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Options for drug-free pain relief

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  • Options for drug-free pain relief

    Hi everyone!

    So although I am doing MUCH better now than I was just five days ago, I am still having issues with mid-low back problems. I went up to my specialist on Tuesday again and we talked about my back issues - no diagnosis of any condition, we think I probably just screwed everything up in the fall and then did too much too soon. He had an osteopathic resident working with him that day so I was subjected to osteopathic manipulation for almost half an hour, and it helped a LOT. The treatment reaction afterward was not fun, but other than that the past few days have been awesome!

    So now that I've been off narcotics and other CNS depressants for four days I don't want to go back to them, so I'm exploring other options for pain relief that don't involve narcotics, opiods, NSAIDs (my kidneys and liver hate me now), or pharmaceutical muscle relaxers. Here's what I've tried so far:

    Vitalwrap: I have one of these systems for my horses and I'm investing in the human back wrap - actually using one of my hock wraps right now and it's awesome! http://www.vitalwear.com/vitalwrap_s...oduct_info.cfm

    TENS: I borrowed a friend's TENS unit the other day and was fairly happy with the results. I'm also investing in a TENS unit. There are lots of models out there, so if anyone has suggestions I would appreciate them

    Herbs/Supplements: Here's where I need the most help. I know there are so many natural products out there to treat pain and muscle spasms, but I don't know which ones are right, wrong, or otherwise. I've heard valerian root is good for calming and muscle spasms, as well as chammomile and licorice (natural anti-inflammatory?)

    I'd love to hear what you all think. It's not that I'm against drugs - I'm all about better living through active chemistry! I'm just tired of dealing with the side effects and honestly, my kidneys are really starting to pay the price of my years of chronic NSAID use, and I like my kidneys - they're a matched pair and we've been together a long time. I'd like to keep it that way. I guess I'm just ready to try a different treatment approach
    "The FEI is often in error, but never in doubt." - Jim Wofford

    "You do not find the happy life. You make it." - Camilla Eyring Kimball

  • #2
    Acupuncture.

    Comment


    • #3
      For muscle pain, I've had some luck with arnica cream, but my go-to is Sore-No-More-- I prefer the gelotion to the liniment because it's easier to apply. A soak in a hot epsom salt bath followed by the Sore-No-More does WONDERS for me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Acupuncture. Makes my arthritis much more tolerable. I'm just upset now that I won't be able to continue with the treatments I have because my insurance rates have gone up so high --- and acupuncture isn't covered at all.

        Comment


        • #5
          Feldenkrais.
          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

          Comment


          • #6
            I've had great luck with trigger point + pitcher plant extract and localized cortizone injections. I also respond well to a drug called Lyrica (not that you want more drugs) and, quite honestly, booze.

            I've had some surgeries and injuries with nerve complications, and I have an unofficial diagnosis of mid-grade Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Basically it means my nerves keep freaking out thinking the injury is still there when it's not. So the goal of treatment is to quiet the nerves and try to coax them to stop firing. Breaking the pain cycle generally fixes the problem.

            The trigger point therapy has been the best of the group so far- pretty much instant relief from severe muscle spasms. And my insurance at the time even covered it! 0_o
            "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings

            Comment


            • #7
              Ditto the Acupressure. Massage. Some MILD chiropractic.

              Also Magnesium is good for cramping and muscle spasms. I was taking it for leg cramps for awhile with good results.
              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

              Comment


              • #8
                I sent you a PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've had really good luck with homeopathic, high potency arnica for my back pain (fractured L5). You can get 200c arnica at a health food store. Its also available in 1m or 10m, which are stronger. I think you can find those online. Dosing for 200c arnica is 5 pellets at least 15 minutes away from food until the pain is relieved. The higher potency is 1 dose every 3 days.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If your doctor gives you the OK, my first (and really, only) recommendation is massage therapy. Hope you feel better soon!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Acupuncture has done wonders for myself. Light yoga,Chiropractic adjustments and massage helped too. The acupuncture has really done well for my pain long term. I can't take NASIDs anymore kills my stomach. Good luck~

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm the first to admit that I was very skeptical of accupuncture at first. I had great successful on some horses with a wonderful practitioner in the area and when I tore my ACL in March, I was encouraged to try some accupuncture on myself. I wasn't really excited about having someone stick pins in me but the relief was almost instantaneous! I would highly recommend giving that a go with a someone who is good!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Myofacial release therapy works great to relieve muscle spasms in my back or when my tennis elbows flare up --

                          I'm also a fan of arnica gel which gives me just a bit more relief than Sore-No-More --

                          I have a TENS unit -- It's great when it works, but mine is poorly made and very tempermental -- I get frustrated fooling with it, so rarely use it if I'm not in severe pain -- I'd have to look at it to tell you the manufacturer --
                          "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hypnosos can be very effective for chronic pain.
                            Janet

                            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Herbs/Supplements: Here's where I need the most help. I know there are so many natural products out there to treat pain and muscle spasms, but I don't know which ones are right, wrong, or otherwise. I've heard valerian root is good for calming and muscle spasms, as well as chammomile and licorice (natural anti-inflammatory?)
                              These are also "drugs", just less refined. For instance, valerian root is just the "unrefined" version of valium.
                              Janet

                              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have fibromyalgia and permanent lower back pain from a jumping accident. I also attribute it to having curvature in my back and doing nothing about it for two years

                                I see a chiropractor once a week, sometimes more or less.

                                I use SolPas patches (like IcyHot, but I find them more affective). BioFreeze cream (you can get it from a physical therapist or chiropractor in your area) is absolutely amazing. I also got a back brace from Target for under $20, it has done wonders for me when I do barn chores.

                                As far as herbs, I drink a LOT of raspberry, chamomile, green tea, lemon, and rosemary teas. I drink about two cups of tea a day. Here is a good website: http://www.naturalherbsguide.com/herbal-teas.html

                                I have my own TENS unit and MAN has it really helped. My grandparents gave me a massage chair that straps into my desk chair as a gift. I love it, and it is great pre and post ride.
                                http://www.facebook.com/orphanisabel

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I love my TENS unit. I will have to see what brand it is when I get home. My PT gave mine to me for my wrist when it was crushed at work, but it's so great, I've used it for all sort of strains/sprains/pulls/aches over the years.

                                  My friends that I have been able to talk into trying it can't believe the difference. I'm surprised at how many people are scared of them..lol.
                                  Rhode Islands are red;
                                  North Hollands are blue.
                                  Sorry my thoroughbreds
                                  Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I also love my TENS, it has gotten me through some really really rough times. If you have any acupressure practitioners near you, contact them and ask them to give you a point flow you can do on yourself. I am certified in acupressure and have used it extensively on all my body issues. Also, another item in my arsenal are these super hot chili plasters which you can only get online. They are for really big-gun pain though as they are really intense. Lastly, are you (pardon while I get flame protection) open to medical cannabis? Reeeeallllly helpful if you can integrate it into the rest of your life without disruption.

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                                    • #19
                                      Hmmm I see that acupuncture worked for some of you w/ arthritis. I tried it for about 7 times and I would get insane amount of pain every night after the treatment. I could barely put any weight on my leg.

                                      Maybe I'll find another acupuncture place and try again.
                                      "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        TENS, Thermotex heating pads (thermotex.com), self massage, accupuncture.

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