Learn to Embrace the Pain, Exercise and Get Fit

23 09 2011

    The mindset change required to work around your pain is most important in order to meet your fitness goals; especially if your challenge is to manage acute and chronic pain.  The mind must learn to embrace and adapt to a specific ill-health pain condition(s) and/or physical-mental limitations in order to increase fitness levels.  And it is important to understand your medical condition and limitations before applying exercise.  Without this knowledge you may further injure yourself during activity.

    The only true way to understand your limitations brought about by pain is to work with your medical providers.  By working with medical pain specialists you can then better understand what triggers and aggravates your pain when working through Range-Of-Motion (ROM) activities.   By becoming knowledgeable about your body and ill-health pain condition, you “can” prevent further aggravation or injury and alleviate your pain with customized exercise programming.  A fitness goal of yours should be to “find a way” to continue some form of movement activity no matter the mobility status (bed ridden, wheel chair, walker, cane, or other ambulatory challenges, e.g., prosthetics).

     Exercise activities are important because body movement provides oxygenated-enriched blood, while strengthening and providing nutrients to muscles, tendons, ligaments and vital organs no matter how “limiting” the movement may seem to the patient.  Exercise movement activities also activate natural feel good pain reducing endorphins.  These hormones are necessary to provide a feeling of overall wellbeing and thwart depression.  Physical activity is also a metabolic booster:  Weight control, immune deficiency exciter, repairs tissue as a mending facilitator, tones muscle, improves cognitive brain function, realigns and strengthens posture, improves cardiovascular health and promotes good skin, hair, nails etc., with many more benefits too numerous to mention.

    It also must be understood that not all preexisting, or recent injuries to the body you experience may ever be 100% pain free.  This is because once there is internal-external, or injury breach to the bodies postural integrity, it is most likely this damage will be felt infrequently after the mend and throughout life.  And as you age, and if activity exercise is not continued this pain can become more problematic.

     Most first experience acute (infrequent) pain after injury, or surgery, and then with age, these infrequent (acute) trigger pain sights can become a chronic pain condition.  If movement is limited for too long because of pain, this can/does become more aggravating if ignored.  If you experience unacceptable pain after injury or surgery, ensure you follow up with your medical specialists.  Don’t just ignore the pain for years.  Learn to properly manage an ill-health and/or alleviate a painful condition by working with the right referred medical resources in a timely manner.

    My personal experience when managing pain, whether acute, or chronic; pain is less severe if exercise and activity are applied daily.  And when adequate movement is not applied, frequency and intensity of pain episodes at damaged tissue sites tend to increase. 

    This then translates from the mind to the body an unacceptable pain experience.  With unacceptable pain, the mind tells the body to “guard” the pain.  Guarding simply means the mind instructs the muscles to tense up and become rigid at the pain sight to prevent full ROM within a body segment to reduce the pain.  Another way to explain this is the body becomes less flexible and unwilling to use a full ROM to accomplish work.  And this guarding condition if allowed to continue “will” create more radiating pain while reducing your ability to accomplish work.  Guarding can also damage other tissue in the surrounding trigger pain site; because now other muscle tissue that creates the guarding effect is now under stress.

     When the mind tells the body to guard a segment of body, it becomes isolated to varying degrees when work (i.e., task, exercise, activity) needs to be done.  And since this body segment is guarded the circulatory system that provides oxygenated enriched blood to this area is also working metabolically less efficient.  And when chronic guarding occurs, this segment of body (muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and organs) is now very prone to further ill-health aggravation and injury for lack of sufficient nutrients.  This is how more tissue damage and pain occur!

     Internal tissue damage requires a constant supply of oxygenated-enriched blood and nutrient lubrication through good circulation to heal optimally.  With movement activity, damaged tissues, i.e., nerves, muscle, and joints that create the stiffening and tightening effect can be relieved.  And this relief can prevent further damage to surrounding tissues while mending the trigger pain site and maintaining the neural connection integrity.

    Keeping pain within toleration requires one to be more in tune with the body’s trigger mechanisms.  In other words what movement causes your pain and how can you apply proper exercise technique to reduce the guarding effect?  While working with your physician and pain specialists, you must listen and apply their exercise instruction to improve overall muscular endurance, circulation and flexibility when customizing your fit-healthy pain management program.   And to do this will require you tolerate an “acceptable” amount of pain.

     Although your primary care physician will not provide customized exercise prescription information to manage pain for the encompassing being… Instead learn as much as you can about your medical condition(s) and limitations and apply information I provide to you to learn how to advocate for the “best” referred pain management services (Visit MirrorAthlete Free Articles Repository often to learn these best known fitness secret practices).  Learn to advocate and self-refer to a pain management specialist through your primary physician (i.e., immunologist, rheumatologist, generalist-holistic pain specialist, physical therapy, physiatrist, sports medicine, certified pain management fitness trainers, orthopedic specialists, etc.).

    By working closely with your primary care physician, you can activate many needed referred services to help you better manage your pain.  In this way, you begin to build a customized activity exercise program that will help to alleviate your pain and increase your overall fitness levels (Cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, strength, muscular endurance, improved posture, reduced body fat, encompassing being mending, neural conductivity repair etc.).

     You also may be taking a cocktail of pharmaceuticals, causing you to lose productivity and gaining weight only to find out years later, your pain disease has progressed to the point you need surgery!   Again, my point is to learn as much as possible about your medical pain condition “while in the early stages of development” and advocate through your primary physician to self refer to the medical pain specialist you need.  Don’t just accept years of pharmaceuticals to bandage your underlying pain problems.

    If your pain management program is just about pill management, this will likely create many other secondary risks that will complicate your pain story and make it more difficult to focus on exercise activity to alleviate your pain.  Why is this?  Because your body & mind can’t feel the natural healing effects (biofeedback mechanisms are broke due to the numbing effect of opiates) from exercise if overusing medications that also have mind altering qualities.  Therefore your brain messages body to quite the exercise and take more pills to offset the ever increasing pain.  Note:  I’m not saying to stop taking your prescribed medications.  I’m saying you may need help in “balancing” your prescription use with exercise activity.

