Our Pain Management Blog

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Fibromyalgia Coping Tricks

Are you tired of being in pain? Perhaps an attitude adjustment would be enough to make those waves of pain to wane for an extended period. It’s true; it’s been proven time and time again that our moods directly affect our ability to cope with pain.

If, despite your efforts to be in a continually good mood, you find the pain will not subside, then you might consider these coping mechanisms:

‘It’s just one of those days

You say the words with a frown on your face and you know that, no matter how hard you try, you are stuck; ‘down in the dumps’. Unfortunately, there are always going to be ‘those days’ whether you are perfectly healthy or are a chronic pain sufferer. Realizing this is important, but it is also essential to remember that the sadness will not last forever; there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Chronic Pain Bucket List

So, chronic pain isn’t going to claim your life, but there is still good reason to consider the many fun, exciting, or unusual activities that you would like to do during your lifetime. These goals can serve as the perfect distraction when the blues begin to set in. Though it will not erase the pain, it can help to keep your mind off of it.

What makes me special?

It’s an excellent question for anyone to ponder from time to time. For a chronic pain sufferer, it is easy to fall into the trap of defining his- or herself as such. Statements such as ‘I have fibromyalgia’ or ‘my back bothers me sometimes’ are fine, but often they are replaced by a mentality of ‘I am fibromyalgia’ or ‘I am back pain’. There is much more to who you are and reminding yourself of those good things is an excellent way to stay in a good mood, thereby improving pain levels.

Our pain specialists at Interventional Pain Associates in Austin not only treat fibromyalgia patients, they provide guidance and support for day to day pain management. Visit our website or call to schedule an appointment with us to find out how we can help you get the treatment you need for a better quality of life.

For more great tips for coping with fibromyalgia, continue reading here.

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Does Lack of Sleep Make Fibromyalgia Pain Worse?

For many, this answer may seem an obvious one, but you may be surprised to learn that, while lack of sleep can impact many aspects of day-to-day life, it did not prove to be a predictor of pain levels.

This news comes after a study of seventy-four fibromyalgia sufferers. Researchers at the University of Florida carefully followed the volunteer subjects over the span of fourteen days. On each of those days, patients were asked to rate their pain levels on a standardized scale. They were also asked to complete a sleep journal entry in which they detailed how well and how long they slept the night before.

The team from the University of Florida had good reason to suspect that there would be a link. Sleep duration has been shown to have an impact on clinical pain in healthy adults, thus it was predicted that the same would be true of fibromyalgia pain in regular sufferers.

Unfortunately, no such conclusion could be drawn. The two measures, being the amount and quality of sleep achieved, as well as the level of pain reported the following day — did not have any definitive link.

Despite the disproven assumption, researchers believe that the two may be more distantly related. There is good reason to believe that the fatigue and inactivity that comes as a result of continued sleep loss could negatively impact the well being of fibromyalgia patients. In general, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is beneficial for managing fibromyalgia which you can read more about here.

For more information about this study and the findings, continue to reading the full article

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Fibromyalgia: Turning Stress into Pain

The medical community has come a long way in the past few decades in the recognition and treatment of chronic pain.

Fibromyalgia, however, still stumps even the greatest minds. With continued research, though, more is being learned about it and about how it can be treated.

Recent developments have led to the publication of a series of papers published in the Pain Research and Treatment Journal. While some delve into the concept of utilizing exercise to overcome muscular deficiencies, others are making a direct connection between stress and the pain associated with fibromyalgia.

The central nervous system has been studied at great length for its part in the unusual pain processing that occurs in fibromyalgia patients. In addition to the concepts of pain processing and body reactions to pain stimuli, a paper by L.A. Low and P. Schweinhardt aims to promote discussion on the part played by distress and stress.

Connections between early traumas and the later onset of fibromyalgia were made much earlier. The authors believe, though, that the traumas may actually disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress system and, therefore, cause later emotional or mental stresses to be perceived as painful stimuli resulting in a chronic physical reaction.

Though some might be skeptical, the authors argue that today’s stress is not likely to be the cause of the pain, but would likely augment it. They suggest that it is the initial trauma, whether resulting in a physical injury or something more psychological, which could overload the system and be too much for the adaptive capacity of the human being at a young age.

For more information about the issue of Pain Research and Treatment, visit the medical article here

Interventional Pain Associates strives to provide the best fibromyalgia treatment for our Austin patients. If you’d like to learn more about our services, visit our website or give us a call.

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10 Minute Massage to Ease Fibromyalgia Muscle Aches

Millions of people have recognized the medical worthiness of massage in recent years. The non-drug therapy provides athletes and those with chronic illnesses with an alternative way to reduce the discomfort associated with over-firing nerves, inflamed muscles, and aching joints.

Though few are going to argue that massage helps with the symptoms associated with chronic pain disorders, but researchers were interested in how far the therapy went in treating the underlying issues. It was discovered that it could actually reach the exact biochemical sensors responsible for reducing inflammation in the surrounding muscles. Essentially, the muscles recognize the stimulation of the massage as a signal to relax and the sensors within release biochemical signals that reduce the inflammation. Thus, the massage does not just feel good in the moment; it also relaxes the muscles, along for long-lasting relief.

In order to make these discoveries, the researchers followed eleven men as they underwent continued massage therapy after doing physical activity in a controlled setting. The first visit involved cycling for over an hour (until a point of exhaustion), for instance. The massages were just ten minutes long and done on just one of the legs. Though short, the treatment made a notable improvement in the muscle status.

This provides a lot of insight into massage therapy and why it is as effective as patients have long claimed. To read more about the study, visit the full story here

At IPA, we treat fibromyalgia and offer healthy living solutions to improve quality of life. Visit here to learn more.