Once a few years ago I had an "occipital nerve block". That's where a pain specialist injects novacain into the nerve. I was pain free for about a month, it was marvelous. But insurance didn't cover it so I never got one again.
About a month ago I woke up feeling like I was high or something. I was in physical bliss. I realized it was the first time in many years I'd been totally pain free. It made me kinda sad.
Not a particularly pleasant experience. But one side-effect that was remarkable, to me: The decades of accumulated aches and pains "went away" while I was on it. A chance to observe, through the sort of light haze the drug left me in, just how much and varied the discomfort was that had accumulated.
My primary response to the question of how to control pain, remains: Pro-active health care and preventative medicine and practice. No, it won't stop all cases, but those we can prevent, we should. And currently, too often don't.
Too much is focused on "the future." The child that will be. The society we will create. The career we will -- hope to -- have.
Until a primary focus is on the present, and taking care of what is at hand, my support for some "future promise" is limited.
Among other reasons, because if you aren't healthy and able, you'll have less chance of building it. Or hanging onto it. Or enjoying it.
I'm all for taking care of ourselves -- individually and as a society -- for the future. But that action takes place in the present.
Until I see a party exercising this -- demonstrating it through actions -- my buy-in is limited.
P.S. I guess I went kind of OT, here. I just see so much needless, preventable pain, these days. I really hope for better pain management for those who have pain. And I don't see having it as some "fault" that invariably could have been "avoided."
But I see a lot that could be avoided. Steps that could be taken, by communities and society -- but aren't.
Have a checklist of warning signs that should terminate treatment or require a checkup.
Here's a video explaining the procedure.
Although, I agree that if someone can do it themselves or has someone to do it for them, then they should have an option to do it after going through some training.
I spent 3.5 years in constant, excruciating, PLEASE KILL ME NOW pain. So I am not being callous here. I am no longer in that kind of pain because I inadvertently began treating the underlying cause.
I am galled by the constant search for better ways to go numb and stop feeling the pain. I can't understand how the serious damage this guy has suffered doesn't serve as a dire warning that this is the wrong path. The right path is to wonder WHY people are in so much pain and solve THAT.
I agree it is best to consider the underlying cause, but sometimes that isn't feasible. Take psychosomatic pain, which is a massive issue, but very misunderstood by doctors and patients alike. It is arguably the largest cause of chronic pain, and yet there is virtually no information or research on it, and patients are mostly left up to themselves. A few figure it out themselves, or discover John Sarno's books, but the majority are just given painkillers.
Yeah, dude, if you make zero effort to get me well because you are psychologically comfortable with writing me off for dead already, it should come as no surprise when the lack of effort leads to a lack of improvement.
Yes, I have a mild form. But I nonetheless have gotten off many drugs and grown healthier when that is supposedly not possible. So has my son with the same diagnosis. And I have known people with more severe forms who benefited from what I know. So I have good reason to believe that it generalizes.
But when I began to get better, my physician expressed no curiosity and simply scheduled me fewer appointments. So, that leaves me with sounding like a quack in online forums while trying hard to tread lightly so as to not wind up like Semmelweis https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis
I say again: If you do not disagree with my point that addressing underlying causes is better than pain killers, why on earth do you need to try to dismiss the personal experiences that created that opinion? What does it matter if my deadly condition kills more slowly than average for my deadly condition?
I asked you a question about how you reflect on it.
I post comments and articles about a great many things. I write blog posts about a great many things. Most of it gets essentially ignored. My comments on certain subjects get big (often negative) reactions, and not because I am trying to jerk anyone's chain. If I had the power to engineer social outcomes to that degree, I would use it to put money in my pocket and stop being so poor.
I deal with sciatica that is at times debilitating. I also have fusing disks in my lumbar that cause massive, constant back pain. I often can't sleep for more than 6 hours because the pain becomes too great to remain horizontal.
I know what is wrong with my body. Sciatic surgery is a big financial gamble, not even on my fiscal radar, and don't get me started on lumbar surgery.
So I exercise. I try to stay on top of research in those areas and maybe one day, I may even be wealthy enough to afford adequate healthcare and see specialists. But what on Earth makes you think you have the right to tell me I shouldn't seek healthy ways to manage my pain? What kind of privileged family healthcare plan are you on to have such little empathy towards those in extreme pain who can do little about it?
Be careful about the path that YOU are headed on, my friend. I watched someone become completely caught up in the Paul Chek health cult and they now think every single pain and disease (they like to call it "dis-ease") anyone experiences is their own fault for not taking cold showers and eating expensive designer health food. It was horrifying to watch such an empathetic "people person" become so close-minded and arrogant towards others to the point of losing their friends, thinking they are "helping" these friends by showing them the true path.
You have to accept some people are predisposed to, and more sensitive to, pain and disease and they deserve to enjoy some level of comfort.
Surgery being expensive? Compare with disability adjusted years. Insurance not covering is a really bad bet on the dive of the insurer. It is not as much a gamble as some think. Quick check says over 84% patients experience good to excellent results. Further, less than 20% have recurrent issue that requires more surgery. (I'd say usually genetic related.) And even then there are further good surgical options, spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement.
Treatment in each of the cases is different and any of the above can be chronic.
As to this specific attempt, they problem is that blocking pain completely and globally is dangerous and is why even opiates don't really do it. Useful discovery nonetheless, but I'd expect serious side effects.
I can't afford decent health insurance right now. I know that in the long-term, surgery is always the better option than allowing further deterioration of my condition, but it simply isn't a possibility for a lot of people. I don't collect disability because I enjoy my field but lately the idea has been tugging at me more and more. I just fear, if nothing else, health coverage denial in my later years because of it.
This is incorrect, and this belief causes great harm. Pain is only sometimes a signal that something is wrong.
I don't really expect you to stop just because I point it out, though I would be delighted if that were the outcome. But maybe other people will notice that what I am saying here is true.
Allopathy historically has been composed mostly of palliatives that exacerbate the underlying condition. (Medicines that actually exacerbate the condition they seem to treat are incredibly profitable over long periods, of course.) France finally had to forcibly close bloodletting schools of medicine, going into shock due to bloodletting was such an effective palliative, medical practioners (and their patients) just weren't going to give it up.
Be kind. Don't force people with not-yet-cured causes of pain to suffer.
And no, another pill a patient has to take every day is not a cure.
Do you take magnesium supplements? There is some evidence it can be effective at reducing pain and frequency of migraine.
Alas, it too is a pill regimen and also not a cure.
That said, anything that can eliminate extreme pain (or help the people who don't feel pain at all, causing them to severely jack themselves up without even knowing it) would be a friggin' blessing, even if it is a "pill that you had to take every day".
I did resist pills as the answer to my chronic pain for years. And I still refuse to use opioids as the answer. But we did find a non-opioid med that reduces my pain, so while I wish there was a better answer... pills give me my life back. I'm able to exercise again. To play with my kids. To do my job. It isn't my preferred solution, but I'm not going to get idealistic about it and go back to sitting around all day in pain while waiting for the perfect answer.
Pills are often necessary for chronic pain patients, as are opioids which are inappropriately demonized due to some recreational drug abusers.