We have an acupuncturist at my center as part of my clinical team, and acupuncture is something that I often consider for some of my patients. As you probably know, acupuncture has been around for centuries and is based on Chinese medicine practices. In theory, it helps by promoting energy flow to areas of injury or illness that may be out of balance.
Acupuncture can be tried safely for a whole variety of pain problems including back pain, sciatica, arthritis, and neuropathy. I avoid recommending acupuncture to patients who have skin sensitivity to light touch or pressure as it may be irritating. I would suggest you check with your physician first before starting treatment, and if you decide to try it, ask around to see who others recommend.View Thread
Hi Anjile, As you likely know better than anyone, treating symptoms related to Crohn's disease, including pain, can be a real challenge. As some others have already pointed out, Demerol is no longer recommended for more chronic or daily use largely because of the risk of having seizures.
I think it is worth pointing out that the long-term use of opioids, or narcotic pain killers, in general may be questionable for Crohn's disease. Some of the reasons for this may include the fact that opioids slow down the movement of the intestines and can result in hormonal changes that can impact gut function. Also of note, some studies have been published finding relief in Crohn's symptoms from the use of a low dose of naltrexone. Naltrexone is actually a blocker of the opioid receptors in the body, which means it causes the reverse effect of the Demerol, as an example.
There also may be many other treatment options that could help that would be worth discussing with your doctors.View Thread
My impression from this information is that your consulting neurosurgeon felt you were neurologically stable but needed help with pain management? Does that sound correct?
If so, then I think it is important to think about pain management as something much more than treating MRI findings. A whole person approach is what I think works best. For example, if you have been struggling with back pain in your thoracic region, it is quite possible there have been numerous effects of this including problems with posture and movement, trouble reaching and bending, mood changes, and sleep disturbances, just to name a few. A more integrated and comprehensive team can help you with multiple issues related to your pain, and that could include pain specialists or physiatrists, physical therapists (who understand chronic pain), and psychologists or other types of counselors, as examples.
I am so sorry to hear that you had these bad experiences while trying to get help for your chronic pain condition. I thought it might help to give you some perspective from a pain doctor on this.
There has been a lot of mounting pressure on us to do more and more drug testing and screening. This can come from the insurance companies as well as state medical boards. Unfortunately, this all seems to really deflate the compassion and healing aspects of being a doctor. I don't think doctors want to act like policemen with their patients, and I know this is not how I would like to spend my time with my patients. I want my time devoted to transforming lives and getting people healthy and well, not being a drug tester.
I think your frustrating experience probably resonates with a lot of other folks out there, and it speaks to the need for improvements to be made in not only how we manage medications, but the greater need to offer much more than just medication management to those suffering with chronic pain. We need a better system all the way round because we should all be on the same team with this.View Thread
As unsettling as this may sound, doctors often don't know the true causes of many of their patients' pain problems. This can be a source of real anxiety for patients and their caring spouses like yourself. In fact, it has been estimated that for low back pain, that as much as 90% of the time the causes are really unknown. Moving ahead with the recommended neurology consultation certainly sounds reasonable, but I thought it might help to know that your wife is certainly not alone in dealing with pain of uncertain causes.
Cycling is considered to be a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. The pressure caused by sitting on the bicycle seat can impede blood flow to the nerves involved with sexual activity, potentially resulting in problems with sexual function. This problem is typically also associated with numbness or tingling around the genital area. The chances of erectile dysfunction developing from cycling likely increases with prolonged riding of more than 3 hours per week.
Many other things can contribute to problems with sexual activity. Certainly, a decline in mood or problems with depression can impact libido and performance as can the use of certain antidepressants. A decline in testosterone levels can be a potential factor and may related to various factors including age.
Intimacy can be very challenging when one or both partners have chronic pain or depression, and because this is an important part of your relationship you may want to have a talk with your significant other about it and consider how to find the best help for your particular situation.View Thread
The first step is to probably discuss this problem with your gynecologist to try to learn more about why you may be having this problem as there can be many different potential causes. Research has shown that this problem is most prevalent in younger women, and that women who struggle with pain after intercourse often don't discuss this with their physician. Work with your doctor to identify potential causes and then develop a treatment plan that makes the most sense.View Thread
Using implantable devices to treat pain is a big step to take and something that you should spend a lot of time researching before moving forward with it. What I think you are describing is typically called a spinal cord stimulator. For spine problems, spinal cord stimulators are sometimes considered to treat pain in patients who have had prior spine surgery but are still struggling with poorly controlled pain. This situation is often referred to as "failed back syndrome" which is primarily a syndrome invented in the US because we do way more spine surgeries than other countries.
Spinal cord stimulation generally treats the radiating pain that goes down the leg from the back, but is often less effective in treating the pain localized to the low back itself. The technology involved is similar to what is used in pacemakers. Some of the potential complications to consider include wound infections and it is not unusual for the implanted leads (wires) to move or be positional, meaning they don't always cover the painful area. The stimulation creates a vibration sensation within the leg that can diminish pain sensations for some patients.
I hope this helps but be sure to research more and be careful about relying on manufacturer created educational videos that could be overly biased.View Thread
I'm so sorry to hear that you had this accident on your trip. For managing acute pain from a fracture, a combination of anti-inflammatory medications along with opioids like codeine, as needed, seems like a good start. There are many different types of opioids and anti-inflammatory medications to choose from. In some cases, one person may respond better to one, while somebody else may do better with something different, and it can be difficult to predict ahead of time. If you have been injured before or have had surgery in the past, and can remember names of medications that worked well for you then, then it would be reasonable to bring this up with doctors that you are seeing.
A couple of things to keep in mind before getting on the plane is that codeine can cause nausea and constipation. If you find yourself feeling queezy on the plane, sometimes a little cola can settle things down. There are stronger opioid-based pain killers that can be used, but if the codeine is working, then hopefully you will a relatively good trip home.View Thread
There is a condition that has been described as "snapping triceps syndrome" that is uncommon but associated with body building. In this condition, pain is felt along the inner part of the elbow (medial side) due to the distal part of the tricep muscle dislocating over what is called the medial epicondyle of the elbow, which is the bony part that you can feel on the inner aspect. Bending and flexing the elbow or doing push-ups and bench pressing can all bring on pain with this type of problem. In addition to the pain that you feel when working out you may also feel a snapping feeling around the elbow.
Another condition to consider that causes medial elbow pain is sometimes referred to as golfer's elbow. This is brought on by overuse of the flexor tendons of the forearm and can also cause pain around the inner portion of the elbow.
Probably the first step is to ice the area and give it some rest from the exercises or activities that seem to be aggravating it for a little while and see if the symptoms will resolve. There is a nerve that runs through that part of the elbow known as the ulnar nerve that can sometimes be affected as well. If symptoms don't improve, consider consulting with a sports medicine doctor or orthopedic specialist.View Thread