Will exercise decrease your pain?

I recently looked up POTS, a medical condition that I’m unfamiliar with:

Wikipedia: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS, also known as postural tachycardia syndrome) is a condition in which a change from the supine position to an upright position causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate, called tachycardia… A variety of treatments, including exercise and medications, can improve symptoms for the majority of people with POTS…

Okay, so while your heart is doing jumping jacks in your chest, it’s time to exercise? It seems like doctors suggest exercise for almost every medical condition. And it’s true, we don’t get enough exercise, but…

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/1/22/even-a-little-exercise-is-better-than-none

They measured the physical activity of 1,600 adults with osteoarthritis in their hips, knees or feet; and found that just 45 minutes of moderate physical activity a week improved their function and reduced pain…

Osteoarthritis is a specific medical condition that can cause varying levels of pain and disability, but I don’t think that every chronic pain condition will respond the same to light physical activity.

In a study of 131 older adults who have osteoarthritis, participants attended 45-minute chair yoga sessions twice a week for 8 weeks.

Researchers measured their pain, pain interference (how it affects one’s life), balance, gait speed, fatigue and functional ability; before, during and after the sessions.

Compared to a control group enrolled in a health education program, the chair yoga group showed a greater reduction in pain, pain interference and fatigue during the sessions, as well as an improved gait. The reduction in pain interference lasted for about three months after the chair yoga program was completed…

When I lived in Houston, it was too hot and humid to take walks. I only started taking walks after I moved to New Mexico (and got a camera). At first, I lost some weight, which was a good thing. But the weight didn’t stay off. Part of the reason for that was my inability to find and afford quality medical cannabis. I’ve gone through periods of stability that have lasted for months — both in the legal and underground markets — but they always come to an end, interrupting any progress I might make.

Since I moved here over 3 years ago, I’ve been more physically active than I have been in the past. I’ve also taken up baking (which includes more cleaning), and that’s also increased my physical activity levels.

So, has all this increased physical activity helped to decrease my overall pain levels? It seems logical that it would. Maybe in a group of patients who suffer from osteoarthritis, you would see the majority of them achieving benefits from exercise, including a decrease in pain levels. Would the same be true of a group of patients who suffer from TMJ or Trigeminal Neuralgia?

I hate to go against logic, but as I sit here thinking about the connection between my level of physical activity and my pain levels, I can’t say that the increased physical activity has made any difference in my pain levels. Sure, sometimes a walk can increase my pain levels, but usually, my level of physical activity doesn’t appear to be related to my pain levels. I know that doesn’t make sense, but there you have it.

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Celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

“In New York and cities across the country, women marched.”

This is a quote from “Makers: Women Who Make America,” a 3-part documentary that I just watched on YouTube. I highly recommend it. The quote is from the 1970s.

Let’s look at how long the battle for women’s right has been going on, shall we?

On October 11, 1972, Sarah Weddington, a 26-year-old lawyer from Texas with very little experience, argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court. At that time, the Supreme Court was made up of nine white men.

Forty-four years ago today, on January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade was decided. I celebrate that day.

The Equal Rights Amendment was first proposed in 1923. It wasn’t until 1972 that it passed both houses of Congress. But in the end, the states wouldn’t ratify the ERA, partially due to the advocacy work of white, religious women. It was a backlash against Roe v. Wade and the women’s movement. And then Reagan was elected president. Reagan used his high-profile, government position to advocate against abortion, helping to stop the women’s movement in its tracks.

I don’t know why anyone would think that the potential life of a fetus is more important than the life of the mother. That’s like saying that the woman’s life doesn’t matter. That she’s not allowed to make her own health care decisions. That her body is not her own. That the most important purpose of a woman’s body is reproduction.

I wonder how men would feel if we treated their bodies in the exact same way. Where every single sperm was considered potential life, and men had to constantly fight for the right to control their reproductive health care.

There is nothing more important for a woman than to have control over her own body. Men have total control over their reproductive organs, and so should women. And when I talk about control, I’m not just talking about reproductive rights. I’m talking about all kinds of health care.

Male or female, as adults, we should have complete control over our own bodies, including the choice of medical treatments. Our own health care decisions should not be taken away from us by the government, insurance companies, or doctors.

I should not have to experiment with one drug just because it’s cheaper, when more successful drugs are available. My access to certain drugs should not be restricted just because I see one doctor over another. Just because one doctor believes that certain reproductive health care options (or treatments for pain or addiction) are sinful and against their beliefs. That’s not practicing medicine. That’s forcing your beliefs on your patients.

One of the reasons I watched this documentary was in the hope of finding some clues on how pain patients can fight for their rights. Media attention was important back then, just as important as it is today. It appears that pain patients have lost the media war. But I was just wondering… Have we already lost the opioid war?