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Fibromyalgia Symptoms – Pain and 9 Other Symptoms

Because the classic symptoms of fibromyalgia — widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue — aren’t very distinctive, the condition is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. You may not have all of the symptoms, and you may have other medical problems, too.

Since there are no lab or imaging tests for it, when you go to get a diagnosis, your doctor will ask about your symptoms to decide if you have fibromyalgia

Common Symptoms and Related Conditions

Many people with fibro — also called fibromyalgia syndrome or FMS — may have:

Pain and Tender Points

Almost all people with fibromyalgia ache all over. It can feel similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis, but it’s over your entire body. This is usually what makes you go see your doctor.

The pain can be deep, sharp, dull, throbbing, or aching. You feel it in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joints. For some people, the pain comes and goes. It could travel throughout your body.


You may also have tender points — specific spots around your joints that hurt when you press them with a finger. If you press a tender point on a person without fibromyalgia, they’ll just feel pressure. But that same pressure would be very painful for someone with fibro.

These tender points are in predictable places on the body. They’re often under the surface of the skin, not in areas of deep pain. It’s the tissue around the muscles and joints that hurts rather than the joints themselves.


A lingering tiredness and feeling drained is another big complaint. People often feel tired even when they should feel rested, such as after a good night’s sleep. Some say it’s like having the flu. Some compare it to working long hours and missing a lot of sleep.

You may feel too tired to exercise or more tired after a workout. Simple things such as grocery shopping or cooking dinner could wipe you out. Starting a project such as folding clothes or ironing could seem like too much effort. You might even be too tired for sex.

Sleep Problems

The majority of people with fibromyalgia have trouble sleeping. You may be able to fall asleep, but your sleep is light and easily disturbed. When you get up in the morning, you’re exhausted and not refreshed. It doesn’t help the fatigue.

Tests done in sleep labs show that people with fibro are constantly interrupted by bursts of brain activity similar to what happens in the brain when they’re awake. These interruptions limit how much time you spend in deep sleep, when your body restores itself, and you feel run down as a result.

Mood Disorders

Up to half of all people with fibromyalgia have depression or an anxiety disorder when they’re diagnosed with fibro.

Dealing with being fatigued and in pain all the time can be stressful. You probably worry about keeping up with life and what you can do to feel better. You may become less active and more withdrawn, which can lead to depression.

It’s also possible that anxiety and depression may actually be a part of fibromyalgia, like the pain.

People diagnosed with fibromyalgia and depression have a hard time with concentration and short-term memory, which make it hard to remember day-to-day things, like where they’ve put their keys or plans they’ve made for lunch tomorrow.

Morning Stiffness

Most people with fibromyalgia feel like they need to “loosen up” after getting out of bed before they can start their day. The muscles and joints of their back, arms, and legs feel stiff. It’s not typical creakiness. It’s more like the stiffness someone with rheumatoid arthritis feels.

Although some people say it lasts only a few minutes, the stiffness usually sticks around for more than 15 to 20 minutes each day. Sometimes it lasts for hours, and it could linger all day.

Swelling and Tingling in Hands and Feet

While the cause of numbness, tingling, and burning is unclear, many people with fibro feel them. These sensations, called paresthesia, tend to happen randomly. They may last a few minutes, or they may be constant.

The feelings can be especially bothersome in the mornings along with morning stiffness. But they generally don’t get in the way of doing things.


Up to 2 out of 5 people with fibro also get migraine or tension headaches regularly. They may be a result of pain in your neck and upper back. They’re often caused by tight neck muscles. They may also be caused by tender points over the back of your head and neck.

Headaches can make it much harder for you to live with fibro and manage the disease.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

About two-thirds of people with fibromyalgia often have belly pain, gas, and bloating and feel like throwing up. They can also have constipation and diarrhea.

Many have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), too.

Problems with Urination

Feeling the urge to go a lot, hurting when you do, or a leaky bladder can happen when you have fibromyalgia.

These symptoms could also be caused by bladder and kidney diseases, such as an infection.

Menstrual Cramps

Women with fibromyalgia may have unusually painful menstrual cramps, often for years, along with their other symptoms.

Restless Legs Syndrome

This usually affects your feet and legs below your knees. It may hurt, but more often it feels like you need to move your legs to try to make them comfortable. It’s especially bothersome at night because it can keep you from sleeping.

Join Pain Relief | The Leading Pain Management & Treatment Center

Looking for joint pain relief? Joint pain is common among adults and can include aches and soreness in areas where your bones meet. Pain in the joints occurs when damage (injury) or disease affects the connections between bones. Tissues of the joint that cause pain include cartilage, bone, ligaments, muscles and tendons.

A number of common conditions are associated with joint pain, such as arthritis (inflammation or pain in the joint itself), infection, diseases and injuries to the joint area. Your knees, shoulders, and hips are among the most common body areas to be affected by joint issues. Older adults suffer from joint pain more frequently than younger people.

Virtually any joint in the body can be affected by pain. Levels of discomfort vary from mild and short-term (acute) to debilitating and chronic. Joint pain has the potential to negatively affect a person’s quality of life. A patient may experience pain in one or more joints of the body. Fortunately, there are many treatment options to manage joint pain.

What are the best treatments for joint pain? Depending on the cause of your pain, joint pain treatment options may include:

Medications such as NSAIDs (aspirin or ibuprofen)
Muscle relaxants and other prescription medications
Topical agents (creams)
Injections such as steroid medications, synthetic joint fluids and/or removing excess fluid from the joint
Physical therapy (can include exercises, losing weight, heat and cold therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, improvements in posture)
Alternative treatments including supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and/or yoga

The first step in treating your joint pain is to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. Based on your diagnosis, you and your doctor can determine your best treatment options.

At The Pain Center, we can help diagnose your pain, and we offer a range of therapies to treat your pain. Our goal is to get you back to your normal activities. Contact us to meet with one of our joint pain specialists.

Could Your Chronic Fatigue and Body Aches Really Be an Underdiagnosed Condition Called POTS? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

It’s common. It’s treatable. And it’s easily screened. So why is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) so often misdiagnosed? And why are many patients left struggling for answers?

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POTS recently made national news when Nick Foles, Eagles quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, revealed how his wife Tori struggled to find a doctor to take her symptoms seriously. Initially, doctors told her that she had a virus and problems with anxiety and depression. It took six weeks for doctors to discover that she actually had POTS and recommend an effective treatment plan.

Here neurologist Robert Wilson, DO, provides some key insight on understanding this condition that affect’s the body’s circulation — and how diagnostic accuracy and speed are vital for symptom relief.

Q: What are the symptoms of POTS?

A: The most common symptom of POTS is chronic fatigue. Other symptoms include body aches and exhaustion. About a third of patients faint. Other patients are plagued by adrenaline symptoms such as chest pain, racing heart rate (during sleep), sweating and difficulty breathing. POTS feels like having the flu, but having to drink coffee to get through the day.

Q: Why is POTS often misdiagnosed?

