Sunday, December 31, 2006
Before this theory was presented the one-way action/reaction or "alarm system" response as proposed by Descartes was accepted as an explanation of pain. This theory did not explain phantom limb pain let alone the pain of CRPS/RSD. The role that the brain plays in pain was simply not considered.
In the Gate theory the failure to control pain can be seen as "the brain being unable to deal with the challenges that a body faces."
In the article this is stated to be a "mental illness". It is widely accepted and has been proven that CRPS is not a "mental illness" in the accepted term. What the article seems to say is that the mental aspect is the unconscious brain which has the problem. Unfortunately in this instance I believe that there has been a poor choice of words. However, that aside it is a good explanation and worth reading.
You can find this article by using Google.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Interesting article on the complex regional pain syndrome and its effect on eye, heart, hormones and dental issues.
My cardiac symptoms were thoroughly chesked by specialists.
If you have heart symptoms you cannot assume crps is the cause. Seek professional advice.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Well, yesterday I was in general pain but relatively comfortable for the first time in a long, long time. I had a very pleasant day and even dozed for 20 minutes in the afternoon, sheer bliss. I don't sleep in the day as my blood pressure drops and I find it very hard to be upright without feeling dizzy and sick as it takes a long time to get it up to normal again.
I am speculating that, as the only thing that I did differently was to take vitamin C, maybe vitamin C was beneficial in preventing the transferance of pain perception to another area.
There is so much we don't know about complex regional pain syndrome. I encourage others to write down what works for you and maybe look for a pattern.
My plan is to tackle the symptoms using a combination of things eg mirrors, exercise, breathing and now vitamin C. My hope is to erode back the symptoms, or at the very least manage them better. So far it seems to be working.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The interesting thing about the sting on Friday was that I was struggling to walk because of a flare up in my left foot. I was really having trouble forcing myself not to limp because the pain in my foot was severe and very convincing of an injury. I had been using a mirror because I felt sure the pain was brain driven and was having some slow success. As soon as I was stung, the foot pain disappeared completely and has not returned. As I said before all the pain in my left side is gone. Absolutely amazing. Before I came accross the mirror trick I would have had pain for months or years from a single inciting incident.
It costs me nothing but my perseverence with mirrors and works for me. I suspect the vitamin C may have helped as well.
Monday, December 25, 2006
I wish you and yours a truely wonderful Xmas. For those of you suffering no matter what the cause, I wish you comfort and peace. For those of you caught up in the rush, I wish you calm and serenity. Happy Xmas to all.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
- calms the nervous system by balancing the symapthetic/parasympathetic
- slows breathing unless exercising
- decreases pain by raising endorphins
- improves circulation and skin colour
- releases muscle spasm and cramp
- helps us breathe deeper
- decreases feelings of anxiety
- helps with sleep
- increases self satisfaction and sense of well being
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Water also makes movement easier, very helpful for sufferers of complex regional pain syndrome.
I hoping Santa leaves a soft rubber surf mat under my tree, the one Doc helped to decorate. This Xmas I'm planning on doing some endorphin raising and have fun, fun, fun fun.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Sunsweet Dry Fruits note that a recent study from Tufts University in Boston "ranked the antioxidant value of commonly eaten fruits and vegetables using an analysis called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity). Prunes topped the list with more than twice the antioxidant capacity as other high-scoring fruits such as blueberries and rasins."
So you see there are compelling reasons to have a few prunes for breakfast. I'm thinking stewed prunes and custard for dinner tonight.
wholefoods.org has heaps of information and recipes.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I do not use a mirror box because I didn't know about mirror boxes. I use a stand alone mirror (see photos August archives). I also use sliding wardrobe mirrors or a wall mirror I place on the floor. So long as I am able to place the mirror at right angles to my body and centered such that I can look in the mirror and see the image of one side of my body it works for me. I never look at the mirror image of a body part moving if it hurts to move that part. I may be mistaken but it seems to me to be counterproductive as I want the brain to register that I can move without pain.
David Butler, who wrote the book "Explain Pain" and who's group Noigroup sells mirror boxes and runs training world wide, emailed me saying that most research and clinical trials have been done with hands and feet. He added that there was every reason to trial it with a larger mirror as I am doing. David also said he thought that good therapists should also be using brain laterality techniques before and with mirroring as well.
If you have a physiotherapist who isn't familiar with mirror work they can access information and ask questions on a forum for therapists at the noigroup web site.
It costs me nothing. I do it anywhere there's a suitable mirror and it works for me. Seek professional advice before trying something new.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
As other sufferers know, symptoms can vary from day to day and throughout the day. As well as an overall plan to erode back the symptoms, I need to have strategies in place to help with the day to day problems.
