United Brachial Plexus Network, Inc. • New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations
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New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:31 pm
by Master DIVER TOM
I am going to try here, best grammar???
Because I was born into pain with birth erbs,
My arm changes colors , because of blood flow issues. In cold weather and driving a semi in winter in Chicago. My arm cramps up and pain nerves increases pain to delay.
I could never take a strong Med than over the counter. So after driving a semi for over 12 hours to help with pain was resting my arm by taking the weight of my arm. Reposing a arm on a chair , choice or a hot tube count. Swimming pool and flouting help to.
For blood flow issues and pain the best thing to do is a Deep , message for pain.
Life in pain Sucks, reposition and a deep message helps,
Just thinking to try to help with our pain,

Re: New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:32 am
by jimhildeb
I agree, I have found massage to help quite a bit however, many states do not pay for massage and you have to pay out-of-pocket. Have you tried ultrasound? I have found that to help with spasms quite a bit. I too suffer from excruciating pain and the best relief is to immobilize my neck and arm laying on my affected arm for some reason. Unfortunately, this is not something you can do for very long.

I have partial use of my arm and did notice that in my chest that the blood vessels are tiny compared to the side that is not affected. It seems very strange because I do have movement in that arm however, although no one has been able to explain it there must be a relationship to the nerve damage which affects the blood flow. No doctors have been able to explain that either. Part of your problem sounds familiar to mine that my arm hand and neck tend to fatigue during the day as I use it. Any motions at all reduce the time that I am able to use it until it is just too painful or it goes limp. Frequently my hand will turn purple and blue if it's really inflamed. Perhaps, some physical therapy would be helpful. I know it has been very helpful to me because if I don't do it every few months I would definitely lose the use of my arm and likely my hand completely. Ultimately, it does help with the pain to but it is very difficult to work and do much physical therapy since my arm and hand would fatigue to quickly. It's an extremely frustrating balancing act however, overall after 27 years I have found that the physical therapy is absolutely essential. Also I just turned 60 and am finding that I need the physical therapy more often and for longer to return to a similar starting point.

Re: New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:34 pm
by Master DIVER TOM
Oh Jim,
First , Great last post for New here !!!!
Fighting limitation and learning to adapt over time, Sooo many post here just that. The joy is doing something to adapt your limitation by helping the good arm, WHEN this works it joy, So does a lot of 10 range pain to.
So it seems the joy and doing out ways the pain, Just Thinking, I smile big when I see other doing this to!!! That me that you.
I really want to help you with pain, I know 5 in pain is better than ten.
What cause you the most pain in movement ??
I thought about something I do for pain in neck and shoulders, If you dampen 3 or 4 warm hot towels. I dampen the towels and heat them up in a dryer take the out of the dryer and put them around my neck . Rest your shoulder on deck or arm chair. Close you eyes and try to stay still for a while.
Moist heat really helps. Sonia and doing this towel trick might help and also helps blood flow to.????
Talk to you, Just Thinking.

Re: New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:59 am
by jimhildeb
Hi Tom,

You have a great attitude. I try hard and I know its a challenge for everyone and read some amazing articles here. I know that a big smile would go a lot further at work or anywhere, rather than a complaint, if the pain was up. Sometimes its really hard. When I could I would take a short walk to try and relax a bit too while extending my arm. Higher up in a chair ( or possible standing ) to take the pressure off the nerves helps me. When I was a kid I took judo and one of the most effective but painful defenses is to bend the opponents arm at the elbow then bend the hand at the wrist and this usually ends a bout if you were in a position to do this. The point is the opposite takes the pressure off the nerves. Straighten the effected arm or limb to relax the nerves. It made a lot of sense in hindsight as to how this worked and sorry if this offends anyone but just trying to help. Overall though its moving a limb to the point where it just starts to cause pain hold it for 30 secs and release and the muscles should stay stretched out a bit or stretch them slowly further. Always refer to someone at PT first!!