A: Many of the symptoms described above seem very cardiac-driven. However, at the hospital or ER, the doctors will find that the POTS patient’s heart is fine. It’s actually the adrenaline that’s producing a lot of these symptoms to compensate for a neurologic problem.

Often, patients have so many symptoms and are consulting so many different specialists that there’s no cohesive assessment or treatment. In addition, POTS symptoms are often misdiagnosed as adrenal fatigue — a term used to describe a group of symptoms when nothing else can be used to explain it.

Awareness of POTS in today’s medical culture is limited. Recently, however, there’s been a growing awareness of POTS that’s evolving across the board. As the general population is learning more about it, the medical community is being educated as well.

Q: Why is clarity of diagnosis so important?

A: Knowing what’s going on is half the battle for patients with POTS. Once you find out that the suffering was not all in your head and that it has a real diagnosis, that’s what really jumpstarts the healing process and helps give you hope.

Q: How is POTS tested/assessed?

A: Seeking answers from a medical center with autonomic expertise will give you a better chance of receiving an accurate diagnosis. If you think you may have POTS, it’s important that your doctor rules out other conditions, including thyroid disease.

Your autonomic medical specialist will use a special tilt table test to diagnose your condition. The tilt table test is designed to measure heart rate and blood pressure as you change your body position from lying flat to a 60- to 70-degree angle. The title table is the best way to confirm a POTS diagnosis.

Q: How is POTS treated?

A: Treatment plans for POTS may include the following:

  • Medications.
  • Multidisciplinary patient education, including shared medical appointments.
  • Self-help tools for patients to use to improve their body through diet and exercise (including a cardiac rehab therapy model of exercise).

The good news is that several wellness tools have proven much more effective in managing POTS than expensive supplements.

Q: What are the risk factors for developing POTS?

A: Anyone can develop POTS. However, it’s more common among women than men. Sometimes, we see POTS develop after a chronic health issue (such as mono) or an injury to the head, spinal cord or autoimmune system.

Q: Is there any research being conducted in support of POTS disease management?

A: We recently completed a biofeedback study that revealed some very useful data. Over the summer, we are offering a summer wellness program that focuses on nutrition for POTS disease management. Next year, we may be conducting a yoga study in support of POTS treatment.

Q: What should you do if you think you may have POTS?

A: Discuss your condition with your family doctor who should schedule a proper POTS evaluation or refer you to an appropriate specialist, such as a neurologist or cardiologist, who has autonomic experience.

Fibromyalgia | Causes, symptoms, treatment


If you’re in pain, your instinct may be to avoid exercise or moving around too much. But keeping active is a really important part of the treatment for fibromyalgia and can prevent other health problems.

Your symptoms and general health can be improved by a combination of aerobic exercise and movements that improve your flexibility and strength.

Exercise has been proven to improve fatigue and our ability to control pain.

At first, you may find that your pain and tiredness become worse, particularly if you’re starting to exercise muscles that haven’t been used for a while. Try to do the same amount of exercise each day, so you build up your muscle strength and your stamina.

Then, after doing your routine of exercises for a couple of weeks, slowly increase the amount you do, and this will improve your fitness, stamina and flexibility.

Aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercise is anything that makes you a little out of breath and your heart beat faster.

Swimming is recommended for people with fibromyalgia. Taking a brisk walk and cycling can also help.

At home, you could step up and down your bottom step several times, or march on the spot to get your heart beating faster.

Strengthening exercises

Strengthening exercises help develop and build the muscles that move and protect your joints. They may be difficult at first but should become easier with practice.

Aim to do at least one session a day, either at home or in a gym. Ask a GP or physiotherapist for examples of strengthening exercises you could do at home.

You can also buy specially designed equipment, such as ankle weights. Begin with lighter weights, then move on to heavier ones, if you feel able to.

Strengthening equipment in a gym allows you to work your muscles by pushing or pulling against a resistance, such as weights or elastic ropes. You can ask an instructor for advice about using the equipment, if you’re not sure.

Stretching exercises

Stretching, or range of movement, exercises can increase your flexibility. You can do these anywhere. There are plenty of examples of exercises online, or you could ask a physiotherapist. Some people with fibromyalgia have found Tai chi and yoga help.

Diet and nutrition

There’s no particular diet that’s been proven to help fibromyalgia. However, it’s recommended that you keep to a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet that is low in saturated fats, sugar and salt, and has plenty of fruit and vegetables. It’s also good to drink six to eight glasses of water every day.

Complementary treatments

Some people with fibromyalgia find that complementary treatments help their symptoms.

Acupuncture, where special needles are inserted into the skin above pressure points, may help your pain for a short time. Massage can also be helpful for some people with fibromyalgia. However, the effects don’t often last that long.

If you want to try a complementary treatment, speak to your doctor first, in case it affects any other treatment you’re on.

It’s important to go to a legally registered therapist, or one who has a set ethical code and is fully insured.

If you decide to try therapies or supplements, you should be critical of what they’re doing for you and only continue if they’re helping.


Poor sleep appears to be a significant cause of fibromyalgia, so getting enough good-quality sleep is an important part of your treatment. Not only will it help with tiredness and fatigue, it may also improve your pain.

Sleeping tablets are not normally recommended, as the body can become tolerant to them, which can lead to the effects wearing off and even addiction. But regular activity, particularly aerobic exercise, and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) have proven effective for people with disrupted sleep patterns.

It can also help to change your habits around bedtime. To help you get a better night’s sleep:

  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature.
  • Try a warm bath before bedtime to help ease pain and stiffness.
  • Develop a regular routine, where you go to bed and get up at a similar time each day.
  • You may like to try listening to some soothing music before going to bed.
  • Some gentle exercises may help reduce muscle tension, but it’s probably best to avoid energetic exercise too close to bedtime.
  • Keep a notepad by your bed – if you think of something you need to do the next day, write it down and then put it out of your mind.
  • Avoid caffeine in the eight hours before you go to bed.
  • Don’t drink alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Avoid eating main meals close to bedtime.
  • If you smoke, try to stop smoking, or at least don’t smoke close to bedtime.
  • Try not to sleep during the day.
  • Avoid watching TV and using computers, tablets or smartphones in your bedroom.
  • Don’t keep checking the time during the night.

What else can I do?

