THE SIGNATURE PATTERN: For Pain Signals In The Brain

It was construed as a figment of imagination for many years for sufferers of Fibromyalgia Syndrome and went undiagnosed for years.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain can detect pain signals in the early onset stages of Fibromyalgia symptoms

Fibrositis in 1904 was the original diagnosis for Fibromyalgia symptoms.  In 1972, patients became more descriptive with their symptoms, a widespread pain with tender points near joints. A core of symptoms developed and the name was changed in 1976 to Fibromyalgia and currently FMS. The first sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) was performed in 1975 a test that records and measures electrical activity in the brain as sleep deprivation is a symptom of Fibromyalgia. Through studies in 1986, serotonergic – norepinephric were the first drugs to be effective with Fibromyalgia symptoms.

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Two – four percent of Americans, approximately 10 million people with a ratio of eight to two women over men, have Fibromyalgia Syndrome that is now known as FM.

Being rare in existence and doctors unfamiliar with the connection of Fibrositis, many patients developed depression.  Depression is also linked to signals in the brain and led many patients to many years of doctor appointments while wondering why they were still in pain, every day while receiving psych services. The intense pain left many patients depressed, and studies have found that Fibromyalgia is more of a neurological disorder because the pain felt is nerve pain. Lifestyle choices and daily chores are also affected as well as their sleeping habits and mental and physical well-being. Doris Dangerfield, Professional Counselor, “states that she recommends her Fibromyalgia or chronic pain patients to see a psychiatrist, to obtain therapy.”

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Fibromyalgia patient is starting her day with a heat treatment to soften the stiffness and sharp, intense morning pain.

Now that Fibromyalgia is more prevalent as a medical diagnosis, some of the pain symptoms could be relieved with proper health care, mentally and physically, as Doris Dangerfield states in her interview, “depression causes pain, and pain causes depression.”

A pain pattern is now indicative to establishing a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.  Localizing pain patterns on patients is now an acceptable diagnosis. Newer methods after many visits to multiple doctors, like an MRI of the brain that can verify pain. In affected areas of the brain, instances of pain, where it should not be. Pain management specialist, Dr. Mahmoud N. Sabbagh, MD, from Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan states “there are minimally invasive approaches to calm the nerve pain, along with diet, and weight loss for some.”  Nerve pain sends signals to the brain, affected nerves run through the spine, causing pain in different areas of the body. Some people opt to have an ablation. Ablation is a procedure used to burn the nerve leading to the area most affected by grief.

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This is the neurology department at Harper Hospital, 3990 John R. Street, Detroit Michigan, the Neurology department where Fibromyalgia patients go for nerve pain. Image source: Cynthia Gladden
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Fibromyalgia with widespread pain and tender points, now related to pain signals sent from the brain, leading out to nerve roots form the spinal cord. Image source: Cynthia Gladden

When you cope with pain on a daily basis, it can affect the lives of others as well. The impact of a loved one being in chronic on a regular basis has its toll. The way of living will change an entire family’s daily routine when nerve pain is the extent of the day for a Fibromyalgia, family member.  Leeah Gregory-Gladden talks about her mothers Fibromyalgia. “It is difficult for the family when you watch a person be in pain.” “My mom is in pain from the time she gets up until she goes to bed.” “She is a warrior when it comes to pain; she never lets it kill her dreams.” People diagnosed with FM have a life-changing experience with their health, which affects some aspects of their personal and family living. Many people with FM do not look like sickly with pain until they have to walk or areas of the body become inflamed with pain.

Dorie Renee Fann-Purry is a survivor of Fibromyalgia and Lupus. She says “I get tired of people judging me by how I look. “ “I fight through pain every day and to have someone make a snide comment about me parking in a handicap zone, pisses me off.” Dorie Renee Fann-Purry is an active member of the Lupus Detroit, and advocates to help others in chronic pain.

