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Visual representation of scratching an itch because who wants the header on this article to be a gigantic rash? Photo by Tucker Good on Unsplash

Fibromyalgia affects nearly 10 million Americans, making it a chronic and debilitating condition for many individuals. Chronic pain can be unmanageable at times, especially when new symptoms like skin problems arrive. As if the pain and fatigue weren’t enough to make you feel uncomfortable, when you add in the effect that fibromyalgia has on skin, it becomes even more challenging to live with this condition. Luckily, just as there are ways to control chronic pain and fatigue, you can learn to manage your skin flares more easily as well.

Symptoms and Causes of Skin Flares

You may wonder how or where these bumps and rashes originated from. However, if you have fibromyalgia, chances are that you are acquiring yet another symptom from this condition. These rashes can be raised and bumpy, also while developing skin sensitivity and tenderness with the rash.

The itchiness from your rash may or may not come with pain and tenderness, but also can create a crawling sensation on your skin. It’s been studied that more than 3.3% of individuals with fibromyalgia experience some type of itching sensation without any cause. Although the cause is not exactly known, it could be your brain sending these signals to your nerves in the skin causing an itch. These rashes can also be caused by certain medications that you take for your other fibromyalgia symptoms.

How to Manage Flares 

While there may not be any cure for fibromyalgia, there are certainly ways to alleviate symptoms. When it comes to dealing with a chronic illness, the first and best methods you should attempt are natural relief techniques. With skin rashes and tenderness, you can alleviate some symptoms by applying a cold compress to the skin or taking a lukewarm bath. The cool compress helps reduce swelling and takes away some of the itchy sensations.

Drinking plenty of water will also help keep your body and skin hydrated to prevent your skin from drying out and becoming itchier. Most importantly, but oftentimes the hardest to handle, don’t scratch the itch. Scratching will make you itch more and cause you to break open the skin, potentially creating an infection. Taking care of your skin is important regardless of whether you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia. However, when you are dealing with other debilitating symptoms, it’s best that you learn to manage your flares to prevent them from wreaking havoc on your body. To help soothe the itch and inflammation, you can try a natural essential oil blend with chamomile. Sandalwood essential oils are also known to help moisturize your skin while limiting the number of toxins.

Making Your Skin Healthy

As you continue to deal with and manage the many symptoms of fibromyalgia, it can give you some peace of mind to at least regain control of your skin flares. Even with the many different causes for the itching, you should feel confident in knowing that there are ways to find relief. Normally, a simple change in diet can make your skin look and feel healthier, but with fibromyalgia being the cause, it may be a bit more difficult than eating healthier. To make your skin feel its best, be sure to take care of it with natural cleansers and keep toxins out of your system. Studies show that healthy fats can act as an anti-inflammatory, which can help lessen the inflammation and tenderness on skin rashes.

As an individual diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may feel that your entire body is working against you, and it’s no fun when you find a new symptom such as a skin flare. Between the increased sensations and itchiness, it seems to be a never-ending nightmare. However, there are ways to easily manage fibromyalgia skin symptoms to make your rashes more tolerable.

Author bio: Jenny Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two. She loves nothing more than getting away from it all and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, something she can do a lot more now she’s left the corporate world behind.

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This was also updated in the original post

I work as an associate attorney with a civil litigation firm in Cambridge. My boss is always interested in developing new practice areas, so we attended a Cannabis Law continuing education conference. Naturally, it was filled with Millennials… and my boss, who’s meow meow years old.

Because of his relentless questioning, Dan (my boss) got the presenters to admit that while industrial hemp is now legal per the federal government’s 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products are not. They are under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration because it is a product actually ingested by human beings.

The Brookings Institute explains it best:

 CBD generally remains a Schedule I substance under federal law. The Farm Bill—and an unrelated, recent action by the Department of Justice—creates exceptions to this Schedule I status in certain situations. The Farm Bill ensures that any cannabinoid—a set of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant—that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, association state regulations, and by a licensed grower. All other cannabinoids, produced in any other setting, remain a Schedule I substance under federal law and are thus illegal. (The one exception is pharmaceutical-grade CBD products that have been approved by FDA, which currently includes one drug: GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex.)

So all of those CBD products at your local minimart promising to do everything from relieving headaches to curing your lupus? Technically illegal. However, the federal government doesn’t seem to be doing much enforcement (though New York has started issuing fines up to $650 to restaurants offering CBD-infused products and Ohio banned them outside of registered medical dispensaries).

