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What Does RLS Feel Like ?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes an overwhelming urge to move one’s legs. While the sensation can occur at any time, it tends to get worse in the evening when you’re trying to rest or sleep and can get in the way of a good night’s sleep.

Do I Have RLS?

The first thing to understand about RLS is that it is not simply a feeling of tiredness or fatigue in the legs. People with RLS often describe the sensation as feeling like bugs are crawling under your skin, or like your legs are being mildly electrocuted.

RLS can also manifest as: 

  • Tingling or prickling sensations in the legs 
  • Aching or cramping sensations in the legs 
  • Burning or painful sensations in the legs
  • Muscle spasms and twitching in the legs

RLS can cause significant distress and disrupt a person’s sleep patterns, leading to insomnia, daytime fatigue, and poor concentration. Moving around, stretching, or walking can temporarily relieve the discomfort, but the symptoms will always come back.

Who Is At Risk of Developing RLS?

RLS affects both men and women of all ages. However, the condition is more common in women and generally begins around middle age. While the exact cause of RLS is unknown, several factors may contribute to the development of the condition, including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Iron deficiency
  • Renal failure
  • Varicose veins
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Certain treatment procedures like dialysis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Diagnosis

There is no one test used to diagnose RLS. Instead, diagnosis is based on self-reported symptoms and a physical examination. A doctor may ask questions about your symptom history and perform a physical exam of your legs.

In some cases, additional testing may be necessary to identify the underlying cause of RLS. This may include blood tests, nerve conduction studies, or MRIs.

How Is RLS Treated?

There is no cure for RLS; however, proven treatments can help alleviate the symptoms, including lifestyle changes, medications, and medical devices such as massagers or compression stockings.

Medications used to treat moderate to severe forms of RLS include dopaminergic medications such as levodopa/carbidopa (Sinemet), dopamine agonists such as ropinirole (Requip), and anticonvulsants such as gabapentin (Neurontin).

Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and avoiding caffeine and alcohol may help ease symptoms of RLS. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat any underlying condition contributing to your symptoms, such as venous insufficiency or varicose veins.

The Takeaway

If you experience an irresistible urge to move your legs accompanied by a creepy-crawly sensation, you may have restless legs syndrome (RLS). While there is no cure for RLS, there are treatments available that can help lessen the symptoms, including lifestyle changes, medical therapies, and surgery.

The best treatment for you will depend on the underlying cause of your symptoms. If you think you may have RLS, talk to your doctor specializing in RLS treatment. They can help you find the best treatment plan to help you get the relief you need.

Work Stress and Fibromyalgia

The workplace is often a source of stress. For some people, this stress is manageable, and may even be what’s known as eustress – a positive health-promoting form of stress.

However, when the work environment is toxic or the demands exceed someone’s bandwidth, the added stress can be too much and lead to a persistent overabundance of cortisol in the body. This consistent stress can lead to nerve damage which can lead to chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects the muscles and tissues.

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are widespread pain, fatigue, and tenderness in the muscles.

According to CDC research, fibromyalgia affects over 4 million U.S. adults or 2% of Americans.

Fibromyalgia amplifies pain signals due to changes in the way that the brain processes pain.

It is not clear what causes fibromyalgia, but it is believed that the body’s pain threshold changes after physical trauma, emotional stress, or infection.

For some people, fibromyalgia is triggered by a single event, while others experience a gradual onset of symptoms.

Researchers have observed that it often coexists with other conditions like:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraine
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, but there are a number of treatments that can help manage the symptoms.

How Work Stress Can Inflame Fibromyalgia Symptoms

There is a significant link between work stress and fibromyalgia symptoms.

Job-related stress is one of the most common triggers for fibromyalgia flare-ups.

The combination of physical and emotional stress can become too debilitating to handle, leading to increased pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Work stress can come from a number of different factors, such as:

  • Demanding deadlines
  • Unreasonable workloads
  • Having little control over your work tasks or environment
  • Conflict with co-workers or supervisors
  • Bullying or harassment at work
  • Financial concerns related to work
  • The pressure to maintain a certain image or persona at work

All of these factors can contribute to emotional stress and tension. When this tension is left unchecked, it can lead to physical symptoms like fibromyalgia.

How to Manage Work-related Stress

If you are struggling with work-related stress and it is affecting your fibromyalgia symptoms, there are a number of things that you can do to manage the situation.

Here are a few tips:

Talk to Your Supervisor

Dealing with fibromyalgia is hard enough, but if your work doesn’t know you suffer from it, you can’t make positive changes to help. Talk to your supervisor about your condition and ask for accommodations that might help you to manage your work stress.