     Fortunately, I now live a lifestyle with tolerable managed pain.  Although I must admit, to get to this point was not easy.   And I understand, my pain will always be with me and I do have to manage it daily.  Nobody else can mentally, physically or spiritually do this for me.  It would be easy to become depressed about daily pain, but pain and depression once managed can be very tolerable.  And the only way to do this is through medically managed pain therapy that incorporates a customized exercise and daily activity fitness program that is “always” unique to each pain patient.

     It is also understood one can have pain in a specific, or multiple areas throughout the body.  It is my experience after going through many medical consultations and conversations with other pain patients; most are not educated on how to work around pain and prioritize the pain therapy safely, especially if you suffer from multiple pain sites.  I believe this has mostly to do when a physiatrist, sports medicine, exercise physiology or physical therapist is not involved in a pain patient’s therapy. 

     The next thing you should think about when identifying your fitness goals while working around pain, what do you enjoy doing?  Do you enjoy exercising in a gym, walking, biking, swimming, gardening, shopping, arts and crafts, reading, computer work, etc?  Why do I ask?  Because without an identified patient activity goal of interest, it is hard to know what the right motivating movement and exercise activities should consist of for therapeutic pain alleviation success.

     When I list activities, it also should be understood that mental exercises that appear to be more sedentary then physically active do not “activate optimally” your body’s fit-healthy metabolism.  But any activity can improve the overall condition of the body whereby depression, anxiety and stress is minimized, hence an overall health benefit is gained.  For example, if bed ridden, a mental activity stimulus can transfer a portion of that benefit to the physical body.  This is due to the psycho-somatic neurological connection (mind-body).

     Once you identify your physical and mental limitations to include fitness goals that may interest you, pay close attention to the prescribed pharmaceutical(s) you ingest.  When you pursue fitness activity, as mentioned previously; medications can reduce pain sensation (numbing effect) with a false sense of security while increasing physical activity loads.  Also, there are many medications used that regulate blood pressure, balance hormones, cholesterol control, weight management, depression, the list goes on.

     I do not claim to be an expert in pharmaceuticals or their prescribed use.  However, it is well known your health risk(s) will increase when pursuing an exercise program while on certain medications.   Therefore you need to consult with your pain management specialist [seek referral to a physiatrist first before customizing an exercise program if you have chronic pain].  Also ask about safe usage of prescribed medications before participating in any exercise program!

     For those that are using more pharmaceuticals and moving less, you must find some way to become less dependent on pain killers.  If not, fitness levels and overall health issues tend to get worse through time.  I’m not advocating you quit using your medications!  I’m advocating increasing your daily activity levels while balancing pain medications to reduce your overall pain experience.  I know through fitness activity you’ll become less dependent on the opiates.  Of course, you need to work through this process with your pain management specialist to help you reach this balance.

     I believe if patients are armed with safe exercise fitness activity, pain management information and therapy options, they would enjoy a better quality of life, especially if they suffer with chronic pain.

     It is unfortunate our medical and health insurance institutions are not designed, or set up with a consistent therapeutic exercise protocol for pain patients.  It is for this reason I write these types of articles so you can learn how to live fit-healthy lifestyles even if you suffer with chronic pain.  Learn to advocate directly with your primary health provider and pain specialist(s) for referred medical services to improve upon your fitness levels while alleviating pain.  In this way you can achieve your fit-healthy goals, improve upon your ill-health condition and increase your quality of life experiences!

     By reading Mirror Athlete Articles you can learn how to customize a fitness-pain management program that works well for you (subscribe to our free monthly eNewsletter and be sure to stay up-to-date on all hard to find fitness secrets information).

 Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Cramp Facilitation, The Same as Restless Leg Syndrome?

23 03 2011
See the World While You are Able

The patient Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) experience is a creepy crawly, twitching, involuntary underlying skin movement sensation and also may be associated with aching mostly in the knee down to the foot.  The symptoms can also occur in the arms with a feeling as if you are in a constant state of a flexing sensation.  This experience also induces insomnia for many that experience restless nights because of involuntary muscle movement.  There are now several potential causes identified with restless leg syndrome.  These causes are mostly to do within diet.  And the other causes could be something of concern that could stay undiagnosed for years until a neurological specialist rules out one thing or the other.

Caffeine and low levels of blood glucose have a known cause-effect associated with RLS.   It is recommended if you have RLS like symptoms, to rule out specific causes possibly through diet and that you seek a referral from your primary care physician to see a neurologist.  Until you get this referral try eliminating coffee, tea, sodas and cocoa from the diet.  This will provide some feedback to your neurologist when you get the consult.  By eliminating these potential causes from diet, either RLS symptoms are relieved, not relieved, or in remission.  If symptoms disappear, don’t cancel your neurology appointment.   The remission of symptoms could simply be due to infrequent muscle facilitation caused by something else.  And when you see your neurologist asks the following questions:  Can I also be evaluated for functional “hypoglycemia (low blood sugar),” and/or deficiencies of folic acid, iron or magnesium.

And if the lab results rule out these diet deficiencies, also ask if consideration of vitamin E and L-tryptophan trials would be worthwhile to assist in determining treatment.  It has been proven in clinical trials that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can and do cause hyper excitable muscle sensations (RLS) and that supplementation in clinical studies have proven to remove, or substantially reduce the symptoms associated with RLS.  But it is important to note while anyone can supplement their diet, using proper dosages under a physicians care is very important for the safety and success of such treatment.

Now let’s take a look at RLS syndrome’s close cousin [Cramp Facilitation Syndrome].  Why do I say cousin?  Because there are many close symptomatic similarities that could confuse the necessity to look further into your condition and unknowingly push off identification and treatment of a more severe and insidious disease.

What is cramp facilitation syndrome and how do you know you have it?  It is a rare condition characterized by muscle pain, twitching, cramps, creepy crawly sensations typically felt within the legs and arms.  These symptoms have also been characterized and confused by patients as restless leg syndrome at the onset.

It is also not common knowledge that there is a whole host of diseases that can cause these symptoms.  Other disease pathology mimics less serious diagnosis than others.  For a piece of mind, if you experience any of these symptoms [RLS, or Cramp Facilitation Syndrome] to seek a referral from your primary care physician to see a neurological to rule out other potential serious disease (Parkinson’s, MS, Cancer, etc.).  I recommend being adamant in pursuing this referral if you have RLS like symptoms.

