*I am not a doctor. This post is based on personal experience.*
Since I started blogging, I have consistently written about my personal experiences with Cervical Dystonia. As I've accumulated more information on my site, I've noticed a huge increase in search term hits. I am happy that my blog has allowed me to connect with so many Cervical Dystonia patients because we have been able to share our tips on dealing with the physical and emotional pain caused by Cervical Dystonia. Also, I've been able to encourage newly diagnosed patients and share helpful resources with them.
Some of the most common search terms (that I can see) are:
cervical dystonia dry needling
why does ice help cervical dystonia
ways to ease pain from cervical dystonia
However, I am writing this post because this morning, I noticed the search term (twice):
if you have cervical dystonia if you want to fall down some stairs would it break your neck
If you searched that term, please contact your healthcare provider or call 911 immediately.
For anyone else who is searching dystonia and feels despair, tell someone. It's ok to talk about it and get professional help. The diagnosis can be a relief, if you've been searching for answers, but it can understandably cause depression. You have a painful condition that is coming in and WRECKING your life. I can't say that it will ever be the same again, but it can still be a good life.
I've been there. I've not wanted to live with the pain from dystonia anymore. It does feel like the pain won't end. Sometimes it take a long time to get your Botox injections scheduled, placed in the right spots, and at the appropriate dosage. It takes time to figure out what other therapies will work for you, like ice, heat, massage, or another oral and topical medications.
Pain management is an art, not a science. Every person needs to work with a doctor to try their own plan. There are tons of resources on the internet about ideas of things to try, but everyone reacts differently to medicines and complimentary therapies. It will take time, but pain can be managed over time. There is no quick-fix, but I encourage everyone to explore all of their options with an experienced doctor. I have a pain management specialist who will refer me to other practitioners (like physical therapy), if that's what I need, but she oversees all of it. She's the one who will prescribe lidocaine patches, if I want to try those because I don't want to take anymore pills, when the pills drain the life out of me.
If your pain is not being managed well, you may need a new doctor. Maybe you've been in pain for years and years, but you only get pain killers and you've hit the limit of what you can take. That happens! The pain killers could only be masking the fact that your are not properly diagnosed and receiving adequate care for your dystonia in the first place.
While you are waiting on the pain to be managed, you can go through a ton of emotional turmoil. In fact, even after you've "managed" your pain, to use the term loosely, you can still have anger, frustration, and depression that stems from all of the pain you endured. Cervical Dystonia can touch every part of your life. So, please, know that you are not alone, it can get better, and it takes time.
Additional Information: Here is a great article that I found that explains the connection between depression and pain!
Both depression and chronic pain share some of the same neurotransmitters and nerve pathways. So pain is worse, function is poor, response to pain treatment is diminished and their prognosis is worse until they can get their depression under better control.
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