Hypnosis, Relaxation, and Meditation for Chronic Pain Management

Hypnosis, Relaxation, and Meditation for Chronic Pain Management

Hypnosis, relaxation, and meditation are often considered complementary therapies for disease and pain management. There have been numerous studies, in both adults and children, which have found that mind and body therapies provide many benefits, including decreased pain and stress, improved coping, and increased sense of well-being and relaxation.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a therapy that produces a relaxed, trance-like state where the human conscious is temporarily turned out of focus through non-attention to distractions, such as pain. During hypnosis, a person is more open to specific suggestions.

Medical hypnosis has been shown to reduce pain and stress. One study from the National Institutes of Health found hypnosis to be quite useful in treating chronic pain associated with a variety of medical conditions, including cancer.

If you want to try hypnosis for pain management, you should contact a licensed or certified mental health professional who is specially trained in this technique. You can expect to spend at least one hour with your therapist for a first appointment and you may have short follow-up appointments. Your therapist will give you a post-hypnosis suggestion that will enable you to induce self-hypnosis once treatment is complete. Audio recordings are another option, and these walk you through the steps to achieve benefits from hypnosis.

To find a hypnotist, contact the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the American Psychological Association.

Read more at http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-information-articles/general/1638-hypnosis-relaxation-and-meditation-for-chronic-pain-management#g8UkQIQ0PVvQzYRe.99

Topical Pain Agents for Pain Relief

Learn your topical treatment options to manage painful arthritis.

Topical Pain Agents for Pain Relief

When you’re experiencing pain in your joints and muscles, topical pain relievers are a good alternative for pain management. These medications are delivered through a variety of dosage forms, including patches, gels, lotions, creams, sprays, and ointments. Topical agents have been used for decades to help prevent and treat a wide variety of health conditions, including pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions.

Topical pain medications are absorbed through the skin and are best for relieving joint and muscle pain close to the skin’s surface, including the hands, elbows, knees and feet. If you are reluctant to take pills, you may opt for an over-the-counter cream or patch or to have your doctor prescribe a stronger topical medication.

What are your options? And will they work to manage your pain?

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Diclofenac is a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication available for topical pain management. Diclofenac is available in both patch and solution/gel formulas. The patch (Flector Patch) was first approved by the FDA in 1998 and can be used for the treatment of sprains and strains, but the solution/gel (Voltaren Gel) was designed for arthritis pain. Diclofenac works by reducing substances that cause inflammation and pain in the body. It is only available as a prescription and carries the same risk as other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Read more at http://www.arthritisconnect.com/arthritis-articles/616-topical-pain-agents-for-pain-relief#mkOeL8LsA7qZOKgm.99

Five Truths about Fibromyalgia and Pain

Five Truths about Fibromyalgia and Pain

People who live with persistent pain can be suffering from a specific condition, whether it is arthritis, fibromyalgia, MS, or something else. But when you are living with pain that has lasted several months, you are actually suffering from another condition too — chronic pain.

Despite decades of study, chronic pain still seems to be misunderstood and hard to manage. As a result, there is much misinformation about chronic pain and stereotypes about the people that live with this condition.
Here are five truths to dispel the myths about chronic pain.

Pain is Real

For so many that live with illness and chronic pain, the pain they feel is often questioned. Doubt and misunderstanding come from loved ones, acquaintances and even members of the medical community. The reality is that pain is experienced differently by each individual.
Read more at http://www.fibromyalgiaconnect.com/fibromyalgia-articles/441-five-truths-about-fibromyalgia-and-pain#l8fUUt0JbGaFZB4W.99

Depression and Pain: Guest Post

Undoubtedly, there is a strong link between chronic pain and depression. The relationship is reciprocal in that each condition can bring on symptoms of the other. While finding help for either condition alone is of utmost importance in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, finding professional help becomes increasingly important when you’re dealing with both conditions at once. To help you determine whether you are currently dealing with a combination of these two conditions, I’ve provided a symptom list of each below. These lists will help you prepare for a discussion with your physician by giving you common symptoms to base your concerns from. Read over the list below and take note of the symptoms that you are currently experiencing:

Depression:

  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Continuous sad, anxious or empty feelings
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Constant feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Thoughts of death and/or suicide

Chronic Pain:

  • Mild to severe pain that lasts longer than expected after injury
  • Severe pain that may be described as shooting, burning or electric
  • Constant discomfort, soreness, stiffness, tightness
  • Change in mood. i.e. irritability, depression, anxiety or stress

Getting Help

If you are experiencing a combination of depression and anxiety, it is often best to treat the two conditions separately. This involves finding both a skilled pain specialist as well as a therapist. Combining their focused treatment methods will help you effectively treat both conditions simultaneously. However, working with two physicians does mean that you will need to report back to each with the therapies and medications you are receiving from the other. This way, you can be sure that you are receiving treatments that complement one another to produce the best possible results.

Getting the most out of your treatments

While carefully following the instructions provided by your doctor will be of the highest value, there are also a few other ways you can facilitate your treatment process as a patient. Some of these include:

  • Keeping track of your pain symptoms and depressive moods in a journal and bringing it with you to appointments with your physicians.
  • Developing and following a healthy diet and comfortable exercise routine
  • Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes
  • Reaching out to trusted friends and family members for help with difficult tasks
  • Taking time for rest and relaxation
  • Informing a trusted friend or family member of your medication/therapy schedule so that they can help you stay on track.
  • Researching and asking your doctors about the medications and therapies you are prescribed.

I hope that this information will help you effectively identify and treat your unique condition. In my many years of practice, helping my pain patients gain a better understanding of their conditions and treatment options has allowed me to optimize the success of their treatments. I wish you the best of luck in your journey to relief and remind you that with wonderful online resources like Alliance Health Communities, support is just a click away.

Guest Post by: Lynn Webster, MD

About Dr. Webster

Dr. Webster is Medical Director of CRI Lifetree and current president of the Academy of Pain Medicine. He has conducted or participated in over 200 clinical studies over the course of his career as a pain physician and researcher. His research work centers on the development of safer and more effective therapies for chronic pain and addiction prevention. He is best known for developing the widely used Opioid Risk Tool (ORT) and for his public campaign to reduce overdose deaths from prescription medications. You can find a more information on Dr. Webster by viewing his Health Grades profile.