I’ve become very familiar with RLS through commercialization of this conditional diagnosis as seen on infomercials.  But have never heard of “Cramp Facilitation Syndrome, and in some cases known as Isaac’s syndrome.”  These syndromes also mimic [although typically more pronounced and severe symptoms] very similar conditions, I only knew to be RLS.  Cramp Facilitation Syndrome is also medically transcribed and known as Neuromyotonia (NMT).

NMT or Isaac’s syndrome is a form of peripheral nerve hyperexcitabilty and is very rare.  There are no known cures for Isaac’s syndrome.  And from all I’m reading about it and as discussed with a neurologist, there are a lot of unknowns about the origins of these syndromes.  The 3 causes of spontaneous repetitive muscular activity “throughout” the body triggered by muscle fiber action potential with regard to NMT are: 1) Acquired  2) Paraneoplastic  3) Hereditary.

1)      The Acquired is the most common form of NMT and is thought to be caused by antibodies against the neuromuscular junctions; suspected to be an immune deficiency [80% of all cases).  If the immune system suspects foreign bodies at these neuromuscular junctions, they attempt to neutralize the foreign matter.  These antibodies are produced by our white blood cells and promote various antibodies to deal with perceived invasion of our internal body.  By binding to a perceived internal threat our defense mechanisms cause muscle fasciculation to occur.

2)   What is Paraneoplastic cause of muscle fasciculation – The immune or hormonal response from a tumor sends chemical signal to cause an antibody reaction at neuromuscular junctions within muscle cells.  The cause of this action is the presence of cancer in the body; excreted by tumor cells that trigger the body’s hormones or immune system.  And the muscle hyperexcitability can be triggered before a tumor is diagnosed as malignant!  Tumor cells usually present themselves within the lung, breast, ovaries or lymphatic system.

3)   Hereditary – Genetic predisposition to have NMT symptoms with like biological pathogen source passed down through family genes.

In many cases, cramp facilitation syndrome is treatable.  In rare occasions, those with more severe conditions where antibodies work against voltage-gated potassium channels [a chemical action necessary for muscle movement] impact the central nervous system and could be fatal (e.g., Morvan’s Syndrome).  Rest assured RLS and NMT is not fatal [exception: Paraneoplastic cause appears to have statistical probability associated with fatalities].

NMT does mimic other serious disease that could be fatal.  Most NMT cases are autoimmune and not associated with cancer [80 percent of all cases and is suspected to be autoimmune mediated, which is usually caused by antibodies].  For a piece of mind, having the correct diagnosis allows one to seek appropriate and applicable treatment as soon as possible, which also helps to reduce anxiety and mitigate outcome of insidious disease through early diagnosis and proper treatment.

World Wide Internet References,

http://www.tldp.com/issue/179/restless_legs_syndrome.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac’s_Syndrome

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/c/cramp_fasciculations_syndrome/intro.htm

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Rehabilitation Tips to Improve Active Lifestyle

23 02 2011

A Herd of Elk on Oregan Coast Near Seaside

    Anyone that has experienced rehabilitation after physical injury, illness or disease understands nursing oneself back to health presents a huge undertaking.  This is especially true if the disability setback is long enduring.  And, or the disability is permanent and you need to learn how to work around the trigger pain(s) to get work done.

     It is also most certain that when you become injured, or disabled for long periods of time, a whole new set of emotions you’ve never experienced impact the psychosomatic (mind-body) connective wire ways.  This occurs first through physical limitation and pain.  Then if an injury converts to long-term chronic care conditions that include significant pain challenges, then depression can further affect the body’s ability to resist susceptibility to other illness and disease.

     And then the third component of being (soul-spirit) can further be challenged which also can impact one significantly.  Without a well developed understanding of how a 3-part being (mind, body, soul-spirit) perceives a traumatic and painful event; understand “any” long-term rehabilitation process can create other illness and disease challenges through depressed feelings of being.  The goal during any rehabilitation phase is to stabilize a chronic condition and learn to live with limitation challenges the best you can [if this is the case], “without dwelling on what you can no longer do.”  With this understanding and from this point forward, your quality of living experiences can and will improve!

     Pain does not discriminate with only one part of being [physical]; it also challenges our mental and spiritual health.   It stands to reason, if you have a fit-healthy encompassing being (mind, body, soul-spirit) before “any” stress, or disability event occurs; a much better processing of the pain adversity that follows will be much easier to deal with.

     Now, let me get back to rehabilitating self after a stressful life event has occurred; or after injury-surgery, or you now experience illness and/or disease pain.

      After talking to many people that had similar rehabilitative physical and mental pain challenges, I find we had commonalities that put us on the fast track mend while learning to manage our pain.  And I’m here today to share these commonalities through tips that appear to make a significant difference in lifting ones spirit to get up and active with life after adversity strikes.

     First of all, be realistic about the extent of your illness, disease, or injury; in doing so you can then begin to heal yourself.   I’ve found by understanding my limitations and working around pain triggers, I have improved upon my daily productivity and quality of life experiences while alleviating pain.  Listed below are lessons learned that helped me to work around my daily pain challenges.  In realizing and accepting these personal experiences as truths, I’ve been able to move forward with my life “productively” in a way I could never have thought otherwise.

1.   First, realize you have a physical/or mental limitation that may/may not be permanent.  And may be further aggravated into insidious illness or disease. If you don’t understand what activity will exasperate, aggravate and excel the pain condition(s); you must also know, by not changing activity habits per pain threshold (pain intolerance) and mental acceptance of change, you may likely cause further decline in overall health.

2.   To allow a physical limitation(s) to control your mental ability in living a productive fit-healthy lifestyle relative to pain challenges, will put further ill-health stress on being.

3.   Understand mental limitation also impacts physical activity.  When mental road blocks tell you, you can’t participate in activities; it also begins to tell you, you can’t participate in “any” activity.  This is absolutely an untruth conjured within the conscious mind.  You are capable of other forms of activities.  Soul search to find a new activity you can participate in.

4.   You can rehabilitate yourself around pain triggers.  Trigger pains can occur throughout the mind and body.  Your medical provider, pain specialist, physical therapist can work with you to provide many tools you’ll need to alleviate pain for better quality living experiences. 

5.  Humans are social creatures by nature and have need of social contact.  Without social contact the mind can become depressed leading one to become recluse from society.  And through a depressed mindset often follows physical-mental illness and disease.  You must find social interactivity with friends and family in order to maintain a healthy mind-spirit.  This in turn provides the physical-mental being more tolerance to “pain intolerance.”

