Pain relief – local and effective for muscle aches

ICE!!!! You know, those gels and creams with the menthol. Ice heat. Tiger balm. Soooo good on your back.

I asked my massage therapist about it, and then did a little research. Fascinating stuff, because the action of these gels is physical, and localized (avoiding the fuzziness and other side effects of pain meds.) Here’s how they work: (more…)

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm  Comments (4)  

Don’t Talk About That!

Here’s the biggest problem when you have chronic pain and you go to family dinners.

No. One. Wants. To Hear. About. It.

That’s not a problem if you have loads of other things to talk about – if you’ve seen lots of good movies, or you’ve read lots of great books, or you have a enthralling job, or you know oodles and oodles of fascinating people.

The thing is, if you’ve got bad chronic pain, you can’t really go out to see a lot of movies. (more…)

Published in: on April 5, 2010 at 2:35 am  Comments (7)  
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The Math of Pain

I just heard a bit on Quirks and Quarks about pain, and how if you, say, catch a Frisbee when your hands are cold it hurts more. The upshot was that if your hands are already somewhat in pain because of the cold, then the impact of the Frisbee will cause even more pain.

Pain plus more pain equals MORE pain.

So if you’re already sore from an injury, a stimulus that might not ordinarily seem painful to you will hurt. A lot. Like someone touching you in a gentle, loving fashion when you have a recent, raging sunburn. You ordinarily enjoy being stroked and coddled, but that sunburn turns the pleasant into something unbearably unpleasant.

And if you have chronic pain, (more…)

Published in: on April 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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What is pain?

So what the heck is “pain” anyway?

The International Association for the Study of Pain says that pain is “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, as described in terms of such damage.”

This is a decent if nonspecific definition.  I have a few quibbles.  (more…)

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment