Monday, April 13, 2009

Quote “Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be."

This Karen Raven quote holds true for people with chronic pain.

Life, as they say, is not a rehearsal. We get one go at it. The choices we make direct out path in life. I choose happiness.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, and produces a general sense of well-being. The threshold of pain is raised during and for a short period of time after laughter.

Laughter also engages various parts of the brain. Perhaps this is one reason people often find that a good dose of laughter can be followed by a burst of creativity.

We know that by making positive affirmations pain perception can be reduced by up to an amazing two thirds.
(Conversely, you can actually increase pain perception by focusing on negative aspects and fearing your pain.)

These findings make perfect sense to me. I know when I talk about how I'm feeling, I feel worse. When I'm having fun I feel better. Now I know I can actually change the inputs which bring about a change in the brain, I'll be more aware of how I think and feel. I'll also be dedicating more time to "actively seeking happiness" and strive to see "the glass half full."

I encourage you to expand your knowledge, reach to grow. Only by seeking information can you go forward. By looking the way will become clear. I encourage you to dare to dream of a better life. "As much as I dream can I be".

Go to "crps/rsd related articles" to the left of this blog and click on the direct link to the article, "Natural Born Pain killers" in that explains the research behind this thinking.

Importance of knowing pedisposing factors for development of CRPS.

My last post mentioned a new finding of a possible risk factor for developing CRPS. Not enough is known about predisposition to conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome. CRPS patients are left with chronic pain, vasodysregulation, and other symptoms. The predisposing factors are unknown. Genetic factors undoubtedly contribute, but have not yet been identified.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital ( MGH ) have found the first evidence of a physical abnormality underlying CRPS. They reported four CRPS patients also diagnosed with the classical or hypermobility forms of Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS), inherited disorders of connective tissue. They hypothesized that "EDS might contribute to the development of CRPS.

The London Journal of Rheumatology September 2006, published an article about Japanese research "Headache may be a risk factor for complex regional pain syndrome".

They investigated whether or not headache and family history of headache were risk factors for CRPS. Their results suggested that headache and first-degree family history were risk factors but suggested further studies with larger numbers be carried out.

It seems that pilot studies are undertaken with promising results but little follow up is undertaken. It is my thought that there appears to be a hit or miss approach to research and not enough of which is publicly funded. An example of this is that Netherlands and UK research has found that taking 500mg of vitamin C after a colles wrist fracture can prevent development of complex regional pain syndrome. (This has now been updated to 1000mg in further studies.) It seems to me that if the underlying thing addressed by this study was inflammation and inflammation is an issue in general with CRPS that a broader study could possibly find eg, that taking vitamin C post surgery in general could prevent the development of CRPS.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NEW online support for patients, family and supporters of those with CRPS/RSD.

NEW online support for patients, family and supporters of those with CRPS/RSD.
Art Kaminski, MD of Stanford University informed me today about a new website. Here's what he said.

Physicians for Patients (P4P) is a group of doctors dedicated to helping people online in a way to help improve the availability of physicians.

We have JUST started this website for RSD/CRPS patients.

Patients, family, and supporters of those with RSD/CRPS can ask a dedicated board certified RSD/CRPS specialist any questions they may have! (everything is FREE.)

The idea is to give a resource to people that need alternative opinions, information, or have limited access to health care (either no RSD specialist accessible, long wait times, uninsured, or simply can't afford it).

This way it is easier for a smaller number of physicians to help a larger number of people.

Although there is no actual medical advice, you can receive critical medical information from a physician exactly when you need it.

Dr. Colantonio is the doctor. He is board certified pain medicine and anesthesiology (so he is up to speed on nerve blocks, etc..). He trained at Duke University and Oregon Health and Science University.

Please forward this information to others that may benefit from this resource.
(we are JUST getting started so there are not a lot of folks on the site yet. But Dr. Colantonio is there and ready to answer any questions!)

Netherlands study " The association between ACE inhibitors and the complex regional pain syndrome:possible neuro-inflammatory pathogenesis of CRPS.

Reported on PAIN JOURNAL ONLINE, the researchers concluded that "ACE inhibitor use is associated with CRPS onset". It is important to note that they found "current use of ACE inhibitors was associated with an increased risk of CRPS".

I've mentioned before that colles wrist fracture is a high risk for development of CRPS.

Knowing risk factors helps doctors more quickly diagnose conditions. More great research from the Netherlands.

Here is the link.
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