6.   Humans desire and crave activity.  From the beginnings of time, man was designed to walk and accomplish work.  Our bodies and minds require exercise activity.  And walking is the best form of aerobic, fat burning exercise to accomplish all we need in life.  Walking is the best metabolic enhancer and centurion secret to long healthy living experiences.  If you cannot walk, there are other interactive physical activities to participate in.  Work with your physical therapists and rehabilitation personnel to tap local medical resources, educational workshops, therapeutic sessions, etc., to develop lifelong activity programs appropriate for your rehabilitative and fit-healthy needs.

7.   You must learn to advocate for timely and applicable medical care.  When you feel ill, or pain for too long, you must seek medical advisement.  To push off long-term illness can eclipse into acute and chronic pain disease.

8.   You must not become addicted to pharmaceuticals.  Take medications as prescribed by your physician.  If you become addicted to medications seek help from your primary care physician, or pain management specialist.  Addiction to pain killers for example has the potential to create many more secondary problems that can only complicate your particular mind, body and spirit-soul pain.

9.   Understand how important daily activity is to your overall rehabilitation success.  Without structured daily physical therapy and/or activity exercise the body will take longer to heal.  Inactivity will have an adverse effect on your mental thought processes and hamper will power to effectively change your physical and pain situation.  To compromise “will power” for lack of an active exercise plan will depress your entire being.  And when you become depressed in mind, body and spirit “being” is susceptible to further pain aggravation, illness and disease.

10.  You must not think with a social disability expectation.   In other words, do not allow yourself to believe you are disabled, even if limited mobility is the case.  You must understand, even when you have physical, or mental limitations you can reinvent your lifestyle to accommodate any physical challenge.  If you believe mentally you are disabled physically, your quality of living experiences will become just that, a limitation in your abilities to maintain social and mobile interactivity.  And regardless of disability severity, “believe it or not,” it is possible to enjoy better quality living conditions if your mindset does not limit your belief in what you can and cannot do.  As I’ve experienced, when real physical limitations are placed on mobility it requires one to retool the way you think in an approach to living life to the fullest.

11.   Take control of your life and lead your way through recovery.  I’ve found to lead my way through anything in life is much better than following anyone’s “long-term” advice on how to get through a difficult and personal physical-mental challenge.  This is because it’s easy for people to render a personal opinion based on what they feel is right for you.  Remember, they don’t feel, or think your pain-limitation challenges daily.  The point is, we all know inherently what each of our physical and mental limitations are, however, many of us have been conditioned by others making decisions for us.  It is now time for you to take control of your life, especially if you are now having difficulties through a rehabilitation, illness, disease or chronic pain scenario.  Only in this way can you begin to mend in a way that is fit-healthy for you.

12.  Instill belief in self that quality living experiences are in your future.  You must believe you can change your condition for the better if you stay consistent and work your rehabilitation, or pain management program.  You also must be prepared to partake in a program that could take months, or years before obtaining 50% of your physical abilities back for example.  There must be acceptance that in the end [if this is the case], if 50% is gained in activity ability, this becomes your new 100% physical capability [with limitations].  Activity goal setting is an important tool when programming activity plans through rehabilitation.  In knowing ill-health adversity experiences is not the end of quality living activities; instead, can become a new and exciting life experience.

13.  Don’t accept negative feedback.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told I’d most likely need assistive devices to walk for the rest of my life.  I didn’t accept this consult from my physicians.  Although, I surely thought it was a possibility.  In other words, I accepted the possibility of limited mobility disability but worked my physical therapy and exercise activity faithfully.  After 4 years of self-rehabilitation, I’m now free of assistive walking devices since 2008.  The point here, the mind-body conduit is a powerful electro-neuron stimulator.  If you believe you can physically do something to where you were unable at one point, the mind is capable of rewiring movement around pain.  I’m now capable of walking 10-14miles per day and am now working to get my 1996 upper body bulk fitness build back.  Can I achieve this goal?  I won’t know until I try.  Follow me in future eBook publications and I will share my rehabilitation and fitness stories (See, our home site Books page).

14.  Always present to your medical providers a fitness plan during the rehabilitation portion of your program while working through the rehabilitation process.  This is important why?  Because, all too often after a life changing event we return back to old habits that may have contributed to our inpatient stay.  It is important to realize fit-healthy life changing habits must continue after any rehabilitation treatment picture.  To do any less is to experience more suffering and pain then necessary.  I find it helpful while working with the medical community during the rehabilitation phase of recovery to compare fitness activity notes.  This way one can make the best informed decision for the best daily activity exercise with less risk of aggravation and secondary injury.  To have a physician, or specialists input on your daily activity, or exercise program goals helps you to customize a fit-healthy program that’s safe and right for you.

15.  What should the fitness plan look like?  The plan should look right for you.  In other words you know what your interests are and you also know your capabilities and limitations.  If you are more social, gage your activities around social activities.  If you are more physically active, interact in some form of daily movement activity.  If you are somewhere in-between, inter mix activities that put you into a socially interactive fitness environment.  Either way, you gain body-mind interactivity within the world around you.  This is fit-healthy for your 3-part being (mind, body and soul-spirit).

16.  Sustain healthy activity and habits for life.  Regardless of whether you’ve experienced a significant physical or mental pain challenge is not the point here.  The point is ill-health prevention and preparedness for the challenges that we will all experience is a must to alleviate pain experiences, “especially during the aging process.”  And we all can minimize our life pain experiences by learning to take charge of our own pain, stress, depression, malnutrition, addictions, illness, and disease and rehabilitation predicaments early on in life.  To do otherwise is to create more pain and suffering upon ourselves and our loved ones.

17.  Educate yourself on your condition.  Through education and understanding your illness, disease and rehabilitative life challenges will mitigate the ill-health effect and mobility limitation you may otherwise impose upon yourself [knowingly, or unknowingly].  Through education on your medical condition(s); an effective plan in preparation of what will ensue through the rehabilitation phase for example, will help increase your will power to pull through the physical therapy phase of recovery.  In knowing this you can discuss your life fitness activity ideals with your medical providers.  Allow them to make their recommended safe activity limitation input.  But you get to make the final decision on how you proceed with your life activities from that point forward.

     We all have a purpose in life.  And only our maker knows why we must experience pain adversity.  Also, it is important to note, had I listened to all of the medical opinion with regard to my mobility limitations, I would have limited myself possibly to a wheel chair, or assistive walking devices for life. 

     Don’t allow a social disability expectation and addictions to this expectation prevent you from living a quality of life that could otherwise be.  All too often, we listen to others that don’t understand what’s in our best interest.  They have their interests of not wanting to see us suffer.  You really can’t blame your loved ones for that, but in many cases this doesn’t help the one that is experiencing the pain challenges.  It is good for you to understand caring about a loved one’s comfort is human nature and you should expect this to occur.  But also, in this light you need to understand, you don’t have to proceed to limit yourself from participating in life to the fullest, especially if you are capable!

     What I needed was a good kick in the ass to get myself out of a rut.  We’ll nobody could do this for me; I kicked my own butt mentally by telling myself I was capable.  And you know what, I was!  Besides, I was getting pretty tired of feeling sorry for myself and others feeling bad for me.  This was enough for me… I had enough pity.  Regardless of my life long limitation outcome, I was determined to work towards becoming the best I could be physically and mentally and interactive with life.

     Once I decided to accept my physical limitations everything got better.  The depression left, I learned to work around pain thresh holds that would keep most down and got my life back.

     You can do it to if you want it bad enough.  Never give up on yourself, or your family!

 Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





"How Healthy Feet Equate to Healthy Mind-Body-Spirit"

24 05 2010

Let’s first look at the fitness and health connection problems from misaligned feet unattended for many years through my personal example and experience (also read preceding article, Uncorrected Posture Alignment was Important, What Happened?”   Mirror Athlete Blog Article, 25 April 2010).

        When I went into the military; during my physical examination the examining physician said, “You have another 5miles left on those feet,” he laughed a little with me [I had no idea what he meant-only to be enlightened 30 years later by a number of orthopedic surgeons] and sent me on my way to the next exam station.  The doc’s diagnosis: I was flat-footed with a little arch left in both feet.

    I sailed through the physical exams and off to basic I went.  Of course, being a young male with plenty of testosterone, I paid no heed to this diagnosis until years later when foot aggravation caused much pain throughout my body at various stages of my life.   I did note during Army field training exercises my feet were always grossly blistered and in pain like many other soldiers.  So this just seemed to be a normal physical result of the training.  After years of hard physical military training and poorly supported military boot ware, this took a toll on my feet, ankles, hips, back and neck.  Today I interchange 3 different insoles into various foot ware dependent on what activities I’m doing.  These custom support insoles make a big difference in my ability to alleviate pain during movement activity.  My overall health is good because my pain tolerance is acceptable to get work done (aerobic walking, hiking, yard work, etc.) while keeping my body conditioned through this corrective ware.

    Now let’s look at my potential fitness and health future had I not figured out what was going on and the impact that may have had on my overall health.  Like many, I could have continued doing work daily while sucking up pain for years due to uncorrected foot problems while slowly becoming a pain prescription junky.  In time, the misalignment of musculoskeletal tissue would cause permanent nerve and soft tissue damage with more radiating pain.  This pain disorder would then cause pain depression, possibly affecting my mental health diagnosed as clinical depression.  If pain becomes chronic, less motivation to take care of overall fitness health often occurs.  For many, this means weight gain and other associated health problems can get out of control in a very short period of time if not corrected.

    I don’t have to tell you that obesity in itself impacts blood pressure, heart, lung, kidney, liver health function… The list goes on.  At the same time excess weight on otherwise healthy weight bearing joints can and does cause potentially irreversible damage to the integrity of the soft tissues surrounding these areas.  It’s never too late to correct misaligned posture, which at a minimum will alleviate pain.  And in many cases damaged tissues corrected through foot posture alignment may forgo unnecessary surgical correction.  Although I have structural damage throughout my spine, correction of my foot ware has alleviated enough pain that back surgery is now off the table.

    There should be greater importance impressed upon postural alignment and pain prevention programs in all educational institutions.  When I was a kid, there was minimal information on this matter.  As an adult, even during my undergraduate work in Exercise Science, there was postural alignment education, but “not” emphasizing the foot relationship to overall effect on “healthy posture-healthy mind-body.”  These relationships were implied with no extensive focus on any scientific model of the time between foot alignment impacts on wellness.  I believe at the time of my undergraduate work wellness and alternative health science was experiencing a renaissance of encompassing being (mind, body and spirit).  Now there are literally thousands of such books available.

    In the military, there was no emphasis on the postural alignment system at all, except PT (Physical Training) form to standards.  In our school systems, your children may/may not receive corrective information with regard to sitting up straight during the early grade school years; and less, if any emphasis on proper foot ware.  It appears our shoe manufacturing industry has incorporated better designs for proper foot alignment per activities (sport, walk, running, etc.).

So will our foot ware industry take care of our feet and body alignment needs?

    There are a few problems with this line of thought.  If the foot to total body health is not prioritized in our schools and community at large, priority to postural health will not be emphasized starting at the feet.  This means one will give less priority to good shoe design when purchased.  And also, less priority on replacing shoes that are badly worn.  Wearing shoes badly worn and also shoes with bad design can cause much pain to weight bearing joints.  If this practice continues on without correction, irreversible soft tissue damage and pain can and does occur throughout the postural system.

The point is, preventative illness and disease education is up to each and every parent and educator.  Hopefully in the near future our education systems will teach our children early on in matters of this importance.   Take a preventative course of action now.  See our icon links (skeleton, posture chart, or foot icon on Chronic Pain page at the home site), click,  read up and learn about Posture Control Insoles if you, or your children are in sports are experiencing any pain in the following weight bearing points of the body:  Foot, ankle, knees, hips, back, neck and read up on how posture correction starting at the feet can help to promote greater activity, fitness and health benefits for life.  Words of wisdom, “if you have little arch in the feet and go into the military, walk and run a lot, or sports professions, ensure you invest in some good insole shoe support, “even if your feet are in good shape!” This will preserve the integrity of the foot anatomy and body health for a lifetime.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Ill-Health Prevention Starts with Healthy Feet

24 05 2010

Let’s first look at the fitness and health connection problems from misaligned feet unattended for many years through my personal example and experience (also read preceding article, Good Posture Alignment was Important, What Happened?”   Mirror Athlete Blog Article, 25 April 2010).

