15 Best Pain Remedies for Joint, Muscle Pain and CMT
Hello! Today I want to talk about joint and neurological issues and what I have done and NOT done to help alleviate the horrible pain that comes with Degenerative Arthritis and other neurological diseases that can have an effect on our joints and bones.
I continue to have chronic pain and migraines associated with DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease), cervical disc ruptures and peripheral neuropathy in arms, hands, legs and feet. Since I was a young girl I have suffered from the pain and tingling numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome. My father was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease in his 50’s.
CharcotMarie-Tooth Disease or CMT is a slowly debilitating degeneration and wearing off of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is the outer covering of our fine nerves and nerve endings. I, too was diagnosed in my 30’s via pins and needles test, or EMG which answered questions about some of my clumsiness and strange gait patterns. A crack in the sidewalk could make me trip and fall flat on my knees. Especially my right knee.
These falls contributed to a torn meniscus and degeneration of my right knee and almost nonexistant knee cap. In turn, my feet would go numb with chances of more falls.
“Electromyography (EMG) measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerve’s stimulation of the muscle. The test is used to help detect neuromuscular abnormalities. During the test, one or more small needles (also called electrodes) are inserted through the skin into the muscle.” Ouch!
My personal EMG’S over the years have shown hardly any response between nerve and muscle. I have always been a strong person in will and just being able to persevere in spite of “falling apart”. I have been against all of the surgeries that have been recommended except for left hand Carpal Tunnel Release surgery in the early 90’s and then shoulder arthroscopic surgery and surgery for 3 tears in my right shoulder rotator cuff.
Oh my, what else, skeletally could go wrong? Well over the years my peripheral neuropathy got progressively worse. If I walked too much or sat the wrong way or lifted something a bit too clumsy I would find my feet would swell up and be so painful I needed to wear slippers instead of normal shoes. My neck would be so stiff and my headaches got progressively worse. If I sat wrong with my elbows on the desk or table too long I would lose all feeling in my hands. If I sat in the same position for more than 15 minutes my legs and feet would lose feeling. Then there is that sciatica pain. These pains and inflictions last awhile. They don’t “just” show up or “just” go away.
From as far back as I can remember if I would reach behind myself in a way my body didn’t like, my shoulders would dislocate. Over the years, after many painful dislocations, the result was that I dislocated my biceps tendon, and the cartilage that protects the shoulder ball and socket was worn away and 3 large rotator cuff tears.
Much of my issues were coming from the CMT which is a main cause of peripheral neuropathy. There was an instance of a major peripheral neuropathy “attack” when my doctor told me I was like a train wreck just about to happen. He explained it like this: You are watching two trains about to collide and can pull a lever to stop the collision, but you do not. It’s as if you are trying to avoid a crash and you know how but you don’t do anything about it. I felt like I had already wrecked! This same doctor told me if I didn’t get spinal surgery I would be like that train wreck. I knew how to stop it but I didn’t take the measures to do so.
I decided to get tested for CMT the “right” way; through a very expensive genetic blood test, as CMT is hereditary. The surefire way to get a proper diagnosis is through the genetic test.
It was a $12,000 test of which I supposedly still owe that amount. Oh well. My insurance paid for $800. But the diagnosis codes are tricky and my doctor did not get a precertification. This left me with this huge bill. I feel good getting the test because I am the first in our long line of family peripheral neuropathy sufferers to do so. Now I can give my grown children answers to what they are fighting when they talk about their issues that are so familiar to me. I feel horrible passing this along to them and potentially to my grandchildren. This is called life.
We don’t know what kinds of disorders we will pass along or will suffer from. As I’ve gotten older, (now 61 years old), things like this just are not what I choose to dwell on. As painful and debilitating as skeletal, neurological and muscular “diseases” are I refuse to let them dictate my ever growing curiosity of life and all it is and can be.
One day I may end up in a wheelchair. However I will not sit on my bumm and rot.
“Keep plugging away”, are my words to myself. I will not be a burden on or to anyone. If that time comes when I need a walker or a cane or wheelchair, then I will deal with it then.
What I DON’T DO:
Do NOT sit in one position for more than 15 mins.
Do NOT Walk TOO far or for too long.
Do Not rush!
Do NOT lean on desk or table for too long.
ALWAYS be mindful of your posture and DO NOT SLOUCH!
Do NOT wear tight shoes.
Do NOT lay on side too much.
Very important NOT to lay in bed or on the sofa more than necessary.
Do NOT wear long pants that drag on the ground or long dresses. (I have tripped many times).
Do NOT wear heels unless you will be sitting.
Do NOT gain weight.
Do NOT run! It puts too much impact on painful, arthritic ankles and knees and hips.
Do NOT eat excessive salt or sodium rich foods.
Try to keep feet, knees, elbows, shoulders and hands dry and warm. Try NOT to let any part of your body, where you normally have pain, get damp and chilled.
Certainly I will think of more DON’Ts…and will add those to my upcoming blogs.
Now for the DOs:
DO walk and stand every 45 mins. If you have a sedentary job or lifestyle DO strengthening excercises such as using different tension bands and light weights. Attach band to doorknob and stand straight with feet slightly apart. Pull band towards you in various levels. Do not strain. Over exertion of unused muscles can lead to doing you more harm than good. Also use soup or veggie cans (not empty, of course) in various sizes and weights. Or buy some weights starting with 2 lbs. Work your way up to 5 lb. weight after a month of using the 2 lb. weight.
Neck rolls are a MUST DO! Sit up straight in a chair. Roll your neck around fully, touching the back of your head to your shoulders and your chin to your chest. Re po eat at least 10 times.
When sitting DO leg lifts using the muscles in your thigh to do the work.
Use supplements, tonics and creams for joint repair and to soothe and to ease pain.
Stay relaxed! The worst thing for joint stiffness is to get stressed. Our bodies stiffen up when we are anxious. Use “mindfulness” self therapy techniques.
At the end of your warm/hot shower run cool water over your body once. I have found this to be a great bone and muscle relaxer. Use body cleansing products containing Lavender, Chamomile and Chai. These are great all around relaxants. They smell yummy too!
DO stretching exercises for neck, back, arms and legs.
Before getting out of bed, raise your arms over your head, slowly stretching at least 10 times. Do 10 situps and bicycle/scissor your legs to warm your joints up for the day ahead.
DO use a pillow that is plump, confirms to the contour of your head, neck and shoulders y neck and allows you to lie flat without any unnecessary neck pinching or tucking. A memory foam (no polyurethane) or one similar is a great choice.
DO Ride a Bicycle…better for joints than running or too much walking.
There are more things that have helped me, such as Knee Braces, Wrist Braces, Copper infused gloves and Magnetic bracelets.
Use lotions scented to soothe and relax. I use products containing MSM and Emu. I also use Capsicum and Good old Bengay.
Use supplements such as Calcium, Glucosamin and Chondroitin, Turmeric, Ginger, Vitamin D3, Omega 3 and Bone Broth.
Try some of these techniques. What have you got to lose? But pain!
Check out links to some of the best products that have worked for me!
Hey! I’m falling apart and these techniques and products have worked for me! Check out links to some of the best products that have worked for me! Check out all I have used and currently use on ‘Products’ Page which is found on ‘The S.A.R.A.Shoppe’ page.
Until my next blog, may you find some good information here with a wealth of relief!
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