Mad Like Alyce

My Top 5 Pain Management Tools: Part Two

With my current flare up proving to be one of the worst I have had in 5 years (ugh!) I have had to bring out the “big guns” to get it calmed down. In addition to my top 5 pain management tools I use on a day to day basis, I wanted to give you a list of some tools I use for the really bad flares. I bring you My Top 5 Pain Management Tools: Part Two!

Neck Wrap Heating Pad
Sunbeam heating pad

I covered heating pads in my first post on pain management tools, but this flare up required something a little more customized. I have been having terrible pain in my neck and shoulders from a sprained Trapezius which caused something called “Thorasic Outlet Syndrome,” or as my chiropractor calls it “office rib” which is where the muscles pull the first rib towards the clavicle, putting pressure on the brachial plexus nerves and arteries that run between them. To combat the pain during the work day, I found this heating pad that is shaped for exactly that purpose! Best yet, it has velcro to hold it in place around your neck. I’m in love!

Heat in-a-click Heat Packs

heat in a click

If having cords hanging around you isn’t your thing, this heat pack a great secondary option. I actually love this for times when a cord is cumbersome or impossible, such as traveling. On long road trips (or even short ones, say an hour or more) you may want something to help with shoulder and neck pain, and these do the trick well! I’ve even used it (years ago) when I was at the movies and slid it under my hoodie so I could be comfortable!

It works by clicking a small bead in the gel by pressing it starts a chemical reaction in the pack releasing heat. It is reusable by boiling in hot water to reset the chemicals, so unless to are traveling to a friends house or somewhere you would have access to a pot of boiling water, it can be a limitation.

TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System
Tens Unit

A TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) unit provides gentle electrical stimulation to your muscles, and it feels like a gentle massage. The best part, these have become incredibly affordable, this one on Amazon is less than $30!

I personally feel like it really helps break my muscles out of a cycle, or at least gives me a momentary break from the pain. It can be annoying because the pads quickly loose their stick, and you have to clean them with a damp rag, and its best to use when you don’t plan to be moving around much. I like using when on my laptop on the couch, watching Netflix, or reading a book, which is best since I am usually laying down and helps the pads stay in place. You can also buy replacement pads for when your old ones have completely lost their ability to stick.

Ultrasound

I have had ultrasound done on my arms so many times during physical therapy appointments, and I love this at home unit! It allows me to continue treating myself in between appointments and keep the healing going. This at home unit is less powerful than the medical grade machines at your PT office, which makes it safe to use since the wand doesn’t get too hot if you don’t move it fast enough. Its tough to use on yourself for back and neck injuries, so it helps to have a helpful partner to assist you.

Apex Cervical Orthotic

This is something I would recommend talking to your doctor about before using. My chiropractor recommended this for me to work on correcting the curve in my cervical spine… which is currently non-existant. I only use this for a few minutes each day, and it is actually too tall for me, so I place a pillow under my shoulder blades to raise my shoulders and dramatically reduce the pressure while using. I have noticed that using this for even a few minutes at the start of a headache can actually help me stop it from developing into a full blown migraine.

Bonus: Resistance Bands

For me, it is of upmost importance to do my exercises every day… and flare ups like this show me just how much I need to make this a priority even when I feel fine. I’ve gotten plenty of print outs of exercises from Physical Therapists over the years, and I have really been working hard to make sure I do them once per day. These resistance bands make it easy to do my exercises and band up when I’m ready for a stronger band.

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

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  • One last shot of Sallywise! This was a great test to see what I need to focus on more when timing my looks, and also to realize that a lot of the detail I like to include might not really matter in the harsh dim light of a haunted house. On to the next look! #sallystitches #nightmarebeforechristmas #clowns #pennywise
  • Breaking the Instagram square because this shirt is goals, and one of my all time favorite Halloween finds. It’s from SheIn, and is literally exactly how I would imagine Sally’s dress would be as a shirt. It’s super comfortable, and it even comes in plus sizes! I’m always looking for ways to bring Halloween esthetic to my work wear, and I’m beyond thrilled. Oh, and did I mention it is only $16?!?!!!
#nightmarebeforechristmas #halloween #sallycosplay #cosplay
  • When you are feeling Nightmare Before Christmas but need to practice clowns.... you get Sallywise! 
I challenged myself to get this done as quickly as possible, and originally had my timer set for 20 minutes... this one took about 45 including time to put on the wig, so all in all, not terrible considering I sometimes take a lot longer. The one thing I wish I would have spent more time on is the foundation, which wasn't as opaque as I would have liked, but overall, I really like this one!
#Nightmarebeforechristmas #sally #IT #pennywise #clowns
  • Pretty sure I will never quite learn how to stay serious... I seriously love this look so much! #colors #colorful #illgrowupsomday
  • The most beautiful thing about poetry is that the collection of words carries more emotion and meanings than the author may have ever intended. They shape these words into skeletons made of language that we flesh out with our emotions. It’s a living thing, always changing. Make sure to check out the poem that inspired this look on my last post! #poetry #artinspiration #myfavoritepoet #livingart
  • Teal hues
And suddenly
Your breath
Becomes violet
Clashing against
Rainbow soundwaves 
And that way crayons 
Leave broken trails
Of color
Behind ~ By @andrewcoonswriting 
#poetry #artinspiration #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth #myfavoritepoet #allthefeels
  • Fun fact: these paints really sting when they get in your eyes. I tried to get it as close to my waterline without actually getting it in my eyes... and I was not successful. Also, not sure I can take myself too seriously in any kind of clown makeup. #clowns #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #pumpkinmakeup #pumpkins #jackolantern #jackolanternmakeup #mehron
  • I'm going to be doing makeup for a haunted house this year, and when i asked what common requests were, I was informed that clowns are super popular. Until today, I have never yet done a clown... im actually not a huge fan, and I can completely see why clowns are great for terrifying haunt visitors. I've been in more of a pumpkin mood lately, and thought it would be a good way to ease myself into the concept. #clowns #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #pumpkinmakeup #pumpkins #jackolantern #jackolanternmakeup
  • They said there will be a lot of clowns, but I was feeling pumpkin vibes... and this was the result! I should go to bed, but I’m having too much fun to take this off just yet. 🎃Now for some spooky Netflix and popcorn, and pit bull snuggles on the couch. She’s giving me some side eye right now. #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #pumpkinmakeup #pumpkins #jackolantern #jackolanternmakeup

@madlikealyce

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