My take on chronic pain

François Pugh

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Wish I'd had your doc. I've found that it's best to reject pain medication with the one exception when you are messed up and can't sleep. Last shoulder surgery I told the doc, no pain medication. He and my wife convinced me that I should take some Oxycontin home so I can have it available post surgery as I was going to be in extreme pain. I managed my pain mentally as always and I discovered later that my daughter, who has a substance abuse issue, found them tucked away in the back of the drawer and worked her way through them until they were gone. THANKS DOC YOU F%%[email protected]

One time I was roofing a garage, misstepped and flew off the roof. Going down sideways the first thing to connect was the side of my face with the edge of a metal table. When I came to, I had blood dripping down my face. I cleaned it, put a bandaid on it and went to work. @ 1 hour later we ran out of nails and went to the store. The woman in line next to me was staring at me. Caught her staring and stared back and she looked away...until I turned my head back then she started staring again. I reach up and felt the bandaid and realized that the jagged sharp end of my shattered cheekbone was sticking straight out about a full inch from under the bandaid and the blood was still dripping down onto my shirt. That's why she had been staring. Got the nails, finished the roof a couple of hours later, then went to the hospital. Didn't take any medication. Worst pain ever was back pain, nearly double what that was. Backs are the worst...the very worst.
My daughter was given some oxycontin when she had her appendix out. She didn't like the feeling so didn't take any after the first one. Good thing, 'cause they helped me get to sleep several years latter when I broke my arm.
 

mulva28

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2 weeks ago I went to a boot fitter because my Lange RS 130 which I bought on my own were killing my arches; I had my custom footbeds in them. Swore the problem must have been the boots because I wasn't fitted by a pro. Got new boots, felt great in shop, skied once with the custom footbeds, same issue: took 5 or 6 runs of arch pain to get a few more runs of less arch pain. Swaped out the footbeds for the stock footbeds: way worse, total foot pain, lasted 2 runs. Back to boot fitter, got their best guy and he told me the footbed fit perfectly buy my zeppa/boot board was not ground flat to match it. (Never had this done on my last boots either). He did the work, grinding the zeppa to match the footbed and took some material out of the footbed under the plantar fascia tendon, again everything feels good in the shop. Also he said, look into something called plantar fasciitis. Pain isn't normal. Oh. Now that I'm aware of this, yeah, should have had this checked a few years ago. Going to Killington for Thanksgiving and hoping the bootwork helps but also know the problem is actually plantar fasciitis.
 

newboots

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@Jerez - Awesome article!

And this:
So I had this thought thinking about the above, "What if we are all always in pain, but we just don't notice it?"

Mindfulness techniques and chronic pain management skills have been found to be about as effective as opioid pain medications in the treatment of chronic pain and without any risks or side effects.
Some health psychologists specialize in the treatment of chronic pain. It works!

Some of the treatment is as simple as @Francois describes - simple, not easy! Others use somewhat different methods. All focus on diminishing the attention to the pain, relaxing the muscles in the area of pain, and teaching "radical acceptance" of the situation to stop us from fighting the fact that we have pain.

This has been an extremely oversimplified psychologist moment.
 

LiquidFeet

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Has no one mentioned hypnosis yet? I have a close friend who is a counseling psychologist. She teaches people with chronic pain to use self-hypnosis.
 
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Kneale Brownson

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2 weeks ago I went to a boot fitter because my Lange RS 130 which I bought on my own were killing my arches; I had my custom footbeds in them. Swore the problem must have been the boots because I wasn't fitted by a pro. Got new boots, felt great in shop, skied once with the custom footbeds, same issue: took 5 or 6 runs of arch pain to get a few more runs of less arch pain. Swaped out the footbeds for the stock footbeds: way worse, total foot pain, lasted 2 runs. Back to boot fitter, got their best guy and he told me the footbed fit perfectly buy my zeppa/boot board was not ground flat to match it. (Never had this done on my last boots either). He did the work, grinding the zeppa to match the footbed and took some material out of the footbed under the plantar fascia tendon, again everything feels good in the shop. Also he said, look into something called plantar fasciitis. Pain isn't normal. Oh. Now that I'm aware of this, yeah, should have had this checked a few years ago. Going to Killington for Thanksgiving and hoping the bootwork helps but also know the problem is actually plantar fasciitis.
I learned MANY years ago, maybe about the time I went from laced leather to plastic boots, that I suffered mightily if I snugged my foot down tight right from the start of skiing. Especially bad if I've not been in boots for a week or more. So I start with the boots fairly loose and ski easy for a while before tightening.
 

Paul Lutes

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I learned MANY years ago, maybe about the time I went from laced leather to plastic boots, that I suffered mightily if I snugged my foot down tight right from the start of skiing. Especially bad if I've not been in boots for a week or more. So I start with the boots fairly loose and ski easy for a while before tightening.

This^^^^
Never felt like my body in general need a warm/loosening up to start out with, but when I eased into things specifically with my boots it was pretty amazing. "Course, now I find myself gradually tightening up my boots over the first hour or so until it just begins to be uncomfortable. OK, sometimes a little passed that point. but oooohhh the control!!!
 

newboots

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Has no one mentioned hypnosis yet? I have a close friend who is a counseling psychologist. She teaches people with chronic pain to use self-hypnosis.
There’s a great deal of similarity between the mindfulness approaches in vogue now and hypnosis, which was more popular years ago. The folks who specialize in each of these would probably argue the finer points. I’m sure they are more or less equally successful.


