Learning the History Behind Your Strings

(NewsUSA) – Pain relievers commonly taken by athletes for sports-related injuries and by arthritis sufferers can lead to ulcers, other gastrointestinal problems, and kidney and liver damage. These drugs, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are available over-the-counter and by prescription.In recent years, several professional athletes have reportedly been apprehensive about the potentially harmful long-term effects of anti-inflammatory medications and some have even refused to take them.But others, such as former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Gary Plummer, are choosing topical pain relievers to cope with their pain. Topical analgesics are creams, lotions or sprays that are applied to your skin to help relieve muscle and joint pain, including minor arthritis pain. Their active ingredients can be capsaicin, salicylates or counter-irritants.Capsaicin blocks the "pain message" from reaching the brain. Salicylates inhibit the hormonelike substances that contribute to pain and inflammation by seeping through the skin. Counter-irritants "fool" the pain by creating a feeling of cold or heat over sore muscles, thus masking the pain.Plummer, who has had 17 surgeries throughout his NFL career and one hip replacement since his retirement, uses a menthol-based pain relieving ointment when aches and pains hinder his everyday activities."I have arthritis in my wrists, in one of my ankles and six of my fingers," Plummer said. "So I just put Joint-Ritis on there."With the help of this topical pain reliever, he said he is now able to do more everyday activities without worrying about pain."It’s liberating to be able to do things that you basically had taken for granted," Plummer said.Now he is able to walk longer distances and even coach."I’m out there working with kids for almost six hours, five days a week," he said. "I’m able to demonstrate hitting positions. Put Joint-Ritis on and I’m good to go coach my boys and practice. That’s always been important to me … to spend time with my kids."Plummer said he often recommends this method to other people, including his wife whose hands often ache after hours of gardening.Joint-Ritis is available in stores where you buy your health care products. For more information, log on to www.jointritis.com.

Resources to Help Family Caregivers

Every day, many Americans find themselves in an unexpected new role. They become a family caregiver for a loved one suffering from chronic pain.

Experts estimate that chronic pain affects millions of Americans. Pain can interfere with daily activities, causing patients to lean heavily on family and friends.

Providing care for a loved one experiencing chronic pain presents challenges, such as making sure your loved one reports pain to his or her healthcare provider. Even with chronic diseases and conditions, pain should be taken seriously by doctors and physicians.

Family Caregivers Face Pain Challenges

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Every day, many Americans find themselves in an unexpected new role. They become a family caregiver for a loved one suffering from chronic pain.
Experts estimate that chronic pain affects millions of Americans. Pain can interfere with daily activities, causing patients to lean heavily on family and friends.
Providing care for a loved one experiencing chronic pain presents challenges, such as making sure your loved one reports pain to his or her healthcare provider. Even with chronic diseases and conditions, pain should be taken seriously by doctors and physicians.
“Each person feels pain differently. Although it is a physical sensation, perceptions of pain are influenced by social, cultural and psychological factors,” said Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of the National Family Caregivers Association. “It can be difficult to make sure your loved one’s pain is evaluated appropriately.”
Unfortunately, there’s little information and few resources available to help family caregivers cope with these problems. The National Family Caregivers Association has teamed up with the pain management education program Partners Against Pain to create Caregiver Cornerstones, a program providing information, encouragement and tools to family members. The four Caregiver Cornerstones are:
1. Learning about pain management. Taking an active role in helping to manage a loved one’s pain may help you feel more useful and worry less.
2. Caring for a person with pain. This includes making sure that patients receive proper assessment and follow their treatment plans.
3. Caring for yourself. Being a family caregiver can be a demanding job. Allow others to help provide a support system.
4. Advocating for all people in pain. The Cornerstones program strives to raise awareness about the importance of access to appropriate and effective pain care.
Find more information at www.partnersagainstpain.com.

How to Manage Cancer-Related Pain

Pain is a frequent, yet often overlooked, consequence of cancer.  An estimated 70 percent of those with cancer experience significant pain during their illness, yet fewer than half receive adequate treatment for their pain.1  If pain is not managed properly, it can worsen the physical, emotional and psychological toll of cancer.