My point being? This column is not legal advice. This trip happened before the 2018 Farm Bill and also involve foreign countries with nebulous laws surrounding CBD. I got specific permission from authorities in the Dominican Republic and was prepared for my CBD cartridges to be confiscated anyway. Don’t do anything stupid and always ask permission rather than seek forgiveness in these scenarios.

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Naming things has power, and I like to give my enemies names.

For years now, I have asked my veritable fleet of doctors why I have ham hands. (That’s the technical term, of course.)

This glorious gif exists. You’re welcome.

Ham hands are what my hands became after the first car accident. I wielded objects like two ham hocks were strapped to my wrists instead of appendages. Occasionally, I’d drop things. Writing with a pen or pencil hurt and ended up being too difficult; I was given a laptop during school exams for this reason.

(Like any suffering writer, longhand journals were my thing. I’d planned for a Belle library with bookshelves all filled with identical journals, but then two things happened: A) I hit puberty, so my writing became angsty and insufferable, and B) people kept giving me journals as gifts. Eventually, all of those journals will burn. But that’s beside the point.)

Anyway, so ham hands. There was enough nerve damage in my cervical spine that my hands were constantly irritated after the first accident. That’s acceptable. I could live with that. It got worse after the second accident, but still, it was livable.

Whatever has been happening over the past year has been unacceptable. It started in late August and continues to slide ever downward, pulling my increasingly numb shoulders forward, compressing the web of nerves near my pectoral minor. My forearms ache constantly. My hands are living bruises that pulse with pain.

“Are your shoulders always like that?” my physical therapist asked. She reached out to lower both of my shoulders, which were hiked up toward my ears. They inched right back up. My trapezius muscles are so tense that the muscles are shortened.

Physical therapy did nothing for the pain, though it increased my range of motion and strength. I got to play with a laser strapped to my head like a recovering concussion victim.

Then the leading TOS specialist in the country gave me the following diagnosis: “It is more likely than not that you have thoracic outlet syndrome. It is more likely than not that surgery would benefit you. I can’t say for certain whether you have it, but your tests certainly indicate TOS.”

There are two surgeries: one, the smaller of the two, is the removal of the pectoral minor muscle to decompress space. The other is a first rib resection.

TOS is a nebulous diagnosis of exclusion. I get that. I don’t like that the surgery is still the same as it was in 1975. A friend told me how he discovered his own TOS: when he was working on a bomb for a defense contractor. He looked down and saw that his left arm was swollen and blue. They removed his first rib, which he said worked. I’m still skeptical.

Being told that a diagnosis is “more likely than not” is absolutely infuriating. The consult ended with an understanding that this could be TOS. It might also just be increased nerve damage in my spinal cord, in which case there is absolutely nothing to be done. There are no tests in existence to differentiate the two.

Awesome!

You see the trouble, though. I want to fight this. To fight this, I must know what it is. I want to say to this nebulous pain, “Okay, TOS. I’m going to fight you, and I’m going to fix you, and I’m going to beat you.”

How do you fight when you aren’t sure what the problem is?

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Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

When chronic pain becomes a physical and a mental burden that is hard to overcome, you may be desperate to find a quick solution. What are some remedies to help temporarily ease chronic pain? Read to find out more.

If you are suffering from chronic pain flare, it can be tough to find quick remedies. Most of the time, you want to stay in bed and call it a day. However, life does not always work that way. Sometimes we have to put on our capes and “save the day” despite the aches that run through our bodies. This is where some remedies for chronic pain can be effective. They may not be a permanent solution, but at least they can alleviate some discomfort during pain flares.

Before looking over these remedies, it is important to understand what causes chronic pain for you to make sufficient lifestyle changes. Knowing the underlying cause of your chronic pain can be helpful in finding the best pain management solutions that will give you a better quality of life.

What are the common causes of chronic pain? Prolonged years of poor posture.

Many patients who suffer from chronic pain have complained about their bones or joints. Sadly, the root cause of these problems may be due to the poor posture that they have sustained over the years.

Poor posture causes the joints to be dislocated, and in some instances, for bones to be bent or weakened. Note though, that as the body undergoes wear and tear, the position it was used to may be hard to re-modify. This is why some rehabilitation strategies such as physical therapy are needed to help manage chronic pain.

Being overweight or obese.

Carrying an excess amount of fat can put a lot of stress on your body’s joints, muscles, and other vital organs. The fat deposits can place extra weight on your knee joints, which may be a common problem for those who are suffering from osteoarthritis. Additionally, ligament pain can also be common for people who gain excess weight rapidly. The muscles also put in extra work when the body is heavy, causing most of your body to feel sore when you are considered overweight or obese.

Previous traumatic injury.

