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Whole Person Pain – Empowered Relief

The Association recently were provided details from Stamford University of the presentation by Dr. Beth Darnall, PhD – Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

A video recording of last week’s program called “Whole Person Pain” is now available

 The presentation in 90 minutes in length and has details of many study approaches.  It is very relevant to the USA sufferers but there are plenty of tips to help you manage pain.  This presentation is one you can dip in and out of to view.  We hope you find it interesting and educational

Whole Person Pain – Empowered Relief – YouTube

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Chronic Pain and Anxiety: How to Cope

Managing Anxiety is very important when you suffer  chronic pain from Trigeminal Neuralgia

The following article was written by Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC and has some helpful advice

Is your chronic illness causing you to suffer from chronic anxiety? Do you feel like you have no control of your body OR mind? Follow these tips on how to cope when your chronic pain causes anxiety

If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may feel as if you have no control over your future. The stress of learning to navigate the medical world, cope with physical changes, and manage daily life can often lead to excessive worry or panic.

Researchers have found that experiencing a chronic illness puts a person at increased risk for developing anxiety or an anxiety disorder. Roughly 40% of people with cancer report experiencing psychological distress that often takes the shape of excessive worry or panic attacks.  People with chronic pain are three times more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety.

Even long after a diagnosis, the daily demands of living with a chronic illness can continue to present challenges and generate anxiety. Loss of mobility or other abilities can lead to worry about safety, employment, or financial independence. Depending on others or engaging in sexual intimacy may also be concerns. Some are more easily able to adapt to the changes in their lives. Others may feel overwhelmed with anxiety and struggle to cope.

Fortunately, anxiety is treatable with therapy, medication and complementary and alternative treatments (i.e. acupuncture). But when the focus is on the chronic illness, anxiety is often overlooked. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about your emotional and cognitive health, and to speak up when you experience

Signs of Anxiety in Patients with Chronic Illness

  • Excessively worrying about physical health
  • Trouble sleeping due to worry
  • Having nightmares about physical health
  • Experiencing panic attacks about prognosis
  • Difficulty discussing physical condition
  • Avoiding treatments that cause anxiety
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Having intrusive thoughts about dying
  • Becoming irritable about physical health
What You Can Do

Challenge negative thinking.  When you’re anxious, your brain may jump to conclusions, assume the worst, or exaggerate. Catastrophizing and ignoring the positives in your life may occur when you live with the challenges of a chronic illness.

One way to manage anxiety is by being aware of the negative thinking, examining it and challenge the irrational thoughts.

Counselors/therapists can play an important role in teaching you this important coping skill.

Calm your mind.  Relaxation techniques can be an effective way to calm anxious thinking and direct your mind to a more positive place. Consider whether mindfulness meditation, yoga, or other breathing and focusing practices can still your body.

Taking  time to relax, increases your ability to think objectively and positively when it comes to making choices about your health and life.

Find a good prescriber. If you take medication for both mental and for physical health, it’s important to that your doctors are aware of all your medications. Some medications may actually escalate anxiety, so it’s essential to work with a prescriber who can make informed choices that address both conditions without worsening either.

Find a support group. Managing a chronic illness can be a lonely job as it may be difficult for loved ones to understand the unique challenges.

Support groups are wonderful for creating community but also for providing information that can help reduce worry. They can also connect you to valuable resources for treating your illness. Check with your local hospital or community center to find a local group. You can also search the Internet for online support.

Recruit the right team. Patients benefit the most when chronic illness and psychological distress, such as anxiety, are treated with a team of people who communicate regularly. Doctors, pain specialists, psychiatrists, counselors, occupational therapists, and physical therapists are among those who can help you create and implement a treatment plan for your physical and mental health.

Acknowledge successes. Anxious thinking about chronic illness can keep you from feeling that you have control over anything in life. It’s important to acknowledge all successes, both big and small. Keep track of the healthy things you do for your mind and body. Exercising, going to counseling, spending time with a friend–these can all help. Keeping these successes at the front of your mind can help you combat worry. They can remind you that you do have the power to affect your present and future.

If you think that you might have anxiety in addition to chronic illness, be honest with your doctor. Ask for help. Anxiety is highly treatable

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Member Story – Julian Whittaker

My TN, by Julian I’ve been a very active DIY kind of feller all my life, and not bothered too much by ’normal’ pain. However, my TN pain began a couple of years ago, at first coming and going, then getting gradually worse. It is ‘classical’ TN, being excruciating, sharp, and transient on one side […]
To access this post, you must purchase TNA Australia Full Member.
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Deloitte Access Economics Report – The Cost of Pain in Australia

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Sufferers of Trigeminal Neuralgia suffer chronic pain and very often treatment is made harder due to the  clinicians,  who treat the patient, do not always work collaboratively through the diagnostic and treatment process.