Pain can result from a variety of sources, including the cancer itself (tumor growth, spinal cord compression), medical tests, and treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.² Uncontrolled pain may interfere with cancer treatment, weaken the body, and impair the healing process.  It can also prevent people from engaging in everyday activities that make life more fulfilling.³

Cancer and Pain: What You Need to Know

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Pain is a frequent yet often overlooked consequence of cancer. An estimated 70 percent of those with cancer experience significant pain during their illness, yet fewer than half receive adequate treatment for their pain. If pain is not managed properly, it can worsen the physical, emotional and psychological toll of cancer.
Pain can result from a variety of sources, including the cancer itself (tumor growth, spinal cord compression), medical tests, and treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Uncontrolled pain may interfere with cancer treatment, weaken the body, and impair the healing process. It can also prevent people from engaging in everyday activities that make life more fulfilling.
According to Kim Thiboldeaux, president and CEO of the Cancer Support Community, managing pain can and should be an important part of overall cancer care.
“Pain doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of cancer,” says Thiboldeaux. “There are multiple options available to manage pain. For instance, many patients can benefit from an integrative approach that combines prescription or over-the-counter medications with complementary therapies such as yoga, acupuncture and guided imagery.”
One of the keys to effective pain management is open and honest communication with your healthcare professional. Prepare for medical appointments by keeping a journal, and note the severity, location, frequency, and duration of pain. Thiboldeaux also urges patients to learn as much as possible about pain management, and to be actively involved in the development of an individualized treatment plan.
To learn more, go to http://www.partnersagainstpain.com/pain-management/cancer-pain.aspx. The site features tools and information to help patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals better understand and manage pain.

How to Survive College Move-In Day Pain-Free

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – College move-in day is full of aches and pains. There are, of course, the heartache and worries that accompany what for most parents is their children’s first time away from home. On top of that, there are the back, neck and arm pains that are incurred as you haul TVs, shoe collections and clothes up five flights of stairs to your new student’s college abode.
While nothing but time will calm fears about your child living alone for the first time, the maker of Absorbine Jr. products, W.F. Young Inc., gives the following advice to parents of new college students about making the big move as painless as possible:
* Expect to be separated from your child. It’s true: at some point during move-in day, you actually will have to be separated from your child. Often, however, this will happen before you officially leave campus. Your child may have a special schedule to go to that has separate events from yours. Expect this to happen and, if need be, brace your new college student for it.
* Use a cart or dolly. Many universities provide carts to help students and parents move their belongings, but unless you’re a real early bird, you’ll have to wait to get one. Use your college smarts, and buy a cheap dolly from a home improvement store instead.
* Lift with care. Before you lift something heavy, stand with your feet apart and planted on the ground. Use your legs, not your back, to lift the object, unless you want to spend the first night away from your child in a health clinic or hospital.
* Take breaks. If constant trips up a dorm’s narrow stairs make you tired, stop and rest with a bottle of water. Small breaks through the day will keep you awake and alert.
* Don’t move alone. If you need help moving something heavy, have your son or daughter ask another student. Now’s the time for your child to make new friends!
* Plan for pain relief. Pack over-the-counter products like aspirin and Absorbine Jr., a liquid whose botanical extracts can help relieve minor moving-related aches and pains.
Parents and college students should keep Absorbine Jr. around, anyways. Sports and exercise can cause sprains, bruises and muscle aches. Also, Absorbine Jr. helps relieve the itch of athlete’s foot — a common infection to dorms and dorm showers.
For more information, visit www.absorbinejr.com.