        When I went into the military; during my physical examination the examining physician said, “You have another 5miles left on those feet,” he laughed a little with me [I had no idea what he meant-only to be enlightened 30 years later by a number of orthopedic surgeons] and sent me on my way to the next exam station.  The doc’s diagnosis: I was flat-footed with a little arch left in both feet.

    I sailed through the physical exams and off to basic I went.  Of course, being a young male with plenty of testosterone, I paid no heed to this diagnosis until years later when foot aggravation caused much pain throughout my body at various stages of my life.   I did note during Army field training exercises my feet were always grossly blistered and in pain like many other soldiers.  So this just seemed to be a normal physical result of the training.  After years of hard physical military training and poorly supported military boot ware, this took a toll on my feet, ankles, hips, back and neck.  Today I interchange 3 different insoles into various foot ware dependent on what activities I’m doing.  These custom support insoles make a big difference in my ability to alleviate pain during movement activity.  My overall health is good because my pain tolerance is acceptable to get work done (aerobic walking, hiking, yard work, etc.) while keeping my body conditioned through this corrective ware.

    Now let’s look at my potential fitness and health future had I not figured out what was going on and the impact that may have had on my overall health.  Like many, I could have continued doing work daily while sucking up pain for years due to uncorrected foot problems while slowly becoming a pain prescription junky.  In time, the misalignment of musculoskeletal tissue would cause permanent nerve and soft tissue damage with more radiating pain.  This pain disorder would then cause pain depression, possibly affecting my mental health diagnosed as clinical depression.  If pain becomes chronic, less motivation to take care of overall fitness health often occurs.  For many, this means weight gain and other associated health problems can get out of control in a very short period of time if not corrected.

    I don’t have to tell you that obesity in itself impacts blood pressure, heart, lung, kidney, liver health function… The list goes on.  At the same time excess weight on otherwise healthy weight bearing joints can and does cause potentially irreversible damage to the integrity of the soft tissues surrounding these areas.  It’s never too late to correct misaligned posture, which at a minimum will alleviate pain.  And in many cases damaged tissues corrected through foot posture alignment may forgo unnecessary surgical correction.  Although I have structural damage throughout my spine, correction of my foot ware has alleviated enough pain that back surgery is now off the table.

    There should be greater importance impressed upon postural alignment and pain prevention programs in all educational institutions.  When I was a kid, there was minimal information on this matter.  As an adult, even during my undergraduate work in Exercise Science, there was postural alignment education, but “not” emphasizing the foot relationship to overall effect on “healthy posture-healthy mind-body.”  These relationships were implied with no extensive focus on any scientific model of the time between foot alignment impacts on wellness.  I believe at the time of my undergraduate work wellness and alternative health science was experiencing a renaissance of encompassing being (mind, body and spirit).  Now there are literally thousands of such books available.

    In the military, there was no emphasis on the postural alignment system at all, except PT (Physical Training) form to standards.  In our school systems, your children may/may not receive corrective information with regard to sitting up straight during the early grade school years; and less, if any emphasis on proper foot ware.  It appears our shoe manufacturing industry has incorporated better designs for proper foot alignment per activities (sport, walk, running, etc.).

So will our foot ware industry take care of our feet and body alignment needs?

    There are a few problems with this line of thought.  If the foot to total body health is not prioritized in our schools and community at large, priority to postural health will not be emphasized starting at the feet.  This means one will give less priority to good shoe design when purchased.  And also, less priority on replacing shoes that are badly worn.  Wearing shoes badly worn and also shoes with bad design can cause much pain to weight bearing joints.  If this practice continues on without correction, irreversible soft tissue damage and pain can and does occur throughout the postural system.

The point is, preventative illness and disease education is up to each and every parent and educator.  Hopefully in the near future our education systems will teach our children early on in matters of this importance.   Take a preventative course of action now.  See our icon links (skeleton, posture chart, or foot icon on Chronic Pain page at the home site), click,  read up and learn about Posture Control Insoles if you, or your children are in sports are experiencing any pain in the following weight bearing points of the body:  Foot, ankle, knees, hips, back, neck and read up on how posture correction starting at the feet can help to promote greater activity, fitness and health benefits for life.  Words of wisdom, “if you have little arch in the feet and go into the military, walk and run a lot, or sports professions, ensure you invest in some good insole shoe support, “even if your feet are in good shape!” This will preserve the integrity of the foot anatomy and body health for a lifetime.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Alleviate Pain Through Nutritional & Herbal Remedies

21 08 2009

For those of you seeking to alleviate pain through nutritional and herbal remedies there seem to be a significant benefit for those with pains and aches caused through degenerative and progressive pathogen illness and disease.  Certainly, it is well founded through scientific studies that healthy and nutrient strong foods (visit our health repository and read MAE articles on super foods) intake contributes greatly as a preventative measure against illness and disease that lead to and cause pain.  If illness and disease can be defeated before it ever gets the opportunity to become a pain disorder within the body then one has a good chance minimizing and managing normal aches and pain while aging.  Healthy cell development and maintenance of the body at the molecular level requires proper nutrients and is of great importance in keeping the body pain free and/or alleviating pain once a pain disorder is present.

In order to determine a nutritional or herbal remedy course of action that would work for you, you first must understand the concept of a customized pain management program.  My premise is “what remedies work for others may only work in part, whole or not at all for what is causing your particular pain disorder.”  That’s right, what nutrients and herbal remedies work for me in my pain management program may not work for you at all, or have insignificant pain alleviation benefits.  Within my chronicles “Mirror Athlete with Chronic Pain” located within the Chronicles Repository, I discuss customized pain management programs in detail and how you can begin to apply this knowledge to your particular “unique” pain program regardless of pain disorder.  You must learn to educate yourself in such matters in order to find natural cures, super food quality supplements and whole foods that will work for you providing a better quality of healthy life experience.  I’ve also written articles, “Man Made Foods Bad, Natural Foods Good,” which you can also find in the health repository.

Good nutrition is one of the “key” preventative means to a healthy mind and body in order to have a fighting chance at combating unhealthy cell mutations that cause pain.  In my opinion, stressed cells that cause “pain symptoms” should not be confused with long-term illness leading to “pain disease and disorders.”  This is because sick, or stressed cells that cause acute pain, may, or may not propagate other cells to become permanently damaged leading to chronic “long-term“pain disease.  The point is, don’t let the acute pain get out of hand to become a chronic pain disorder that will not go away.  One of the best ways to combat cell illness causing pain is to feed it God’s natural foods provided on this earth.  Note – When I refer to foods I’m also referring to herbs.