A possible Fibromyalgia patient, Brandi Milton, continues to seek out answers to find out what is causing her pain. She says, “I have all of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia but have yet to be diagnosed with the condition.” “Maybe I should ask for an MRI, since I’m receiving this new information, about nerve pain.” Fibromyalgia was a mysterious disease for years, but with the new studies developed, an answer is in the making for millions that suffer every day.

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 Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan offers a road to recovery

Healthy eating habits and exercise has been linked to helping with FM symptoms and is part of treatment plans when treating pain symptoms. Keeping a healthy weight can help you maintain pain levels. Stretching is also excellent for a morning routine to help stretch out stiffness from sleeping. Getting the proper rest is also important, leaving you feeling more refreshed to start your day and carry out a daily routine to help keep those pain levels down. Planning healthy daily routines is part of a recipe to help with nerve pain.

 

 Now that Fibromyalgia is a recognized disease ask more questions when you go to the doctor. Request a test that could lead to a quicker diagnosis. Ask to see a neurologist for a second opinion. Research is being done continually to help pain patients cope with pain as well as treat what is now considered nerve pain, from signals in the brain. Pain that leaves a signature by receiving pain signals in the brain, where pain should not perceive itself in the body.

Lupus Detroit Fighting to Help the Warriors

A non-profit organization Lupus Detroit sponsors events that help raise money to help people that afflicted with the Autoimmune Disorder that causes the body to attack its own organs.

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This is a symbolism of a Lupus survivor. Image Source: Creative Commons

Lupus Detroit is having its fifth annual Walk for Warriors walk. This walk is being held at the New Center Park, in Detroit, Michigan on September 2, 2017. Registration has begun for the walkers, walking to help raise this year’s goal of $40,000 for the Warriors who suffer from this incurable disease.

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Dorie R Fann-Purry a Lupus Survivor and active member of Lupus Detroit. Photo Source: Dorie R Fann-Purry

Lupus Detroit is a non-profit organization that raises money to help people who are afflicted with the illness that causes their bodies to attack their own organs. “Let’s fight this battle together,” says Dorie R Fann-Purry, and active member of Lupus Detroit.

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Lupus Detroit has started the registration process for walkers. Image Source: Google

Register today for the walk on September 2,2017, and help these chronic pain sufferers fight the fight of their lives.

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Image source: Dorie R Fann-Purry for Lupus Detroit and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

Chronic Neuropathic Pain

Chronic neuropathic pain is commonly known as nerve pain. Many chronic pain sufferers are afflicted with neuropathic pain, a different kind of pain that responds poorly to standard pain treatments. Chronic pain patients can be troubled with both chronic pain and nerve pain, so seeking proper medical care is advised when experiencing an abnormal feeling within your body.

Chronic pain is also known as Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS), defined as having pain lasting for more than six months. Chronic pain can become dangerous cycles that lead stressors to cause intense pain. One case in point of a stressor is, loss of sleep at night, which can lead to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), from sleep deprivation and discomfort. No sleep leads to irritating nerves in the mind and body, making the pain worse, and that affects the nervous system and the paths leading to nerve pain.

Nerve pain can derive from damaged nerves sending false signals to the brain leading to chronic pain from the sensory nerves. The feelings of nerve pain vary from person to person; some people experience intense feelings of pain that burn and feel prickly throughout the different parts of the body.

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Chronic nerve pain is an extreme form of pain that can be debilitating. Signals from the Peripheral nerves and the central nervous system are the cause of the way that neurological mechanisms function in the body. Photo Source: Cynthia Gladden

Nerve pain can also make an individual highly sensitive to certain ailments for instance diabetes can lead to Diabetic Neuropathy a common cause of damaged nerves from diabetes being untreated. Fibromyalgia can affect the skin, muscles, and nerve central neurological disorders that stem from the spinal cord and the brain, reacting through the peripheral nerves of the body.

