Posts Tagged ‘Back Pain’

Burn the Bras!

November 12, 2021

No woman can say they love all their bras. In fact most women *hate* their bras.

With some women with fibro, especially bustier ladies like me, can not wear a bra.. We have a low tolerance for the discomfort from the shoulder straps. Yes, they dig in for every busty woman, but because we have chronic pain, we tend to feel this sort of thing more keenly.

Bra Straps can Cause Irritation, Redness, Chaffing, Friction, Bruising and Pain

The underwire is another deadly aspect of many of the current styles of bras. Yes, the wire end are rubberized to protect us, but they still jab into you. I had one that was so bad that it started ripping through the material. The smartest thing I did with that bra was to remove the underwires.. It was a whole lot more comfortable after that.

Underwires Severely Suck

Sometimes even just the strap around the ribs can be very painful. This goes for sports bras or short tank top styles aswell. I wouldn’t be surprised if that pressure is agitating a form of costochondritis.

Bands on Bras Tend to be Worn Too Tight, Mistakingly Thinking it’s Better Support Its Not & it Hurts

One last thing is that so few women are wearing the proper size of bra. And out size does change. Here is how to measure yourself for a bra:

  1. THE BAND: Measure around the body directly under the bust while wearing a bra. Round up to an even number if necessary. For example a measurement of 42″ gives a Band size of 42, but a measurement of 43” + 1”(rounding up) gives a Band size 44
  2. THE CUP: Measure around the fullest part of the bust. This is the bust line measurement. The cup size is determined by the difference between the bust line measurement and the frame size.
What is the Difference Between Your Measurement Under the Bust and Your Measurement at the Fullest Part of Your Chest

Endometriosis Awareness Month

March 1, 2021

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month.

Endometriosis is a chronic & painful gynecological medical.condition . It occurs when endometrial, the tissue that grows inside the uterus, grows outside of the uterus, anywhere in the human body.

In most cases women with Endometriosis the endometrial cells are located within the abdominal area including bladder, bowel, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, etc. Unfortunately it can be found elsewhere in the body including musculature, and other organs including at worst the heart, lungs, or brain. Fortunately endometriosis occurs only on those last three locations on a very very rare occasion.

Examplesof Endo Symptoms

Typical symptoms of Endometriosis include, but not limited to

  • Painful Menstruation
  • Excessive Bleeding During Menstruation,
  • Shortened or Irregular Menstrual Cycles
  • Back Pain
  • Painful Sex
  • Infertility
  • Painfull Urination especially during one’s period
  • Painful bowel movements especially during one’s period
  • Sensation that your insides are being pulled down lower in the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • IBS either constipation, diarrhea or both
  • Spotting or bleeding between in typical menstral cycle
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Pelvic pain

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are the highlights of a woman with “typical” endometriosis..

Check ibacklater to see my posts concerning treatment, my atypical endometriosis.and my experiences with treatments.

What Do Pain Docs Do For Me?

January 11, 2021

As mentioned in my previous post, I see two different pain physicians. Yes they do both know about each other. Actually, one referred me to the other. But why two? Because they do different things that help differently and for different durations.

I know these doctors know what each other’s are doing because I see them both in the same clinic but different offices. And while there are different offices in different cities, my electronic file is available to them both.

Shots with Dr S

My regular appointment is with Dr S.. I actually started seeing her 10 or more years ago, once a week but now generally only see her every four weeks now. From her I get nerve and trigger point injections.

I get them in my shoulder for the nerve going down my arms, 2 injections on each side of the back, the top of my back at the sides of spine in the trapezius muscle, down my back in painful trigger points primarily in the shoulder blade & the latissimus Dorso muscle, 8 shots in my lower back beside the Sacral & lumbar vertebrae, and on in the back of each hip for the sciatica. So a minimum of a about 20, to up to close to 50. Typically I get 30 shots in my back & neck.

Bupivacaine – for nerve & trigger point injections

Bupivacaine injection is used to numb an area of your body during procedures. It is a local anesthetic. It causes a loss of feeling and prevents pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings.

Epi with Dr J

I also, only in the winter, see Dr J.. He is an anesthesiologist and performs epidurals in my lower spine, specifically my tailbone every two to two and a half months. This is in lieu of the injection shots in my lower back as the pain in my lower back goes up during the winter probably due to the cold & the OsteoArthritis in my lower spine. The epidural covers a lot more space on the lower back and does a better job with the pain has it lasts about 2 months, not just one.

Traimcinolone – For coccyx Epidural

Triamcinolone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by activating natural substances in the skin to reduce swelling, redness, and itching.

Compare: How Do They Work?

The monthly injections with Dr S are done with a medication that is a local anesthetic, While it does help break up the knots of the Myofascial Pain Syndrome, it is primarily a numbing agent forthe pain. Over the years the blockage of pain has lasted longer and longer. Initially it was less than a week whereas now I am almost back to my pre-COVID pain treatment level at almost four weeks.

The epidurals with Dr J are with both the bupicavacine in the lower back and the corticosteroids which is a type of anti-inflammatory. So in addition to the initial numbing, I am also getting inflammation reduction as this medication reduces the signs and symptoms of inflammatory conditions & rheumatologic diseases such as arthritis including RA & OA.

So given that on the weekend, my pain hovered to an 8 out of 10, I am grateful that I was able to book in quickly with Dr J today & glad I’m seeing DrS for the upper back injections tomorrow.

