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:
[li]Millions of appointments (okay, maybe it has been more in the hundreds)[/li]
[li]Testing (X-Rays, MRIs, CTs, EMGs, blood draws etc)[/li]
[li]Medication (pills and patches)[/li]
[li]Injections (of all kinds and in all places!)[/li]
[li]Durable Medical Equipment: crutches, cane, wheelchair, casts, splints, braces, traction, TENS, etc.[/li]
[li]Ice packs and heating pads (including my cool “Jaw Bra“)[/li]
[li]Neck support pillow (and some other neck support contraptions)[/li]
[li]Physical Therapy (add tennis balls, thera-bands, hand putty, theracane, cryo-cuff, iontophoresis, ultrasound)[/li]
[li]Orthotics and expensive shoes[/li]
[li]Chriopractor (the kind that cracks your back!)[/li]
[li]Chronic Pain Rehab Program[/li]
[li]Mental Health Therapy[/li]
[li]Massage (of all types, including craniosacral and watsu)[/li]
[li]More therapies: Nature Based, Animal Assisted, Art, Music[/li]
[li]Energy Healing and Body work[/li]
[li]Breath work and mindfulness[/li]
[li]Tai Chi Chih[/li]
[li]Yoga (Vinyasa and Restorative)[/li]
[li]Detoxification and Cleansing (bowel, liver, gallbladder, skin, etc)[/li]
[li]Lymph massage (full-body)[/li]
[li]Supplements and herbs (too many to count and list off)[/li]
[li]Juicing and Smoothies[/li]
[li]Going gluten/dairy/soy/nut/corn/sugar/processed/GMO free (again)[/li]
[li]Salads (and then some more salads until my TMJD couldn’t handle all of that chewing anymore!)[/li]
[li]Exercise (and variations of)[/li]
[li]12-Step based support[/li]
[li]Education (books and online)[/li]
[li]I’m sure I’m forgetting some![/li]
[li]Last (and certainly not least): Prayer and meditation[/li]
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?