Because fibromyalgia varies from person to person, we suggest you try some of the following tips to find out what works for you:

  • Learn about fibromyalgia – understanding your condition can help reduce your fears and anxiety. It also means you’re fully aware of treatment and self-management approaches that can help you.
  • Find a support group in your area or an online forum for people with fibromyalgia. Talking about your experiences with other people who understand can help.
  • Encourage your family and friends to learn more about your condition and to talk to you about it. You could show them this information. It’s especially important they understand how your pain affects you, even if you look well.
  • Find ways to talk about your feelings, such as anxiety, low mood or anger. Counselling or CBT can help – your GP will be able to refer you.
  • For ‘fibro fog’, some people find mental exercises like crosswords or jigsaw puzzles help. Do as much as you can to stimulate your brain.
  • Pick your best time of day to do anything needing concentration. Explain to others if fibromyalgia affects your memory.
  • Learn to pace yourself by breaking tasks into smaller chunks, giving yourself time to rest in between.
  • Stress and unhappiness can make fibromyalgia pain feel worse – addressing what’s making you feel that way could help.
  • Ask for help from people at your workplace, such as a friend, colleague or manager.
  • Working shorter hours, as well as adapting your desk, chair, computer and other working areas for comfort, can all help.
  • Ask an occupational therapist, your local Jobcentre Plus office or Citizens Advice service for advice. They can work with both you and your employer.
  • Applying heat with a hot water bottle, or having a hot bath or shower, can help pain and improve morning stiffness.
  • If you have a dry mouth, try a toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate.
  • Some people have found meditation helps improve their pain.
  • Try the treatments your doctor offers and discuss which ones are helpful.

Body Pain Causes, Prevention Tips & Treatment

Pain is an unpleasant sensation in the body that is triggered by the nervous system. The onset of body pain can occur suddenly or slowly, depending on many factors, (e.g. environmental, biological, emotional, cognitive, etc.) Each individual is the best judge of the severity and frequency of his or her body pain.

Types of Body Pain & Causes of Body Pain

There are generally two types of body pain: acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute body pain

Acute body pain results from an illness or event, such as injury or surgery. It generally occurs suddenly, then gradually diminishes or stops on its own or with medical treatment. Acute pain can range from mild to severe, and may last for weeks or months. If treated properly, acute body pain will subside within six months. If left untreated, acute pain may lead to chronic pain.

Chronic body pain

Chronic body pain is pain that persists over time and may have no apparent cause, even after an injury has healed or an illness has subsided. Chronic pain can persist for weeks or even years. Sufferers of chronic pain may find it debilitating, resulting in loss of sleep and inability to function normally.

Important: If you or someone you know suffers from acute or chronic body pain, make sure to see a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment options. Medication should be used as directed.

How common is back pain?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, back pain is second only to headache as the most common medical complaint in the United States, and is the second leading cause of missed workdays. Each year, 80% of adults below age 50 experience back pain at least once, and the majority will have multiple occurrences. Back injury is the number one occupational hazard in the U.S.

Back or body pain can have any of a number of causes

In addition to causing acute pain, some of these things can also cause more serious back injuries that require medical attention. Causes include ligament or muscle strains or sprains, muscle spasms, or arthritic or swollen joints.

Things that can cause strains, sprains, or spasms include:

Poor posture

Poor physical condition

Using muscles, ligaments, or joints for activities for which they’re not conditioned or of which they’re not capable

Excessive or improper lifting

Sudden awkward movements, like lifting or twisting too quickly

Overly strenuous physical activities

Degeneration of the spine, which often occurs with aging, can contribute to lower back pain, and may often lead to more serious conditions such as spondylosis (arthritis of the spine) or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots due to arthritis and bone overgrowth). If you think you may be suffering from more severe back pain, talk to your doctor.

Preventing back and body pain — you can find pain relief

Back and body pain may be reduced or prevented by eating a proper diet, managing weight, and increasing muscle flexibility and strength through exercise and physical conditioning. Even low-impact physical activities, such as walking or swimming, may help prevent body pain by increasing strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Some tips to promote back and body health and help prevent body pain:

Maintain good posture when sitting and standing

Use your legs to lift heavy objects

Carry heavy objects close to your body, and turn with your legs and not your waist to change direction

Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess weight can tax the body’s muscles, especially the back muscles

Sleep on your side with bent knees. Consult your doctor about how firm your mattress should be

Acute back or body pain usually stops on its own or with body pain treatment.

Treating back and body pain — some suggestions:

Get plenty of rest, but don’t stop moving. Especially with back pain, prolonged bed rest can actually make the condition worse. Generally, light activity can help treat body pain.

Cold/heat treatment — apply ice or a cold compress to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day until spasms and acute body pain subsides. Then apply warm, moist heat (such as hot compresses or warm baths) to loosen tight muscles

Pain relievers — over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or aspirin can be effective body pain treatments for individuals with back and body pain.

Chronic Pain | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA

Muscle tension, body soreness, headaches. For people with anxiety disorders, pain like this may be all too familiar.

Pain can be a common symptom — and sometimes a good indicator — of an anxiety disorder, particularly generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Beyond everyday aches and pains, some people will also suffer a diagnosed chronic pain disease such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. And a co-occurring chronic pain disease can make functioning even more difficult for someone with an anxiety disorder.

But people can manage anxiety disorders and chronic pain to lead full and productive lives.

Chronic Pain and Anxiety Disorders

Many chronic pain disorders are common in people with anxiety disorders.

Arthritis is a wide-ranging term that describes a group of more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically the joints.

Symptoms include pain, stiffness, inflammation, and damage to joint cartilage and surrounding structures. Damage can lead to joint weakness, instability, and deformities that can interfere with basic daily tasks. Systemic forms of arthritis can affect the whole body and can cause damage to virtually any bodily organ or system.

Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are common among people who have arthritis, and very often in younger arthritis sufferers.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic medical condition that causes widespread muscle pain and fatigue. Learn more.

Migraine is severe pain felt on one or both sides of the head, normally occurring around the temples or behind one eye or ear. Learn more.

Back pain is more common in people with anxiety and mood disorders than those without them. Illness, accidents, and infections are among the causes of back pain.

Symptoms include persistent aches or stiffness anywhere along the spine; sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back, especially after lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activity; and chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods.


An anxiety disorder along with chronic pain can be difficult to treat. Those who suffer from chronic pain and have an anxiety disorder may have a lower tolerance for pain. People with an anxiety disorder may be more sensitive to medication side effects or more fearful of side effects than, and they may also be more fearful of pain than someone who experiences pain without anxiety.


Many treatments for anxiety disorders may also improve chronic pain symptoms.

Medications. Some people with an anxiety disorder and chronic pain may be able to take one medication for the symptoms of both conditions, such as treating fibromyalgia with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and some anxiolytics, tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are effective for headache pain.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is used to treat anxiety disorders as well as chronic pain conditions. It is one type of effective therapy.

Relaxation techniques help people develop the ability to cope more effectively with the stresses that contribute to anxiety and pain. Common techniques include breathing retraining, progressive muscle relaxation, and exercise.

Complementary and alternative treatment. Yoga, acupuncture, and massage are among the complementary and alternative techniques that relieve the symptoms of anxiety disorders as well as chronic pain. 

Find a mental health professional who treats anxiety and depressive disorders in your area.


Many lifestyle changes that improve the symptoms of an anxiety disorder also help the symptoms of chronic pain.

Exercise. Regular exercise strengthens muscles, reduces stiffness, improves flexibility, and boosts mood and self-esteem. Always check with your doctors before beginning an exercise regimen.
Sleep. A good night’s sleep is key for anxiety disorders and chronic pain conditions. Symptoms of both types of conditions often become worse without enough sleep.