Some common accommodations for fibromyalgia include flexible hours, working from home, and taking breaks throughout the day.

If you are open and honest with your supervisor, they are more likely to be understanding and helpful.

Set Boundaries 

When dealing with fibromyalgia, it is crucial to set boundaries for yourself. This includes setting limits on how much work you handle and saying no to requests when your day’s workload is already at capacity.

It is also important to make time for yourself outside of work! Make sure that you schedule time for rest, relaxation, and fun. This is essential for maintaining your mental and physical health.

Practice Self-care

One of the best ways to manage work stress is to practice self-care. This means taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally.

Some tips for practicing self-care include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Exercising regularly
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Practicing meditation or yoga
  • Taking breaks during the day

All of these things can help to reduce stress and tension. When you take care of yourself, you can better manage stress in your life.

Manage Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms With Ketamine Infusions

If you are struggling to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms, Southern Ketamine & Wellness can help.

While most fibromyalgia-related issues are treated with oral medication, many patients find that it doesn’t relieve them of pain fast enough or long-term and provides unsatisfactory results.

We offer ketamine infusions that can help to reduce pain and improve your quality of life in as little as one session.

Ketamine is a powerful medication that has been shown to be effective in treating fibromyalgia.

Low-dose IV infusions administer ketamine over a period of weeks directly into the bloodstream. These infusions help by blocking access to the pain receptors to reduce the effects of fibromyalgia.

While research on the long term effects and the effectiveness of ketamine infusion is still ongoing, it has shown huge benefits for helping those suffering from fibromyalgia, including:

  • Reduced pain
  • Less fatigue
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood 
  • Decreased anxiety

Southern Ketamine & Wellness Can Create a Plan That Works for You

At Southern Ketamine & Wellness, we want you to be able to manage your fibromyalgia 

symptoms and live a full, happy life. We offer ketamine infusions and many other treatments that can help many physical and mental health issues often overlooked by other health professionals. Contact us today, if you want to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one.

How Does CRPS Change Your Brain?

One of the more common scientific myths is that the brain stops changing when you turn twenty-five. The truth is, however, that the brain is always undergoing changes. This is the basis for learning, memory, and treatment for mood and pain disorders. Every experience shapes your brain, ideally to optimize your thinking so that you adapt well to your environment. Unfortunately, when chronic pain is involved, the brain can undergo some rather stressful changes. Chronic regional pain syndrome is one such pain condition that can have negative effects on the brain’s ongoing changes.

What is CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, surgery, a stroke, or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.”

CRPS is rare, and its reason for being isn’t clearly understood. Treatment, like ketamine, is most effective with early application.

Are There Different Types of CRPS?

Yes, there are two:

  • Type 1 happens from tissue injury besides nerve tissue, like when bone and soft tissues get squashed in an accident. It may also occur following amputation, stroke, a heart attack, or cancer. Type 1 CRPS commonly happens once an injured limb is cared for with a splint or cast to restrain it.
  • Type 2, which results from injury to nerves. Medication can effectively treat symptoms of both.

Know the Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Nonstop burning or throbbing pain, generally in the arm, leg, foot, or hand 
  • Sensitivity to cold or touch 
  • Swelling in the affected area
  • Changes in skin temperature
  • Changes in skin color
  • Changes in skin texture, which may become thin, shiny, or tender in the affected area
  • Changes in nail and hair growth
  • Joint stiffness, damage, and swelling 
  • Muscle weakness and loss, spasms and tremors
  • Less success with moving affected body parts

What Causes CRPS?

Some of the most widespread causes of complex regional pain syndrome include:

  • Fractures, particularly wrist fractures.
  • Surgical incisions, positioning, sutures, retractors, or post-operative scarring can cause nerve injury.
  • Various sprains or strains.
  • Less severe injuries like burns or cuts.
  • A limb that has been immobilized. In some cases, a cast restricts blood flow when it presses on a nerve, but it also means the limb can’t be used for a time, depriving it of sensory input.

How Does CRPS Change Your Brain?

Complex regional pain syndrome can affect the brain in many ways, including distortions in body representation, shortages in lateralized spatial cognition, and non-spatially lateralized higher cognitive purposes.

“Some of these cognitive changes are reminiscent of other neuropsychological syndromes that can follow brain lesions, and some might be associated with chronic pain.”

