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hominid's avatar

What is your experience with managing chronic pain if traditional approaches have been unsuccessful?

Asked by hominid (7337points) February 25th, 2014

If you have chronic pain, and have been unsuccessful at treating it in traditional ways, have you tried other methods such as acupuncture or meditation? If so, what was your experience?

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12 Answers

ucme's avatar

When I was a child i’d get this searing pain in my left eye every time I drank a cup of tea.
The remedy was simple, the cure permanent, I took the spoon out of the cup.

Cruiser's avatar

Meditation saved my life when I herniated a disc in my back. When things got really bad I found I could close my eyes and go someplace happy. This would allow the muscles to relax and reduce the spasms. I also practice acupressure. For my back I would lay on a half dozen tennis balls and ever so slowly move around to stimulate the blood flow to the affected muscles. Plus if you do your research and learn pressure points you can effect immediate pain relief by activating those pressure points.

hominid's avatar

Thanks @Cruiser. Did you practice a particular type of mediation? I have been doing vipassana for a few years, but my practice has been a little rusty lately – especially since I injured my back.
I’ve had difficulty in the past practicing metta, but there seems to be some evidence that it can be fairly effective.

Pachy's avatar

I had back surgery that left me with lots of pain. Acupuncture didn’t work, and pain medication had side effects I didn’t like. The only thing that worked for me was a massive steroid injection in my spine. It eliminated the pain enough for the damaged nerves to “settle down” and heal.

hominid's avatar

Thanks @Pachy. I have had 2 rounds of spinal injections, and they didn’t do a thing. I am also not able to take pain medication due to another condition I have (central sleep apnea). I may seek a second opinion, but according to my doc, the spinal problems I have are inoperable.

jca's avatar

@hominid: Are you overweight? If so, the sleep apnea might be worse due to it.

hominid's avatar

@jca – I’m 6’1”, 160 lbs (male). Note: I have central sleep apnea, which is not related to weight in the way obstructive sleep apnea is. Although I also have obstructive. The treatment of the apnea (which has cost thousands of dollars in operations and equipment) has been put on hold for now while I focus on getting the back resolved or better. I currently can’t lay down due to the back.

Cruiser's avatar

I did what I call mindful meditation where I focused on some object other than the pain in my back. A single lit candle worked best. I meditated and employed the Vayu Mudra (#4). But I always did a limited yoga practice incorporating these poses to help me prepare my back for sitting during meditation.

My orthopedic Dr. was stunned at my recovering progress once I did all this.

augustlan's avatar

Sadly, meditation did not work for me. I’m just never truly able to shut my stupid mind down for long enough to successfully stay in the meditation. I hope you have better luck, @hominid!

Pachy's avatar

@hominid, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through and sincerely hope you find some kind of relief.

hominid's avatar

@Cruiser – Yikes, a couple of those yoga poses look intimidating.

@ucme – That’s funny! Thanks.

Cruiser's avatar

@hominid They are only intimidating if you make them so. Can you imagine doing Yoga with a herniated disc?? I did and it hurt pretty bad at first but I only went so far until it was uncomfortable or I did modified poses with support…ie. blocks and straps.

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