In Part 1 of this series, I explained how the learning the “muscle energy technique” from my physical therapist Paula marked a turning point for me in my SI joint journey. Above, I’m including a Youtube video of a physical therapist demonstrating this technique. (I actually use a few different variations on the moves she … More An Update on my Sacroiliac Joint Saga, Part 2
Today, Ruby shocked me by taking her first swim of 2014. It was awesome. As you may remember from my previous post about her, Ruby is my family’s 14-year-old Lab mix (she’ll be fifteen in July!). She is a spunky, spirited dog, but due to some benign tumors in her left hip, as well as … More The benefits of swimming in cold water
Sometimes, there’s nothing like a good massage. Exercise and stretching are incredibly important, but sometimes you really just need someone to dismantle the knots that have taken over your muscles, and give your body a “reset.” Unfortunately, if you’re dealing with a chronic condition, the cost of things like massage, acupuncture, and other bodywork can … More Breaking up muscle knots, without completely breaking your budget
**If you are new to my blog and would like to start at the beginning of this series, click here.** Part 6: Re-adjusting my concept of what is “dangerous.” When I was running long-distance in high school, I’d really pushed my limits. Pain didn’t scare me as much as my irrational fear of gaining … More How a physical therapist helped me through my lowest point, Part 6
An interesting look at the risks that come from taking anti-inflammatory medications. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/the-heart-perils-of-pain-relievers/?_r=0 The article quotes one doctor as saying, “If these drugs are making your life a lot better, that may be worth the risks. But a lot of people will tell you, ‘I can’t tell if they’re doing anything, I just take them … More New York Times: The Heart Perils of Pain Relievers
This is the fourth part in a series about an amazing new approach to physical therapy for chronic pain patients. To start from the beginning, check out Part One, Two, and Three. For the first few visits, all Tim and I did was talk. He didn’t have me in the gym doing exercises like all … More How a physical therapist helped me through my lowest point: Part Four
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a ground-breaking report yesterday looking at the average prices charged by 3,000 U.S. hospitals for the “top 100 most frequently billed charges.” The report shows that different hospitals appear to charge wildly different prices for the same procedures, seemingly without any rhyme or reason. While one hospital … More Why do some hospitals get away with charging such exorbitant prices?
It’s amazing how sometimes a piece of writing that’s only a few paragraphs long can help to clarify something you’ve been thinking about for a while. I found a great article on Body in Mind last night that I felt did a great job summarizing the concepts I’m trying to get at on this blog. … More How to Talk About Pain: Central Hypersensitivity
Have you ever had a totally disappointing experience seeing a specialist for help with chronic pain/fibromyalgia? I certainly have… many times. Fellow pain sufferers, we are fighting an uphill battle to be taken seriously. I found this article today written by a rheumatologist on why he doesn’t want to treat fibromyalgia patients any longer. He … More Know your enemy
Let’s say you’re sightseeing at the Grand Canyon. You are with a trusted friend enjoying a scenic overlook when notice your friend is walking a little bit too close to the edge of the cliff. “Hey, watch out!” you say. You can see that no one else is standing that close to the edge. Your … More Understanding pain as an overprotective friend
I recently learned about a fascinating study that I had to share with you all. Researchers took two groups of people– professional violinists and regular, everyday people off the street– and pricked everyone’s index finger with a pin. The violinists reported feeling much more pain than the non-violinists, even though everyone’s finger was pricked in … More Violins and enhanced sensory maps
For anyone who doesn’t already know about Fibro Feist, it is one of my favorite blogs. I was so flattered when Sarah, its creator, asked if she could interview me. Of course I said yes. Check it out! For a little bit more of a peek into my life, here are my Saturday morning reading … More Don’t miss my interview on Fibro Feist!
In my experience, the key to learning to work with your pain instead of against it is to learn to view pain as your body’s alarm system. In the developed world, most of us are privileged enough to have very little experience with pain. As children, we only feel pain when we’re at the doctor’s … More Understanding pain as your body’s alarm system
Hope this picture doesn’t gross anyone out– I thought it was stunning. I’m all about cultivating a sense of appreciation for how amazingly intricate our bodies are. I also love creative works that convey this sense of wonder in an artistic way. I found this picture at the Facebook group I fucking love science… I … More Appreciating our anatomy
For years I thought I needed to find a doctor to diagnose me with and treat me for fibromyalgia. I sought out various pain specialists; physiatrists and anesthesiologists, the heads of departments. Some of them even listed fibromyalgia among their clinical interests, which I thought was sure to be a good sign. Yet every time … More Do you need to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia to be successfully treated?