Consistent sleep and wake times, a good sleep environment (comfortable room temperature, no TV or other distractions), and avoiding caffeine late in the day and at night can help promote restful sleep.
Nutrition. People with anxiety should limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can trigger panic attacks and worsen anxiety symptoms. Some types of food may aggravate some musculoskeletal conditions, including dairy products, gluten (found in wheat, oats, barley, and rye), corn, sugar, and members of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tobacco).

Those who experience pain can reduce their intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, red meat, and acid-forming foods. A health professional can provide more guidance about healthful foods and which to avoid.

Getting Help

Find a Therapist near you.

Find Out More

American Chronic Pain Association
Arthritis Foundation
Community Pain Center
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Chronic Pain
Back Pain Help Center (WebMD)

7 Ways to Relieve Work-Related Pain at Home

If your job involves heavy lifting, squatting, bending, repetitive motion, or any activity that puts regular demand on your muscles and joints, you’re probably no stranger to pain. Here are a few refreshers, and perhaps brand new approaches, for you to try at home as you manage your job-related achiness, stiffness and pain.

1. When it comes to work-related pain, start with prevention.

Strains and sprains are common types of workplace injuries that can cause pain. Some of the most frequent causes of strains and sprains are:

• Excessive force
• Excessive repetition
• Poor posture and lifting techniques
• Poor health, including smoking, excessive drinking and unhealthy weight
• Not enough rest and recovery
• Poor nutrition, fitness and hydration
• Stress

Some jobs simply require exertion, force, and lots of repetition, and there will be no immediate way to change that. However, you can start to become aware of your body mechanics (ergonomics) on the job. This is about positioning yourself and your tools so that individual muscles don’t have to do too much of the work.

2. Use electrotherapy (TENS) for relief of aches and pains resulting from work.

Doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors have employed Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) in their offices for more than 30 years, it is available today for home use. TENS units, as they are called, use safe, mild pulses to offer temporary pain relief. This kind of electrotherapy is best for acute muscle and joint pain located in a local area that has lasted less than three months.

Tips for using a TENS unit at home:

• To get the right effect, follow the instructions on your TENS unit carefully
• Start with a 15-minute session
• Rate your pain from 1 to 10 before, during and after
• Start soon after you receive the injury or notice pain

There are different reasons TENS units are effective. Scientific theory suggests that TENS has the ability to block pain messages from reaching the brain, to encourage circulation, and to help the body produce natural endorphins. TENS is a healthy alternative to over-the- counter or prescription drugs.

For more information on TENS click here.

3. Is your pain acute or chronic? Use temperature therapy the right way based on your answer.

Heat and cold are both effective ways to treat injuries and the pain that follows from them. However, it’s important to apply the right therapy at the right time to avoid making injuries worse.

Cold for new, heat for old

A general rule of thumb is to use ice for sudden, intense pain and swelling and use heat for chronic aches and pains. (Note that your heat source should always be warm, not hot.)

By this hot and cold rule, you might apply ice to a fresh injury. Then, after the acute swelling and intense pain are relieved—which could take hours, days or weeks—switch to heat. Heat is ideal for the longer-term stiffness, soreness and achiness that follow an injury.

One general guideline is to use ice for injuries less than six weeks old and warmth for injuries more than six weeks old, and also for arthritis.

Common warm and cold therapies for job-related pain include:

• Heating pads
• Heating packs
• Hot towels
• Warm baths, whirlpools and saunas
• Warm baths with epsom salts

Cold sources:

• Ice packs
• Cold sprays and gels

4. Use pain medication safely and responsibly.

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin are all safe forms of pain relief when used as they are intended. Even though these pain medications are available over the counter, they are still serious drugs. Abusing them in the short term or using them for a very long time can contribute to kidney disease, strokes and bleeding disorders.

The opioid epidemic

Drug overdoses are now the number one source of injury in the U.S. The opioid epidemic, as it’s being called, is partly to blame. Oxycodone, morphine and illegal drugs like heroin are all examples of opioids. Legal opioids are only effective for temporary pain relief, and should never be used without a prescription or without careful monitoring from a doctor.

5. If pain supplements are supported by evidence, try them for work-related pain.

Research shows some supplements may have a beneficial effect for managing pain on and off the job. Here are a few.

• Glucosamine for pain from osteoarthritis and knee osteoarthritis
• Turmeric for knee osteoarthritis
• Capsaicin, applied topically for joint pain

A note on the term “osteoarthritis”

Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint condition, and it’s characterized by achy, stiff and painful joints. Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear. Lifting, bending, straining, repetitive motions, and other work-related activities are all suspects. But you don’t have to be diagnosed with osteoarthritis to benefit from pain-management techniques.

6. Consider an anti-inflammatory diet to help manage chronic pain.

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury. The heat, redness, swelling and pain caused by inflammation can become chronic. Fish, other foods with Omega 3 fats, and antioxidant-rich foods all may play a role in reducing unnecessary inflammation. On the flipside, trans fats, refined sugars, deep-fried foods and red meat may be pro-inflammatory foods.

7. Use healthy, low-impact exercise and strength training to reduce pain and improve flexibility.


The last thing you may want to do after a day of hard labor is go to the gym. However, movement has a very beneficial effect on relieving pain. Yoga, Tai Chi, swimming and biking are just a few examples of exercises that help circulation, promote flexibility and help fluidity of joint movement.

Core strength

In addition to exercising your joints through movement, safely exercising your muscles with strength training may benefit you on the job. Healthy strength training, preferably under the coaching of a physical trainer, won’t just make it easier to lift heavy objects. It can also take the load off of isolated muscles that are working too hard.

(Yes, the old cliché of “lifting with the legs” applies. Squats are just one example of a strength-training exercise that makes it easier to lift with the legs, taking strain off of your back.)

Safely fitting exercise into an active life

Exercising in the mornings, on your days off, or in the evening after you’ve had time to rest are ways of working exercise into your active life. The importance of rest can’t be emphasized enough. Work with a physical trainer to get guidance on planning out your rest days.

Prevention techniques, especially body mechanics/ergonomics, are the best way to defeat work-related injuries and pain. For those inevitable times when physical work does lead to aches and pains, TENS units, hot and cold therapy, nutrition, supplements and safe exercise are great ways to lessen the effects of routine sprains, strains, wear and tear.

Persistent aching muscle pain

Muscle pain or myalgia is a rather unpleasant symptom that brings inconvenience and anguish to its owner. It has a pulling or spastic character. Such pains can be caused by excessive physical exertion or prolonged improper posture and be harmless, or signal the development of a serious illness. The Kuntsevo Medical and Rehabilitation Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that cause similar symptoms.

Causes of

Among the main causes of muscle pain are:

  • heavy physical activity;
  • injuries;
  • being in a position that disrupts blood circulation;
  • flat feet or overweight;
  • walking in high heels;
  • joint diseases;
  • disorders of the musculoskeletal system;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • inflammatory processes;
  • injuries: bruises, sprains, damage to bones and joints;
  • bacteria, viruses and parasites as a source of intoxication;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • lack of vitamins B.