Pain is a complex warning system protecting us from harm. If you hurt your toe, the peripheral nervous system transmits signals to your brain, and your brain is left with deciding how much danger exists. If your brain determines the signals are legitimate and worthy of further attention, the pain sensation is torqued up until the threat is resolved; if not, pain is muted.

Our natural warning system works reasonably well for localized pain, like an injured toe. But for chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, where there’s no easy solution, like, for example, decreased cartilage in the knee, the regions of your brain that send and transmit danger signals evolve and are more sensitive as we age. As the brain continually processes pain, it gets more observant until it’s an always-on warning system. All of this depends on your emotions, beliefs, and outlook, meaning your brain will likely continually register a mysteriously sore knee day after day.

This is how someone with chronic pain gets roped into self-perpetuating pain, but there may be a way to ratchet down an excessively sensitive brain and mediate chronic pain messages.

What’s ketamine’s role in all of this? As an anesthetic, it acts against pain receptors in the brain – NMDA antagonists – and stops them from firing and deadens the pain.

Diagnosis & Treatment

To get diagnosed with CRPS, you need to see a healthcare provider for a medical examination. This will include discussing pain details like when it happens and how often, as well as documenting your personal and family medical history. Some procedures may help identify the source of the pain:

  • Bone scan to locate bone changes.
  • Sweat production tests.
  • X-rays.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging as the condition progresses.

Once you’ve been diagnosed, you and your healthcare provider can talk about treatment options. Popular methods include pain relievers, prescription medicine, and ketamine to alleviate pain symptoms.

Final Thoughts

CRPS may not be well known, but to those who suffer from it or know someone who does, it is a real challenge to everyday life. Despite how little is known about it, people with CRPS can still find relief from their symptoms. Southern Ketamine & Wellness offers a place where those suffering from debilitating mental and physical pain can come to relax, recharge, and receive treatment that will ultimately bring them the relief they deserve. Contact us to learn more about getting relief from chronic pain!

How Can I Tell If A Loved One Has PTSD?

Most, if not all,  people will experience trauma at some point in their life. And depending upon the severity of the trauma, a person’s history, and their genetic predispositions, a traumatic event may lead to the onset of PTSD. PTSD doesn’t necessarily last the rest of a person’s lifetime. Many people will phase in and then out of PTSD as time separates the person from the traumatic experience. Roughly 12 million people in the U.S. experience PTSD within a given year. 

Unfortunately, though, there are those who battle PTSD for the remainder of their lives. It is crucial for anyone experience PTSD to surround themselves with support and to take the time they need to heal. If you suspect someone you love has PTSD there are a few things to know to aid them in their healing process.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

If you experience a traumatic event, you may have short-term problems adjusting, but these problems typically get better over time. If the symptoms worsen, persist for months or years, and restrict your daily life, you may be experiencing PTSD.

What Are The Risk Factors?

PTSD can happen at any age, regardless of gender, and affect anyone who survived a physical or psychological assault, a disaster, accident, or another serious event. The National Center for PTSD says nearly seven of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point. But some get PTSD without experiencing danger, including those who suffered the loss of a loved one or experienced another incident in their personal lives.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a type of medicine developed and tested in the early 1960s as a form of anesthesia. In high doses, it can quickly render someone unconscious before surgery or medical treatment; in lower doses, it creates a sense of euphoria and sometimes detachment from reality, making it popular for treating symptoms of mental illness and chronic pain. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a human anesthetic in 1970.

ARE THERE OTHER CONDITIONS RELATED TO PTSD?

  • Acute stress disorder features symptoms that occur between three to 30 days following the event. You could relive the trauma repeatedly, experience flashbacks, and feel numbness or detachment from yourself.
  • Adjustment disorder features emotional or behavioral symptoms which are more serious than what could be fairly expected in relation to what happened.
  • Reactive attachment disorder happens mostly during early childhood when there’s a fundamental absence of comfort, stimulation, and affection, or problems forming stable attachments.

How Can I Tell If A Loved One Has PTSD?

Identifying signs of PTSD in a loved one can be difficult, making it even harder to encourage that person to get diagnosed and arrange follow-up care. But it’s not impossible. To tell if a loved one has posttraumatic stress disorder, watch for the following.

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks and bad dreams, with symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Disturbing thoughts

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Circumventing events, objects, or places that serve as reminders of what happened
  • Avoiding thoughts or emotions related to what happened

Arousal and reactivity symptoms:

  • Being easily frightened
  • Tension or “on edge” sensations
  • Problems sleeping
  • Anger-fueled outbursts

Cognition and mood symptoms:

  • Memory issues with key features of what happened
  • Bad thoughts about oneself or humanity
  • Twisted feelings like blame or guilt 
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable pursuits

Many of these symptoms can often be treated with medicine like ketamine, which may allow you to regain control of your daily life.

