15 Myths about Chronic Pain

October 19th, 2011 alex Mental Health 0

Sufferers of chronic pain are often bombarded with well meaning friends and relatives offering tons of advice and tips about chronic pain. A great many of these are not true; in fact, you can call them myths. If you suffer from chronic pain, you should deal with the reality and know the actual cause and treatments that are involved, rather than listen to myths.

1. Myth: Your Pain Is Imagined

Pain is a reality. Even if your medical practitioner is not able to accurately diagnose the cause of your pain, your pain is not a product of your imagination. It is as real as you are.

2. Myth: When In Pain, Don’t Exercise

Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you’ve been ordered by your doctor not to exercise at the risk of muscle injury, please get up and exercise. Lack of exercise will only further compound your condition.

3. Myth: Painkillers Should Be Avoided At All Costs

Your doctor will prescribe only the required strength of painkillers for your condition, with warnings of side effects. Use your judgment when it comes to taking strong painkillers, but know that not all of them are bad.

4. Myth: Back Pain Is Only Because Of A Slipped Disc

Slipped or herniated disks are responsible for only 1 to 3 percent of low back pain occurrences. Other causes for back pain include muscular injury, spinal injuries such as lumbar fracture and so on.

5. Myth: Taking Short Acting Pain Killers Instead Of Long Acting Ones Is Less Harmful

Chronic pain cannot be managed with a short acting pain killer here and there, just because you want to avoid drugs. Your doctor will perhaps give you long acting pain killers for the chronic pain along with short acting pain killers for the breakthrough pain.

6. Myth: It’s Necessary To Do An MRI To Diagnose Back Pain

MRIs are excellent when it comes to locating the exact source of pain. However, your physician is likely to try some basic diagnosis and treatments before recommending an MRI. You’ll need an MRI if you are to undergo a lumbar puncture, or surgery of the neck and back.

7. Myth: Surgery Is Unavoidable If There’s Back Pain

Back pain could be from myriad reasons, ranging from a slipped disk at the worst to strained muscles. Surgery is not the one-size-fits-all solution that people think it is. Surgery is unavoidable in certain cases such as a herniated disc, but your doctor will inform you either way.

8. Myth: Only Medicine Can Control Pain

As has been proved many times over in recent times, alternate and natural pain relieving techniques are extremely effective, such as yoga, meditation, visualization, acupuncture, tai chi, therapeutic massage and so on.

9. Myth: Back Pain Is Genetic

Pain is not genetic. Pain is as individual as your body is. If your mother suffered debilitating back pain in her life, it does not mean that you will, too. If indeed, your mother did suffer the same way, it’s no more than just a coincidence.

10. Myth: Your Body’s Weight Has No Impact On Back Pain

If underweight, your back is not supported by sufficient musculature and you will suffer pain. If overweight, then the extra weight will compress your spine and squeeze your discs.

11. Myth: Pain Will Be An Unavoidable Constant In Your Life

The truth is, if you’ve got reason to suffer chronic pain such as a cancer or debilitating muscular diseases, you won’t ever be 100% pain free. However, that does not mean that the pain is unavoidable; try natural pain relieving techniques.

12. Myth: Continuous Rest Will Heal Your Pain

Resting continuously will only weaken your muscles and when this happens, your fitness level goes down along with your pain tolerance. Even if you are in great pain, move around now and then, do some stretches and walk if you can.

13. Myth: Your Body Is Hurting And Therefore It Is In Danger

Sometimes, pain indicates ongoing harm, but not always. Sometimes nervous system overreacts, or the body’s natural defense mechanisms haven’t kicked in on time. Fear only increases the perception of pain.

14. Myth: There’s Got To Be A Magic Method To Relive Pain

When it comes to chronic pain, multiple diagnoses are possible. Your pain could be because of mechanical, neurological or chemical reasons. There is no one magic method; you’ll have to try and integrate several therapies to combat the pain.

15. Myth: Only Weak People Complain About Pain

It’s the centuries old belief that being stoic is the only way to deal with pain. In truth, being stoic and ignoring your pain will only make it worse. Consult a doctor and try to find a solution and don’t care about people who judge you weak; they don’t know better.

Alex works for Self hypnosis website where you can instantly download hypnosis Cds for pain management, stress and anxiety.