Attention! The exact causes of persistent aching pain in the muscles will help to find out the qualified specialists of the Kuntsevo treatment and rehabilitation center, which has modern diagnostic equipment.


There are several types of muscle pain:

  • fibromyalgia – spasms in fibrous muscles, ligaments and tendons;
  • myalgia – pain throughout the muscles;
  • myositis – dull pain in the muscles after overexertion or due to inflammation;
  • pain after sports training.


Pathological pain sensations in the muscles, requiring a mandatory visit to a specialist, are expressed in the following:

  • persistent or chronic pain;
  • twitching nature of the disease;
  • pain sensations appeared after training, but did not go away after rest;
  • soft tissue redness or swelling is observed;
  • concomitant symptoms are observed in the form of fever, shortness of breath, rash, urinary retention.

Important! If at least one of the above conditions appears, it is recommended to contact a specialist.


Diagnosis of the causes of pain in the muscles consists of the following main stages:

The Kuntsevo Center offers all types of modern diagnostics: MRI, ultrasound, laboratory tests that can identify the causes of pathological muscle pain and prescribe adequate treatment.

Which doctor treats

Neurologists, rheumatologists or surgeons are involved in the treatment and diagnosis of such symptoms.

All people sometimes have muscle pain. If your muscles ache after exercising or after a long period of activity, there is nothing strange about this and should not be worried.

IMPORTANT! However, if you notice prolonged aching pain in the muscles that does not go away for a long period of time, this is a reason to consult a specialist.

Self-medication is not a way out of the situation, because there can be many reasons for the development of a symptom, ranging from trauma to chronic inflammatory processes. Make an appointment with the neurologist of our center to understand the causes of the symptom, to choose the correct and effective treatment tactics!

Treatment types

Depending on the cause of muscle pain, the following treatments are used:

  • medicinal;
  • massage;
  • exercise therapy;
  • surgical treatment in severe cases.


The rehabilitation period is characterized by undergoing massage procedures, performing therapeutic exercises, adjusting nutrition in the presence of excess weight.

Lifestyle Recommendations

As a preventive measure for myalgias of various origins, it is important to avoid heavy physical exertion and stress, not to overcool, to heal infectious diseases to the end and to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Aching pain in the muscles is a fairly frequent phenomenon, sometimes it is harmless and soon disappears, but sometimes it is the result of serious diseases that require monitoring and treatment. Highly qualified specialists of the Kuntsevo treatment and rehabilitation center are ready to provide timely and high-quality assistance in resolving this issue.

Causes of Muscle Pain – How to Get Rid of Muscle Pain

Muscle pains (myalgia) are muscle pains that can occur not only when stressed, but also at rest.Painful sensations of a pulling or spastic nature can be localized in one part of the body or in several at once.

Causes of muscle spasms after exercise

Discomfort due to pain in the shoulder, lower back, neck, or other parts of the body is a common occurrence when playing sports. Myalgia is often experienced by beginners who try to do a lot of exercises as soon as they get started. Experienced athletes are also susceptible to it, drastically changing the training plan.

The causes of muscle pain in such cases lie in small breaks in muscle fibers. Due to microscopic wounds, a constantly increasing painful sensation arises in them. An intensive recovery begins in the body: protein is intensively synthesized and hormones are released.

The discomfort disappears after 2-3 weeks, when the athlete enters the rhythm and correctly draws up a training program. But if the pain in the back and shoulder or in another area is sharp and throbbing, the cause may be an injury, so the athlete should consult a traumatologist.

Types of myalgia

  1. Fibromyalgia. They arise in ligaments and tendons, and appear in the occiput, neck, and lower back. Often manifested in women due to stress and men due to overload at work or in the gym.
  2. Myositis – inflammation of muscle tissue. It occurs due to injuries, heavy physical exertion, complications after the flu. Such muscle pain in the legs, arms, trunk is localized, increases with movement and is aching in nature. Most often, a leg or arm is required to be treated in a hospital setting.
  3. Polymyositis. Serious illness. A person may have severe pain in the neck, shoulders, then the pain passes to the pelvic girdle and legs. Sometimes it leads to muscle dystrophy.

Muscles ache during pregnancy

While waiting for the baby, most women experience muscle soreness. Moreover, if before pregnancy a woman was not engaged in maintaining physical fitness, then they manifest themselves more strongly.

During pregnancy, muscles can hurt in various areas:

  • back – due to the load of the increasing body;
  • abdomen – due to painful muscle sprains;
  • lower back – due to increased load from increasing weight and natural displacement of internal organs;
  • legs – the causes of pain in the legs are the same, pain is accompanied by cramps in the calves, which develop at the beginning of sleep, at night or in the morning;
  • breast – under the influence of changes in hormonal balance, increased blood circulation;
  • vagina – under the influence of changes in venous hemodynamics, increased vascular load, decreased elasticity of muscle tissue.

Child’s muscles ache

Myalgia often manifests itself in children due to a lack of vitamins, calcium, magnesium in the body. It may be due to the fact that the child’s bone skeleton is growing, and the muscle tissues do not keep up with it and stretch.

If the child not only has sore legs or arms, but also has a fever, swelling appears, an urgent need to consult a doctor to find out the cause of the disease. Your doctor will prescribe treatment for muscle pain.


Treatment for muscle pain depends on the cause, so it is important to make an accurate diagnosis.

Muscle pain in the back and other areas is treated with the following methods:

  • drug therapy;
  • physiotherapy exercises;
  • physiotherapy procedures;
  • manual therapy.

To avoid such problems, the rules of prevention should be followed: a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, moderate physical activity, an ergonomic workplace, exclusion of smoking and alcohol abuse.

Date of publication: 21.09.2017 |
Date of modification: 05/26/2020

What to do with pain in joints and back – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Roszdravnadzor continues to help readers of “RG – Week” to understand how to stay healthy and choose the right treatment. Today we will talk about the joints and the spine – a member of the public council of Roszdravnadzor, director of the National Medical Research Center of Traumatology and Orthopedics named after V.I.N.N. Priorova, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Zagorodny.

I am 77 years old, I often, especially at night, have pains in my back, arms, legs, so severe that I wake up and take painkillers. I have tried everything, the doctors shrug their shoulders, they say that I have arthrosis. Isn’t arthrosis treated?

Raisa Zakharova, Moscow

Nikolay Zagorodny: Joint pain is one of the most common reasons for patients seeking medical help, the most common joint diseases are osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis of the spine.Patients often use simple terms for this disease – “arthrosis” or “salt deposition”.

According to various estimates, 12-20 percent of the population of different ages suffer from osteoarthritis in the world. Most often (in 43 percent of cases), the hip joint is affected, a little less often – the knee joint (34.3 percent), about 11 percent is in the shoulder. The remaining 12 percent are diseases of other joints. Every third disability is due to arthrosis.