Some of the things that help me are
- mirrors (August archives photos)
- essential oils (still experimenting but amazed so far)
- breathing out twice as long as in (August)
- breathing out twice as long as in to activate the parasympathetic nervous symptom almost every day (see resparate breathing machine November)
- distraction (September archives)
- magnesium for muscle spasm (September)
- fish/fish oil for inflamation (September)
- beetroot for liver protection and antidepressant (September)
- isometric exercises to reduce pain (September)
- epson salts warm bath (September)
- chilli cream (capsaicin)
- heat pack (September)
- graduated repetition of movements (September)
- pacing - move it or lose it
- deflated ball gives a great massage (see photo Sept)
- butterball bath bomb (Sept)
- water relaxes, calms,slows and improves breathing, helps sleep (Sept)
- Caring Doctors (Sept)
- letting go of worries and avoiding stress (Oct)
- actively seeking happiness (Oct)
- I will take vitamin C if I must have surgery as a precaution. (Nov - new research Dec advises 1gram)
- eat nutrient rich antioxidant foods. Eat smart. (Nov)
- use Prantal powder for hyperhydrosis (Nov)
- make a list of what works for me as a quick reference. (Nov)
- don't despair when I have a flare up. Refer to the list. (Nov)
- Doing the same movement in different ways to reinforce that "it's ok"
- Following a dental procedure which works for me (Nov - see links for research)
- Changing thinking, not "what can be done for me" but "what I can do for myself" (Nov)
- Eating Vitamin C rich foods up to 1 gram/day as it's the antioxidant that demolishes free radicals which cause inflamation. (Dec)
- Understanding that while it hurts it's not necessarilly harmful!!!
I am a sufferer not a professional. These things work for me about which I am very thankful. If you think something may help you check first with your treating practitioners.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Now scientists at Manchester University in the UK have discovered that phantom limb pain can also be alleviated using a virtual reality computer system. In a similar way to mirror therapy the brain is tricked into believing that everything is OK.
If this works then it makes sense to think that the pain and symptoms of CRPS can possibly be relieved using the same method. The real benefit to CRPS sufferers is that virtual reality brain retraining might work for central (down the back), and whole body pain. Because mirror therapy works by looking at the mirror image of the "good" side, it hasn't been useful for pain that is not one sided.
This is exciting research and offers real hope.
See CRPS/RSD related articles to the left of this blog for more information.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
It is not the same as the mirror therapy which was invented by Vilayanur S Ramachandran (see link to left of page) to help alleviate "phantom limb" pain. Further studies in the UK and in Australia have proven this type of mirror therapy to help allieviate the pain and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome. Just as the brain keeps responding with pain messages in the case of phantom limb so too does the brain send pain and pain response messages in the case of CRPS. These messages are not in response to something being wrong (eg dropping a hammer on your foot). The messages are brain driven or created in the brain in the same way as the brain creates the message to tell you heart to beat. You cannot consciously tell your heart to stop beating any more than you can tell yourself to stop the pain. It isn't just pain messages that the brain sends out in CRPS, it's protective messages because of pain eg inflamatiom, swelling, sweating, vascular messages, colour and temperature changes. Thes things are under the control of the autonomic nervous system - out of our conscious control.
It hurts and our learned behaviour is to protect the hurting part by stopping things touching it and moving less or resting. This is the best thing to do if the pain was from an injury but it's not. I know that I need to override the normal pain response and move normally and not protect the hurt part. It isn't easy. That's where the mirrors come in. The brain message is wrong. I cannot take pain medicine but even if I could I'd only be treating the symptoms of pain not the cause. The cause is these false messages. By looking at the mirror image of the body part opposite to the one that hurts moving, the brain gets visual stimulus of a moving pain free limb. For me there is usually no instant difference. About 10 minutes after I've finished I notice that I don't feel quite as bad. I do it again and again. It takes effort and I need to keep doing it for several days or weeks. I treat each flare up immediately before it spreads (as it very quickly does for me). Doing this gives the best result. Mirror therapy isn't the whole answer. I do physical therapy every day in small amounts throughout the day. I try not to over do it (very hard). I breath out twice as long as in for 15 minutes every day to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. I eat foods high in antioxidants (prunes are highest) to deal with the free radicals caused by stress of coping with CRPS. I am looking at ways to change my diet so that I have 1 gram of Vitamin C a day. Remember Vitiman C demolishes the free radicals involved in inflamation. I refer to my list of things that work for me when I have flare ups. My plan is to persist until the symptoms of CRPS resolve. I take one day at a time. If interested look through my blog under archives to see explanations of what I do and photos. I'm posting new links now. See CRPS/RSD related articles to the left of the blog.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
At present it's now known that free radical disarming Vitamin C can prevent development of CRPS after a colles fracture. It is an antioxidant which specifically affects inflamation. As inflamation is a problem for sufferers of CRPS to me it make sense that Vitamin C could be useful to disarm free radicals and address inflamation in sufferers of CRPS.
