Monday, July 23, 2007

Mirrror therapy involves looking outside the box.

My latest flare up after five good days left me feeling nauseous and having difficulty focusing on anything but pain. This time a slight miss alignment in the lower back was the cause. I can now realize that little things that cause pain with some nerve involvement seem to be the focus point of flare ups. Mechanical issues are usually involved.

This time I have burning pain in the back and lower right quadrant involvement which means my right leg/thigh etc as well as the back. I have a strong conviction that my back and thigh are distorted and swollen when this is not the case. I am sitting on a chair now and have a sense where my right side touches the chair that it is very swollen. It is not. I know this happened because I did something that jarred my lower back. I've had this before. Very quickly the symptoms travelled down the right leg with hypersensitivity, burning and nauseating pain. I have a sacral wedge which I lie on and which corrects the alignment of the lower back. The mechanical issue was addressed so now I need to deal with the pain. Remember the brain interprets a message as pain and in chronic pain it keeps the message of pain going even after the mechanical issue is addressed. With the message of pain go messages to inflame and all the other protective messages. There real symptoms. Inflammation is real. This isn't an imagined problem. Real physical protective things are going on in the body.

I followed my plan and massaged the are, soaked in an epson salts bath, applied chili cream and a heat pack. All these things help a little but did not stop the nauseating pain. I was treating the symptoms and not the cause, the brains continual message of pain.

The last flare up I worked out how to use a two mirror make up mirror to do mirror therapy with on my face. This worked, so using the same principle I worked out how it might work for my back. I used two mirrors. I put one mirror with the edge against my back and at right angles to my back and the other mirror at right angles to the mirror. I had to twist a bit to see but worked out that If I changed the angle of the mirrors to less than 90 degrees I could see more easily. I believe if I took a video of this and watched at the same time as doing movement it should work because in fact I would be looking at the left side of my back and the mirror image of the left side giving the appearance of a whole back. This whole back in the image would be pain free and be seen by me in the video image to be pain free.
Therapists who use this therapy I believe have patients move both sides at once, one side being hidden. I do not. Sometimes it would be very difficult to move both sides. It works for me moving only the pain free side. I suspect the secret is to only do it for a very short time. This stops the brain getting used to the movement so each time you do it it's like a fresh new experience.

I then rubbed my good side of my back in a way the would be painful for the bad side. I raised my left leg out to the side in a movement which aggravates the right side of my back. I only did this for about 10 seconds and have repeated a few time, twice last night and twice today so far.
Now the pain is confined to my back only. I'll keep doing this and hope this new flare up resolves soon.

I'll take a photo of this and post later.

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