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I recently ran across a few “new” approaches to Chronic Pain treatment. When I first started investigating them I thought, “Maybe this is the approach that I’ve been waiting for!” You know that feeling right? There’s that spark of hope, and then your curiosity kicks in. All of a sudden you find yourself reaching for your wallet! I’ve done this too many times in hopes of finding a “cure”. But how far is too far in our quest for relief?

I decided to make a list of everything I’ve tried to manage pain over the years. I started to wonder about all of the other people with Chronic Pain and Chronic Illness conditions out there. How much money is being spent on things that may or may not help? What a lucrative business Chronic Pain must be!

Yes, I have tried all of these things on this list. Some of them I have purchased and paid Out Of Pocket for. Others I’ve had to pay Out Of Pocket and didn’t get to keep an item (i.e. massage or naturopath visits). And some my good ol’ insurance company covered most of the cost leaving me with a co-pay or co-insurance (after paying the deductible of course!). Actually, a few were even free!

The current relief seeking list:

  • Millions of appointments (okay, maybe it has been more in the hundreds)

  • Testing (X-Rays, MRIs, CTs, EMGs, blood draws etc)

  • Medication (pills and patches)

  • Surgeries

  • Injections (of all kinds and in all places!)

  • Durable Medical Equipment: crutches, cane, wheelchair, casts, splints, braces, traction, TENS, etc.

  • Ice packs and heating pads (including my cool “Jaw Bra“)

  • Neck support pillow (and some other neck support contraptions)

  • Physical Therapy (add tennis balls, thera-bands, hand putty, theracane, cryo-cuff, iontophoresis, ultrasound)

  • Orthotics and expensive shoes

  • Chriopractor (the kind that cracks your back!)

  • Inversion table

  • Bosu Ball

  • Pool Therapy

  • Chronic Pain Rehab Program

  • Mental Health Therapy

  • Massage (of all types, including craniosacral and watsu)

  • Naturopath visits

  • Thermography

  • More therapies: Nature Based, Animal Assisted, Art, Music

  • Acupuncture

  • Acupressure

  • Energy Healing and Body work

  • Breath work and mindfulness

  • Tai Chi Chih

  • Yoga (Vinyasa and Restorative)

  • Detoxification and Cleansing (bowel, liver, gallbladder, skin, etc)

  • Sauna

  • Lymph massage (full-body)

  • Supplements and herbs (too many to count and list off)

  • Homeopathy concoctions

  • Juicing and Smoothies

  • Going gluten/dairy/soy/nut/corn/sugar/processed/GMO free (again)

  • Salads (and then some more salads until my TMJD couldn’t handle all of that chewing anymore!)

  • Essential Oils

  • Exercise (and variations of)

  • 12-Step based support

  • Education (books and online)

  • I’m sure I’m forgetting some!

  • Last (and certainly not least): Prayer and meditation
  • None of them have given me a “cure”. I know. Shocker. But some of them have given me definite relief which is what keeps that little spark of hope alive. I can hear it in my mind chanting “Cure! Cure! Cure!”

    So the next time someone says, “Have you tried XYZ therapy?” I can smile and politely refer them to this post. I do try and keep an open mind and consider things based on cost and likelihood that I would comply. I do believe that my “higher power” can bring healing my way through various modalities (and various degrees of healing).

    For now, I try and focus on the management of my symptoms rather than focusing on my desire to find a one-size-fits-me cure.

    I’m so curious to hear if any of you have tried any (or all?!) of these like I have!

    Pain Camp is a safe place to share your thoughts, experience, strength and hope.  How many of these approaches have you tried to manage your Chronic Pain? What else have you tried that isn’t on this list? Have you made your own list? 

    8 Comments

    • Shannon July 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Wow you’ve tried a lot of things! I suppose if I wrote down a list, I’d be surprised too. I just don’t have the funds to give any of the things I could try any justice. Though I sure do miss chiropractic care, that really did help with some pain, especially my back and neck pain. My hip is “out” now even, and I could seriously use some chiropractic love! Too bad it’s $60 or so a visit, and there never is only one visit to a chiro!

      Isn’t it sadly awful how much better our quality of life could be if we could afford it? When losing your job because of chronic pain/illness is the reason you can’t afford any treatment. I just have to laugh at the irony, or I’d cry. 🙂

      *gentle spoonie hugs*

      Reply

      • camperjen July 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        Thanks Shannon! I encourage you to write down a list. It was actually quite empowering for me and a great reminder of how active I’ve been in trying to manage my pain. Of course there is the grief part too I didn’t write about in the post. The grief that comes with the realization that “this didn’t work” and “I’m still stuck with this pain”. As people with chronic pain, we learn how to not only survive but we FIGHT to THRIVE!

        I wonder if there is a low cost/sliding fee scale chiro clinic or a chiro school in your area that would provide care at a lower cost? I’m sure you’ve already checked that out though because like I said…we’re fighters! 🙂

        The majority of the relief on my list has come from the complementary/alternative medicine approaches (as well as nutrition changes). Of course, here in America, most insurances do not cover CAM because it is not “Evidence Based Practice”. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for low cost/free seminars online and in my community to help me keep learning in this area. This magazine is free and I get it in print at a local restaurant. They provide a lot of information for local educational opportunities for here in America (but I think you’re in Canada?): http://www.naturalawakeningsmag.com/Natural-Awakenings/Go-Local/

        Blessings and peace!

        Reply

    • Bobb Z July 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      I hate to say diddo,but ive tried everything you did.Ive given up(who am I kidding) at finding relief.I just have to learn to live with it…………….

      Reply

      • camperjen July 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        Thanks Bobb, I know that my degree of “relief” varies day to day. Sometimes I try one thing that worked before and isn’t working in that moment. It is a constant day to day challenge to live life with Chronic Pain isn’t it? You touched on a good point about learning to live with it. For me, that’s about acceptance, grief, loss (enter seeing a psychologist that specializes in pain). Wishing you peace and blessings and thank you for stopping by! We appreciate you here in our community!

        Reply

    • Julie July 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Wow, you’ve definitely tried many things. I have too but not as much as you have. There are a few on your list I need to add to my “to-do” list. I have not tried a Lymph massage nor the 12 step program. I need to investigate those further. But those of us with chronic pain would be amazed at all we’ve tried to find some relief. Others just don’t get it, no matter how much you tell them. But at least we know for ourselves and we should try to learn, somehow, how to accept that fact-we can’t get through to non-sufferers how much and what all we try. They can’t even comprehend the pain we are in, so how can we expect them to know or understand what all we’ve done. Great post 🙂

      Reply

    • Angelica July 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Hi! I’m new to your site – it was recommended to us on twitter. Several people in our group have chronic pain (Hunter, the main subject of the group, for 25+ year) and we’re looking forward to reading your tips & info!
      In answer to your question: As far as it takes – and then a little further!

      Reply

      • camperjen July 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        Hi and welcome Angelica! So glad that you stopped by here! Keep up the great spirit about continuing to move forward for looking for relief! Blessings and Peace and Thank you for stopping in! 🙂

        Reply

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