Ongoing Holiday Crash

January 9, 2021

Most of the time when I have a crash in the holidays I end up in the hospital because of how bad the pain can get.. I usually manage for a few days at a level 7 or 8 out of 10 and after that, I’m in the ER.

This year, while the pain has been up, it hasn’t spiked to that level yet. And I hope it doesn’t. But unfortunately I have been in less higher level since the 26th of December – so, 17 days days now, which is unusual, for me… A severely sucks..

But I called my pain physician in Scarborough for an appointment on Monday & see my other pain doctor Tuesday. . With pain levels at a 5 or 6, I can deal, but only to a point.. after more than 2 weeks, I’ve hit that point..

Wish me luck!

How Do You Sleep

July 26, 2020

What position do you sleep in? Do prefer to sleep on your back? Or are you a side sleeper? Or do you just drop face first? Or are you sprawled ou, taking up the whole bed?

How you sleep, the position you are in does reflect on how well you sleep and on your overall health.

Side Sleeper: Arguably the most comfortable and most common, this position is beneficial for those with back pain, acid reflex & sleep apnea. Your airway is open, your head is aligned, and your esophagus is elevated, preventing the reflux. However side sleepers can theoretically get extra wrinkles cuz the skin sags in one direction consistently and for long periods of time. And if you sleep in s tight fetal position you can impair your breathing and even worsen conditions including.arthritis, back pain & joint pain. Finally, if you have to choose between the right & left, choose left as sleeping on your right can cause organs to shift slightly as you sleep putting pressure on each other & specifically the stomach aggravating acid reflex.

The word is that side sleepers are an easy-going people, who welcomes everyone with an open heart. Those who prefer sleeping on the left may be more creative while those in favour of the right side are more likely to have an addictive personality, at least according to one survey.

Personally, this is how I prefer to sleep, fairly consistently on my left.. Moreso for comfort than the reasons above. I can sleep on my right, but it seems to aggravate my bursitis most days.

Back Sleeper: If you value your beauty sleep, this is the position for you as your weight in your face is evenly distributed preventing sagging & this wrinkles. Additionally, lifting your head slightly while sleeping on your back prevents acid reflux. However for those with sleep apnea, the position of the head results in worsened sleep apnea and snoring. Additionally, pregnant women who sleep on their backs apparently have s higher rate of still births.

The word is that back Sleepers are the most likely to wake up recharged and good-to-go for the day. It may also signify having really unrealistic and high expectations of both yourself & others.

I can not sleep in this position, myself.. Well, technically, yes I *can* but sleep is erratic, sporadic and not refreshing. Sleeping on my back tends to leave my body in a bad place. Typically when I get up after having slept, even only part of the night on my back, my body will retaliate, increasing my pain levels a good solid notch or two.

Tummy Sleeper: I don’t know anyone who prefers this as their go- to sleep position. The only plus with this position is your airway is open preventing both snoring and sleep apnea. However, sleeping this way really does a number on your back. The physical position on your tummy caused you tummy to relax into the bed. This causes problems with the spinal alignment of your back and neck. As the front of your body sinks more into the mattress, there is more pressure on your muscles, joints and organs resulting in pain.

The word is Tummy sleepers tend to be a social butterfly and a very amicable person. However, they may come across a little brash at times. They do not like being criticized, as they are insecure on the inside.

Personally, while I will lay on my stomach the odd time when I’m having a restless night, I don’t think I have even truly slept right on my stomach. When I was young, I remember being a tripod with my weight on the one arm, the same hip & opposite knee as I’m cocked over but not flat on my tummy. But I can’t even do that anymore.

Tips on improving your sleep.

Side Sleepers need to ensure the pillows adequately supports the neck but does not extend it the other direction (I’ve done that – gets a nasty crick). Put pillow between the knees or thighs to help align the hips.

Back Sleepers need to place a pillow between the knees to relieve strain on the back and sure the other pillow aligns the neck and spine in a natural, neutral position.

Stomach Sleepers need to prop the head up enough with a pillow to allows easy breathing but the pillow should also keep your face straight & facing straight down preventing snoring, back pain, and neck pain. (So a donut pillow?) Additionally, you can place a pillow beneath the hips to prevent your abdomen from sinking, putting your spine out of alignment.

About Fibro (Pt I)

June 29, 2020

This is a long read, but if you haven’t ever seen/read it, then it is most def worth the time. Because of it’s length, I’ve made it 2 posts. Fell free to use it for your own use if you so desire.

About Fibromyalgia

My Need for Massage Therapy– If I get a massage every week, don’t envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that Charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is filled with painful knots. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

My Good Days – If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don’t assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

My Uniqueness – Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else. (Keep an eye out for the reposting of the topic “My Fibro is Not Her Fibro”)

My Weight – I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My body’s metabolism is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it. Often the medication I must take causes weight gain, but many of us with fibro suffer from severe IBS and lose weight.

My Stress – My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I’m not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

My Depression – Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house or die. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian’s patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression, but it is a result of the Fibro.. not a cause of it.. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

My Sensitivities – I just can’t stand it! “It” could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, textures, odors, food, etc.. FMS has been described as the “aggravating everything disorder.” So don’t make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can’t stand it.

My Intolerance – I can’t stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I may sweat…profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don’t feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don’t be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it’s cold. I don’t tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

My Clumsiness – If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

My Forgetfulness – Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age (Young people can get fibro) but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don’t have any short-term memory at all.

My Fatigue – I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can’t. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can’t help you with yard work today, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

My Pain – My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I cannot work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to sleep disorders. It is not well understood, but it is VERY real.