While identifying PTSD symptoms is important, its potential causes should also be considered. Doctors and researchers haven’t identified the exact reason why some people develop PTSD. Like other mental health problems, posttraumatic stress disorder is likely triggered by a complex brew of:

  • Stressful experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through in your life”
  • Inherited mental health risks, like a family record of anxiety and depression
  • Your personality or temperament
  • How your brain regulates the hormones and chemicals your body releases in reaction to stress

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosing PTSD normally involves getting a physical examination, where a medical professional may perform tests to uncover a health problem triggering your symptoms. If a medical issue is identified, your healthcare provider may recommend a specific treatment plan. If there’s no medical reason for your symptoms, you may be referred to a mental health specialist for more diagnosis. In this case, you’ll be asked about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as triggers, or if there’s something in your or your family’s background that may result in PTSD.

Treatment could include a combination of psychotherapy, self-help strategies, or medicine like ketamine.

Final Thoughts

If you suspect someone close to you is suffering from PTSD, be open and supportive. Vocalize that support and encourage them to seek treatment. Do not try to take on the full weight of their recovery. While there are many routes for healing PTSD, professional help is of the utmost importance. 

Southern Ketamine and Wellness is leading the way for new and innovative ketamine infusion therapy in Birmingham, AL for mood and pain disorders, as well as Spravato (esketamine) for treatment-resistant depression. Contact us to learn more!

How Do You Manage Chronic Pain?

You got a small paper cut, put on some ointment and a bandage, and never gave it a second thought. Why? Because you knew the cause and that the pain would eventually subside. But what if you experience pain without injury or illness, and it lingers for months or years? How do you manage that pain? 

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is discomfort that lingers for more than three months. It can be pervasive, or it may start and stop. Chronic pain can occur anywhere in your body.

Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities, such as working, having a social life, and taking care of yourself or others. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, making your pain worse. This response creates a cycle that’s difficult to break.”

Types of Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain symptoms, some of them can be managed with ketamine. They include headaches, post-surgical pain, pain after trauma, low back pain, cancer, arthritis pain, pain resulting from nerve damage, and pain not derived from disease, injury, or nerve impairment.

According to some estimates, more than 1.5 billion people globally experience chronic pain. It’s the most widespread reason for long-term disability in America, harming about 100 million citizens.

How Do You Manage Chronic Pain?

Some people manage chronic pain in various ways, some recognized by science, some not at all. But before you attempt to manage chronic pain, you need to know the symptoms. Common chronic pain symptoms may include moderate to very severe pain that doesn’t go away as you’d expect following an illness or injury. Everyone has a different experience with pain and different thresholds, but chronic pain is often described as:

  • a dull ache
  • soreness
  • rigidity
  • stinging
  • squeezing
  • pulsing
  • burning
  • shooting

What Causes Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain may be caused by injury, illness, psychological trauma, or something else not easily identified. There also could be an underlying health issue, such as:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, where you oftentimes experience intense, protracted tiredness that’s often escorted by pain
  • Endometriosis, which is an excruciating condition that happens if the uterine lining develops outside the uterus
  • Fibromyalgia, which is pervasive discomfort within your bones and muscles
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, a set of conditions that results in painful, chronic swelling in a person’s digestive tract
  • A chronic disorder (interstitial cystitis) characterized by bladder pressure and discomfort
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, where a person suffers from uncomfortable clicking, popping, or jaw locking 
  • Chronic vulva pain happens but as no precise cause

Are There Pain Management Techniques?

Yes, some of which people have used successfully for years to control their chronic pain symptoms. Here are some things to try as needed.

  • Try whole-body stretches, soothing yoga, or tai chi in 10 to 15 minute stretches each day.
  • Follow an activity plan recommended by your healthcare provider to strengthen muscles, better your mood, and take your mind off the pain. 
  • Try passive or progressive muscle relaxation, relaxed breathing, or mindfulness. 
  • Engage in regular planning by balancing daily tasks, leisure, and other duties to foster structure and routine. Be sure to take regular breaks. 
  • Find out what else may worsen the pain. It may be beneficial to treat anxiety and depression to minimize pain and boost your quality of life. Talk with a doctor or therapist if you notice signs of anxiety or depression. 
  • Stay positive and do the things you enjoy, which may take some effort. Finding enjoyable activities has been known to reduce the impacts of pain indicators in the body.
  • Spending time with loved ones and friends in person or remotely can lessen your focus on pain. 
  • Try and get a good night’s sleep.

