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Rheum Blog Carnival: Pain Relief in Rheumatology

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Hey all! I’m truly amazed and humbled by the blogs about pain relief that I’ve read over the last few days. I hope you’ll read them all. Here’s the original post with describing today’s topic about how to treat pain relief in Rheumatology. We asked about who should treat the pain and when, whether patients have their pain relief needs met and what can be done.

What do we know about pain relief in rheumatology?

Ferris wheel for blog carnivalHere’s a quote I ran into while I was working on the pain relief blog carnival post. It’s from an old editorial by Dr. Till Uhlig in the Journal of Rheumatology called KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

“The patient perspective in rheumatic diseases is important, pain being the most important reason for the patient to seek the rheumatologist and the most important area for improvement. Thus, indices of disease activity representing the patient perspective in RA must have a key role when we assess RA and evaluate treatment effects in daily practice.”

If you’re a patient, you might appreciate feeling understood, but we also have an opportunity to learn from the experiences, research, and the treatments of others with regard to RA pain relief. I hope you’ll take your time to visit and comment over the next few days. If you’re a caregiver, you might be surprised what you learn about pain relief needs, options, and approaches. I can’t help but think about how richly blessed our community is and how much of an impact it will make on patients’ lives in coming years.

Here we go! Welcome to the Rheum Pain Relief Blog Carnival!

Elizabeth of Ancient Reptile wrote Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease Pain Relief. With her decisive blend of logic and enthusiasm, Elizabeth teaches by example, her own and that of her doctors.  She expresses willingness to try various methods for pain relief from a TENS unit to pain patches to massage. And then she explains how her doctors recognize and treat her pain in ways that are workable for her.

The Rheuminator of A Change of Plans wrote Chronic Pain is Not a Symptom, offering fierce and honest insights. Somewhat poetic and suspenseful. Be sure to read this post all the way through to learn the secret of her confidence in her doctor.

Tina of Clear Skies and Sunny wrote I Am Not Superwoman, a post about pushing through pain that never completely goes away. But I soon wandered to her most recent post about picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy. I advise you to do the same, especially if you work in health care.

Carol of My Life as a Traveling Southern Girl wrote What I’ve Learned about Chronic Pain. With this post, Carol thoughtfully guides us to consider our preconceptions about pain. If you’ve ever wondered from the outside about pain like RA pain or thought you’d never be the person who needs pain relief, consider a voice of experience.

Cassandra of Beauty for Ashes wrote Cold and Hot… Pain Relief? about using heat and cold to relieve angry RA pain. It apparently gets complicated when the seasons change.

Melissa of A Gracious Calm wrote Pain is Bad Y’all. She asks: “What’s the answer to my pain problem?  To not have RA?” I wish there were an easy answer. She writes: “I am willing to do my part to stop the pain; I just don’t know what else I should be doing myself.”

Neen of Arthritic Chick wrote Full Body Mega Flare about how she reacts to RA pain that gets even worse than the “new normal” of daily pain. She wonders whether karma will help since RA medications haven’t.

Jen of The RA Vegan wrote Talking About RA and Balance: Pain Relief in Big and Little Ways. She shares some of the conversations she has with her rheumatologist as they work in partnership to manage a toolbox of ideas to accomplish pain relief. This is the most enlightened doctor I’ve seen since ePatient Dave’s doctor: “We are working together and I wish all patients had that relationship with their doctors.” Amen.

Jenn of Living with RA wrote Alternative Pain Relief, an instructive tips post.  It contains a list of practical physical methods to reduce or manage pain without medications. My favorite is breathing. I figure if it helped me through childbirth five times, there is something to the practice of deliberate, slow, deep breathing. You’re doing it right if you can feel a difference throughout the body within about 15 seconds.

Lauren of An Unguided Missile wrote Pain Management. I looked forward to reading this one because I’m fond of Lauren, but how does she know how loud I am? (If you want to get the joke, you have to read her post.) Lauren makes the point that she’d rather see several great specialists than one mediocre doctor who tries to treat everything. Her crucial point: “Find doctors who are willing to partner with you and the rest of your treatment team.”

Ashley of A Young Wife’s Tale wrote How David Copes with Psoriatic Arthritis Pain which raises important issues for rheumatology care such as access to pain relief medications and coverage for alternatives such as acupuncture. David has used a wide range of methods for pain relief that we might consider. And don’t we all need an advocate like he has?

Daina of What Is This Mom Thing? wrote For RAWarrior and Everyone Else Who Requested That I Update Again about the pain she endures in spite of treatments for her RA. I absolutely hate that patients are ever told by doctors: You “shouldn’t be feeling this way,” especially about RA pain. It is the elephant in the room, though. It would be nice if pain relief were not an issue because rheumatology treatments worked so well in all patients that pain relief was not needed, but pretending won’t make it so.

Jenna of The Feeding Edge wrote Eleven Things to Try When You Can’t Smile Away the Pain. It’s the list of tips in her “lifeboat” that help her get through pain when pain medications run out. These things can distract or relax, helping the mind to overcome pain and bring a form of relief, when that’s all you have.

Rachel of Putting it ALL Out There wrote RA Pain (Real Agonizing Pain). Find out how Rachel’s husband knew her pain pill had really worked. And what she’d love to hear just once from a doctor.  I have to be honest with you: This post made me cry. But I’m grateful that I read it because Rachel really is putting it ALL out there. And it crystallized in my mind that patient blogs are changing the reality of the culture we live in while we fight these painful diseases.

Terry of Dual Sport Life wrote It’s Just Arthritis. Like most people with RA, Terry is “reluctant to complain” about daily pain from RA. Nevertheless his rheumatologist was truly shocked when Terry confided that he hurts every day. I can’t be sure, but I wonder if the doctor is fooled by the tough veneer patients successfully build because we are so reluctant to complain and work so hard at being positive. Terry’s never fooled me about whether he hurts, but then I speak the language.

Andrea of A Fierce Sunshine wrote Curiosity Killed the Cat: Painful Questions, using impressive descriptions of RA pain like “clip a ligament with meat shears.” Her post makes one of the most important points that can be made with regard to RA: Ask plenty of questions and she gets us off to an excellent start with about 20 good ones.

Jenny of Understanding Invisible Illnesses wrote Pain Relief – Reality for Chronic Pain Sufferers. She advocates “Hope grounded in reality” and then shows us the way. Her post is a methodical discussion beginning with hoping for full pain relief and then taking responsibility for getting as close to that as possible.

Enjoy!

Recommended reading

NOTE: Your comments are an important resource for future readers of this post in the months to come. Please find the comment link below each post.

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under RA Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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