The hard part is explaining to the individual the relationship between brain and pain. Absolutely nobody wants to hear “It’s all in your head,” because they’ve already heard it, and it generally came from someone who is unable to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.
 

Kneale Brownson

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Or passed something the size of a watermelon through a vagina...:P
I was in an ER awaiting a cat scan for a thumping on the chest I'd received earlier and a young lady came in crying about her kidney stone. She had a hubby and a toddler with her. I asked her if that was her baby, and when she replied in the affirmative, I asked which was worse, giving birth or a kidney stone. She said the kidney stone by a mile.
 

Tahoma

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So I'm an anesthesiologist, always have had an interest in treating pain (mostly postop/acute pain). Despite all the book training and taking care of patients with acute and chronic/cancer pain, NOTHING prepared me for when I blew out not just one, but two lumbar discs over the course of a few months. Had surgery on the first, and honestly the pain during recovery was a welcome change from sciatica at its worst. Then I stupidly overdid some yard work after I thought I was fully recovered and blew out disc #2. Ay Yi Yi!! Ironically, that disc mostly resolved on its own after a couple of months and a steroid injection. The (temporary) inability to heel-lift on that side was a lot more scary than the pain. And opioids for me were "meh."

But as Andy and others have said, having serious pain and having to deal with it over time gives you a whole new perspective on it, and what you can cope with. And how it affects your outlook and mood. My family was ever so happy to not have "Growly Bear" around once things got better. But like others, I also live with a bit of background "noise" discomfort. A good day is when I can get up and get my back in shape with my home PT stretches and an Aleve. A really good day is when I can skip the Aleve. A really really good day is being thankful to enjoy a hike or ski with my family, even with the "background noise."
 

Tahoma

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I was in an ER awaiting a cat scan for a thumping on the chest I'd received earlier and a young lady came in crying about her kidney stone. She had a hubby and a toddler with her. I asked her if that was her baby, and when she replied in the affirmative, I asked which was worse, giving birth or a kidney stone. She said the kidney stone by a mile.
My experience too. Every woman I've taken care of with kidney stones rates them worse than labor pain. And at least labor pain has a nice outcome.
 

mulva28

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I learned MANY years ago, maybe about the time I went from laced leather to plastic boots, that I suffered mightily if I snugged my foot down tight right from the start of skiing. Especially bad if I've not been in boots for a week or more. So I start with the boots fairly loose and ski easy for a while before tightening.
I did this today and skied in my new boots mostly pain free; I think I need my fitter to make a little more room in the instep. Started fairly loose and by run 4 or 5 I found a nice snugness. Thanks for this!
 

djetok

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Multiple back surgeries, numbness in both feet, reoccurring sciatica, chronic back spasms, you either surrender or you don't. I went on a tough day hike yesterday and it was marvelous, but I'm paying the price today. Man was it worth it.
This sounds like me. What are you doing to manage the pain? I never take opioids. I use 315 extreme relief (cbd salve) and 12.5 MG gummy at night with 2.5 MG melatonin to sleep. Aleve twice a day.
 

freeskier1961

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I believe pain tolerance is different for everybody. I too have had two herniated discs (surgeries to resolve) along with 2 acl reconstructions, 2 ruptured Achilles, fractured clavicle, and most recent detached bicep tendon (surgery to repair.
I have learned to live with pain some days better than others. I still ski 25 to 35 days a season with blacks, double blacks in the mix. Do some skinning BC. For me off season strength and core training seems to help. I also stretch my hamstrings which seems to help my back immensely. My surgeon tells me I have significant oteo arthritis in my lower back and to keep active. I am a current cancer survivor. All good as I am still able to enjoy an active lifestyle probably much more than some. I am thankful , grateful and fortunate for such. I believe life is all about attitude. Take care and enjoy your season!!
 

newboots

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I believe pain tolerance is different for everybody. I too have had two herniated discs (surgeries to resolve) along with 2 acl reconstructions, 2 ruptured Achilles, fractured clavicle, and most recent detached bicep tendon (surgery to repair.
I have learned to live with pain some days better than others. I still ski 25 to 35 days a season with blacks, double blacks in the mix. Do some skinning BC. For me off season strength and core training seems to help. I also stretch my hamstrings which seems to help my back immensely. My surgeon tells me I have significant oteo arthritis in my lower back and to keep active. I am a current cancer survivor. All good as I am still able to enjoy an active lifestyle probably much more than some. I am thankful , grateful and fortunate for such. I believe life is all about attitude. Take care and enjoy your season!!
My hat is off to you!
 

Lorenzzo

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Last year while recovering from broken bones and internals, I was given Oxycodone among other things in the hospital. When I came to enough to understand what I was taking I stopped taking it. Then I got lectured by a doctor and staff about need and time required before pain control from the Oxycodone could re-establish.

When I got home I was supposed to continue with the Oxy but the risks made me uncomfortable. A friend, let's call him the home grown herb doctor, persuaded me to try edibles instead. As soon as it kicked in the pain was gone. I continued for the amount of time I was supposed to be on Oxy and then was able to go on without anything.

So was it the weed products killing the pain or was it a mental/mindfulness thing? I've wondered but it worked and enabled me to avoid the risks associated with Oxycontin.
 
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