Final Thoughts

Chronic pain can be confusing and, sometimes, even depressing. By its very nature, but it can also result in other physical and psychological issues that may need treatment. If you suffer from chronic pain symptoms, contact us today to learn more about treatment options for chronic pain.

 

Other Perinatal/Postpartum Mood Disorders

Postpartum depression is a common complication of childbirth, affecting up to 15 percent of new mothers. Symptoms of postpartum depression can include feeling sad, anxious, or empty; feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless; having trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating; or experiencing angry outbursts and mood swings.

However, postpartum depression is not the only mood disorder affecting new mothers. Other perinatal/postpartum mood disorders can occur during pregnancy or after childbirth. They are as follows:

Anxiety

Anxiety is a common symptom during pregnancy, and for some people, it can become more severe during pregnancy or postpartum. Anxiety symptoms may include restlessness or “on edge,” fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

Perinatal anxiety could be centered around fear of childbirth, adjusting to motherhood, excessive worry about the health and safety of the baby, or financial stressors, to name a few. Anxiety can make taking care of yourself and your baby difficult and may interfere with mother-child bonding.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a mental illness characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Perinatal OCD can develop during pregnancy or after childbirth and can be triggered by the stress of caring for a new baby.

Symptoms of OCD can include intrusive thoughts about harm coming to your baby, and compulsive behaviors such as excessive cleaning or checking on your baby. It’s estimated that between 1.7 and 4 percent of women have their OCD onset after childbirth.

Like other perinatal mood disorders, OCD can make caring for yourself and your baby challenging and may interfere with the bonding process.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a mental illness that can develop after exposure to a traumatic or life-threatening event. For some women, the experience of childbirth can be traumatizing and can lead to the development of PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and avoidance of people or situations that remind you of the trauma. People with postpartum PTSD may avoid or delay getting pregnant again or may choose a different delivery method if they do get pregnant again.

Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental illness that can develop a few weeks after childbirth. It is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, manic or depressed mood, and erratic behavior. Postpartum psychosis can lead to suicide or infanticide and requires immediate medical treatment.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme and often erratic mood swings. These mood swings can include periods of mania, where you feel an elevated mood and increased energy, and periods of depression, characterized by low mood and decreased energy levels.

For mothers with mild undiagnosed bipolar II disorder, the stress and drastic changes associated with childbirth can cause symptoms to become more pronounced. This can lead to sleep disturbance, irritability, and reckless behavior.

Risk Factors?

Certain risk factors can make new mothers more susceptible to developing perinatal mood disorders. These include:

  • A history of depression or anxiety
  • A family history of depression or anxiety
  • Stressful experiences or complications during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Lack of social support
  • Stressful life events
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Depression or anxiety during pregnancy
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Sleep deprivation

If you have any of the above risk factors, it does not definitively mean that you will develop a perinatal mood disorder. However, it is crucial to be aware of the risk factors and seek help if you are experiencing any symptoms.

Final Thoughts

While having a baby is an amazing experience for most people, it can also come with various challenges, including mood disorders like postpartum depression and anxiety. It’s essential to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and psychologically and take the necessary steps to get help if you’re struggling to keep up with the challenges of parenthood.

 

The Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia

If you’re tired, have trouble sleeping or remembering, or struggle with high or low moods, it may not just be caused by stress at school, work or home. If these continue indefinitely and interfere with daily chores, you may be experiencing the first signs of a disorder known as fibromyalgia.

WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?

Fibromyalgia is a common neurologic health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness (sensitivity to touch). The pain and tenderness tend to come and go and move about the body. Most often, people with this chronic (long-term) illness are fatigued (very tired) and have sleep problems. The diagnosis can be made with a careful examination.”

Fibromyalgia is a condition most common in women, though it can happen in men. It mostly begins in middle adulthood.

WHO GETS FIBROMYALGIA?

Fibromyalgia impacts as many as four million Americans older than 18. The average age range when the condition is diagnosed is between 35 and 45 years old, but most people have experienced symptoms, particularly chronic pain, much earlier in their lives. Fibromyalgia is more widespread in women than in men. There’s no definitive relationship between specific hormones and the condition, but scientists have observed some possible solid connections with premenstrual syndrome and primary dysmenorrhea.

