Pathways pain relief app

Pathways Pain Relief Application

I have seen these pain relief apps and been curious for a while. The basis of science and the mind-body connection as a way to help treat chronic pain resonates strongly with me.

When I was offered the opportunity to review the Pathways Pain Relief App, I jumped! I am beginning a one year trial now in exchange for my honest review. I will keep you updated.

Pathways pain relief app

A bit about Pathways Pain Relief App:
It is designed for those of us with chronic pain – pain that has lasted more than three months, for which little helps. It provides an interactive journey through educational sessions in pain science, meditation and mindfulness and more.

What can Pathways help with?
According to their website any pain of a chronic nature (lasting three months). This includes fibromyalgia.

What can you expect from the app?

“We take patients on an interactive journey that starts with pain science education. Understanding that pain is much more complex (and interesting!) than a signal from damaged tissues, is an important step towards turning down the volume on pain.
We then move onto breaking any behaviours that could be keeping your pain system in high-alert. We also cover physical therapy, guided imagery, visulization and mindfulness exercises, hundreds of meditations and more.
Our sessions are audio based and between 2 and 20 minutes long.”

My take at the beginning of my journey with it

As a busy mama of three children five and under I don’t have the time for full on programme. I do have time for 2-20 minute audio sessions to be completed on my own schedule. In addition there really is nothing to lose, this is all natural and is bound to have relaxation benefits if nothing else. And we can all benefit from relaxing more.

The first thing I went through was the collection of meditations, there is a great selection for pain, relaxation, sleep and more. So that is a great resource.

I am looking forward to reporting back on my progress.

Please note: I never make things look like a cure all – there is no such thing. This could be one part of your fibromyalgia puzzle.

If you want to download it and have a look at the free content before purchasing, you can find more information here.

Have you tried the Pathways app? Or one similar? I’d love to hear your experience.


Request a session

Advertisements

Natural Pain Relief: Supplements for Fibromyalgia Pain

With the world’s eye on those of us suffering from chronic pain, I feel like bad news is delivered daily into my inbox with newsletters or articles telling me I can’t access something that helps me manage. Narcotics came under fire, now NSAIDS are ready for scrutiny. We know the medicines we need aren’t ideal but neither is chronic sleep deprivation or untreated pain. Seriously, there’s research!
To this end, I have decided to work through as many natural options as I can find to help you navigate potential new options for treatment.
The last post was for herbs you can infuse at home.

 

This one is supplements for fibromyalgia pain. There is a seemingly endless list and I have done a lot of research on this area, but here I’ll present what I’ve tried with honest feedback.
Natural Pain Relief Mechanisms supplements pain.png
There are some affiliate links here, I may make a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you. 

Curamin/Curcumin with bonus herbs

Curamin “is a blend of all natural ingredients such as DLPA, boswellia and nattokinase which are proven anti-inflammatory compounds. DLPA boosts the effectiveness of endorphins and enkephalins (pain relievers already in the body), nattokinase boosts circulation and alleviates muscle pain by balancing fibrogren levels in the body while boswellia has been known to remove pro-inflammatory compounds.”
Curcumin (with black pepper for absorbtion) is said to be a powerful pain reliever alone: “Together, curcumin and boswellia both found in Curamin reduce the activity of the two most significant pain pathways in the body – COX-2 and 5-LOX.”
I first tried Curamin a few years ago and was so relieved at the difference it made in my neck. This was before LDN so nothing had helped at that point. The effects did seem to wear off, so it will be rotated back in when I have finished my current round of experiments.

MSM 

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is meant to help with pain in the tendons, ligaments and muscles.
Dr Axe outlines six benefits of taking MSM, including joint pain, digestive problems and muscle pain and spasms (a biggie for me): “Research suggests that MSM can act like a natural analgesic, helping prevent and treat muscle aches and pains, throbbing and swelling while improving range of motion and mobility.”
This is a supplement I take regularly. It helps with muscle, tendon and ligament pain as well as a wealth of other potential benefits.
For my free report Essential Oils for Natural Health and other free reports click here.

Magnesium 

Almost all literature will point those with chronic pain toward magnesium. “Magnesium supplementation is critical to the treatment of fibromyalgia. One study showed that 300 to 600mg of magnesium malate per day had very positive results in decreasing the number and severity of tender points in fibromyalgia. Malic acid (derived from apples) by itself is also helpful in fibromyalgia.” This is from Dr DeMarco.com
I have taken magnesium in some form for a long time. Currently, I use it in oil form and apply it at bedtime. During my second pregnancy I applied it to my calves every night and was never woken with excruciating calf craps like in the first pregnancy.

Fibromalic/Malic Acid

This one caught my eye due to the combination of ingredients. Malic acid is said to be helpful for Fibromyalgia, as alluded to in the quote above. This product includes: Malic acid 400mg, Devil’s Claw 100mg, Boswellia 50mg, Vitamin C 5mg, Vitamin B6 2.5mg, Chromium 25mcg, Magnesium 50mg. It would appear this specific formulation is not available on Amazon, that link is to the brand Radiance which we can get here in New Zealand. But any magnesium and malic acid blend could suit.
This list is just a start as I could go on researching for a long time! Part of this information is taken from the Pain Management module from You vs Fibromyalgia course.

Special note for those who want to kick their fight against Fibromyalgia up a notch:

My eCourse You vs Fibromyalgia is seven modules to help you navigate what You vs Fibro full ecourseFibromyalgia is, pain relief, sleep, meditation, yoga, pacing and boundaries and brain fog to help you in your fight. Enrollments opens 1st March 2018 and the early bird offer (special price and free bonus lesson) closes on the 15th March 2018. So get in quick – there’s a few days left!

sign up to newsletter

For access to my free resource page, sign up here. This includes printable templates, reports and my free micro courses.

