she has expressed that receiving treatments under Dr. Lau’s care has significantly impacted her life.

Another resource that comes to mind is the article ‘Overview of Ketamine Infusion Therapy’ on the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association’s website.

If you know of any resources or have experience with receiving ketamine as a treatment for your chronic pain, I would love if you shared your thoughts below.

Jacqui, Damselfly

Apr 212013

Try these chronic pain management tips to reduce suffering and improve your quality of life:

If you’re suffering from chronic pain, you likely have days when relief might seem out of reach. But simple strategies for chronic pain management can make a big difference in improving your quality of life.

What is Chronic Pain?

Dr. Shelley Adams, a chiropractor at Back2Health Chiropractic Kitsilano in Vancouver, says chronic pain extends beyond the expected period of healing. “We expect people to have problems and there are different timelines for different problems.”

Chronic pain usually lasts more than three to six months, if not longer, says Linda Soltysiak, a group leader for the North Shore Chronic Pain Group. Chronic pain can be unpredictable, vary from mild to excruciating and be in one or multiple areas of the body.

Causes of Chronic Pain

“We still do not have a really good explanation why chronic pain persists,” says Dr. Patrick Myers, a registered psychologist at Stress-Less Consulting. Many people have pain without obvious cause and there may be a “biopsychosocial framework.”

Common causes of chronic pain include:

  • Physical injury and trauma — including car accidents, especially if the injury wasn’t treated immediately
  • Medical conditions — such as arthritis, migraines, cancer, fibromyalgia, TMJ and IBS
  • Bad posture — that has caused strain on joints and other body parts
  • Degeneration of spinal joints — due to genetics, injury, inactivity and lifestyle
  • Inactivity – motion improves joint health, relaxed tissues and increases blood supply to keep tissue healthy
  • Diet – diets high in animal fat promote inflammation and poor choices can lead to weight gain that causes joint degeneration and posture issues
  • Stress – creates muscle tension, pulling on joints and increasing irritation, and causes tissue distress due to long-term cortisol exposure
  • Disease – arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer and other illnesses

Complications of Chronic Pain

The hurt of chronic pain can go beyond just the physical. Chronic pain can lead to multiple issues, including:

  • Broken sleep and difficulty getting to sleep
  • Psychological trauma
  • Depression
  • Isolation

Read on

Jacqueline Goguen‘s insight:

Some tips to help us with managing our chronic pain. Do you have any tips not covered that you have found to help you? Please share them in the comments section below.



Apr 172013

Editor’s note: Chronic pain affects 1.5 billion people worldwide, an estimated 100 million of whom live in the United States. Yet we currently have no effective treatment options. Fortunately, writes David Borsook, director of the Pain and Imaging Neuroscience Group at Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Hospital, research advances have determined some of the ways in which chronic pain changes the brain, and several promising research areas could lead to better treatment approaches. Dr. Borsook recommends steps to facilitate these new treatments, including the establishment of integrated clinical neuroscience centers bridging the gap between bench and bedside.

The medical literature defines chronic pain as pain that has lasted for more than three months. Chronic pain is an epidemic worldwide, with 1.5 billion people feeling its effects. In the United States, about 100 million individuals are estimated to suffer from chronic pain, costing the country billions of dollars in health care and lost work productivity each year…

Jacqueline Goguen‘s insight:

Is it possible?

A fairly lengthy article, but a good one – includes a little bit of everything from history, current state and discussions of how research and treatment regarding chronic pain might proceed moving forward into the future.

Neuroscience Advances: Chronic Pain Is in the Brain

Most chronic pain conditions produce changes in the brain that contribute to what can be termed the “centralization of pain.” This implies that ongoing pain produces progressive alterations in brain connections, molecular biology, chemistry, and structure, with behavioral consequences. One brain region consistently affected in chronic pain conditions is called the dorsolateral prefrontal lobe, a region in the front of our brains thought to be involved in several higher-order functions, including cognition, motor planning, and working memory. This centralization of pain involves alterations in sensory, emotional, and modulatory circuits, which normally inhibit pain. Thus chronic pain may alter cognition and emotion, leading to increased fear, anxiety, or depression.“”

While reading it I couldn’t help but pick up on the references to cognitive and memory changes that happen. I know I have experienced changes in these areas. The comments though, are always ‘it happen’s to all of us as we get older’, or some variation on that theme.

What are your thoughts? Have you noticed those types of changes for yourself as your chronic pain has settled in?


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