THE SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA

People who suffer from fibromyalgia or another chronic pain condition can relieve symptoms in many ways. Certain kinds of therapy have been known to help, but research has also uncovered intriguing evidence that ketamine treatment may relieve symptoms, also.

The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Pervasive discomfort. The pain related to fibromyalgia often is described as a dull ache that has persisted for a minimum of three months. To be deemed widespread, the pain must happen on both sides of the body and above and below the waistline.
  • Tiredness. People experiencing fibromyalgia often wake up tired, even though they describe sleeping for long stretches of time. Sleep is frequently disrupted by pain, and many people with fibromyalgia suffer other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
  • Cognitive problems. A symptom sometimes described as “fibro fog” weakens your means to focus, pay attention, and concentrate on cognitive tasks.

Fibromyalgia often is accompanied by conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraine and other kinds of headaches
  • Postural tachycardia syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint ailments

It’s also important to understand what triggers a fibromyalgia attack. This can include certain things which trigger fibromyalgia symptoms, especially ones that boost the level of stress. These include:

  • Adjustments in daily routines.
  • Dietary adjustments or a poor diet.
  • Hormone fluxes.
  • Loss of sleep.
  • Stressors like work, illness, emotional stress.
  • Therapy changes.
  • Change in sleep habits (like different shift work).
  • Weather or temperature shifts.

POSSIBLE RISK FACTORS

Because it’s more common in women than men, women should be aware of certain risks. The condition is more likely in people who:

  • Are overweight
  • Smoke
  • Have another rheumatic condition, like rheumatoid arthritis
  • Have a close relative with fibromyalgia, indicating a gene or genes may trigger pain when it normally wouldn’t happen.
  • Have or had trauma to the brain or spinal cord, caused by an emotional trauma, injury or repeated injuries, ailments, or an accident.

COPING STRATEGIES

Here are some strategies for living with fibromyalgia:

  • Ask your doctor or therapist about the benefits of ketamine treatment.
  • Find time to relax every day. Meditation and deep-breathing exercises will help lower the stress which can trigger symptoms.
  • Establish a consistent sleep pattern by going to bed and rising at the same time every day. Getting enough sleep allows your body to repair itself, mentally and physically. Also, resist daytime napping and limit caffeine, which can disturb sleep. Nicotine is a known stimulant, so patients with sleep trouble should quit smoking.
  • Exercise regularly. This is an important component of therapy. While hard at first, regular exercise often lowers fatigue and pain symptoms. Patients should track the saying, “Start low, go slow.” Gradually add daily exercise to your schedule. For instance, use the stairs rather than the elevator, or use a far-away parking spot at the store. As your symptoms decline with therapy, start boosting your activity. Add in some walking, water aerobics, swimming, and/or stretching workouts, and start doing things that you avoided because of the pain and other symptoms. It takes time to build a comfortable routine.
  • Educate yourself by checking in with organizations like the Arthritis Foundation and the National Fibromyalgia Association or elsewhere online for valuable information.
  • Look to the future, not the past, rather than focusing on what caused your illness.

If you’re looking for more information on treatment options and coping methods for fibromyalgia, contact us today to learn more!

 

Can Migraines Cause Chronic Neck Pain?

Migraines are persistent and often debilitating headaches that can cause severe throbbing or pulsing pain on one side of your head. For most people, migraines go hand in hand with chronic neck pain or stiffness. 

Research shows that neck pain may be more common in migraine patients than nausea, one of the more well-known symptoms. In some cases, neck pain seems to be a precursor or cause of migraines, while in others – it appears to be a symptom. 

This raises the question: can migraines cause chronic neck pain? Or is neck pain a trigger for migraines? Let’s explore the connection between these two conditions.

The Link Between Migraines and Neck Pain

Migraines and neck pain often co-occur because they share common causes, such as muscle tension, posture, and stress. Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders can lead to both migraines and neck pain. Poor posture can also contribute to muscle tension and pain in the neck and head.

Stress is another common factor that can trigger both migraines and neck pain. When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up, which can result in persistent headaches and pain in the neck muscles. Stress can also cause changes in the brain that make people more susceptible to migraines.

So, while migraines and neck pain share some triggering factors, which could partly explain why they often occur together, there is evidence to suggest that migraines may cause chronic neck pain.

Migraines as a Cause of Chronic Neck Pain

In the past, neck pain was thought to be a cause rather than a symptom of migraines. While it’s possible for chronic neck pain associated with cervical musculoskeletal dysfunction to trigger migraines, new evidence suggests that migraines may also lead to the development of chronic neck pain.