How to Change Lifestyle After Drug

July 22nd, 2010 healthwiki Mental Health 0

Once you have completed drug rehab programme, there must be changes in your lifestyle. Below are some tips about what to expect and what those change should be:

Aftercare support
You will spend a lot of time applying the newly acquired life skills and coping skills that you learned in your treatment programme and this will keep you happy, clean and sober. This alone can keep you so busy that some family members may even feel neglected. These are an essential part of the recovery process. Keep in mind, many families find it difficult to understand why re-entry to society after an addiction treatment programme takes up so much of your time in a successful recovery. Have patience and explain all the hard work you are doing on your sobriety to them it will pay off in the long-run.

New rules
Rules are the cornerstone of the treatment process. While in treatment, you may have grown accustomed to following rules, and come to appreciate this level of structure. After returning home, you may even suggest new family rules, the most obvious being a ban on alcohol or drugs in your home.

Roles and responsibilities
Before you went into treatment, you may have neglected certain roles and responsibilities. Other family members may have pitched in to compensate. Now that you have completed treatment, you will probably be eager to participate in family life, and resume your family roles and responsibilities. Often this change in the family dynamic can be difficult at first. Don’t worry it will get easier.

As part of the treatment process, you have learned to talk about personal issues, like relationships and feelings. Most treatment programmes stress the importance of open and honest communication. You will bring these lessons home, and encourage the rest of the family to talk and listen to one another. These conversations may be unsettling and unfamiliar at first. But open communication can help to solve problems and conflicts and, in the long-run, create a healthy home environment.

New people, places and things
While in treatment you will have learned to avoid people, places and things associated with your past drug abuse activities. This may affect your social life as a family, and may cause some conflicts in the home. Keep in mind that these challenges will be worth it in the long run.

Your feelings
Alcohol and drug abuse affects the whole family, and your feelings are important too. Make time for yourself, and talk to trusted family members and friends about your experiences.

‘Relapse’ is when a person in recovery uses alcohol or drugs. It can be a one-time occurrence or it can last for an extended period of time. Family members can help a person in recovery by looking out for warning signs a return to old behaviors, hanging out with friends who are using, unexplained absences. If you feel as though you are going to relapse or already have, contact the counselor or the doctor and ask for help.

Dr Sat Parkash

Meditation Promotes Health In All These Areas of Life

April 29th, 2010 healthwiki Mental Health 0

Health is not just absence of disease but it is a state of wellness in which a person enjoys physical, mental, social and spiritual health. Health is connected to the total well being of an individual. Apart form environmental and social factors, there are subtle factors that affect the health of a person. A clean and pure mind is a prerequisite for healthy life. A pure mind enables the use of time, energy and resources in the best way. Stress or negative thinking has been identified as a leading cause of quite a number of major illnesses.

Holistic health encompasses total health of a human being in all four aspects of life — physical health, mental health, social health and spiritual health. Meditation promotes health in all these areas of life. Meditation regulates the physical responses of the body by eliminating stress and stimulating healthy hormones. It creates self-control thus enabling a person to remain free from negative influences and give the best in every role and situation. It empowers a person to deal with challenges in equanimity and positivity. Meditation alters the physiological and psychological response of the body remarkably. Reduction in heart and respiratory rate, and a drop in blood pressure suggest reduction in the level of sympathetic activity. Meditation aids the secretion of ‘healthy’ hormones such as endorphins and encephalon’s, which help, in detaching oneself from various kinds of pains. Meditation helps sustain deep relaxation even during active states of mind. Brain wave recordings of Rajyogis have shown alpha and theta waves even while they performed various mental and intellectual tasks.

The benefits of meditation go beyond relaxation response. A number of studies have critically investigated meditation for effective treatment of hypertension, diabetes, headache, anxiety, depression and heart disease. Meditation reduces the requirement of medication for pain and sleep etc. It is reported to be effective in de-addiction from drugs; alcohol, tobacco and can increase decision-making skills, overcome irrational fears, phobias and expand spiritual life.

One of the most subtle but critical factors that affect health is quality of our actions. The law of action is infallible — you reap what you sow. If we use our body to perform good and right actions then we will enjoy good health. Body is the temple in which the divine self resides. If we treat our body well then it will perform well. The seed of good actions is pure feelings and thoughts; hence, we have to make a conscious choice to nurture only pure thoughts. Everything that we suffer through our body is a debt of bad action that the soul is paying off. To enjoy good health we have to accumulate a stock of good karma by sharing the qualities of peace, love and joy in every thought, word and action.