Perhaps you are none of the above, but you may have suffered from a vehicular accident, a fall, or any traumatic injury that the doctor said will take years to recover. Although the body has a natural capacity to heal itself, this may not go as quickly as expected. Thus, a person may continuously suffer from chronic pain even after recovering from the injury.

Nerve damage or affectations.

The nerves of our body contain the receptors that help us recognize pain. Thus, when there are affectations in our nerves, they may send abnormal signals in the brain that could translate as pain. Others would feel numb, or when a nerve is pinched, it may be a source of constant pain.

These are the common reasons, although it may be different in your case. It is important to consult with your doctor regarding the causes and appropriate steps for treatment.

Now that we understood the common causes of chronic pain, what are some general yet effective remedies?

Effective and quick remedies for chronic pain Exercising regularly.

This may seem counterintuitive because working out may be the last thing you want to do when you’re in pain. However, this remedy is effective because of the chemicals that the brain releases during physical activity. When we work out, the body releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, which are also natural pain-killers.

Carving out at least 20-30 minutes of your day for exercise can be a great way to lessen chronic pain. Although you may feel sore after your workout, you will notice more long-term results when you do it regularly. To avoid further injuries, it is important to do your warm-up and cool-down after each workout. This avoids sudden cramps or soreness during other workout days. This can also loosen up the muscles and joints when you are suffering from chronic pain.

Ask your doctor about fish oil.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to help you manage chronic pain, but you can ask about natural supplements for further help in reducing inflammation.

Fish oil is not only good for the heart, but it can also help reduce inflammation of joints, muscles, and other parts of the body prone to chronic pain. Inflammation plays a big role in how pain occurs and disseminates in the body–the less inflammation, the fewer instances of pain attacks. According to a study, 125 patients reported using less pain medication or quitting entirely after having a 1,200 mg dose of fish oil every day.

Add turmeric in your diet.

You may be well familiar with this yellow root plant that adds a unique taste in your dishes, but turmeric has many health benefits from which chronic pain patients can benefit. Like fish oil, turmeric also has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help give temporary relief in pain attacks.

According to a study, patients who took 650 mg of turmeric capsules combined with other herbal ingredients experienced a drastic effect in pain relief. If you are reluctant about taking turmeric supplements, you can simply make your own turmeric tea and have it daily as a part of your diet.

Find resveratrol sources.

Although it may sound like a form of synthetic drug, resveratrol is actually a component found in many food sources such as berries, wine, and grapes. Resveratrol is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can be helpful in managing chronic pain.

After many years of research on this substance, resveratrol is discovered to work on a cellular level to normalize pain receptors. Since resveratrol works on a cellular level, it is possible that this “remedy” can be a regenerative and long-term solution for dealing with chronic pain.

There are many available resveratrol supplements, but if you want to take them the natural way, simply increase the intake of organic grapes and berries in your diet. Natural grape juice and occasional intake of wine may be beneficial as well.

Consider holistic remedies.

Remedies effective for chronic pain relief include meditation, heat therapy, and acupuncture. The holistic approach is becoming better known in pain management because it does not produce unwanted side effects that can sometimes be present in synthetic drugs.

Heat therapy can be done at home by taking a warm bath with Epsom salts. Aromatherapy also relaxes the brain and distracts the body from the stress that it experiences because of symptoms of chronic pain. Acupuncture is also believed to have a neurological effect that balances the body, relieving patients of chronic pain.

When considering holistic remedies, it is important to do your research and know which ones work the best for you. Also, consult your doctor regarding contraindications with the pain management treatments you are taking and if your plan is safe for your condition.

Less pain is just a remedy away

When it comes to managing chronic pain, creativity and research go a long way. Consider these quick and easy solutions, and you may just have your go-to remedy in times where pain attacks can be unbearable.

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. Patrick is currently a writer for Mountain Springs Recovery as well as on his own blog.

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I’m a chronic pain sufferer from Copenhagen, Denmark who suffers from multiple pain conditions following an accident four years ago. I have a disc prolapse in my neck, nerve damage in my shoulder, and thoracic outlet syndrome, so, unfortunately, I’m no stranger to pain. I’m also a writer and editor for a Danish bedroom and wellness magazine.

Sleep and Pain Go Hand in Hand

Something that’s been with me since the accident is poor sleep. I’ve become very sensitive to my sleeping environment; noise, temperature, mattresses, and pillows have to be exactly right if I am to get a good night’s sleep.

I know this is something I share with many who suffer from chronic pain. We sleep poorly because of pain, and that, in turn, creates even more pain. Did you know that sleep is fundamental in dealing with inflammation? Poor sleep is a strong predictor of pain, creating a vicious circle. This is why we should do our very best to get the sleep we so deserve!