One of the areas implicated in the development of migraines is the trigeminocervical complex, a bundle of nerves that extends from the head to the neck. This delicate hub of nerves is responsible for processing pain signals in the face and upper neck.

Experts believe that the trigeminocervical complex is activated during a migraine attack, causing the pain to extend from the head down into the neck. This could explain why many people with severe migraines also experience chronic neck pain.

Another study published by The Journal of Headache and Pain also concluded that migraines are one of the leading causes of chronic neck pain.

Cervicogenic Headache VS Migraine with Neck Pain

While it’s clear that migraines can provoke chronic neck pain, it’s important to distinguish between cervicogenic headaches and migraines with neck pain.

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by problems in the neck, such as injury to the nerves, and mainly affect one side of the head. This type of headache is often mistaken for migraines because they can cause similar symptoms. These include throbbing or pulsing pain that affects one side of the head and neck and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

However, a cervicogenic headache is a separate condition from migraines, and the two require different modes of treatment. If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with a migraine or a cervicogenic headache, it’s essential to consult with a professional.

Treating Migraines with Neck Pain

Effectively managing migraines can help reduce the severity and frequency of attacks and may also help ease chronic neck pain caused by migraines. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may prove effective in managing both types of pain.

If OTC medications don’t work, your doctor may prescribe stronger prescription medications such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, or calcium channel blockers. These medications can help prevent migraines and also provide relief during an attack.

If your neck pain persists, your doctor may opt for ketamine infusion therapy, trigger point injections, occipital nerve blocks, or Botox injections to help curb the pain. 

In addition to medication, several lifestyle changes can help ease migraines and neck pain. These include regular exercises, massage therapy, maintaining good posture, and reducing stress can all help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and the associated neck pain.

 

IV Vitamin Injections: What Is CoQ10?

We all need vitamins and nutrients to live healthily and do the things we need to or enjoy doing. Fruits, vegetables, and other foods are a good and obvious source of vitamins, but some people may choose another route – IV vitamin injections. One kind growing in popularity relates to CoQ10.

What Are Vitamin Injections?

Vitamin injections are just what they sound like. Instead of getting vitamins naturally, you can also see your healthcare provider or a licensed, specialized clinic to have a vitamin cocktail injected into your bloodstream. The key benefit is the nutrients are provided directly into your bloodstream, completely avoiding the digestive processes linked to converting food to energy.

Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency

For many people, a healthy diet and lifestyle result in generally good health. Your body gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs, but what if it doesn’t? Here are signs of vitamin deficiency to watch for.

  • Fragile hair and nails
  • Lesions inside your mouth or outside it at the corners
  • Your gums may bleed
  • You have trouble seeing at night, and there may be white growth spots on your eyes
  • Scaly patches of skin and dandruff
  • Hair loss
  • You may notice goosebump-like bumps on your arms, buttocks, cheeks, or thighs
  • You may experience restless legs syndrome

What Are Antioxidants?

CoQ10, an antioxidant, plays a huge role in keeping us healthy – constantly waging a silent war against cellular invaders and other substances in our bodies that would do us harm. Antioxidants are substances in the body, numbering in the thousands, which protect our cells and genetic material from being harmed by infections, other threats, and chemicals called free radicals. Our bodies generate free radicals naturally when turning food into energy, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. In the case of free radicals, too many can lead to oxidative stress and other things that vitamins and minerals and antioxidants like CoQ10 defend against.

But don’t let the phrase antioxidant fool you. According to the experts at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “It is really a chemical property, namely, the ability to act as an electron donor.” Getting more antioxidants like CoQ10 is essential, and one way to do that is through IV vitamin injections.

CoQ10 and Vitamin Injections

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that our bodies produce naturally. It’s something that our cells use for growth and maintenance. But as we age, levels of CoQ10 in our bodies start to go down. Low levels have also been observed in people with certain ailments, like heart disease, and in people who use a cholesterol-lowering medication called statins. While it’s found in meat, fish, and nuts, that quantity isn’t measurably significant enough to boost CoQ10 levels in your body. This leads to IV vitamin injections.

What happens if your CoQ10 levels drop?

As you get older, CoQ10 deficiency can lead to problems with:

  • Balance and coordination 
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive problems
  • Bad muscle tone
  • Spontaneous muscle contractions
  • Advanced muscle stiffness
  • Irregular eye movements
  • Vision loss due to issues with the optic nerves
  • Hearing loss because of diseases of the inner ear

Many of these problems worsen unless you’re treated with coenzyme Q10 injections or vitamin supplements.