Tips to Spring Into Fitness

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the temperature starts to warm, many Americans think about lacing up their running shoes or pulling out their tennis rackets. But don’t let spring fitness fever corrupt your good judgment — if you haven’t exercised all winter, it’s better to ease into physical activity.
Not sure where to start? Here are some tips:
* Start slow. Attempting too much too soon will result in an injury or “hitting a wall” — reaching a point where your body can no longer recover from exercise. It takes about three weeks for your body to adjust to a new exercise routine and about six weeks before you’re ready for more aggressive activity. If you’re running, start with exercising three days a week. If you’re walking, you may be able to handle four or five days of exercise from the start. Increasing the duration or intensity of exercise by more than 10 percent each week puts you at a greater risk of injury, so be sure to progress gradually.
* Get the right equipment. Wear clothes that wick sweat — you’ll be much more comfortable. If you’re a runner, proper footgear will help your legs avoid unnecessary strain. Likewise, a well-fit bicycle can help cyclists avoid knee and other injuries.
* Don’t push through pain. Most exercise injuries are overuse injuries, meaning they occur when athletes push their muscles, tendons and bones past their limits. One sign that you’ve reached your limit? Pain. If you experience real discomfort, it’s better to take a few days off or see a doctor than risk worsening an injury.
Of course, some muscle pain is perfectly normal for those starting up an exercise routine. Schedule recovery days — days in which you either don’t exercise or engage in very light activity — to give your muscles a chance to rebuild between workouts.
If you experience routine muscle soreness, a topical product may help speed your recovery. For example, one product, Absorbine Jr. (www.absorbinejr.com), contains natural menthol and herbal extracts. The liquid pain reliever creates a penetrating warmth to soothe sore muscles, aching joints, arthritis and back and foot pain. Because it increases blood flow to sore muscles, Absorbine Jr. actually helps muscles heal as it provides pain relief. Absorbine products were initially formulated to soothe the strong muscle pain in horses. This inspired Absorbine Jr. for humans.

Naomi Judd Offers Support to Those Living With Chronic Pain

(NewsUSA) – It may surprise you to learn that before she became a country music icon, Naomi Judd was a critical care nurse. Unlike facing a stadium full of adoring fans, as a nurse she witnessed the daily challenges faced by people with chronic pain and those who care for them.More recently, Judd watched a dear friend suffer from excruciating pain during his battle with pancreatic cancer. Because he was an educated and empowered patient, he received excellent pain management and was able to live his remaining days to the fullest.As a spokesperson for the national education program Partners Against Pain, Judd now has 50 million reasons to let others know that they don’t need to suffer in silence. That’s because the latest statistics show that more than 50 million Americans live with pain, making it one of the top reasons people seek medical care.Judd is encouraging people with pain and their caregivers to learn as much as they can about proper pain management. "From day to day, pain can limit your ability to enjoy your work, your hobbies — even rob you of the simple joys of hugging someone you love," says Judd.Each person’s pain is unique and different. In many cases, managing pain requires an integrative approach that combines prescription medicine with complementary techniques such as physical therapy, acupuncture and massage.Judd wants people to know the journey to appropriate pain management can begin with a visit to the recently updated Partners Against Pain website (www.PartnersAgainstPain.com). The new, user-friendly layout features customized sections for patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals that make it easy find information about various painful conditions, including arthritis, cancer pain and low back pain. Special downloadable features — such as a Patient Comfort Assessment Guide with a daily pain diary and pain management log — are also available, along with links to other pain education and advocacy groups.The website also contains valuable information and tools to help family caregivers meet the unique challenges of caring for loved ones coping with chronic pain.Partners Against Pain is a national education program provided by Purdue Pharma.

Aging Americans Should Seek Help for Pain and Discomfort

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Aging gracefully can be difficult as there are many health-related conditions that must be monitored and treated. There is a wealth of information …

Is Your Pain Medication Making Your Migraines Worse?

When you feel that throbbing pain on one side of your face, you reach for your migraine medication. After all, no one wants to waste a day cowering in pain. But if you’re experiencing migraine headaches more often or your migraines are getting steadily worse, your pain relief pills could be to blame.

Taking too many pain medications too often – as little as three times a week or 10 times a month – can put your migraines in a rebound cycle. Your body becomes accustomed to the pain medication being in your system, so when it wears off, you start to get another headache – prompting you to take more medication. Any painkiller can cause rebound headaches, though doctors think that drugs containing caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen, and ergotamines and triptans carry the most risk.