How to Memorise Things Better

April 12th, 2010 healthwiki Mental Health 0

Memory is the mental registration, retention and recollection of past experiences, sensation or thought. Sometimes we cannot retrieve important information that we stored in our brain. Many people forget things easily. Memory impairment is embarrassing too. With some of the following exercise we can memorise things better.

Brain exercises
Memory is like muscular strength. The more we work out our brain, the better we will be able to process and remember information. Regularly exercising the brain keeps it growing and spurs the development of new nerve connections that can help improve memory.

Mnemonic to improve memory
Mnemonics are clues of any kind that help us remember something, usually by causing us to associate the information we want to remember with a visual image, a sentence, or a word. Common types of mnemonic devices include visual images, sentences, word, acronyms, rhymes and alliteration, joke etc.

Regular exercise
Regular exercise increases oxygen to our brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Some study found that it might enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.

Managing stress
Stress cause release of hormone cortisol that can damage the hippocampus (important memory area of brain). Further, stress makes it difficult to concentrate.

Good sleep habits
Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation. Sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea leave you tired and unable to concentrate during the day.

Not smoking
Smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders causing stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain. Indirectly it impairs brain function.

It is found that diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats found in fish will provide lots of health benefits along with improving memory. Vitamins B, especially B6, B12, and folic acid protect neurons by breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells. They are also involved in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen. Spinach and other dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries, melons, black beans and other legumes, citrus fruits, soybeans rich in those vitamins.

Antioxidants found in berries, sweet potatoes, red tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, green tea, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, liver destroy free radicals are highly reactive and can damage brain cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids are concentrated in the brain and are associated with cognitive function. They count as healthy fats, as opposed to saturated fats and trans fats, protecting against inflammation and high cholesterol. Cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, mackerel, walnuts and walnut oil rich in omega -3 fatty acids. Iron is also important for staying mentally sharp. It helps create hemoglobin, an iron containing protein in red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the brain. Oxygen in the brain is vital, since it helps to metabolise glucose.

If a child does not receive enough iron, it can impair brain development and lead to deficits in speech, math and reading.

Move Together To Promote Mental Health

March 1st, 2010 healthwiki Mental Health 0

Although mental health is crucial to the overall well-being of individuals, societies and the country, it is largely neglected and often overlooked in Bangladesh. World Health Organisation (WHO) has given utmost importance to promote mental health services and has been campaigning for the full incorporation of mental health in public health. But it is matter of great regret that many people including some of health professionals are very reluctant to give mental health a priority.

About 16.01 per cent adult and 18.35 per cent children are suffering from mental illness in Bangladesh. With this enormous disease burden, a very few number of mental health professionals are struggling to cope with mental disorders. There are only 120 psychiatrists in our country. Other mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatric nurses etc) are also very limited in number.

WHO published an assessment instrument for mental health system in Bangladesh in 2007. It revealed — there are 0.073 psychiatrist and 0.00071 psychologist per 100000 populations. Total indoor beds for mental patients are only 813 against the whole population (0.58 bed/100000 people). With the lack of resources, we have many negative attitudes to the mental health issues.

WHO stated that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness, and it is vital to individuals, families and societies. Mental health is determined by socioeconomic factors, linked to behaviour. There are lots of impact on mental health from the global warming and climate change, but little crying we hear from the environmentalist on this issue.

Beside the individual disease burden, there is huge impact of mental health on social capital. The level of well being, physical health, knowledge and skill, productivity, quality of relationship, sexual satisfaction, trust, social cohesion all are integrated to mental health and ultimately linked with social capital. Good mental health is also an important resource for families, communities and nations. Mental health is a useful tool in the human rights framework.

Among the global disease burden, mental illnesses pose a bigger place than many of overemphasised physical illnesses. Our attitude towards mental health is running on the wrong track. It is time to change our attitude and false belief. Mental health concerns everyone as it is generated in our everyday lives at homes, schools and workplace. Positive mental health contributes to the social, human and economic capital of societies. To promote mental health, we all should move together.