There is no magic pill or product that is going to make any of us 100% pain-free. But there are combinations of treatments that can significantly reduce chronic pain from fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis.
If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you have surely noticed the improvements that I have experienced in the past year.
I have received a lot of messages from followers asking about my pain management plan, so today I am sharing it with you.
*This post was originally written in April of 2018 and updated in May of 2019.
There is no ONE thing that reduces my #chronicpain it’s a combination of different things that work together.Tweet
*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and I am NOT issuing medical advice. I am just sharing how I treat my chronic pain. This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links
Why I Needed a Change
For those of you who don’t know me, I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2001, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis in 2003, endometriosis in 2004, reoccurring abdominal adhesions in 2005 due to endo and surgical scarring, coccydynia in 2008, degenerative disc disease in 2011, and costochondritis in 2019.
I followed pharmaceutical protocols until 2012 when my health deteriorated to the point of not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than 5 minutes without experiencing excruciating pain. I was also in the emergency room several times a year for extremely painful urinary tract infections.
By 2012 most of my life was spent in bed. That fall I tried medical marijuana, liked the relief it gave me, decided that I wanted to go that route, but not until I allowed my body to detox from all its pharmaceutical medications. A funny thing happened after my detox, I experienced a reduction of nerve pain and never again experienced another urinary tract infection.
Once I had detoxed from all my prescriptions I began creating my own pain management program. To be clear, I am not suggesting you do the same, only you can decide what is best for your body. Click here to find out how I addressed my pain and symptoms one at a time.
Medical Marijuana (MMJ) for Chronic Pain
I began by using marijuana-infused edibles. While they took longer to take effect than smoking, vaping, or using tinctures, it stayed in my system longer which provided longer-lasting periods of relief.
Finally, after years of not being able to sleep for more than 4-6 hours a night, that was if I was lucky, I began sleeping a full 8-10 hours every night. Tweet
The only exception is when I experience a spike in pain from an incoming heatwave or storm pressure.
After a few weeks of medicating with cannabis, I regained use of my left thumb and pointer finger. Those joints had been so swollen that I hadn’t been able to bend them for years. After a few months, I was able to make a loose fist and a year later I could finally make a tight fist.
Nerve pain was no longer a daily issue, instead, it only occurred when experiencing an extreme heatwave or storm.Tweet
Unmasking Chronic Pain Sources
MMJ did something else that was pretty amazing. Unlike opioids, cannabis didn’t mask my pain. Instead, it eliminated the reactionary and widespread pain I had experienced since the beginning and reduced the pain felt from my pain sources to a tingle.
This made it possible for me to recognize the sources of my pain, know what areas needed to be addressed, and what I should avoid doing to not aggravate those areas.
New Lease on Life
By the fall of 2015, I was able to drive myself to the grocery store, shop at one store without using a wheelchair, and occasionally walk short distances at Disneyland.
By the end of 2016, I could walk through two stores without needing weeks to recover. The only condition that I didn’t experience any relief with was with my abdominal adhesions.
I continue to use MMJ to this day. However, unlike the early years, I no longer need it during the day and only use it before bed. While I still like how easy it is to microdose with edibles, vaping has become my favorite way to medicate. I do however use various CBD products occasionally during the day to combat anxiety and depression. I also use topical CBD oils and lotions.
Like I was when I first decided to use cannabis for pain relief, you may fear the expense since it is not covered by insurance. To this day I am learning how to cut my cannabis budget, yet still, have the same if not better relief. One of those ways is with dry vaping.
In 2016 I began recognizing how certain foods were increasing my pain and inflammation levels and began making changes.
The changes I made at first were minor but helpful.Tweet
Last year I began tracking everything I consumed and noted how I felt. This made it possible for me to recognize even more foods that were causing harm.
I started out in 2018 determined to get serious about what I ate. My diet consists mostly of fresh unpackaged food. I still eat out occasionally but try to make the best choices when I do.
Funny thing is that by recognizing how certain foods were causing more pain and making sicker, I lost my craving for them. What I ate was never the cause of my chronic illnesses, but my former diet did make them worse.
I no longer comfort myself with the foods that I used to crave because there is no comfort in knowing that I am creating more pain and inflammation.
Losing weight is another benefit, again while not the cause of my diseases, losing weight has helped reduce pain and gives my doctors one less thing to blame.
I was introduced to PEMF therapy in November of 2016.
I was skeptical at first, but even though I only used it a few times a week I still experienced pain relief and increased stamina. Tweet
It wasn’t until I heard that my device may be able to reduce the pain and symptoms from abdominal adhesions (they were strangling my bowels) that I began using it daily.
Since the end of March 2017, I have used my device daily and when I say daily I mean that I use it from the moment I wake up and until I go to bed. PEMF therapy immediately loosened the hold that adhesions had on my bowels.