Something to ponder.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
It is thought that aproximately 20% of CRPS patients who present to chronic pain clinics have a history of prior surgical procedures in the affected area with most reports of postoperative CRPS occurring after orthopedic surgery, especially after operations on the extremities
The professor specifically mentions as well pre-emptive analgesia before dental surgery.
I received an email recently from Professor Reuben, in which, regarding my question about vitamin C and surgery, he says that they now incorporate Vitamin C in their protocols.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Prevention is better than cure in most things but especially in the case of complex regional pain syndrome.
Zollinger PE, Tuinebreijer WE, Kreis R, Breederveld RS. Effect of vitamin C on frequency of reflex sympathetic dystrophy in wrist fractures: A randomized trial. Lancet 1999;354:2025-8. found that taking Vitamin C after surgery produced a significant reduction in pain in CRPS after surgical correction of Colles' fracture.
crps/rsd related articles
- Nursing Patients with CRPS/RSD
- Vitamin c and CRPS 2010
- Cleveland Clinic link - twin research
- Complex Regionaal Pain Syndrome and identical twins.
- Familial occurance of CRPS.
- Headache a risk factor for CRPS.
- Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and CRPS
- Brain change in chronic CRPS -Neuron
- Vitamin c as preventative for CRPS - Netherlands study 2007
- Vitamin C and CRPS study ARC Bristol
- BestBETs Best Evidence Topics - Hydrotherapy for Comples Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) of the foot and ankle
- Neurotopian - Matthias Weinberger's fantastic blog.
- hope-4crpsrsd - a Christian support group
- podcast - Australian Native Fruits bear sweet antioxidants.
- Explain Pain - David Butler's blog
- CRPS/RSD and Dentistry
- HTCwP - brain control of movement is altered in CRPS - study
- HTCwP - Self Compassion or Self Esteem
- Neuromatrix Training Blog
- Neurodynamics - Physical and Neural Health Blog
- Explain Pain Blog
- JB & JS report - Can Vitamin C Prevent Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Patients with Wrist Fractures?
- Matthais Weinberger's interview on "how to Cope with Pain" website.
- How to Cope with Pain - Ketamine Coma treatment for CRPS/RSD
- RSDHope - DVD set of three
- North Western University Feinburg School of Medicine "Old Memory Traces May trigger chronic pain."
- HOw to Cope with pain How Pain Affects Families -Tony's story.
- Prevention.com article -"Natural-Born Pain Killers"
- Brain control altered in movement with CRPS -How to Cope With Pain
- How to Cope With Pain - Asking for help.
- Hooshmand and Physical Therapy Part I
- Hooshmand and Physical Therapy Part II
- How to Cope with Pain on Recognize - Here's a way to get ready to move - with less pain.
- American Pain Foundation Booklet: Treatment Options - A Guide for People Living in Pain
- Preventing CRPS after surgery - International Research Foundation for RSD/CRPS
- How to Cope with Pain - great questions about Graded motor movements
- How to Cope with Pain - Recognize podcast
- How to Cope with Pain - Graded motor imagary
- How to Cope with Pain - Think & move & your pain will improve.
- How to Cope with Pain - CRPS - Can mirrors help?
- RSD Canada Online Survey Questionnaire
- For Grace web site
- For Grace Utube site
- How to Cope With Pain - Can mirrors help?
- Noi Group Australia
- Support groups help you cope with pain - HTCWP interview by National Pain Foundation
- How to Cope with Pain Mindfulness video from Utube.
- "How to Cope with Pain's" hilarious video.
- Jason's RSDS/CRPS News & Information blog
- BBC UK News - Vitamin C /crps study - "Mystery pain left me in a wheelchair"
- Dr Moseley's interview on How to Cope with Pain site.
- Virtual Reality as a Rehabilitative Technology for Phantom Limb Experience.
- UK mirror box therapy site.
- Ramachandran's mirror box video
- My interview on "How to Cope with Pain" website.
- Napp Pharmaceuticals donate mirror boxes - WebWire article
- How to Cope with Pain: A guide to coping with pain.
- Hooshmand and Physical Therapy Part II