I’ve been experimenting for several years to find the best methods for sleeping soundly through the night. I still don’t sleep as well as I used to, but I’ve gone from waking up feeling like crap every day to feeling “okay” most of the time. I’ll settle for that. I’m here today to share what I’ve learned about managing pain, so you can hopefully sleep better as well.

That said, let’s talk a little about your bed and bedding.

Mattress

I used to be able to sleep anywhere, anytime, on anything. I spent several months sleeping on the couch of a friend when I was in my twenties. That’s not happening anymore. I need my mattress and topper, or I’m not getting any sleep at all.

Buying a mattress is not something most people think much about. Maybe you’ve replaced your mattress once or twice in your life, but generally, we tend to stick with our mattress for far too long. That might be okay if you’re young and healthy, but if you suffer from any kind of muscular or spine condition, then that’s a big mistake.

A mattress has a maximum lifespan of 10 years, but frequently they only last four to five years. If you have an old mattress, you will either sink into it or find a valley of depressions and bumps. A too-soft mattress is the number-one cause of back pain!

If your mattress is more than a few years old, consider replacing it with a new one.

There’s been research conducted on the relationship between mattress age and back pain. A study done on 59 Americans with back pain tested the effects of replacing an older mattress (>five years) with a new one. They checked in after four weeks and eight weeks, respectively, and:

“… it was concluded that, in this population, new bedding systems increased sleep quality and reduced back discomfort…”

My personal experience definitely confirms this. I sleep much better on my new mattress than I did on the old. I also have significantly less shoulder pain. I used to sink into my old mattress, which led to a lot of pressure on shoulder and neck muscles.

What kind of mattress, then?

Box, spring, foam — I don’t think it matters too much. What does matter is quality. You want pocket springs if you buy a spring mattress, and high-quality foam if you buy a foam mattress. Personally, I prefer a pocket spring mattress, but a modern foam mattress can definitely be a good option. Give both a try in the shop with the same mattress topper. Foam can be quite a bit cheaper, so keep that in mind.

Firm or soft?

There used to be very firm mattresses called “orthopedic mattresses,” so named because they were recommended by orthopedic surgeons. That’s not the case anymore. Recent studies recommend a normal “medium firm” mattress as you would suggest to everyone else.

When choosing firmness for your mattress, choose by weight and not by feel. It’s impossible to properly judge firmness in a few minutes in the shop. Ask your salesperson about which mattress is best for your weight. Firm mattresses are generally for people above 185 lbs, while medium works for those weighing below that. If you’re above 200-220 lbs, you might benefit from an “extra firm” spring mattress.

Mattress toppers are underrated

A mattress topper is a thin independent mattress on top of your actual mattress. Mattress toppers are a relatively recent phenomenon but are a big upgrade over a “naked” mattress. They provide additional comfort and support, which is very important for those suffering from pain. They also allow you to have a firmer mattress while retaining comfort. I’ve found the combination of a firm mattress with a soft mattress topper to be the best for minimizing pain. Mattress toppers come in several different materials; foam, memory foam, and latex are the most popular.

Memory foam is a material originating in space with NASA. It was created to absorb pressure for astronauts during launch but was later adopted for use in pillows and mattresses. It’s probably the most popular material for mattress toppers today. Memory foam actually has quite a bit of scientific proof behind it. Several studies have shown the beneficial effects of memory foam on back, neck, and muscle pain. Memory foam conforms and contours to your body, giving you a gentle embrace through the night. This is the reason why it’s so popular.

Latex is another popular material, frequently produced as a combination of natural latex from the rubber tree and artificial latex produced from a foam material. It’s a springier, firmer material, which provides comfort but doesn’t let you sink into it as memory foam does.

Pillows

Pillows! Now that’s something I have experience with. I have a slipped disc in my neck and thus pillows are something of a big deal for me. The wrong kind of pillow makes me wake up with a completely stiff neck and pain down the upper back. I know this is very common in those suffering from whiplash syndrome and other conditions.

When it comes to pillows, there are many types to choose from, but I’ll focus on those pillows made specifically for neck health, called “ergonomic pillows.” The alternatives are traditional pillows with down or various kinds of synthetic fillers. My experience here is that they do not give enough support for those suffering from neck pain.

Latex and memory foam are, coincidentally, also what most ergonomic pillows are made of.

Memory foam pillows for the back sleeper

Tempur-Pedic is probably the best-known brand when it comes to ergonomic pillows with “the original” memory foam pillow. Lots of copycats have since entered the scene, so it’s difficult to figure out if the extra cost of Tempur-Pedic is worth it.

