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How do you get your best relief?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Maintenance
There are so many different types of spinal problems and as such there are just as many different types of treatments.

Some are effective, some do not help, some give temporary relief.

I believe we all know that just loading up with narcotic pain medication is not the answer. That will only leave us as zombies.

So, overall, what gives you the best relief?
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434
    I believe that warm moist heat gives me the longest relief. For those acute times, Ice always seem to help.

    Over the years, I have had just about every conservative treatment there is. For me, the ones with the best positive impacts have been:

    - Deep Tissue Massage
    - Trigger Point Injections
    - Relaxation / Mood / Therapy

    Each of us have our own spinal problem, some with multiple ones. So, finding that most effective
    treatment can be hard.

    But I do know that we all need to find that one piece of relief that can give back some of our sanity.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Howdy Ron,

    I try to avoid narcotics/opiates as much as possible due to the side affects (zone out, tired, dizzy, loopy). Since my nerve pain drives me more nuts, I let Lyrica be my primary for pain. If really bad, I will take Darvocet, but rarely although scrip wise I am allowed 1 every 4 hours.

    Ice seems to work best for me.

    Swimming gives my whole spine a 'load' break. I can then break up what I do in the pool, so that is always wonderful.

    Resting in a reclined position with my knees also raised gives me a lot of relief.

    A good movie, tunes, nature sounds in the background (birds, wild life, rain).

    Overall if I keep my mood, attitude on the "up" side, I do better overall. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • Just like many people count on a cocktail of meds I have found I need a cocktail of relief methods.

    I find that all forms of distraction works well for me.

    I alternate from Ice to heat, along with relaxation, distraction, exercise, and am working on a healthy dose of LEARNING AND ACCEPTING my limitations and stopping BEFORE I reach them. That along with knowing that my emotional well being has so much to do with my physical well being.

    With all that said, I'm still looking for the perfect fix. The cure all. Hurry up MODERN MEDICINE catch up!
  • Right now the pain is severe enough that there's no relief without some pain med. And, as you both probably know, side effects are greatly reduced when the dose is low for the pain level. My current meds aren't making me loopy at all.

    The best is the pain meds AND the heating pad and a certain position bolstered in bed with pillows under my legs. And some distraction- like a game to play, or my kids talking to me, or my puppy hanging out with me or something. And maybe some chocolate.
  • Excellent post...

    I look forward to reading some more posts on this subject. I am always open for new ideas and suggestions. Like most of us, it is quite challenging to find what helps the most when our pain levels are spiking.

    The painful areas I deal with are my thoracic spine, strengthening my core muscles and various pains from my waist down.

    Here goes!


    *Warm moist heat
    *My infrared heating pad
    *ThermaCare heating wraps
    *Lidoderm Patches on my rib cages
    *Hot sunrays on my back - I live in AZ
    *Aqua therapy - floating with a noodle wrapped around me
    *Spending time in the pool
    *Being in the jacuzzi
    *Laying down with my legs elevated on my wedge
    *Laying down with my Snoozer body pillow - get one if you can
    *Switching from one side to the other while laying down
    *Sitting up and hunching forward to alleviate sternum pain (costochondritis)
    *Deep breathing exercises - inhale slowly, exhale slowly
    *Visual imagery (eyes closed) with scented candles
    *IPod music
    *Distraction via television and movies - nothing potentially disturbing
    *Distraction by conversations with my kids, Mike, friends and family
    *Thoracic support cushion for outings - a must have
    *TLSO hard foam fitted brace on my really bad days
    *My walker, a cart or a strong loving arm for support if walking too long
    *Our select comfort adjustable bed - my setting is 95
    *Spaghetti strap bra tops for the ladies - regular bras induce pain
    *Laying on the couch


    *My infrared heating pad on my tummy muscles and back muscles
    *Slow, deep breathing while doing my core strengthening exercises
    *Daily stretches - oh do these hurt!
    *Being swaddled in warm moist heat
    *PT to break up scar tissue


    *Trochanteric injections (hip bursitis)
    *Sympathetic and lumbar nerve blocks for chronic coccyx pain
    *Making sure my "waste department" is emptied every day - a must for me
    *Daily exercises and stretches for IT bands and SI Joints
    *PT to break up scar tissue in IT bands
    *Pelvic floor, glutes and hamstring exercises
    *Leg exercises (calf, thighs, ankles, feet)
    *Make sure to walk at least 30 minutes a day, whether I like to or not
    *Bicycle rotations with my legs while I am in the pool
    *Heat patches, lidoderm patches and infrared heating pad
    *Resting with legs elevated on wedge
    *Ace bandages wrapped snug around knees and ankles
    *Warm moist heat wrapped around lumbar area, hips and thighs
    *Lots of deep breathing when exercising
    *Distraction through in-person conversations
    *Coccyx cushion (tush cush)
    *Kneeling chair
    *TENS unit


    When it comes to the barometric pressure falling, you will find me engulfed in heating wraps, donning my comfy Tweety Bird pj's with my snug ski socks on, a high pony tail in back and the pleasant aroma of Unkers ointment slathered all over me. This routine helps arthritis aches and pains.


    Best wishes to all!

    Tammy :)
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  • Ron,
    On the basis that our pain is never static we must construct a strategy that reflects the ebbs and flow of our condition. Every case is different so no one plan is never going to be effective and it is suggested that the range of collective strategies used simultaneously is the most beneficial.

    It is up to us as individual to find what works for us and perhaps make that list of what makes our pain worse or better if anything, and use more of those supportive elements. In anything pacing has been my saviour, to see that in smaller attainable objectives great and seemingly insurmountable tasks can be achieved.

    To be kind to myself and accept those imposed limitation with some good grace and continually striving for all those things I can no longer do is a recipe for perpetual failure and distress. The before and after me are two differing people with new and varied skills.

    As Ron said, for all those who have the experience that medication alone will not give us the relief we expect or enable us to be the person we once were, once that tipping point is reached where the side effects of medication restricts us more that the benefit then we may all have to question that desire to go to the max and beyond.

    I only accept what I need to get to the next stage, it is never accepting the totality that can become all consuming and restrictive, as Brenda I try to keep my mood up and aware of the constant need to review and evaluate how things are going, knowing that future lows are part of the pain cycle enables me to change my strategy and try to stay away from all those things, people and situation that can reflect of my capability to cope overall.

    The specifics are only our list and ideas for others to try; knowing what works for us does take time and experience it is not an overnight achievement, relief has come from within, I have been encouraged and supported to develop those inherent skills I already had which were dormant, every challenge greeted with the same drive enthusiasm and determination.

    Only you can devise your own plan, it is not one list and is only effective for your pain, that list develops as your journey continues and we all need the opportunity and time to learn, it is always a work in progress. I have learned that strength is in friendship and shared understanding and that togetherness makes us all stronger.

    Take care.


  • magnesium citrate to relax muscles,

    heat pad,

    wooden ball for deep tissue massage,

    these usually get rid of the pain as long as i`m home where i can relax,

    if i`m working or in the car,

    it`s impossible to relax,

    cause i can not be in a comfortable position,

    lots of water.
    Live to Pray
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