Hi. I am a new member and am not sure if i am doing this forum thing correctly. I have never done something like this before so here's hoping I am not making a total fool of myself.
I had an accident 4 years ago and injured my T3/4 and C2/3/4 discs. The injuries to the discs did not warrant an operation. Since the injury my life has changed dramatically. Load bearing activities especially driving and sitting result in pain. I have worked with/ through the pain for 4 years in a job I love. For 4 years I was able to ignore and work through the pain most of the time. 4 times during this 4 years I had extended periods off full-time work and was supported by specialists to gradually return to work.
This is not the case anymore. I now have severe pain flares which last for up to 14 hours at a time and come on suddenly ( every Wednesday) and either Friday or Saturday. ( Comparable to the pain of child birth). There is nothing i am doing that provokes these flares apart from being upright. Believe me, I am very aware of my activities and have kept a diary for the last 7 months. Because of the escalating symptoms I have been forced to stop work. A really difficult decision after two decades of exciting and fulfilling careers. It wasn't fair on my employers and it certainly wasn't working for my health.
For the last 7 months major flares have been so easy to provoke that even small amounts of pain set them off. I am no longer able to exercise, tramp, garden, remain upright for more than 2 hours at a time...
I am currently being looked after by a team of pain experts at a pain clinic in Auckland NZ and have been trained to use mindfulness practices daily as well as specific exercises. I have been diagnosed as having "central sensitization." I am on opioids ( not particularly useful now as I have built up a tolerance to them and only take the recommended dosage) , anti- inflamatories, Gabapentin ( maximum dosage-3200mg daily). I believe I have a good understanding of central sanitization and what is happening with my central nervous system.
As well as the pain clinic i have regular appointments with my doctor and I have acupuncture weekly and soft tissue release on neck and back muscles with my Physio. I also take vitamin D, B and selenium daily. I am also taking myself off to a naturopath/ herbalist to fine tune my diet. I avoid caffeine, alcohol, and processed and highly refined food I.e. back to basics type diet. Miraculously I am not depressed and keep myself entertained and distracted with craft projects I can do in a lying or reclined position. When i can sit for extended periods of time i shall write a book about the 101 craft things you can do and enjoy lying on your back. Lastly and most importantly I am blessed with a very supportive husband.
My questions are
- Does anyone else suffer from this condition and what works with reducing the symptoms that I am not already trying?
- Why isn't central sensitisation listed on this website? I know there is research out there about this condition
- Does anyone know of any good articles/ research about this condition especially relating to what works in reducing the symptoms? The things I have read so far say things like central sensitisation is incurable, I may be genetically predisposed to it ( my sister suffers from severe migraines and has had 3 neck operations) and I just need to learn to manage the pain. Aaaaargh! Is this as good as it gets?
I would be so very grateful for anything that would help me to regain the life I had prior to my accident. I am so over the pain! I have high expectations for my recovery and hope there is someone out there in "forum land" who can help me attain my high expectations. If not, my book about 101 craft things to do lying flat on your back, might need to turn into a trilogy.