Pillows made from memory foam adapt to the curvature of your spine, neck, and head. You’ll sink into it, and your neck will be gently supported. Many of the pain patients I converse with online swear by this, though I’m not a big fan. That’s because I’m 1) a side sleeper and 2) a restless sleeper. I turn over a lot, and I’ve found that I don’t like memory foam for this reason. It doesn’t support me well in the side-sleeping position.

If you are a calm back sleeper, however, then this could be the pillow for you. It’s not just hyperbole; I’ve heard testimony from so many patients with whiplash, fibromyalgia, and slipped discs.

Latex for a more “pillowy” experience and for side sleepers.

Latex is my personal choice of pillow. I actually have a hybrid pillow made with a latex inner core and another layer of goose down. It’s really great for me and was the winner in a test of ergonomic pillows that my magazine did (it’s in Danish, but you can see pictures and star ratings). The latex core gives firm, but soft, support of my neck, regardless of positions, and the down layer makes it feel like a real pillow. This particular pillow was from a Danish brand called Dunlopillo, but I’m sure there are alternatives.

I particularly enjoy that the latex material is more flexible in terms of position, yet never clumps together or flattens like a regular pillow. It’s strong and supportive, but very soft to the touch. I highly recommend it.

Sleeping position

Your sleeping position supposedly says a lot about you. Sleep on your back and you’re confident; sleep on your side, and you crave security and comfort. I’ll not get into the psychology of that, interesting as it may be. Rather, I will discuss the various sleeping positions from a pain perspective.

Spine-Health.com is an excellent online resource for back pain. They’ve written a great guide to choose a sleeping position based on your diagnosis.

I can’t comment on those specifically, as I’m not a medical doctor. I can, however, give my opinion on the sleeping position that works the best for me.

The semi-side sleeper position

This sleeping position is for those who suffer from pain and stiffness in the upper quadrant (neck, shoulders, upper back) and those with hip and lumbar issues.

It’s a variation of the side sleeper position and the stomach position.

  • By sleeping on your side, you lessen pressure on the spine and hips.
  • By leaning over and halfway onto your stomach, you lessen pressure on your shoulder.

It also works best with a side sleeper pillow, but you can make do with normal pillows or your duvet. Side sleeper pillows are also known as “pregnancy pillows,” as they give support to a big belly — but they are definitely for everyone, men and women. Below is an example of such a pillow:

This position frees up your shoulders and puts less pressure on the Brachial Plexus nerve bundle near the collarbone, which affects the arms, shoulders, and upper back. If it gets compressed during sleep, it can lead to pain in unexpected places, such as in your shoulder blades and upper back.

Likewise, by placing a pillow between your legs, you free up the hips and lumbar spine.

Give it a try! I recommend buying a side sleeper pillow, but two ordinary ones are fine to test it out.

If you’re unsure how to do it, check out this video. It’s in Danish (yeah, I know), but at 2:30 minutes into the video, the chiropractor provides a demonstration.

Bonus Tip: Earplugs

I sleep with earplugs almost every night. I’ve been very sensitive to sound since my accident and was told by a doctor at a pain clinic that this was very common for chronic pain patients. Your nervous system is on high alert, so it responds to things that it shouldn’t. Waking up because of noise is really bad for your sleep. I use soft foam earplugs, which I hardly feel at all. I usually take them out at night without remembering, but they are very effective when falling asleep.

Bonus Tip: Naps are your friend

My last tip: embrace napping. I think we all know those days when you wake up and just know that you won’t be able to do much that day. I’ve found that napping is a really good idea on those days. Don’t fight it and don’t overdose on coffee; lie down and nap for an hour or two. Set your timer at least an hour and a half later, as it usually takes longer to fall asleep during the day. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

Summing It All Up

Let’s recap:

Tip 1. Buy a new mattress with a mattress topper

Get a new mattress if your current model is five years or older. Buy a medium-firm topper according to your weight class. Get a mattress topper in latex or memory foam. Thicker is better.

Tip 2. Get an ergonomic pillow

An ergonomic pillow provides support for your neck, shoulders, and upper back. Get one in latex or memory foam, but try them both before you buy. It’s important to get the correct size.

Tip 3. Sleep on your side with a pillow

The semi-side sleeper position is the best position for your shoulders, spine, and hips. Get a special long side sleeper pillow, place it between your knees, and hug it with your arm.

That’s it! I hope you will find relief and better sleep with my humble contributions.

Eric is a chronic pain patient from Denmark. He is also an editor and writer for a Danish magazine about sleep and wellness, Sove.nu, with several years of experience in researching bedding and sleep products.

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Allergies are one of the most common health issues in the US. To be more precise, they’re the sixth most common cause of chronic conditions for Americans.