Within four months the pain that I experienced in my feet, spine, hips, and sacrum were no longer a daily issue. Tweet
In fact, those areas only hurt when I push too far or from high pressure pushing in a heatwave or storm.
Some Improvement Takes Longer than Others
After 6 months I was able to walk farther than I had since the fall of 2003.
By January of 2018, I began walking .75 miles a day, then increased to 1.65 miles a day, to early 2019 where I was walking 4-6 miles every day!!
I stopped using my wheelchair for outings in January 2018 and only use my walker when I am at Disneyland and am going to be on my feet for more than several hours.
***On April 11, 2019, I was diagnosed with multiple broken ribs. I am currently on bed rest until the end of May. Until they heal to the point of being able to walk, stand, or sit without pain I have to use my wheelchair for outings. I am treating my ribs with rest, ice, cannabis, and PEMF therapy. Both cannabis and PEMF therapy are replacing NSAIDS which would have been prescribed if for the fact that I am allergic to them.
Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of Oska Wellness, but only because the product truly delivers on its promise of pain relief and reduction of inflammation. This device is what has pushed my pain management to another level. My daily pain level is between 0-4. I experience fewer flares and the ones I do experience are less painful than before, don’t last as long, and I recover from them faster. As an affiliate, I am able to offer my readers a special discount. Request my secret discount code here!
Because of the improvements, I have experienced from MMJ, dietary changes, and PEMF therapy, when not recovering from an injury, I have been able to exercise every day.
My physical abilities didn’t occur overnight. I started with slow 5 minute walks and increased as my body allowed me.
Other Helpful Treatments
In addition to the four major aspects of my pain relief plan, I also use heat, ice, and massage.
While I don’t often suffer from psoriasis breakouts, I do find relief from them with a fabulous natural soothing skin balm that has done wonders for my daughter’s eczema. Click here to read my review.
To put an end to nightly leg cramps/spasms, I began applying Good Night Lotion to my feet and legs before bedtime. I also use it to decrease muscle tension in my neck and shoulders. Click here to read my review.
I have also replaced over the counter cold and allergy medication with herbal tinctures. I credit these tinctures for making it possible to avoid the crud that my husband and friends caught in April. Click here to learn more about my favorite herbal remedies.
I am always open to trying new things that are holistic, natural, or out of the norm.
I have learned to listen to my body and to work with it instead of against it. Tweet
A Better Way to Live with Chronic Pain
My pain management plan has made it possible to know which areas need addressing on a daily basis.
I have not been healed. My conditions are not curable. However, I rarely spend an entire day in bed anymore and I am doing things that my doctors said I would never be able to do again.
I am happy to address any questions you may have. No matter how you choose to combat your chronic pain, know that there is hope! Don’t give up! Keep searching and trying new things.
8 thoughts on “How The Disabled Diva Manages Chronic Pain”
I just purchased Make Pain Your Bitch. I can’t wait to dive into it. Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom to help others.
Thank you for sharing your plan. I have eliminated most of my pharmaceutical and I too use MMJ to sleep and fight the pain. I am Interested in what strain of MMJ do you find that works best for sleep. I am down to 4 maybe 5 hrs of sleep and can’t get past it. Again, thank you for sharing.
I use hybrids. Currently using Cherry Pie. It kicks in fast and I fall asleep quickly. Sometimes I need a little extra cbd. When I first began using MMJ for sleep I began by using edibles. While they take longer to kick in, they effect lasted longer than if I smoked or vaped. 6 years later and I’ve improved enough to be able to use flower or vape and still sleep thru the night.
Congratulations to you…I have started to use CBD and it does help a bit. I do my best to walk everyday but sometimes the nerve pain in my feet are so bad I just can’t do it. There are a few foods I have cut from my diet and am trying to cut out more, again it is hard as my husband is a sweets fanatic and having it around all the time sure makes it harder. I have been to 3 different Dr’s and not 1 believes in Fibro and how it can affect ones health so I find it hard to deal with this on my own but am doing my best…It really helps when you find someone like yourself that is making progress with baby steps and making life a bit easier for theirselves. Thank you for your inspiration and keep up the wonderful work and spreading the word !!!! <3.
Thank you for writing about your pain-relieving methods. It’s really helpful. I am considering the OSKA device. It sounds as tho it might be quite similar to the Quell device?? It uses electrodes which must be replaced approximately every two weeks. It costs $249 for a starter kit. Hmmm… I am allergic to marijuana, which is a serious bummer since I live in Washington State where its use is legal -both medical and recreational.
Anyway – I dither. Thanks again!
My pleasure! I love my Oska Pulse. I have tried Quell and reviewed it. It was great for nerve pain, but not my overall pain level https://thedisableddivablog.com/2016/11/13/quell/ . Bummer on being allergic to marijuana!