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Re: chronic pain - Racer

Posted by Elizabet on July 13, 1999, at 17:15:07

In reply to Re: chronic pain: not always "just in your head", posted by Racer on July 12, 1999, at 10:49:55

Hi Racer. You're sounding a little better/less down these days; that's good. I hope it continues.

> Not scoliosis in my case, but chronic pain is an old acquaintance. I have a genetic condition that destroys my joints.

:-( That's got to suck, especially with the depression too (they probably feed off each other, huh?). What is the name of the condition, if I may ask?

>Depression makes the pain much much worse, right now it is at the point I find it very difficult to sleep.

Sleep loss is one of my main complaints resullting from the pain, yeah.

>But since I've lived with it constantly since my teens, I can tell you some things I've found that help, too.

Goody. :-)

> First of all, chronic pain is really bad for your mental state, since it erodes your resources as water erodes a rock. Be sure that you can find an outlet for that frustration, someone sympathetic to complain to, a doctor willing to try new treatments, whatever.

My friends have been really sympathetic and understanding. And, thank goodness, the pain clinic I've been going to seems pretty progressive.

> Secondly, exercise to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected area is the best of all possible treatments. My lower back pain comes from having broken my tailbone twice. I do some stretching exercises for it, and abdominal exercises. It really does help, as does better posture. If you can find a class in your area, try Yoga. It's really fabulous for backs.

Physical therapy was one of the recommendations the pain doc made, and even though I've already had it and it didn't help, I'm going to give it another try and see if it will work now that they have more of a clue what's going on (like, a real diagnosis for example).

I also try to stay active whenever I can, though I don't do any specific exercises at the moment. Apparently posture, and not so much muscle weakness, is the difficulty here.

A friend and I had talked about taking a yoga class together at this place in Harvard Square. I'll have to give her a call and find out if she's still up for it.

> Finally, while they have their problems too, the best drugs I've found for my pain are NSAIDs. They're not addictive, and the best one of those I've found is Zorprin. You know what it is? Aspirin, in a different base. The base keeps it from getting toxic at the doses required to fix my troubles. It really works better than anything else, though. Miracle drug.

I've tried many, many NSAIDs, none helped even a little bit. The two things that helped me were Nardil (hydrazide MAOI) and Fioricet (barbiturate with APAP and caffeine added). Jury's still out on the baclofen that I'm trying now. I'm considering switching from Parnate (nonhydrazide, doesn't help) to Marplan (hydrazide, might help???).

> You're right about pain being ignored at times. Especially in women, and especially in depressed patients. It's a good start that you've found someone who took it seriously enough to diagnose it. Good luck on treatment.

Thank you, and thanks for your thoughtful advice.




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