From allergic rhinitis and asthma to food allergies, these problems affect every age group.

Some allergies, however, tend to worsen as people get older. For instance, asthma can cause some serious difficulties in the elderly.

So, it’s important to change your lifestyle to alleviate the effects of spring allergies.

1)     Prepare for the season

If you are allergic to pollen, bear in mind that spring is the worst time of the year for you.

Because of that, it’s important to properly prepare for the season.

Visit your GP before pollen season begins and ask them to give you an antihistamine.

If you start taking this medicine beforehand, you’ll alleviate the irritating effects that this and other similar allergies have on your body.

There are also herb-based alternatives to traditional anti-allergy medicines that you can get over the counter. As you’re paying your doctor a visit, ask about these options, as well.

Allergies can lead to a stuffy nose and serious migraines. If you’ve had such issues, you might think about some additional treatments. Check out how acupuncture can alleviate the effects of migraines.

2)     Avoid parks and woods

It goes without saying that retirees and people, in general, are advised to have daily walking routines. So, going for a regular walk in the local park would be a must-do for the elderly, right?

However, if you’re allergic to pollen, you need to stop that routine until the season ends. Otherwise, you’ll experience so many difficulties that you won’t be able to finish your walking routine.

Spending time outside with a runny nose and an irritated throat is unpleasant. What’s more, you can never tell how your respiratory system will react to an allergy attack. The older we get, the more sensitive we are to such situations.

For all these reasons, you should avoid parks and woods when the concentration of pollen in the air is high.

Nevertheless, follow the pollen count on the local weather forecast. When this figure drops below the allergy alert level, go outside but put on an allergy mask, just in case.

3)     Ensure medical assistance

If you’ve ever had a more serious allergy attack, it’s imperative to ensure proper medical assistance is available 24/7.

Depending on the place you live in, you can opt for several different options for that matter.

First and foremost, you should get equipped with an anti-allergic set of medicines.

You can also check out the anti-allergy medicines suggested by the Mayo Clinic and discuss them with your doctor.

Furthermore, for the elderly population who are at a higher risk, you should keep someone by your side who can look after you during the peak of the allergy season. You can either have a medical assistant spend time with you, as explained by live-in London care pros, or get a medical alert system.

Either way, you’ll ensure that someone reacts promptly in case you are struck by a more serious allergy attack.

Those older people who live by themselves or in nursing homes should inform their neighbors about their condition and tell them where they keep their medicine – just in case.

4)     Keep your home in anti-allergic order

People who are allergic to pollen are often sensitive to dust, as well.

Since dust spreads to all corners of every home, you should pay more attention to dusting in spring.

Make sure to wear a mask and a pair of cleaning gloves while you’re working. Keep in mind that a wet cloth absorbs dust better and alleviates dust’s negative health effects.

When it comes to vacuuming, all the dust, mites, and pollen in your home require top-notch vacuum cleaners with an enhanced anti-allergic effect in order to protect the older people living there.

Since old books, clothes, and clutter in general increase the level of dust, you should ”Marie Kondo” your house and see what sparks joy. What’s more, old furniture also provides more pockets and surface area for dust. If you have old pieces in your home, ditch them before spring and equip your home with new furniture.

Conclusion

Some allergies simply disappear when we reach a certain age; others attack when nobody expects them. Either way, spring is the most inconvenient time for people who suffer from these issues.

Therefore, it’s vital for them to take precautions and get through this time of year in the best possible way. Different traditional and herbal remedies, as well as changes in daily routines,  and medical assistance, will help you deal with allergic reactions.

To top it all off, a dust- and clutter-free home will minimize the reactions caused by allergies.

AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londonlive-incare.com. She eagerly shares her knowledge with her audience on various blogs. When she isn’t writing or attending wellness conferences, she likes to pack her rucksack and ride her day away on her bike or spend time with her friends.

 

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What does forced opioid tapering do to chronic pain and illness patients?

“In the short term, many policies that would limit opioid prescriptions for the purpose of saving lives would cause people to turn to heroin or fentanyl.

In fact, over a 5-to-10-year period, that would increase deaths, not decrease them, according to a simulation study published in the American Journal of Public Health.” 

That’s not exasperation with the article’s author, Austin Frakt. I’m extremely happy he brought attention to this on such a big platform. My exasperation comes from the fact that this conclusion is SO. DAMN. OBVIOUS.

How many patients need to commit suicide before anyone listens to us?

“Amie Goodin, a researcher with the University of Florida College of Pharmacy who wrote an editorial accompanying the opioid policy simulation study, said, ‘Current policies to limit opioid prescriptions leave some pain patients high and dry, resulting in a new wave of unintended consequences for patients with untreated chronic pain.‘”

Read this article here.

