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!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Instagram

  • My first attempt at a stone makeup! Used Mehron water activated grey base, black to like the creases on my had (so many!) and black and white stipple fir more dimension. Turned out pretty cool, I'm hoping to do a full face application soon!
  • Today was a lesson in moderation. I have too much on my plate, and sometime you just have to accept that it is ok to accept defeat and just relax. This burned hand makeup was inspired as half of a poem(see previous post). Since the inspiration required two hands, I actually did all on this with my non-dominant hand! Gelatin for the burn scars, and my Ben Nye  bruise wheel for color.
  • i have loved
with hands closed
and hands open
both are accompanied
by their own type of pain

by @andrewcoonswriting 
This was truly an example of art inspiring art. If you haven't read @andrewcoonswriting poetry, you need to follow him asap! Having both suffered heartbreak and chronic pain myself, this poem spoke to my heart, and I knew I wanted to use it for my next makeup look. 
The two types of pain display an open hand of stone, and a curled hand of burns. A love present but immovable, and love that burns hot and fast, leaving us scarred for life. 
Check out more of his work and keep an eye out for his new book of poetry, "Living with it," coming out in September!
  • So. Thirsty. Glycerin makes a great base for cracked and peeling lips. And you actually can't drink wearing it... at least, not without a straw. Now back to my morning caffeine infusion. I used my Ben Nye bruise wheel for the minimal colors, and my usual foundation to color the glycerin "skin."
  • Bloody knuckles! Today calls for a quick makeup and an early bedtime, as my sciatic nerve pain is approaching 11... I wanted a wound down to the bone, so I built up the torn skin with gelatin and rimmed the inside of the wound with black, leaving bare skin in the middle to take the appearance of bone when the look is done. I toned the gelatin with red water activated paint, and filled in with a rust and stippled purple to simulate the start of bruises. Finally, I coated it all down in blood. Not bad for a quick and dirty makeup!
  • "EAT SLUGS MALFOY!" Not a fun spell, and not one to attempt with a faulty wand. This "bonus" Chamber of Secrets was born literally from the thought that my ice cube tray looked like slugs! I had to pair my vom with some extra eye bags from a day of puking slugs. "Better out than in."
  • As promised... part two for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Basilisk after being blinded by Fawkes the Phoenix. This was a faster approach but I still think it turned out quite nice. The edges of the punctured eyes was made with glycerin, and I tried out my new Ben Nye scan blood! A great way to take a typical snake makeup to a different level.
  • Back to my Harry Potter series... nothing is more essential to the plot of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets than the Basilisk! I actually Iove the hell out of this one, done with mehron water activation paints and fishnet stockings. Aannndddd, since I was not on top of my game last week, I'm bringing you a two for one! Check back soon for part two of this look.
  • This look was a not so successful attempt at a major broken dose... think car accident minus other scrapes. Things I liked: I feel like the beginning of the bruise settling into the cheek was great. Not so much: I wanted to replicate swelling and added glycerin to build up the ridge on the nose. I think I needed to blend it out a little bit more, as it looks too abrupt. I also feel like this look has far too much red and purple in it. I think I could've accomplished a much better makeup with far less color, another one to try again soon!

@madlikealyce

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