The premise that good nutrition and herbal remedies will stave off increased pain disease in all cases, or cure pain illness, regardless of medical situation is not all inclusive, but certainly can’t hurt for a hopeful health or pain alleviation outcome for a terminally ill patient.  For example, there are terminal pathological diseases, regardless of treatment will not abate the damage done to the internal immune, muscle, skeletal, nerve or organ systems, etc., within the body.  Even if a patient has terminal disease with significant pain a holistic customized pain management treatment approach appears to provide a better quality of life outcome than not implementing such a treatment.  When I refer to customized pain management treatment, I’m referring to treating the mind, body and soul of an individual.  The predominant healthy activity components of a pain management program include, but not limited to:  Nutritional-herbal, exercise, spiritual, physical therapeutic, alternative medicine, social and healthy activities.

You can live a better quality of life as opposed to a never ending treatment program that fills your life with inactivity, or doctor’s visits that only seem to appease the aggravating pain for moments in time.  You can also accept the never ending supply of pharmaceutical prescriptions to dull the aches and pains while battling frequent depression, weight gain and other illness symptoms as a result of medicated body rejection.  Or you can become proactive in your pain management program and expand your pain alleviation efforts by adding good nutrition and herbal remedies to the mix.  Also stop bad consumption habits, e.g., smoking, drinking, consuming enriched package-can foods, drinking diet sodas, to include high fat and other sugar enriched foods (read Aspartame the Silent Killer, MAE Health Repository).

Through much research, pain modality and alleviation experiences; I have treated almost every major muscular-skeletal articulation in my body.  I’ve learned to customize a pain program for myself where I believe anyone that applied my pain management principles would experience a better quality of living while significantly alleviating, or eliminating pain.  Although I’ve been successful at customizing my own pain management program, I cannot guarantee what works for me will work for you one hundred percent.  However, I can guarantee if you apply my principles you will be able to enjoy a better quality of life.  This is because I teach you how to use my 25 years of pain management experience and education to apply to your specific pain program using sound & tried principles!  Some of my techniques use healthy daily nutrition, supplements which include herbal remedies.  Of course, you should know by now proper nutrition is a key ingredient to alleviating pain.  As mentioned, the holistic pain management approach must address the whole being; mind, body and soul.  Proper nutrition and herbal remedies (natural cures and super foods) is a big component of the healing and healthy being maintenance program.

The cold hard truth, “You must learn how to become your own pain management advocate!”  But you don’t have to go it alone.  I can teach you how to do this.  The point here, if a doctor prescribes a specific treatment and you don’t receive a significant pain relief benefit and/or the treatment is impacting your mood… Search for alternative treatments to discuss common sense referrals if possible.  Find a course of pain alleviation that works well for you!  If the mind is depressed so will be the body.  Although your body may receive pain alleviation “at first” regardless of pain modality therapy, if you don’t consider incorporation of a sound nutrient program, your illness, or disease “most likely” will continue to degenerate and may accelerate the disease progression.  This is because the body and mind are complicatedly interlinked (psychosomatic).  Our Western medicine and insurance policies and procedures are so decentralized and complicated in terms of pain modality treatment and practice, it is no wonder chronic pain issues are so difficult for the patient to find resolve.   For example, does the patient advocate for the mind, body, or soul?  Or is the best course of pain alleviation treatment a combination of the entire being?  Do our Western medicine practices treat the whole being when dealing with pain management?  The answer is simple, No.

You must strive always to improve and make preventative and corrective pain management modifications especially as you age, or pain intolerances and depression occur.  A customized pain management program is “almost always” in a state of flux.  This means you must be proactive with the management of your pain program making modifications to daily activity based on pain tolerance and intolerance.  What I mean by this statement, you must develop a pain program that addresses all changing workloads, exercise, activity, nutritional & herbal requirements for your particular lifestyle while living with pain.  I address this work load pain prescription in detail, see (http://www.mirrorathlete.com/ChroniclesRepos.html ) within “Mirror Athlete chronicles and mentioned within many articles and home site (http://www.mirrorathlete.com/HealthRepository.html).

It’s what you don’t know that creates much more pain and depression than is necessary to experience.  I started out by saying that there are nutritional and herbal remedies that will be of benefit for your pain alleviation.  I’ve also made some presumptions for you.  Such as, with the correct natural super food and herbal remedies it is certainly possible to prevent illness and disease that would cause pain in a progressed state, slow down pain disease, or abate the pain pathology.  It is certainly possible to reverse or mitigate disease and illness through applicable super food and herbal consumption as case studies have been verified throughout the medical community.  Use any search engine on the Internet and type in Natural Cures, or Supplements and/or Herbal pain cures, etc.  I cannot possibly list all the combinations of potential cures for all ailments.  Only that you should highly consider implementing after researching a nutritional super food, or herbal remedy that may help your pain disorder situation if you have not done so.

There are a lot of personal testimonials, medical controlled studies that show positive results by those that have incorporated these super foods and herbs into their diet while consulting their medical providers.  Primary care physicians that don’t subscribe to natural cure herbs or foods may only provide you pharmaceutical prescriptions.  Pharmaceuticals are man-made and not necessarily in your bodies best interest in all cases.  If in doubt as what to do, pharmaceuticals, or natural cures decision…  Have discussions with your medical providers about taking both herbal and prescription medications simultaneously.   In many cases, supplementation of super food and herbs with pharmaceuticals does not create, or complicate pain, or health conditions.  Instead, pain patients state dramatic pain alleviation results where prescription use declined, or were no longer necessary.

It is scientifically proven your body requires specific nutrients to maintain optimum health.  Imagine if you could find a pain treatment that cures what ails you, to include remove your pain regardless of pathology!   Well folks, it is possible and it happens every day.  Some like to refer to terminal disease remission as a miracle, because in most cases, complete chronic pain abatement in my opinion “is a miracle regardless of disease.”  One must never rule out the soul’s spiritual positive power of healing.  To do so would be a grave mistake in the pain healing and terminal illness remission process.  Without necessary nutrients the body begins a degradation phase prematurely regardless of age!  Think of your body like a car engine.  Without a good air, or oil filters (body equivalent – kidneys, liver, lungs) one might experience tenderness, irritability, pain irregularity in the liver, kidneys, intestines, stomach, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, skin discoloration, etc., due to poor eating habits where toxin builds up in the body.  Through time, without consideration to toxic food consumption the body becomes less efficient at removing the toxins.