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Living with a chronic illness can be incredibly difficult; so can knowing how to be there for someone living with a chronic illness. Try the following tips to show love to the friend or family member in your life who’s experiencing difficulties:

Offer help

Your loved one may find it difficult to ask for help, so offer yours before they have to ask. However, don’t assume you know what they need. Always let them tell you.

Speak to your friend or family member like you would for anybody else, not with pity, but with simple kindness: “Hey, I’m going to town to buy a few things, is there anything I can get for you?” This way, they would be more comfortable to let you know what they need without sounding imposing or feeling uncomfortable that they might have inconvenienced you.

Check in on them

Your loved one may not want to pre-emptively burden others with their problems. Send them regular messages asking them how they are so they have the chance to unload. Asking them rather than waiting for them to tell you will help them to feel as though you care.

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Plan an event for them

Planning events or outings can be tiring. This is even more exhausting for people living with a chronic illness or disability. Why not take on the responsibility of planning a special trip? Choose something fun, simple, and relaxing that you can enjoy together. For example, you could plan a visit to an art gallery if they enjoy art. You could also plan a picnic or a spa trip.

Help with chores

One of the more difficult parts of living with a chronic illness or disability is the fact that life goes on around you. It’s often impossible to ignore household tasks. Even though they may feel insurmountable, they have to be done. You’ll help your friend greatly if you offer to do some light cleaning or run errands once a week. It won’t be much to you, but it could mean an evening of relaxation for them.

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Surprise them with a gift

Giving your loved one a gift is a great way to show you care. Choose something related to their hobbies or something universally loved – such as entertainment subscriptions, digital books, gift certificates, fun clothes or toys, or a handmade coupon book, redeemable for things like a coffee visit or a foot massage.

Learn about their condition

Chronic illness and disability can be alienating. Learn about your loved one’s condition, so you’re able to better understand when they complain or talk about it. Useful online resources include the Chronic Illness Alliance and the American Chronic Pain Association.

Give them your chauffeur services

Perhaps your loved one needs a lift to a doctor’s appointment, or perhaps they just want to visit a friend. If their chronic illness means that they can’t drive, they likely feel isolated. Offering transport and companionship will help them to have more freedom.

Offer financial support

People with chronic illnesses spend a lot of money on food, medications, and supplements. To ease this burden, offer a little financial support. It doesn’t have to be major. Offering to buy groceries once a month or to take your loved one for a meal will still mean a great deal.

Image Source: Pixabay

Bring food

Cooking can be time-consuming and overwhelming for someone with a chronic illness or disability. Bringing food or even ordering food for them every so often will make their evening a lot easier. You could even eat together – sharing food is a great way to bond.

Socialise

Talking about the fun details and people involved in your day will help your loved one to feel connected to the outside world. Socialising may be impractical for them, so entertain them with stories of your friends or workplace.

Image Source: Unsplash

Always be there to listen

Sometimes, people with chronic illnesses just need the opportunity to complain. Offer to be there for them whenever they need a shoulder to cry on.

Provide entertainment

We all need to get out of our heads from time to time. People with chronic illnesses don’t want to think about their problems 24/7. Offer your loved one magazines or books, or watch a movie together.

Harper believes there is awesome power in being kind, whether small gestures such as holding a door for someone, giving a heartfelt compliment, or something bigger like paying for a family’s meal or leaving a big tip. As the saying goes, “every act of kindness creates a ripple with no end.” Harper has written for several local businesses including Hercules Gazebo, and shares most of her published work on her personal blog.

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I get emails on a pretty consistent basis from people looking to contribute content or repost good material from other sites. Million Mile Secrets sent me this great guide to traveling with chronic pain and illness. They have affiliate links for credit card promos, which is something I’ve been meaning to learn about in detail because I feel like I always leave money on the table simply because I refuse to learn the points game.

Some highlights:

  • Keep prescription medications in your carry-on luggage (that way, you never lose it if your bag doesn’t get to your intended destination)
  • Don’t sit at the back of the plane, because turbulence is worse back there (and you can’t recline!)
  • Sign up for a credit card that allows access to those fancy airport lounges where you can relax before a flight instead of suffering in terrible airport chairs (this had never occurred to me, I thought you had to have like a billion dollars and a black AmEx before you were allowed in those lounges)
  • How to use popular apps like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB with appropriate filters for wheelchair-accessible vans and easily accessible properties to rent

The article even includes wheelchair accessibility and rules for each airport, a snapshot of which is included below:

Traveling with chronic pain and illness takes a lot of planning and foresight. Oftentimes, we end up paying more simply to make our travel a smoother experience. I’ve definitely spent money on additional services just because I’m so exhausted and I want to get to where I need to go. This year, it’s time to start being savvier with my spending — especially on travel, because now I know I can do it!