What conditions can CoQ10 possibly help with?

  • Heart conditions, including congestive heart failure.
  • CoQ10 may help lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and cumulative cholesterol levels in those with diabetes, reducing their chance of heart disease.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Statin-induced myopathy.
  • CoQ10 was shown in one test to prevent migraines, compared to patients who only received a placebo.
  • Physical performance. A study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that CoQ10 may improve aerobic power, anaerobic threshold, how you do when exercising, and how recovery proceeds in trained athletes and untrained individuals after exercising.

Are there any side effects?

Possible side effects of too much CoQ10 may include:

  • You experience upper abdominal discomfort
  • You don’t feel like you must eat as much
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • You have diarrhea and bowel problems
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • You may have trouble sleeping or falling asleep
  • Tiredness
  • Itchy skin or rashes
  • You could be easily agitated or irritated

If you think you’re experiencing vitamin deficiency or are susceptible to colds or infections, CoQ10 injections may be one option. But other kinds of treatment like ketamine therapy can be useful, too, for symptoms like tiredness and headaches, so ask your healthcare provider which option is best for you based on your health.

 

How Does Postpartum Depression Affect The Family?

Postpartum depression is a type of clinical depression that can occur in the weeks or months following childbirth. While most women experience some form of temporary sadness or “baby blues” after giving birth, postpartum depression is more severe and long-lasting.

What Causes Postpartum Depression?

There is no single cause of postpartum depression. Instead, it’s thought to result from a combination of emotional, biological, and environmental factors. 

The stress of caring for a newborn, lack of enough sleep, and changes in hormone levels can all contribute to postpartum depression in new mothers.

Other factors that can increase the risk for postpartum depression include financial stress, complications during pregnancy or labor, a history of depression, lack of a social support network, unplanned pregnancy, and relationship problems.

Can Postpartum Depression Affect The Whole Family?

It is well established that postpartum depression can have a devastating effect on the mother, both emotionally and physically. But did you know that postpartum depression can also cause a significant impact on the entire family?

Here are some ways that postpartum depression can affect the family:

Problem Bonding with the Baby

One of the most common ways postpartum depression affects the family is by causing bonding impairment between the mother and her baby. The intense sadness, fatigue, and irritability associated with postpartum depression can make it difficult for a mother to feel love or affection for her child.

This can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and the mother may even become withdrawn and detached from the baby. This deprives the baby of the nurturing, affection, and tender loving care they deserve. It can also cause the baby to interact poorly with others and become socially withdrawn from a young age.

Loss of Livelihood

Severe postpartum depression can make it difficult for a mother to concentrate, make decisions, or even get out of bed in the morning. This can lead to reduced productivity, increased absenteeism from work, and in some cases, job loss. 

The loss of livelihood can have far-reaching financial repercussions and may result in a reduced quality of life for the whole family.

Strained Relationship with Partner

The emotional and physical toll of postpartum depression can strain the mother’s relationship with her partner. The constant moodiness, withdrawn behavior, and lack of intimacy can take a toll on even the strongest of relationships.

Increased Risk of Child Abuse

Unfortunately, postpartum depression can also increase the risk of child abuse. The stress, isolation, and exhaustion associated with postpartum depression can lead to frustration and anger, which may be taken out on the helpless baby.

Unstable Home Environment

In most cases, mothers are the primary caretakers of their families. When a mother is suffering from postpartum depression, the entire family suffers. The home environment can become chaotic, unpredictable, and unstable.

This can be confusing and frightening for children who rely on their parents for stability and security and may reflect in their behavior.

Misplaced Blame

Watching a loved one suffer from postpartum depression can be frustrating and confusing. It is not uncommon for the partner to blame themselves for the mother’s situation. This can lead to feelings of guilt and self-resentment. The partner may also become withdrawn and detached from the family.

Increased Risk For Depression in Fathers

While postpartum depression is most commonly associated with mothers, fathers with infant children are also at an increased risk for depression. This is often due to the stress of becoming a new father, financial worries, and sleep deprivation. The stress and emotional toll of witnessing a loved one’s struggle with postpartum depression can also increase the risk for depression in fathers.

Final Thoughts

Postpartum depression is a serious condition that can negatively affect the whole family. Luckily, it is highly treatable, and most mothers often make a full recovery.

Talk to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression or if you are having trouble controlling your emotions. Remember that seeking treatment is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.

 

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