Its main symptoms: pain in the joint, at the onset of the disease it occurs periodically – for example, during physical exertion, walking, prolonged standing, and passes at rest.As the disease progresses, the pain becomes constant.

The cause of this disease is still unknown to science. But there are several preventive measures that can reduce the risks of its occurrence: do not overload the joints, avoid injuries, and do not gain excess weight. Overweight people are more likely to suffer from arthrosis, especially of the knee and hip joints.

Also at risk are people who are born with hypermobility of the ligamentous apparatus, very mobile ligaments – they are highly susceptible to trauma, which can contribute to the development of arthrosis.And young people with a diagnosis, which is not in Russia, but is abroad, – “weekend sports”. This is when a person leads a sedentary lifestyle all week, and then on weekends goes, for example, to a fitness center and begins to forcefully engage in sports, “ripping off” his joints and back. So if you do not go in for sports all the time, from day to day, you need to enter it very carefully, gradually.

If the joints began to hurt, it is worth adhering to several rules to reduce the load on them.

First, exclude running, jumping, deep squats, prolonged squatting. The condition of the joints worsens and the pain increases, fast and long walking, especially on uneven and rough terrain, ascents and descents from mountains, walking on stairs.

Secondly, lifting and carrying heavy objects should be avoided.

Thirdly, it is necessary to wear comfortable shoes, with a low (2-4 centimeters) wide heel with a soft elastic sole – it allows you to absorb the impact that spreads along the limb when the heel touches the ground.

Fourthly, use individually made insoles-instep support for foot pathology (longitudinal or transverse flat feet), and for loads and long walking – orthoses.

Osteoarthritis is usually treated in a complex way: by changing motor stereotypes, reducing body weight, unloading the affected joints, therapeutic exercises and massage, physiotherapy and medications that the doctor must select.

In severe cases, people undergo operations, including joint replacement.

I have back pain, especially at work (sedentary work in the office), and pain in my legs when walking. Doctors advised to do fitness. But I can’t because of the pain. They put a blockade, but it did not help for long. Warming ointments were banned, and pain relievers are not all suitable for me. Doctors do not say anything definite. Are there simple methods for cases like mine?

Alexey Viktyunin, 36 years old, Moscow

Nikolay Zagorodny: Osteochondrosis is also a common disease.The main symptom is pain in the lower back, sometimes it “shoots” in the legs.

This disease occurs due to a lack of physical activity or vice versa – their excessive intensity (work associated with lifting or carrying weights, engaging in traumatic sports). Also, its appearance is facilitated by overweight, anomalies in the development of the spine, the presence of a herniated disc.

If such pain occurs, in no case should you self-medicate. You need to see a doctor right away.He must conduct an examination, including directing for an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Then he will select the appropriate treatment.

You may need to avoid movements that trigger or increase pain. You should choose those positions of the body that do not cause pain or reduce it. Wear a lumbar corset (bandage) in the acute period. It serves to relieve pain, relieve stress on the spine, and stabilize the position. After the cessation of acute pain, it is advisable to put on a corset only before heavy physical exertion.Constant wearing is not recommended as it can weaken the muscles.

Physiotherapy procedures are prescribed on the recommendation of a doctor. You will also need remedial gymnastics, the exercises for which must be selected by the doctor on an individual basis. Also, the doctor may prescribe drug therapy.

It is important to eat right – excess weight creates risks for the spine

To prevent back pain, you need to regularly exercise, gymnastics, which forms a strong muscle corset around the spine.

Avoid overloading, sports in which sudden movements are possible, the danger of turning, twisting or abruptly stretching the spine is hidden. It is not recommended to train with a barbell. Always warm up before starting workouts or gymnastics. Swimming on the back in the pool, using a semi-rigid mattress and orthopedic pillow while sleeping is useful. And it is very important to eat right – excess weight increases the load on the spine.

Your questions for Roszdravnadzor specialists can be sent to the address: gusenkom @ yandex.Common crawl en

How depression affects the human body – Society

The British scientific journal The Lancet Psychiatry has published an article about an eight-year study of patients with severe clinical depression. This work reinforced the conjecture that the disease is associated with inflammatory processes in the brain.

Scientists from the University of Toronto divided the participants into three groups: some had depression lasting less than ten years, others longer, and still others were healthy. Each was tested on a tomograph to see if their gray matter was different.

On this topic

It turned out that those who had not treated depression for ten years or more had elevated levels of a particular inflammatory protein. This same protein is found in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which gradually destroy the brain.

Depression is not classified as a degenerative disease, but a study in Canadians showed that it also goes through several stages in the same way. This explains why, over time, depressive episodes are more frequent and last longer. But there is also a bright side: for those who took antidepressants, the amount of inflammatory protein did not increase over the years.

A study by Canadian scientists has once again confirmed that depression is not only a mental disorder, but actively affects physical health. Earlier, other studies have confirmed its links to diseases such as migraines, arthritis, and the effect of depression in pregnant women on the development of the brain in babies.


Migraine is similar to a common headache, like an uppercut to a click. During an attack, it seems as if a nail has been stuck in the eye, hair grows into the head with needles, any sounds and light become intolerable.Unsurprisingly, one in four people with migraines has depression, a mental response to suffering. But it seems that the link between the two diseases is much more complex.

Back in 1994, American scientists calculated that depression increased the risk of the first migraine by more than three times. By the age of 33, almost every second person with clinical depression has a migraine. It turns out that the two diseases mutually increase the risks of each other.

True, this does not mean that depression causes migraines.Perhaps they just have a common nature. A 2010 study of distant relatives in the Netherlands indicates a possible genetic link between the two diseases. It is also noted that migraine sufferers have low serotonin levels, and one of the causes of depression is just a lack of serotonin. But unlike the statistical link between migraines and depression, these explanations are just speculation.

Disrupted connections in the brain of babies

Depression undermines health, but even worse – it can change the body of a person who has not even been born yet.This has been found in several studies of depressed pregnant women and their babies after birth.

On this topic

In 2017, scientists from the National Institute of Singapore performed CT scans on six-month-old babies who were born to sick mothers. It turned out that the amygdala of babies – the area responsible for memory, emotion and decision-making – is connected with other parts of the brain in the same way as in adolescents and adults with depression.

Someone would argue that the brain of babies could change due to care and upbringing in the first six months of life.But at the end of 2013, another work was published with the results of examining children 6-14 days old. Scientists have also found abnormalities in the amygdala that make babies prone to depression. Most likely, genetics affected, but the depression of mothers during pregnancy also played a role. Therefore, expectant mothers need to monitor their mental health and, if necessary, be treated.


Recent laboratory studies show that inflammation in depression spreads to the entire body, not just the brain.Knowing this, scientists from the University of Calgary decided to check whether depression is to blame for the fact that about one in 12 patients with psoriasis develops arthritis.

Psoriasis is a disease in which the skin becomes covered with raised red spots with scales. This is due to the fact that the immune system mistakenly attacks skin cells and inflammation begins. But the nature of psoriasis is not fully understood, and one of the mysteries is why sometimes inflammation spreads to the joints and psoriatic arthritis develops.