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Someone who suffers episodic or chronic migraines may be willing to try almost anything to make the pain go away and never come back. When medication or other options are not providing relief, a popular alternative for many people is the complementary medical practice of acupuncture or a treatment called daith piercings.

What are these treatments, how are they supposed to rid you of migraine pain and mitigate attacks, and how well do they work?

Defining Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for millennia. Developed in China, the practice has been studied and adopted in Europe and the United States as a complementary treatment for a host of physical and mental issues.

Acupuncture is performed by inserting one or more fine needles shallowly into the skin at so-called stimulation points on the body to balance its energies. Practitioners follow a map of regions of the body that shows where to place acupuncture needles to affect the specific issue.

For example, needles inserted into the skin of the arm may stimulate the nerves in such a way that the patient feels a change in another part of the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is thought that stimulating the body’s energy at an acupuncture point releases the disruption in the flow of energy believed to be caused by a disease state.

Western medicine believes acupuncture treatments act through neurohormonal pathways. When the needle is placed in the skin, it stimulates a nerve. The nerve sends signals to the brain to release neural hormones such as beta-endorphins to increase the patient’s pain threshold in a particular area.

Another hypothesis of how acupuncture relieves pain and illness is that it reduces pro-inflammatory markers (proteins) within the body. Reducing the markers reduces inflammation, which then reduces pain.  Furthermore, the treatment supposedly increases energy and stimulates the immune system, also helping decrease inflammation.

The effectiveness and use of acupuncture to relieve headache and migraine pain as well as a slew of other problems have been noted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Acupuncture should be received from a trained practitioner only. It is not considered a safe or appropriate treatment for those with pacemakers or bleeding disorders. Also, it may stimulate premature labor in some women.

Does Acupuncture Relieve Pain or Reduce Migraine Attacks?

There is clinical evidence that acupuncture is a safe alternative therapy for migraine prevention and treatment, although it may be more effective when used in conjunction with medication or other measures.

Controlled trials show that acupuncture seems to bring significant relief in comparison to no treatment or basic care. It appears to be at least as effective as prophylactic drugs while eliminating the occurrence of side effects common with such medications. When tested against a fake treatment meant to duplicate the feeling of acupuncture treatments, acupuncture came out ahead with relief not given by the fake method.

Many healthcare providers are favorable toward using acupuncture in conjunction with other therapies. Also, it is a cost-effective method for reducing migraine pain and occurrence. It can be an effective therapy to add to your migraine-fighting toolkit.

Defining Daith Piercings

The cartilaginous part of the outer ear that comprises the end of the fold near the crux of the helix (next to the ear hole) is called the daith, which rhymes with faith or doth depending on who is speaking. This inner fold of cartilage is pierced, and a small captive bead ring is placed in the hole.

Daith piercings for migraine relief began circulating in 2016. They seem to be considered a permanent form of acupuncture that purports to relieve and prevent migraines. The daith piercing allegedly coincides with an acupressure point linked to the digestive system.

There have been no clinical studies on the effectiveness of daith piercings and little evidence outside of anecdote to recommend it. However, it is reportedly no more painful than Botox injections, injectable triptans, nerve blocks, or acupuncture so it may be a relatively harmless alternative.

Unfortunately, there are several reports that relief is temporary or the piercing did not relieve migraines at all. For some, the procedure is quite painful and can remain so for several weeks after the piercing was performed. As always with any invasive procedure, infection is a risk. You should select a trained practitioner to perform the procedure.

How Does Daith Piercing Work?

Daith piercing is supposed to function the same way acupuncture is thought to work. If piercing the daith of the ear does indeed create the same release of neurochemicals as acupuncture might, then it could be an alternative or complement to other therapies, just as acupuncture is. Just be aware that any relief may be nothing more than a placebo effect. If you believe it works, you may achieve a modicum of relief.

If you are a fan of multiple piercings, then you may appreciate the procedure even if it doesn’t reduce your migraine pain or frequency. You can still place a small piece of jewelry there as decoration. If the piercing does relieve migraine pain so much the better.

As with any medical procedure, speak to your healthcare provider when considering daith piercings or acupuncture. Then select an experienced and reputable practitioner to provide the treatment.

Dr. Mark Khorsandi works at the Migraine Relief Center. They provide surgical treatments that reduce and eliminate pain for migraine sufferers.

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