There is a heightened sensitivity to pain from nerves and can cause the skin to be affected with pain to the touch of the skin. There are also ailments that can lead to painful body positions, such as standing and sitting causing more stress for the patient.

Treatment for chronic neuropathic pain varies due to the reasons of the nervous system disruption. Opiates are prescribed, but other medications are given to calm the nerves. Topical ointments are used, nonsurgical treatments, home remedies, and treating health conditions that can attribute to nerve pain. Yearly physicals can detect early onset conditions, where a doctor can give you a correct diagnosis and treatment plan for any condition.

Chronic Pain and Depression

Your mental well being is just as important as your physical well being. Leading research finds that chronic pain and depression go hand in glove towards treatment. A path of signals to the brain detects chronic pain and depression can be linked to behavior. Multi functions of the brain recognize chronic pain and depression separately one or the other disorder leads to more severe pain.

Doris Dangerfield, Professional Counselor, states “chronic pain gets worse when symptoms of depression are not addressed and if depression is not treated it makes the pain feel worse.”

Many ailments or conditions cause chronic pain disorders, for example, fibromyalgia, arthritis, as well as sports injuries or falls. As a result, many patients use whatever measures to reduce their pain. Some people become addicted to the opiates used to treat pain, trying to get rid of the physical pain that could actually be connected to signals in the brain related to depression.

Doris Dangerfield feels that “pain causes depression and depression lead to pain, making a correlation between chronic pain and depression.”

Most people do not recognize the signs of depression, which leads to unexplained physical symptoms such as back aches and or headaches.

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The brain is the core of the central nervous system learning to relax can help reduce chronic pain.  Photo Source: Cynthia Gladden

Patients that are diagnosed with depression and chronic pain, antidepressant medications may find relief in both pain and depression because of the shared chemical messages in the brain. To help balance your life when coping with chronic pain being a part of your life, other healthy daily routines will help relieve the pain. Physical therapy, journaling, meditation, coping skills, eating healthy, and exercising, are just a few things that could help with reducing pain and building mental well being on a daily basis.

Pain can have a psychological effect and a physical effect for a correct diagnosis. A visit to your primary care doctor or local mental health center is advised for assessment of health conditions and treatment options.

Pain Signals To The Brain

The human body is equipped with nerve fibers known as the peripheral nerves, which connect the spinal cord and the brain. The central nervous system, known as the peripheral nerves and are considered the portal that controls the passage of pain signals to the brain for different parts of the body.

Aimal Khan describes the process that the brain goes through to approach pain. In the course of expanded growth of pain, chronic pain will progress leading to depression, anxiety, and a lower quality of life for some people. BBC World Service describes the link to chronic pain and inherited diseases, leading researchers to having a better understanding of chronic pain, so to help the many people that have to endure intense pain daily.

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During your lifes journey, if you cross a path of chronic pain that follows you, educate yourself on the choices of relief that are available.    Image Source: Cynthia Gladden

The business Calmare Therapy in Michigan helps chronic pain patients with their drug free therapy, the MICalmare treatment. Southside Pain Specialist tries other methods that involve nerve blocks that stop the nerves from sending signals to the brain. Health and Wellness Tips help with revealing news stories about burning the nerves that are the source of the pain.

The pain disease Fibromyalgia left doctors baffled for years, but after years of studies, it is now declared a disability that affects millions of people. Hawaii Island Recovery reports that brain scans reveal differences in brain patterns for Fibromyalgia patients and patients without it.

Ellen Blau, PSY.D., promotes another form of coping with pain through relaxation methods, stress management through connecting mind and body. American Pain and Spinal Center, PC, using a combination of treatments based on each patient’s own form of pain, as each brain is distinctive within a persons mind.

