MS and Pain Management
I have been grappling with severe neck pain and headaches for the past couple of years. I had seen several doctors to no avail until my new primary care physician recommended that I go to the Boston Pain Clinic. In retrospect, it was a life altering decision and one that has led me to negotiate my pain at an acceptable level every day. I am keeping my pain medication to a minimum and using a number of other pain management options that have proved very effective.
I should back-up for a minute and describe how the Clinic works. They have on-site physical therapy, medication management with a full nursing staff, an in-house neurologist, a sleep lab and a number of other services. In particular, I am using a traction device that helps to stretch out my neck, a freezing gel that's called Bio Freeze (an excellent scentless gel that can be bought on Amazon...see link to buy it below), and a TENS unit (subcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). I just have to note that the tens unit is an excellent way of getting immediate pain relief. It has worked wonders on my upper back and neck. Once the insurance company approves the unit they will also approve monthly supplies for the unit. The unit is small and light and can be on without anyone taking notice. I sometimes leave mine on for several hours at a time depending on my level of pain.
What is particularly helpful about a pain management clinic is not only that they address the problem from a 360° perspective but also that they wield a lot of influence with the insurance companies and are able to get things approved very quickly. They were also able to get approval for a three-month extension on my physical therapy which was quite impressive. All this to say that if you have chronic pain, you may want to consider linking up with a local pain clinic. It has definitely changed my life for the better.
Happy New Year's, Limitless Lizzie
1/3/2014 12:55:19 am
Thank you for this Lizzie. I am in the Boston area and may check this clinic out. I was going to another one and have had some success with biofeedback/meditation but not much else. I will look into the other tools you mentioned you use. If you don't mind me asking, did your neck pain and headaches begin with the MS? What is the pain like? I have been feeling so isolated with my daily migraines and have not gotten any medical personnel to make the connection with MS.
1/4/2014 06:45:01 am
Hi Emily – a couple of years ago I took a bad fall that really gave my neck a good jolt. In the months following the fall it became so painful to move my neck thatt I did almost anything not to exercise any of the muscles in that area. With the pain came nauseating headaches. I lived with this for over three years and was starting to feel like the pain would never go away.
1/4/2014 06:54:59 am
The good news Emily is that with the right treatment it does get better. I am exercising regularly and haven't felt this good for a very long time! To answer your question: my MRI did not show an injury and the neurologist did link the headaches and pain to ms.
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