Choices for Managing Chronic Pain

There are several different services and modalities for treating and managing chronic pain.  The following modalities I have used myself in managing my RSD /CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy).

  • Physical therapy.  This can be different for each person.  I started out doing pool therapy and massage with hot and cold packs before I advanced to the fitness center.  I was lucky that my range of motion and stretching remained strong because I exercised and was in shape before my accident, I am also a dancer from my highschool days.  It is so important to exercise -fat or thin – we all need to do it. I think physical therapy was a big part in my recovery and that is why I feel the chi machine can be helpful to some.  It works great for those of us who are not as active as we should be because it is a passive aerobic exerciser and maybe a good way to get your body moving.
  • Electrical nerve stimulation. This method applies pulses of electricity to nerve endings in the skin.  I used this method as well and continue to do so with the Advanced Electro Reflex Energizer.  This really helped me target large muscle groups in my body.
  • Professional counseling (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy). With chronic pain, unfortunately some individuals can suffer from stress or depression which can worsen our pain.  I know before I had my Left Lumbar Sympathectomy, I had to go through a session to be evaluated to make sure mentally I was strong enough to do the surgery (since an improvement in my RSD couldn’t be predicted).  You can’t be healthy without being emotionally and physically strong.  There is a mind and body connection.
  • Pain Management Clinics.  These clinics are set up to do the injections, blocks, medication management, and to help us cope with our chronic pain.   Those of us in chronic pain are familiar with these clinicals and I had my lumbar sacral blocks at a pain management clinic.

Most of my friends in pain are familiar with these services.  Hang in there, remember, you need to try different things, you don’t know what works till you try it.