 

 

 

 

The Alternatives to Surgery

 

Spinal stenosis leaves many people who suffer from the degenerative disease faced with the choice of surgery, for pain relief. There are alternative solutions to try for relief with the hope of checking off having an operation off the to-do list. The alternative solutions do not always work, and the Ess word (surgery) becomes increasingly feasible for those whose pain is just too intolerable to bear on a daily basis.

You can develop spinal stenosis from deterioration due to, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, tumors, herniated disks, bone spurs on the spine and injuries to the spine. Some people are genetically predisposed to spinal stenosis due to being born with a narrowing of the spine. Nerve pain develops from the trapped nerves that can weigh down a person’s tolerance for pain, causing the pain to be unbearable. There is no cure for Spinal Stenosis, but there are treatment options to minimize the level of pain.

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This graphic is of the different stages that a healthy spine goes through as it deteriorates on the outside of the spine. Spinal stenosis comes from narrowing on the inside where the nerves are and become trapped from outside degenerated disc. Image Source: Cynthia Gladden.

There are non-surgical treatments available for the relief of the chronic back pain for spinal stenosis. The treatments range from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAISDs), epidural injections, opiates, and exercise. If overweight, weight loss, or maintaining weight through a regular exercise program can also help, relieve the pain symptoms of the chronic pain of spinal stenosis. Stretching and walking every day is the key to most exercising techniques for the patient; this helps keep muscles flexible, which is important in long term of the disease. Finding relief from the non-surgical methods alleviates the surgery for the relief of pain, caused by the narrowing of the spine leading to nerve pain.

After all the researching and tips to control the pain, some people still opt to have surgery after years of trying to keep pain levels a minimum. There are several different spinal stenosis procedures, and as the alternative methods, sometimes the surgery works and sometimes it does not. When led to make the decision a Neurologist that works with nerve issues is a good place to start asking questions. A Neurologist will refer you to a Neurosurgeon who is a spinal surgery specialist, and you will be advised of the risk and benefits involved in surgery for the relief of pain due to spinal stenosis.

Regardless of what treatment option that is chosen, a lifestyle change is inevitable to help cope with being as pain-free as possible. Living a full and functional life can become a person’s goal after living in chronic pain for years of trying to be pain-free.

The Stigma That Follows Opiate Users

The high increase of opiate use and abuse has caused problems for narcotic pain users that have no addictions with the utilization of the drugs, only relief. Because of the high rate of misuse by some, other suffers; suffer from the stigmatization of being addicts behind the use of opiates, on a regular basis.
Patients that were stable with their level of pain tolerance have faced the changes made through the CDC to help with the drug addictions. Now there is an increase in non-addictive patients being depressed and committing suicide because of the controlled regulations placed on the disbursement of narcotics, used for pain. Medications disbursed to pain patients are through a pain management facility, by a doctor that manages agonizing discomfort.

There are many different aspects of pain depending on the condition of what is causing the pain. Everyone does not opt only to try opiates; there are other alternative treatments that some try to find useful. These could be physical therapy, acupuncture, epidural steroid injections, nerve block injections, burning nerves and the last option is, surgery. There is the risk for these short-term solutions, and that is they do not work for all patients. All patients do not find relief with the alternative medicines, especially since everyone metabolizes drugs differently.

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Info-graphic explains the different approaches to pain management for chronic pain.
Image: Cynthia Gladden

Everyone’s body is different, and it may not respond to the various treatments according to their metabolism and how it absorbs and breaks down the opiates in their body and how well the body accepts the minimally invasive procedures, described as alternative methods. Pain patients can try many methods including self-management; this is to be aware of the different things that could cause the body to a flare-up in pain. Know what your triggers are to help keep your body as pain-free as possible.

As a person attempts to self-manage their pain levels, many patients find that they still need the opiates to be able to function throughout the day. Even though there is a crisis among addictions, some people will take the meds as prescribed and try the alternative methods, and that does not make them an addict for wanting to be as free from pain as possible. The alternative methods work for some and not for others, and people that live in chronic pain still believe in full active life styles.