ATTENTION! Due to the volume of messages I receive regarding interruption or withdrawal of medical care, particularly regarding access to opioid medications, I ask that you READ THE GUIDELINES for PAIN WARRIORS. It will take a village of individuals with first hand information, personal physical evidence to bring effective action. As a volunteer advocate, and with my fingers on the pulse of the community, I understand the crisis those of us living with chronic pain face. After you follow the recommendations, I look forward to hearing from you.
(If you have a nationally recognized source to add to this page that encompases chronic pain, please contact me. Your input is important to all people living with a condition that causes chronic pain.
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Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is rare, progressive, and painful autoimmune rheumatic disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own connective tissue making it hard and restrictive. There are two types, local, which largely causes hardening of the skin, and systemic which causes the immune system to attack all connective tissue, including skin, cartilage, bone, fat, and all tissue that serves to hold our body together, including nerves and blood vessels. Because of this, it can affect all the organs in the body. Like MS and Lupus (SLE), the symptoms of scleroderma vary greatly between individuals and severity depends upon the parts of the body affected.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints in the body. It causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function chiefly in peripheral joints; the finger joints, wrists, toes, and knees. “Rheumatoid arthritis also affects surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, and can affect other parts of the body as well.” (Cooper and Miller, 2010). Like MS and Lupus (SLE) symptoms can vary widely depending on the individual, and the pain can be chronic, or have periods of remission. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease that can develop over time, or come on suddenly and can cause.severe joint damage and function. According to the Center for Disease Control, up to 25-65% of fibromyalgia patients are likely to also have other rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA)
HEADACHE and MIGRAINE
There are many types of headaches, also known as cephalgia. A headache is a symptom and there are many different types. Migraine, on the other hand, is a disease. In any event, if it is a new symptom for you, have it checked out immediately, because sudden onset, unusual headache can be an indication something life threatening such as a stroke.
It was once thought migraines were due to vasoconstriction in the brain; however, new evidence suggests migraines are caused by a nerve disruption. Migraine expert and author, Teri Robert, says there was a fascinating presentation in Scottsdale in 2010 showed imaging of a migraine in progress with no vasoconstriction at all. I was able to attend an American Headache and Migraine Association symposium for patients in Scottsdale, AZ in 2013 and I learned more about migraine at that event than I have ever learned from a neurologist. The one thing I know for certain, if you suffer from chronic migraine, as I do, you want a neurologist who specializes in treating headaches.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately two percent of the US population is affected by fibromyalgia and the ratio of women to men is 7:1, and is accompanied by Read on >>
Complex regional pain syndrome is a very painful chronic condition characterized by severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling, and extreme sensitivity to touch in an upper or lower limb following injury.
It is also known as:
ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS (AS)
“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic progressive inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the spinal joints. It is a chronic autoimmune joint diseases characterized by joint inflammation affecting the spine and pelvis, specifically the sacroiliac joint. The disease is very painful and its course is unpredictable between patients. Some patients have episodes of transient back pain only, others have more chronic severe back pain and other related symptoms. The progression can become disabling.
According to the Center for Disease Control, up to 25-65% of fibromyalgia patients are likely to have other rheumatic conditions such as AS.
My favorite magazine: PAIN PATHWAYS
Editor-in-Chief Richard L Rauck, MD
BUY NOW! (click on the book cover then the link logo in bottom right corner)
"My life’s goals are satisfied because of
my willingness to accept the
change of my circumstances."
~Celeste Cooper (Fall Devotions)
According to the "Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of IC/BPS," interstitial cystitis is “An unpleasant sensation (pain, pressure, discomfort) perceived to be related to the urinary bladder, associated with lower urinary tract symptoms of more than six weeks duration, in the absence of infection or other identifiable causes.” Like other invisible and poorly understood conditions, it is difficult to treat. Symptoms vary in intensity and character. Some people have constant pain and others have pain flares. More common is to have other associated pelvic pain or conditions that are also thought to be the result of the brain’s interpretation (centralization). Both women and men are affected. Perpetuating factors are similar to those experienced by people with myofascial pain syndrome and there are treatments that target the pelvic floor muscles. Interstitial cystitis is soon to be renamed painful bladder syndrome.
INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS/PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME
"neuropathic pain: Pain caused by a functional or pathological change in the peripheral nervous system. Also used to denote pain as a result of a nonspecific lesion, as opposed to an inflammatory lesion." Cooper and Miller, (2010)
Nerves within the brain and spinal cord are part of the central nervous system (CNS) and all the nerves outside the CNS are called peripheral nerves. Nerves serve as a messaging system between the brain and the body. When peripheral nerves may become over sensitized and when the brain is alerted, it may cause the pain to be more intense. Examples of neuropathic pain from peripheral nerves are compression on nerve roots as they exit the spinal cord (such as sciatica or bulging discs), damage from diabetes, post herpatic neuralgia from shingles, compression of distal peripheral nerves such as carpal tunnel or tarsal tunnel syndrome, or cancer. Neuropathic pain can also be mimicked by compression on peripheral nerves by myofascial trigger points. Lesions in the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, or traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury can also cause neuropathic pain.
Myofascial pain syndrome is a disorder that develops in muscles that are overstretched, overused, or injured... prompt treatment for returning the muscle to its normal resting state is important to keep ... Read on >>
MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROME
LUPUS - SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOUS (SLE)
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a genetic disease with several types under its umbrella. Characterized by joint hypermobility, skin elasticity, and connective tissue fragility, this disease results from atypical (unusual) proteins are responsible for the fragility of collagen, which is the glue for our tissue. Some patients with EDS also have fibromyalgia or are susceptible for developing myofascial pain syndrome As discussed in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain, there are precautions to take if you happen to be one of these patients. As an example, stretching is indicated for fibromyalgia but can be harmful if you also have EDS. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome can also perpetuate the development of myofascial pain syndrome because of joint instability.
“The role of benign joint hypermobility in the pain experience in Juvenile Fibromyalgia: an observational study. “Juvenile Fibromyalgia (JFM) is characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and approximately 40% of children and adolescents with JFM also suffer from benign joint hypermobility (HM)....” Ting TV, Hashkes PJ, Schikler K et al. 2012.
COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME (CRPS/RSD)
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME - Provisional Name "Systemic Exertionlerance Disease"
Many disorders of the spine can cause chronic pain. The most common is low back pain. However, problems of the spine can occur in any area. The most common causes of spinal pain are bulging or herniated discs, arthritis, and spinal stenosis (narrowing where they nerve root exits the spinal cord). Examples of other things that can cause spinal pain are compression fractures or a fracture from trauma, problems in the sacroiliac joint, structural deformity such as curvature of the spine, one leg shorter, failed surgery, or strain on the back muscles or between the vertebrae (bones in the spine). Myofascial pain syndrome frequently co-occurs and contributes to chronic pain caused by spinal problems.
“Osteoarthritis (OA), also called degenerative joint disease, is distinguished by degeneration of cartilage, loss of bone tissue at the margins, and changes in the protective synovial membrane. Like degenerative disc disease, OA occurs as part of the normal aging process, but degeneration may occur prematurely in some individuals. OA is most often caused by undue stress on the joints over years. A common type affects the distal joints of the fingers, predominately in women. Symptoms are joint deformity and pain, and can vary from mild to severe, depending upon the progression of the disease…”
~Cooper and Miller, 2010
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), in particular, the protective myelin sheath, which acts like electrical tape to a live wire. When the wiring (nerves) of the CNS are exposed they are unprotected causing a disruption in the messaging system between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the myelin sheath is permanent because it does not regenerate. The severity of the disease and the symptoms differ depending on the amount of damage and the nerves that are affected. Some people loss all function, while others may have periodic relapse of their symptoms. It was once thought that MS was not a painful condition. That is no longer the case.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is poorly understood and under researched. The cause is unknown. Often referred to as Lupus (not to be confused with discoid lupus), SLE affects predominately women, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians and is generally diagnosed between puberty and mid age. It is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes destruction of the body’s various connective tissues. It affects skin, muscle, heart and cardiovascular system, lungs, kidneys, joints, the nervous system and basically any organ with connective tissue. Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus can run the gamut from mild to severe, and the many symptoms can flare and recede without warning.
According to the Center for Disease Control, up to 25-65% of fibromyalgia patients are likely to also have other rheumatic conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). And, people with SLE may also have secondary Sjögren’s syndrome, which is an autoimmune disorder that primarily causes chronic dry eyes and dry mouth.
While Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not predominately characterized by chronic pain, muscle pain (myalgia) does accompany it. We are uncertain as to why that might be. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can be present in the same patient, maybe that’s why. The Canadian criteria suggested that myofascial pain syndrome should be considered. Currently, the Institute of Medicine is calling for definitive criteria because of biological finding in current research.
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