I've just gone through a few months of this therapy again and realize that this needs to be done on an ongoing basis to maintain the best range of motion. Critical as the muscles are not as responsive as we age. I've just seen a big change as I have to go through PT every few years to increase range a bit due to limb favoring which I think a lot of folks may understand its so easy to favor. Its got to be every week for me and this may make the difference for me as it will limit the type and or length of work I can do to keep the range up. Problem is it does increase pain a bit but I would prefer the range I think lol. Its an ongoing battle of wits, expenses etc and everyone is going to have their limits.

For me and likely folks with brachial scar tissue, my arm is best out straight and resting on my leg. The more you bend the arm the longer the nerve gets which pulls or moves the scar tissue which is an irritant. I know Staples and others sell mouse, laptop tables that you can put on your leg. I can use the mouse on it. The problem is you have to hit the keyboard frequently and it causes me problems. For me it seems any movement is cumulative during the day and there is a daily limit which is not always constant but it helps to listen to any twangs or spasms as they may not hurt initially but bite me in the end usually.

I get some long term benefit from ice and or heat and the PT folks seem to say whatever works best. They did give me a tip that you can wet a smaller towel in a zip lock bag and toss it in the microwave for heat. This is a great trick. Depending on your state massage treatment was helpful for the 8 to 10 range getting back closer to 5. or really at any point on the scale to keep it down at least a little bit. Unfortunately this is not taken seriously and people say yeah I had a great massage on my last vacation. Oh Boy, not quite the same. Anything is better than meds if you can bring it down even a little bit. I wish the medical field could get on board since I believe most of these injuries have adjoining muscles that are not working as designed and spasm, flare and benefit from massage. It helps blood flow, break spasms etc. Dunno but it helps me and the availability is very limited unless you have a lot of disposable income available.

A hardball on the floor, the j shaped bar ( if you can use one ) also can help. I borrowed a board that had lots of holes and golf balls with pegs that you could move around and adjust the positions to lay on. This was GREAT. Note: If anyone sees these please us know.

Just a couple of thoughts and hope they are helpful for you or anyone who may see it.

I hope you are having a good week!


Re: New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:43 pm
by Master DIVER TOM
Hi Jim,
You have a Great attitude To!
What you post is amazing , you have gone threw a lot in your Quest, for helping to improve on your limitation and what you have tried for pain.
It takes attitude and the other word that happen to is Tenacity.
I know we all try to help others by are post,I know many do not respond back after answer a post. So most of the time we hope are experience Might Help???
One thing is for sure ,you can see how many Lurers read our posts, For sure.
I hope you can get into a pain management program that works. You have done 100 and 10%% in trying!
I am very glad you write and share what you can.
Best wish, buddy!

Re: New Start new beginning , coping with pain and limitations

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:03 pm
by jimhildeb
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the thoughts. I think you're correct and hope that others do read some of the posts and can retrieve anything that may be helpful or can provide any thoughts in return. For me its a bit of a moving target where the muscles are constantly waxing and waning, building and atrophy. It seems to move around depending on PT, general exercise and any breaks in routine at all. Its certainly one thing I've come to live with that this is going to continue to keep morphing and going in different directions. Trying to adapt can really make me nutso sometimes but its taken many, many years to realize there are few aspects of this that are repetitive in terms of range of motion ( ROM), strength and pain. There are some limitations at the far end of ROM but life is living within the grey areas in between and for me balancing all of it is a real challenge. Chores, recreation and rest.

I suspect the type of nerve damage dictates these changes. I'm just beginning to realize that there is no consistency no matter how hard I try and am trying real hard to let go of the notion that I can actually control these muscles. ( for me I think its the fluidity of the scar tissue ) I can only suggest to others just to try to keep moving what you can and be real conscious of ROM. I'm real good at finding ways to adapt thinking that I'm making progress while my ROM is deteriorating. I believe its just the mind/body's way of minimizing the pain.

Anyhow, just this weeks thought. I appreciate the ear!! I hope this makes some sense if its applicable to your condition. It's also true to a degree to my "better arm" but to a lesser degree for me. I would suspect where only one arm is doing most of the work that this "balancing act" becomes more of an issue. Not too much, not too little - must seem crazy to some people but I think a lot of us may share in this preservation and restoration routine.......

I hope you are having a good week.

Cheers Jim