The car experiences poor performance, iritic operations and poor start, or out of tune characteristic when oil, gas and air filters are not maintained making it more difficult to remove pollutants from the car engine.  The engine parts like the body begins to experience degradation when organs begin to fail due to toxic consumption habits and improper preventative health practices.  Like the body’s internal organs, the car’s engine components eventually break down due to poor fluid filtration characteristics, air and fuel quality circulation, etc., causing erratic operation.  This breakdown uncorrected within the body creates illness and disease, hence pain!  Your car may still run for many years.  But unlike the car you feel pain and discomfort.  The cost of car repairs at some point to keep the vehicle on the road soon outweighs the benefits of corrective maintenance costs and you eventually replace the car.  Since our body is not a car, we simply cannot replace or remove parts in most cases to alleviate the pain and make the body whole!

It is for this reason; you must look to incorporate proper nutrition and possibly herbal remedies into your diet!  At the molecular level regardless of pain disease, or illness one must understand the benefits of a holistic pain management approach while customizing a pain management program.  If your expectation is to reduce pain through a customized pain management program, you also need to consider the body’s molecular nutrient requirement!   Nutrition, herbal remedies and exercise should be incorporated if possible within a pain management program to have optimal chances at cell repair, or win a fight against any illness or disease!  You may also avoid going under the knife and possibly creating a worse pain, illness, or disease scenario while incorporating such practices within your pain management program.  Surgery should be your last recourse!

 

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Medical Marijuana & Pain Relief, Pain Benefit

23 04 2009

I’ve been asked this question many times “what do I think about the use of medical marijuana to relieve pain?”   I believe that chronic pain patients have a unique physical and mental pain challenge regardless of pain disorder that most don’t understand, or could relate to unless they experience something similar.  Relating to a chronic pain patients problem daily is difficult for those that have never walked in their shoes.  It is also common for loved ones to pass judgment and become frustrated with decisions that are made, “or not” by those that are trying to find pain relief.  The best example to make a comparison… Most would begin to understand, or relate to a pain patients dilemma if you’d ever experienced an acute and severe low back pain episode.  For those that have been fortunate enough not to have experienced a low back strain let me provide a different analogy.

Imagine if you could never get pain relief from a cough or head ache.  Instead the cough or headache became more chronic and would not go away for days, weeks, or even months!  How would you feel if you couldn’t get relief?  Can you imagine going to work each day, taking care of your family, let alone yourself?  I know you’ve had this experience and can imagine if you could not get rid of this bug, what would you do, how would this change your life?  Most of you have experienced a terrible bout of the common cold or flu.  So there is some common ground in relating to what would you do if you had to learn to live with these symptoms on a daily basis.  You’d look for all options that are legally available to you to remove, or alleviate this pain.  If you can’t find relief your quality of life suffers and so does all around you.

Let’s continue on with this example, when the symptoms are really bad, what do you do?  You go to the doctor, they give you antibiotics, you then might also go to the local drug store, load up on cough syrup-drops, AM/PM relief medications, Tylenol, aspirin.  Some do all of this while hitting the local sauna in hopes of sweating out the bug, then take a couple of days off of work.  Others may do all of this while suppressing the cough by sipping on brandy until they fall asleep.  Okay, now you get the ideal.  You search out pain alleviation modalities that are legal and available to you that suppress any number of pain type flue, or cold symptoms.  When pain exceeds physical and mental tolerances, humans will always look for the best way to customize a pain alleviation program that works best for them.  All legal choices should be available for consideration and use within a pain management program.  In many cases, chronic pain patients suffer far worse than those that have infrequent bouts with the flu, or common cold. Chronic pain for a pain patient does not go away and varies with frequency- severity dependant on pain disorder and daily work load (activity, exercise, daily tasks, etc.).   Those that don’t experience chronic pain daily are typically not able to understand why a person would choose to smoke medical marijuana.

It must be noted I don’t, or would never advocate a 100% use of any pain modality application, but instead advocate combinations, or a balance of holistic approaches for chronic pain relief and customized differently within each pain management program.  As such, a chronic pain patient requires all the information possible, understanding benefits and risks in order to make an informed decision to live the “best” quality of life style possible.  Pain management programs may consist of any treatment modality combination(s) that may, or may not include pharmaceuticals, herbal, alternative modality treatments, supplemental, exercise; activity program(s) that will provide pain relief.  Medical marijuana choices to treat chronic pain are now “legal” (dependant on state).

Medical marijuana has been better than a “quasi” legal pain alleviation alternative since the birth of the “Compassionate Use Act,” passed in 1996.  I’d say better then quasi-legal because, although 13 states authorized medical marijuana cards, this does not mean there aren’t conflicting federal laws with regard to each state “use” authorization.  Currently, laws that effectively remove state-level criminal penalties for growing and/or possessing medical cannabis:   Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.  Let’s dig up some facts first by providing some scientific data, testimonials, risk to benefit and finally legal aspects of medical marijuana use.  Without going into the physiological depth of how pain receptors work, or doesn’t work, depending on your pain injuries, or diagnosis, let me break this down for you the best way I know how.

People that suffer with chronic pain either have severed, or damaged pain receptor nerve endings.  Scientifically proven, if an opiate nerve receiver is not available to block pain because of nerve damage, or severed nerves, opiates such as morphine, or codeine would have little to no effect on the pain area. Scientific studies further point out, although an opiate nerve ending receiver may be  severed, or damaged, the THC (marijuana nerve receivers) are intact  and do benefit the pain patient by alleviating pain.  This is because the nerve cannabinoid receptors appear to maintain functional pain blocking receivers regardless of damage at a pain trigger point which also benefits neuropathic radial pain (radiating pain to distal portions of the body through neural conduit highways).  Continued…

Be sure to look for Medical Marijuana and Pain Relief, Part II which focuses more on the science through medical journal citations as medical Marijuana studies strongly support the pain patients benefits through daily cannabis use.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.