To check if there is a connection between the diseases, scientists processed more than 73 thousand medical records of people with psoriasis. It turned out that those who also had depression were 37% more likely to have arthritis. Two guesses follow from this. It is possible that psoriatic arthritis can be treated with psychotherapy and antidepressants. It is also possible that depression can provoke other inflammatory diseases.

On this topic

All these consequences of depression show how important it is to listen to yourself.According to the World Health Organization, by 2015, depression had become the leading cause of disability. At that time, more than 300 million people around the world suffered from it, that is, every 25th, and their number is growing from year to year. In Russia, there are even more patients with depression – every 18th resident of the country, and these are only diagnosed cases. Therefore, if the melancholy does not let go for more than two weeks, be sure to see a doctor: perhaps this is not just a breakdown and a bad mood. A specialist will help to cope with this.

Marat Kuzaev

General psychopathology | Training | ROP

Senestopathy (from the Greek koinos – general and aisthesis – sensation) – unpleasant, painful, often painful sensations , which do not have objective reasons for their occurrence (ascertained by objective examination methods). Senestopathies can be localized both in the internal organs and in the superficial areas of the body (in the skin, under the skin).

Characteristic features of senestopathies:

  • Polymorphism, variety of sensations. Patients can experience a wide variety of sensations: spasm, pressure, heat, burning, cold, bursting, throbbing, peeling, tearing, bursting, stretching, twisting, tightening, friction, trembling, etc.
  • The sensations are unusual, the patient has not experienced this before, so it is difficult for him to formulate his complaints, he often has to resort to figurative comparisons (“as if …”).
  • Feelings are unpleasant, painful, sometimes painful.
  • In many cases, they are persistent, stubborn and intrusive.
  • The localization of sensations, which is unusual for the symptomatology of somatic / neurological diseases, is often observed – vague, diffuse, bizarre, sometimes migratory.

Usually senestopathies are more painful than painful, but there are also algic senestopathies (senestalgia) , which are painful sensations of a wide variety of shades (boring, aching, everting, etc.). Senestalgia in its characteristics is most similar to the sensations that can occur with somatic diseases.

The most important point in the differentiation of senestopathies, which are attributed to the pathology of sensations, and hallucinations, which are disorders of perception: with senestopathies there is no objectivity of perception, i.e. patients do not perceive any specific object that causes them unpleasant sensations, but only talk about certain sensations. However, very often they cite figurative comparisons of their sensations with the action of a wide variety of objects and phenomena (for example, “in the head as if a bubble burst ”, “intestines as if they were twisting ”, “in the stomach it feels like as if the kitten is scratching “and so on.).

The appearance of such sensations, first of all, leads patients to thoughts about the presence of a somatic disease and to referrals to doctors of various profiles. Diagnosis of senestopathies requires mandatory exclusion of possible somatic and neurological pathology , which, however, can be quite difficult, since in many cases it is impossible to completely exclude somatic causes.

Senestopathies can occur in various conditions, including:

In organic brain diseases and schizophrenic spectrum disorders, senestopathies are often unusual, bizarre and persistent.

For example, an elderly patient who has suffered several traumatic brain injuries in the past, has a vascular disease of the brain, for a number of years began to experience a kind of “tickling” on the surface of the body, “as if a twig is being carried out”, these sensations are constantly present, “from crown to toe ”, while moving around the surface of the body in a clockwise direction. In the mouth there is “a feeling that the teeth are twisting on their shelves”, etc.

With depression and neurotic disorders, senestopathies are more reminiscent of the symptoms of real somatic diseases or hyperesthesia in relation to their own physiological processes, the sensations in these cases are not very unusual, more variable, their localization is migratory.

Differential diagnosis of senestopathies

Senestopathies should be distinguished from paresthesias.

Paresthesias – sensations of tingling, numbness, crawling creeps. They are characterized by the simplicity of sensations, their superficial localization. They arise with mechanical damage to peripheral nerves, with a violation of the blood supply to the limb (for example, after a long stay in an uncomfortable position, in such cases the limb is said to be “numb”), with some other neurological diseases, vitamin deficiencies.

Despite the fact that the concept of senestopathy was developed initially by French and German psychiatrists, today this concept is used almost exclusively in Russian-speaking psychiatry. Foreign psychiatrists attribute most of such cases, depending on their characteristics, either to hyperesthesia , or to hallucinations . In addition, the clinical picture of senestopathies largely overlaps with the current concept of neuropathic pain .

Neuropathic pain

Two variants of pain pathogenesis:

1. Nociceptive pain.

  • Caused by physical tissue damage with stimulation of pain receptors (nociceptors), occurs during trauma, inflammation, etc.
  • The severity of pain is proportional to stimulation (tissue damage).
  • There is a good effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which reduce inflammation in the tissues and, therefore, reduce the stimulation of nociceptors.

2. Neuropathic pain.

  • Result of pathological excitation (sensitization) of sensitive neurons in the peripheral or central nervous system.
  • Tissue damage with stimulation of pain receptors is not required (ie, pain can occur without visible damage and “causes that can be identified by objective examination methods”).
  • No effect from analgesics.
  • Pain is often chronic, excruciating.

Clinical presentation of neuropathic pain:

  • Unusual nature of sensations (complaints similar to descriptions of senestopathies).
  • The complexity of verbalization (i.e. the patient’s description of his feelings).
  • An agonizing character.
  • There is no direct relationship between pain and its severity with damaging factors, often the cause of pain is difficult to reliably determine.
  • May be persistent or paroxysmal; can be provoked by external factors (for example, movement, cold, etc.)- sensitization effect).

A history of a known disease or lesion of the peripheral or central nervous system (stroke, herpes, diabetic polyneuropathy, spinal cord injury, trigeminal neuralgia, postoperative scars, etc.) may be important for the diagnosis of neuropathic pain. And at the same time, the presence of sensory signs in the corresponding neuroanatomical zone – positive (hyperalgesia, allodynia – pain due to exposure to stimuli that usually do not cause it) and negative (decreased sensitivity), as well as objective damage to the nervous system (according to computer, magnetic resonance imaging , electroencephalography, etc.). However, it is assumed that suprasegmental central sensitization (i.e. sensitization at the level of the thalamus or sensory cortex) can lead to the development of pain without triggering lesions of the nervous system, for example, within functional disorders in depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, etc.

Treatment of neuropathic pain: anticonvulsants, antidepressants, with peripheral lesions – topical lidocaine (patch).

Tolerate pain is dangerous to health


Enduring pain is dangerous to health

Why is it important to relieve acute pain on time and how not to harm yourself when taking analgesics?

Not every pain can be relieved with a pill. However, enduring is not an option. Sometimes pain syndrome harms the body no less than its cause. In recent years, Russian healthcare has begun to pay attention to the issues of specialized pain management.Arkhangelsk was no exception.