What Works for me: 9 Things to Fight Fibromyalgia

I have shared about my journey in hopes that the information helps someone on theirs. I am in a much better position than I was for the entirety of my early and mid-twenties. I didn’t manage to get on the path to better wellness until I was 25 and even then it was a slow process, I am still working on it.

Without rhetoric, without frills, I thought I’d share what has worked for me:

    1. Reduced work hours – my body simply couldn’t maintain full time work, plus the one hour travel each way, and cope with the pain and fatigue levels.
    2. Supplementation – I just don’t absorb some vitamins and minerals. I eat plenty of meat and leafy greens and still my iron levels hover, unassisted at the lowest of the very large “healthy” range. Finding out that they should be much higher and working toward that made a huge difference. A potent multivitamin also seems to make a difference for me, so there must be other vitamins for which absorption is an issue.
    3. Physiotherapy – this is my body’s necessary physical support. Through much trial and error, I have found that my over-reactive muscles needed less activity and a specific treatment plan. This includes neck tractions, acupuncture needles inserted into key points (neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back, glutes). If I ever try a massage instead of physio, my neck pays for it dearly – nothing else activates, releases and keeps it released for two or three weeks. And my neck can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea when bad.
    4. Sleep – I have to take low dose amitriptyline in order to get to sleep, take pain relief for my neck, stay in bed for nine or 10 hours and accept that I wake every one or two hours (therefore not making a full sleep cycle very often). But if I can get eight hours, no matter how broken, it makes a dramatic impact on my pain and fatigue levels the next day. I have to go to bed by 9.30/10pm in order to hope for enough sleep before my son wakes up, reducing night activities. Low Dose Naltrexone helps me a lot with sleep now.
    5. Reduced activity levels – my body does not cope with too much, so in addition to my reduced work hours, I must also limit my activity levels. I have to include rest periods also. We don’t often go out at night, and when we do I really struggle to stay awake and get quite sore, so it never feels worth it. This is one part of the lifestyle to cope that I am constantly struggling with.
    6. Meditation– I can’t nap no matter how exhausted and miserable I am, so meditation has been a lifesaver. Lying down for 30 minutes with my heat pack and a guided meditation makes a huge difference for me. It’s the difference between a nice afternoon and a long, tiring, painful afternoon.
    7. Exercise – stretching sore, tight muscles is crucial to keeping them moving and should never been underutilised. Gentle walking, yoga and Pilates have been useful for me to keep me active but not overdo it. My muscles tend to respond to too much AND not enough exercise, my sweet spot tends to hover at 20-30 minutes per day.
    8. Pain Management Techniques – through a lot of trial and error, I have a key list of pain management techniques that I enact every day. This includes natural and medicinal options, with a heavy focus on natural options. I have found great relief from low dose naltrexone.
    9. Hope – never will I allow myself to lose hope. There’s always more to try, there’s always a silver lining. We need to hold onto this as we journey because pain and fatigue can really do a number on your emotions, making things seem worse at your worst.

 


For more information:

 

 

Newly Diagnosed? What I’d Tell Myself

By the time I was diagnosed, I had already been on amitriptyline (a tricyclic antidepressant taken at a lower dose to help with sleep and pain) for a couple of years. A doctor prescribed it for my extreme struggle with sleep.

So I already had a base when I was diagnosed, which was lucky because I got no other information, advice or help when I got the word.

If I could go back in time and help myself out, here’s what I would say:

Research, research, research. Back then, there wasn’t much information around, but there was some. Our own research is what will help us the most. It will eventually lead to the best pain management options which are:

  • Heatpack
  • Hot bath
  • Stretching
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture by a physiotherapist
  • Panadol and nurofen taken together for a few doses
  • Trigger point release, both for yourself and by a physiotherapist or massage therapist
  • Meditation – a guided meditation called Yoga Nidra will be one of the most amazing things you will find, much too late to benefit from it in the miserable “full time work” years or the early baby days.
  • Nutritional supplementation – high dose magnesium is super important. Along with iron supplementation – the doctor will say it’s “normal” but it’s at the end of a super long range – aim for ferritin levels of 60. Research and experiment. There’s D Ribose, Acetyl L Carnitine, COQ10, B complex, vitamin C and more.
  • Keep walking, one good thing you did was keep moving. Just go a little more easy, it’ll reduce the tightness in the muscles. Pilates and yoga are king.
Some other key things that help:
  • Learning to rest.
  • Prioritise yourself.
  • Believe in yourself, sometimes you’ll be the only one and that’s OK.
  • Don’t let yourself fall down the rabbit hole, allow yourself time for grief and then carry on.
  • Always hope for better, it’s attainable.
So this is what I would tell myself. Perhaps it is of some use to those who have been recently diagnosed.

 


sign up to newsletterI created an updated version of this as a free PDF printable in my resources page and it is a chapter in my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia.

Some Lessons to Learn

I have come so far in trying to live well with fibromyalgia, but sometimes I get stuck and don’t look after myself the way I should. Here are a few lessons I need to learn:

  1. Don’t be too proud to take pain relief. Sometimes ibuprofen can kick a neck ache that’s evolving into a heachache, dizziness and nausea, in the butt. I keep tying the concept of “surviving without pain relief” to the concept of “living well with fibromyalgia”. Not so, I shouldn’t have to cope with pain when there is help.
  2. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. When someone says “only” and you feel it’s too much, tell them.
  3. Incorporate rest into the day. Every day. It makes the day nicer.
  4. Sometimes, do the “selfish” thing. The other night, I was fighting my baby to sleep (he had gotten overtired) and I was sore and overwhelmed, so I took a five minute shower. When I came out, he was asleep and I felt better!
  5. Always experiment, always hope, but don’t get sucked into the promise of a cure.