Thursday, August 28, 2014

How Pain Facebook Support Groups Actually Helped Me/More Ingenious Products

Like I've said in past posts, I am not one to show up to support groups and complain about my pain to strangers. Actually, unless you are my parents or best friend, I hardly ever bring it up at all unless I'm asked. I joined a few support groups on Facebook a month or two ago to share my blog and see other people's (read as: troll) comments/questions for writing inspiration and coincidentally, it became a lot more useful for me than I anticipated.

The last two weeks or so have been a little more rough than usual. A lot more trigger points have come back and I've been dealing with dizziness/nauseas spells (due to hypermobility.) Up until two weeks ago, most of my trigger points have been gone and I had generally been doing okay. But, if I would do too much, I would end up just feeling a really deep ache that still periodically made me immobile. This is a new kind of pain I was unfamiliar with and even though I know I need to go slow, I get so ambitious when I'm having a "good day", I start to feel invincible and wind up in bed for two days.

So, after a few weeks of spamming several chronic pain groups with my blog (since those are the people I want to really read it anyway), I ended up posting a question about this issue in this Facebook Fibromyalgia/Myofascial Pain Group. What I didn't realize until I joined the group was that the group admin was Devin Starlanyl, an MD who has written a TON of books on Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. This dumb Facebook group that I had indadvertedly joined was run by one of all the all-time authorities on trigger points and responded to every person's question on the group. For people who can't get afford the best doctor in the country (my doctor, Dr. Gerwin), she is an excellent resource.

Anyway, I digress.  Asked the question and got a ton of amazing feedback and products to help from Devin and a few others. If you're having pain similar to my deep achey pain, here are a few things that were to me recommended to help that I have bought/been using:

  • Light Swedish massage (and constant communication with your masseuse to guide pressure correctly)
  • China Gel - This is something a few months ago I would've looked at and considered total crap. It definitely didn't/won't help my spasms, but it's actually used by legitimate places like MayoClinic and has 5 stars on Amazon. I haven't checked the ingredients but I'm pretty sure it has menthol in it and makes it very cold on the spots where I rub it on. I love cold stuff and it's so cold, it distracts me from the pain. Not sure if that's what it's for, but it seems to actually do the trick.

  • Penetrex Anti-Inflamatory Cream  -I am slightly less convinced this works as well, but it seems to do something. I usually put it on in conjunction with the China Gel and it feels like it helps with achey spots. I usually put it on right after PT.
  • Thermosphere Heating Pad -This is the most crazy/cracked out heating pad I've ever used, and trust, there have been a lot of heating pads in my day. See the little clicker on top of the pad? You press it until the (moist!) heat gets as hot as you can stand and let go. Then, slowly, the heating pad starts to cool down and you press the clicker again. The increase and decrease really helps with the ache (and strangely enough, spasms!). It's a little pricey, but this thing is a slice of heaven. 
  • Soft Foam Roller - Okay, proceed with caution with this puppy. Everyone that said they loved using a foam roller said to learn how to use it before you just start trying shit. Sometimes I'm immune to good advice but, surprise, turns out they are right. I asked my PT if I should use it and he said I could, so I ended up watching a lot of Youtube videos like this for guidance. Most of these moves are too intense so a lot of the time I just put it underneath me, straight down my spine or perpendicular on my lower back and just lay there and it feels pretty good. Make sure if you are still tender/sensitive you get a soft one! 

    Enjoy! :)


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  2. Thanks for sharing great product list for pain relief. My mom and dad had a Thermophore electric heating pads years ago and I wanted one because I remember how it felt and I sure wasn't disappointed when I got it. It is exactly like the one they had and it works very good. It gives you a warm moist heat.