There are not a lot of scientific studies out there to support most supplements for pain management. That doesn't necessarily mean they can't help, but the science behind them many seem to be lacking. However, one option to consider for your arthritis could be fish oils. Some studies have found them to have a potent anti-inflammatory effect, and in some cases, they have worked as well as anti-inflammatory medications. Chinese medicine specialists and acupuncturists often have special training in using traditional herbal agents in disease management, and that could be another resource to consider.
Before starting any new supplement, make sure to first discuss it with your physician.View Thread
We do treat patients who come from out of the area, and do see some from out of state from time to time. My main goal at WebMD is to provide helpful information to folks that they can use when working with their own physicians. But if you would like to learn more about my practice or book, the links can be found on my bio page which you can get to by clicking on my picture. Happy to help!View Thread
I am sorry to hear that you are still having a difficult time working out the methadone situation. I am not too familiar with the Illinois area and would not be able to recommend a specific physician to you; however, one option to consider would be to get a second opinion at an academic center near your area. Sometimes physicians in teaching centers are able to work together with your local physicians for added help to more complicated problems. There might be some resources like that in Chicago or some of the other larger cities near where you live.View Thread
I am sorry that you have been dealing with this problem. One of the most common causes of nerve pain down an arm is from nerve root irritation in the neck. Have you discussed this possibility with your doctors? Burning nerve pain can also be associated with other nerve problems like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), in some cases. CRPS is typically triggered by some sort of injury to an extremity. Sometimes repetitive work activities, overuse of the arm, or injuries can lead to nerve pain problems coming from the nerves near the shoulder, and this is referred to as thoracic outlet syndrome.
As spinal cord stimulation is a big step to take, it would be good to try to get a better sense of the problem if possible before going down that road.
I think if you aren't feeling well after taking the methadone, then you should follow up with your doctor right away. Mixing high dosages of opiates can have risks, and methadone can be especially tricky and potentially dangerous. Methadone has the potential to cause some very serious side effects including problems with normal lung and heart function. Patients who start methadone should also have their EKG checked.
I would take this very seriously and get checked right away.View Thread
Having a complex chronic pain problem along with a concurrent history of substance abuse problems can pose significant challenges for pain management. And, I would add that there may be a wide spectrum of different opinions on what this actually means and how best to treat the pain from doctors, depending on who you talk to.
While there may not be a right or wrong answer on how to best treat a situation like this, I typically recommend a philosophy of doing what will help create the best health and well-being for the patient. This often requires comprehensive interdisciplinary care that addresses a combination of medical, psychological, social, and physical factors. Treatment should also create improvements in function and quality of life for the individual in pain, and in this situation help with addiction management and support groups can also be a part of the overall treatment plan.
For patients with opiate addiction histories, sometimes the medication buprenoprhine can be an alternative option to consider if managed appropriately, as well as a methadone clinic in some cases. Regardless of the approach, picking a safe path for the patient is important.View Thread
Studies seem to indicate that fluctuations in estrogen levels seem to have a significant impact on reported pain levels, where states of reduced estrogen are associated with increased pain. During the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are low at the point right when menstrual bleeding is about to take place. As a result, many women may feel more sensitivity to pain during these phases of their cycles. Also, research done on estrogen blocking drugs used for breast cancer treatment known as aromatase inhibitors have shown a correlation with musculoskeletal pain problems, possibly due to increased inflammation around tendons.View Thread
As you may know, shingles comes from the same virus that caused you to have chicken pox when you were younger. With shingles, the virus usually causes a very painful inflammatory reaction around a localized nerve root somewhere in the body. For most who get shingles, the pain as well as the rash subside after about 3-5 weeks. But, unfortunately, in other cases the pain can persist and this is referred to as postherpetic neuralgia. Older patients are more prone to developing postherpetic neuralgia.
Typical treatments for the nerve pain associated with the shingles virus include NSAIDS, nerve pain medications like gabapentin, and topical agents that can soothe sensitive skin. The pain is often difficult to manage, so don't hesitate to continue to follow up with your doctors for further help.View Thread
I can appreciate your frustration- it is always a bit nerve wracking having persistent pains and not really knowing what is causing it. Unfortunately, this happens a lot more often than you might think, as there is still a lot that we don't yet know in science and medicine. Pain that comes from an organ inside the abdomen, like an ovary or the intestine, is often referred to as visceral pain. Visceral pain is often hard to pinpoint and can feel very crampy. Nerve pain, such as from a pinched or injured nerve from surgery, would be expected to cause a more localized, radiating, sharp pain, as an example.
It might help if you talk to your doctors to get a sense of what type of pain they think you are having based on your history and symptoms and use that information to try to help you better manage things.View Thread