Take care of your spine

Four years ago, a pain treatment service was established at the Volosevich First City Clinical Hospital. Its main tasks are to provide timely and effective pain relief for patients in the pre- and postoperative period, as well as help those who suffer from chronic pain syndromes. Three doctors are engaged in this: two anesthesiologists-resuscitators and a neurologist, as well as two nurses.

The service was founded with the support of Boris Gabovich, President of the Estonian Pain Treatment Society, who is considered one of the best specialists in this field.Arkhangelsk doctors at different times underwent training with him. At the end of last year, for example, a neurologist Irina Popova was trained in one of the clinics in Tallinn. Ivan Portnyagin, one of the founders of the Association for Interventional Pain Treatment, is also considered his mentor in the pain treatment service of the First City Hospital. The advanced experience of colleagues undoubtedly helps our doctors in their practice.

– The main stream is neurological patients who have problems with the spine or headaches. Quite often, myotonic syndrome occurs – this is a neuromuscular disorder that manifests itself in the difficult relaxation of muscles after their contraction.As a result, people have severe pain in their shoulders, neck, head. Myotonic syndrome develops in those who lead a sedentary lifestyle or constantly drive, who have poor posture. In such situations, it is necessary to relieve pain syndrome with blockages and drugs. And of course, in the future, a person needs to fight the reason – to move more, swim in the pool, do special gymnastics, – says the head of the pain treatment service, Ilya Nasonov. – In addition, we have many patients with oncopathology, there are patients after severe injuries, fractures.

A total of 1294 patients were treated here in 2018. Someone was given blockades, someone was selected systemic therapy, someone was simply consulted.

When it hurts, the wounds heal worse

Doctors call blockades the last step in the treatment of pain syndromes. First of all, they strive to select the appropriate drug therapy to improve the patient’s quality of life. And only if all methods have been exhausted – intervention methods, which include blockades, are used.During this procedure, the drug is “delivered” directly to the source of the pain and blocks the pain syndrome.

– The actions of ordinary injections are systemic, they affect the entire body: the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, and that’s it, – explains Ilya Yakovlevich. – The blockade has a purposeful influence. We bring the needle under ultrasound or X-ray navigation to the nerve endings or plexus where the point of pain is applied. We must try to block it. We get a lasting effect – it’s great if it’s temporary – we understand that we hit the target, but we strengthen the therapy with other methods.Sometimes the patient needs not only medication and invasive treatment, but also psychotherapeutic help.

If acute pain syndrome is not promptly stopped, there is a risk that it will go into a chronic stage, and this is already a serious condition fraught with impaired mental functions, the development of depression. It is very difficult to “pull” the patient out of it. So the relief of acute pain is also the prevention of its chronicity.

For example, there are situations when a person has something painful, he goes to the doctors, takes tests and makes examinations, but the cause cannot be identified.It may be a chronic pain syndrome – a kind of “echo of the past.”

– Once upon a time there was an acute point of application of pain, for example, after the operation they did not give anesthesia in an amicable way, healed – but the sensations remained. To put it quite simply: here you prick your finger – it has receptors that transmit the corresponding signal to the brain, and the body responds with a protective reaction. When pain becomes chronic, the opposite mechanism works: the cause is gone, but the body continues to defend itself.Roughly the same thing happens after the operation. If the pain syndrome does not stop, these mechanisms are triggered, the wounds heal worse, suppuration or asthenic pneumonia may begin. That is why we started the development of our service with the treatment of acute pain. This is the main way to reduce the number of patients with chronic pain, – emphasizes our interlocutor.

For an appointment – to a doctor, not on the Internet

Pain cannot be tolerated – this thought should be a refrain for everyone.But even the uncontrolled use of analgesics, chosen on the advice of friends or with the help of advertising, is fraught with serious problems.

– Each drug has its own pros and cons, says Ilya Yakovlevich. – It is with regret that we have to admit that our society has an insufficiently developed culture of health. The biggest problem is that many people use the Internet and advice from friends to diagnose themselves and prescribe treatment. Often you have to deal with the fact that people use painkillers for months, while their intake is limited by a time interval: for some, the course should not exceed five to seven days, others can be taken up to two weeks.Any pain syndrome can give in to the action of the drug for some time, but if the time is exceeded, the clinical picture is erased. And in the future, it will be more difficult to diagnose, cope with the situation and provide effective treatment. Therefore, for any persistent pain, it is important to see a doctor on time. Unpleasant sensations can be removed, but you still need to look for the reason. And this should happen in parallel.

Natalya SENCHUKOVA, newspaper “Arkhangelsk – the city of military glory” 01.16.19

How I Live With Enduring Pain – Wonderzine

Unfortunately, the restrictions imposed by this disease are no longer just restrictions, but a completely new way of life.I used to be able to put things in order during the day, go to the store, cook something and talk to someone else in the evening. Now there are good days when I can do something on the to-do list, and bad days when I have to just lie there. Of course, there are also trips or moving – it’s all very painful and inconvenient. It is important to carry your recipes with you. In Berlin, where the diagnosis was confirmed, but they also do not know how to treat, I was mercifully given opioid pain relievers – of course, if they are with you, then it is better to keep the prescription in your bag.

Also, since you look like a healthy person, it can be very difficult to ask for help. But now I don’t give a damn about everyone and don’t lift my bag at all; I go up to any person, I ask for help, and they help me. There are completely awkward situations. In Moscow, at the station, it seems, Leningradsky, I did not catch the train and had to wait for the next one. Of course, I was in great pain, albeit under the pills. There is a fence, behind which there are chairs, but only people with disabilities are allowed there.I have no disability, because it is impossible to prove it in Russia. I know Americans and Europeans who have it – and it makes life much easier at times like this.

At first I expected that they would find this unknown diagnosis and tell me why everything hurts so much. Then I found out the diagnosis and realized that there was no medicine. I probably still haven’t fully accepted it. A year and a half after the diagnosis, I just lay face down in the pillow. There were times when I couldn’t wash myself because of the pain.VGIK began to disappear from my life, where I am studying to be a screenwriter. There are a lot of projects – and I’m just lying at home. Month after month. I can’t make an appointment – what if there will be an aggravation? I need to work, I need to write scripts and make films, but I don’t know how. To be honest, I’m not a hero, I’m not a #fibrofighter (there is such a top tag on Instagram) – I’m afraid of everything and I see my weakness. It’s very difficult for me – but I continue to live from day to day.

I think that even with constant pain, or bipolar disorder, which I also have, or systemic lupus erythematosus, which can start at any time, you need to try to get up every morning and do something.Yes, for the first year and a half I lay face down in a pillow and was in a wheelchair; even now it can be hard to shower. But there are also days when I get up and go to shoot a movie, I’m on the set and ready to drink all the drugs in the world, just to stay on the wave – this is the only thing that helps. I made my first film with Pyotr Mamonov, showed it at world festivals, received awards, I’m preparing the next work – all with the same fibromyalgia as in the beginning. It is very important for me to have something to live for.You don’t have to be Lady Gaga, but finding the meaning to get up every morning with such pain is a must.