the critical importance of how pain will centralize

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Holistic Pain Relief, Women in Pain | 2 comments

This week I’m sharing my notes from the presentation by renowned pain management specialist Forrest Tennant, MD at the 2013 Women in Pain conference on September 13th.

Dr. Forest Tennant, MDDr. Tennant offered this audience of regular folks (most living with pain) the same presentation he gave the week before to a room full of physicians, “The Critical Importance of How Pain will Centralize.”

He spoke of two pain-related scientific breakthroughs in the last decade. First, the realization that pain can and will centralize in the spine/brain from the periphery. And second that hormones are connected to pain, and can be used for virogenensis (the ability to regrow nerves) and pain management.

Central pain is pain that is driven by a focus inside the brain and characterized by constancy and hyperarousal of the autonomic nervous and endrocrine systems. It can begin in three different ways: brain injury, peripheral nerve injury and from other types of pain (such as autoimmunity, fibro, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis).

Central pain will be essentially constant. With central pain, the patient will have poor or zero response to peripheral treatments. Patients are also likely to have insomnia! Along with these signs, the manifestations include depression, fatigue, anorexia and functional paralysis (bed or couch bound).

Centralized pain can happen as quickly as 2 hours after an injury or other pain-related event, and is definitely likely to occur if pain is unresolved after 6 weeks. It can be delayed, and then feel as if the pain as “suddenly taken over.”

While diagnosis depends mostly on history and physical exam, lab tests (especially early on) can confirm and support. According to Dr. Tennant, we are still learning how hormone (ACTH, cortisol, pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone) levels can help in this process, in addition to inflammatory markers.

Because central pain includes changes in brain tissue and function, some of the simple yet critical things to treat it are nutrition & exercise. It’s also super important for patients to start working out their brain—first key steps there are reading and socialization.

One of the primary elements for healing to occur is oxygen—even just doing deep breathing or receiving massage! Other options are walking, bouncing on a rebounder or trampoline, and talking. You’ll want to generate a little stress but not too much.

What does Dr. Tennant recommend eating if you are experiencing central pain? Getting enough protein is essential—a high protein diet (whether animal, vegetarian or vegan) is best. What you gain with high protein is lots of amino acids—and these are what make endorphins, glutamine, and neurotransmitters work.

You also want to be aware that experiencing pain will drive down blood sugar – and that’s why people in pain find themselves craving sugar or carbs. More high protein will help balance this blood sugar issue.

Plus it’s super important to get plenty of green veggies for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits!

Dr. Tennant recommended these supplements: Fish oil at up to 4000 milligrams/day, vitamin B12, and folic acid. (These both work to make the lining of nerves work properly.) You also want to consider taking a vitamin-mineral preparation of GABA or its precursors taurine and glutamine.

The medical treatment options Dr. Tennant discussed include the options you would normally think of like opioids, anti-inflammatory and neuropathic agents, plus sedatives and antidepressants. But, he also described a new focus on the hormones HCG and oxytocin. HCG will stimulate growth in nerve tissues, hair and skin tissues. It also seems to reduce intractable pain. Plus studies are now showing that oxytocin is the body’s major internal pain reliever, rather than endorphins. He is giving patients both HCG and oxytocin together now too.

You can read more by downloading Dr. Tennant’s patient-centered pain handbooks at http://foresttennant.com/pain_management_patient_self_help.html.

Again, I am so grateful for the opportunity to hear this information at the Women in Pain conference. I hope that my sharing it has been helpful to you!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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reflections from
women in pain conference 2013

Posted by on Sep 18, 2013 in Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness, Women in Pain | 0 comments

She stands in the courtyard of the conference venue and seemed appropriate to me!

She stands in the courtyard of the conference venue and seemed appropriate to me!

I’ve been thinking about the Women in Pain conference all week. It was just one day, but I really enjoyed the information and ideas as well as the people I met. The theme was “Getting Real: Transforming Hidden Truths Into Positive Action,” with a special emphasis on forgiveness and coping.

Next week, I’ll share information from a terrific presentation by a renowned pain management specialist. It’s just too much to capture in one article!

This week I’m going to share some quotes and thoughts that I loved from the day. I hope they inspire you the way they inspired me!

“Wellness and better pain control are within reach. Making the pain experience more livable, richer and fuller.” ~ John, caregiver

“Self and integrative care are the best places to go. Grieve but don’t stay down. Self-reinvention is mandatory and can be exciting.” ~ Cynthia, woman in pain

“Being open and real about everything is the only way to better wellness. Forgiveness is where we set the stage for grace.” ~ Cynthia, woman in pain

“Bond fiercely as only sisters in pain can. Together we figure it out better.” ~ Cynthia, woman in pain

“How you cope with your pain is highly associated with overall functioning and how you live. Enter into this with compassion and forgiveness. Don’t judge yourself.” ~ Heather, health care provider

“Could I suffer less if wasn’t so attached to my previous self? Allow yourself to grieve the parts of your life that you won’t have back again.” ~ Lynne, woman in pain

“Always saying you’re fine when people ask “are you okay?” can halt your ability to cope with the pain. Sometimes it’s easier to tell people something that they understand than what’s really going on with her pain. Being more honest with everyone has helped though.” ~ Britt, woman in pain

“The ultimate act of forgiveness is about believing in yourself so much that you won’t waste any of your life energy on anyone but you. We need every part of our energy and our life force to be right here with us now.” ~ Kristina, woman in pain

“True self-love and healing comes from letting go of the story and taking care of you instead.” ~ Kristina, woman in pain

“We all deserve a better quality of life. There is hope on the other side. Being me is good enough. I’m more than my pain. Cain, walker, wheelchair – I’m still me.” ~ Simenona, woman in pain

“Hoping is reaching out to others – people who know you and love you for all you are.” ~ Radene, woman in pain

“It’s about adjusting your dreams – not giving up on them. You can do – but your path isn’t everyone else’s. My illness is like a marriage because in a marriage there’s compromise.” ~ Radene, woman in pain

Don’t forget to come back next week when I’ll share information from a terrific presentation by a renowned pain management specialist.

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

Read More
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