The Deloitte report is very interesting because it highlights the huge benefits from multi departmental care.

“Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by Painaustralia to establish the local and Australia wide socioeconomic impact of pain, and to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis of health interventions that could reduce the impact of pain in Australia.

In this report, evidence has been presented to demonstrate the burden of chronic pain in Australia, including health system, productivity and carer costs, other financial costs and the loss of wellbeing.

The key findings include:

  • 3.24 million Australians were living with chronic pain in 2018. 53.8% are women and 68.3% are of working age
  • For the majority (56%) of Australians living with chronic pain, their pain restricts what activities they are able to undertake
  • The total financial cost of chronic pain in Australia in 2018 was estimated to be $73.2 billion, comprising $12.2 billion in health system costs, $48.3 billion in productivity losses, and $12.7 billion in other financial costs, such as informal care, aids and modifications and deadweight losses
  • People with chronic pain also experience a substantial reduction in their quality of life, valued at an additional $66.1 billion
  • The costs of chronic pain are expected to increase from $139.3 billion in 2018 to $215.6 billion by 2050 in real 2017-18 dollars
  • An extension of best practice care to Australian patients could lead to
    • substantial savings and better health outcomes.

    Published: April 2019″

The full report can be downloaded below – it is a long read but the index is extensive so users can hone into the areas that interest them

[Download not found]

Deloitte have also provided a shorter presentation covering the key points

[Download not found]
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Barometric Pressure – Impacting Pain

When the Gold Coast Support Group met on Saturday 4th December for their Christmas Lunch, there was a lot of chat about the weather we had been experiencing November had been a very stormy month and the Coast had received a lot of rain.  Many of our members commented that the weather had really set […]
To access this post, you must purchase TNA Australia Full Member.
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Risks Ahead – Avoiding triggers associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia

Risks Ahead - avoiding triggers associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia

The painful attacks of trigeminal neuralgia can sometimes be brought on, or made worse, by certain triggers, so it may help to avoid these triggers if possible.

For example, if your pain is triggered by wind, it may help to wear a scarf wrapped around your face in windy weather. A transparent dome-shaped umbrella can also protect your face from the weather.

If your pain is triggered by a draught in a room, avoid sitting near open windows or the source of air conditioning.

Avoid hot, spicy or cold food or drink if these seem to trigger your pain. Using a straw to drink warm or cold drinks may also help prevent the liquid coming into contact with painful areas of your mouth.

It’s important to eat nourishing meals, so consider eating mushy foods or liquidising your meals if you’re having difficulty chewing.

Certain foods seem to trigger attacks in some people, so you may want to consider avoiding things such as caffeine, citrus fruits and bananas.

Want to make a difference in the life of someone who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia? Consider Membership to TNA Australia or a tax deductible donation.

Stay in touch by joining our newsletter – we’ll email a few times during the year with tips on how to best support people who suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia.

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Coping with Pain

Strategies for Coping with Pain

Pain is a constant when you are a sufferer of Trigeminal Neuralgia. Medications can help control the pain, and treatments don’t always take all of the pain away, all of the time. Sufferers often experience pain free periods, but can suffer extreme pain anxiety while pain free, in anticipation of a reoccurrence.

Recently our Sunshine Coast Support Group Leader, Nora English, shared her experience about managing pain

We hope you enjoy the article and can apply the the process to your pain cycles. Please do consider becoming a member of our Association to gain more insights, support, understanding and to be part of our exciting new initiatives coming soon, or make a donation to fund our research programs

Thought I would share my personal experience of power of positive psychology! I recently had a tooth pulled, due to an abscess, on my TN side. I put this off for 2 years for fear of TN returning as I have been pain free since Jan 2016. Before the procedure I did meditative breathing, during the procedure I was in a meditative state in the ocean at sunrise and the dentist pulling was the ebb and flow of the ocean. I was completely relaxed and all went well. But a few days later TN returned, so I kept telling myself “the nerve is just agitated it will pass” I felt like I was passing into migraine territory so I visited my upper cervical chiropractor. Then I visited a friend who instantly saw the pain in my face and got out her drum for sound healing. I have never tried sound healing before but it was quite extraordinary, I could feel a physical shift of energy and the TN and migraine gone. That was 4 weeks ago and I am still pain free. So yes the power of the mind and our thoughts is critical!

Stay positive”Nora English

Want to make a difference in the life of someone who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia? Consider Membership to TNA Australia or a tax deductible donation.

Stay in touch by joining our newsletter – we’ll email a few times during the year with tips on how to best support people who suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia.