RA Warrior is doing another blog carnival, this one with other patients about tools that help reduce pain of Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am looking forward to her post as well as other patients post on what tools they use to help reduce the physical pain in their life. I have been able to compare and exchange information on items with my sisters on what works and does not work for them. We do not always agree on what is useful, each person’s RA is different so what is useful to me may not be for someone else. (Update: RA Warrior post patients ideas for Rheumatoid Arthritis pain relief.)
I think this will be my first post on this blog that links to shopping websites which will pay me on sales. I am sure I will not get rich on the money they offer for sales, in fact I will feel lucky if I reach whatever amount they require before they issue a check or payment, if your browser and antivirus software allows the tracking and if you decide to purchase within so many days while they continue to track you clicking through the link on my page. So many “ifs” in life. It is like if I can stand, if I can walk, if I can think, if I have a driver, if the test proves it, if the insurance company covers it, if if if if if. Okay, back to tools for pain.
Below is a small list of items I use to help reduce pain. I have started an Amazon Rheumatoid Arthritis relief store with items I use or think would be useful for patients that deal with long term pain as well as fatigue and all the other symptoms that go along with this disabling disease. I see they allow me to give custom text on products so this will be a new project for me, I will make sure you know if it is something that looks interesting to try or something I have tried and used with success.
Lewis N. Clark Reakt Neck Pillow – Reakt Blue - I live with this every night to sleep and use the vibrating function to sit to watch television and relieve some tension. I am very thankful for my sister suggesting it. I could only find this specific neck pillow through eBags. I purchased mine at an airport in Lisbon, it was not our favorite international trip as we went through many issues on this trip but I do enjoy the neck pillow.
Music – When in pain and to wiped out to follow along in a conversation or to watch a television show I listen to music.
Homedics Total Coverage Shiatsu Massage – At times this is too heavy for me to lift; you may have to have a chair it is always on or someone that can lift it for you. It does help relieve tension and pain in my shoulders and back.
Ben Gay, SalonPas and ThermaCare HeatWraps - The Ben Gay and SalonPas give off a smell but do help reduce pain. I have to chuckle sometimes when with Lloyd because I am sure since he is older people assume he is the user and not me. The ThermaCare HeatWraps have glue that burns my skin, I have issues with glue but have attached them to clothing, when ends turn up I still get burn marks. I was afraid the SalonPas would burn my skin but I can use them easier. I do get burn like patches when using them consecutively long term, many times the burnt and dried out skin is a lot less painful so I keep applying anyhow. I did learn you can overdose on Ben Gay style products see Death By Ben Gay.
Lloyd aka Got Baddog – For driving, picking up things, doing the dishes, taking out the trash and many other tasks. Okay not a tool but very helpful.
Carex Bed Buddy, Body Wrap - I also have an aromatherapy version of this for hands, feet and full back but the weight of them may be an issue and they do dry out and get burnt after some time. It does free you up from a plug of a heating pad. My sister recommended it to me and I have given it out as a gift and it was really appreciated by a friend that also struggles with pain in the shoulders. It is worth the price for some freedom from the heating pad.
High CBD Coconut Oil – This is a homemade coconut oil infused with high CBD marijuana. It works fast and pain levels drop instantly and I mean instantly. But very expensive to make and only last about an hour before pain levels start increasing again. Really if I could infuse it in a bathtub of oil, I would try to live in it.
Body Pillows – Notice it is plural, I have found it useful for laying on my side but they are heavy so as pain increases on the side I am laying on I will flip to the other side and moving the pillow with me is extremely hard and painful so having one on each side of me has been extremely helpful.
Wall Furnace – I can lean up against it and it is like a full body heating pad.
Table, counter and wall – I may look strange or lazy but it does reduce pain to lean on things or being up against the wall at times. A new friend suggested they would take strange over pain any day, I would have to agree!
Some other items that are helpful include:
Computer Stand to raise monitor
Mouse Pads with wrist support
Pillows, soft pillows – this may be a repeat but you can’t lose with pillows.
It is hard to deal with the pain, stiffness, optical migraines, extreme headaches, issues breathing, joints feeling like they freeze instantly in the cold air, dizziness, fluttering of nerves and so much more that comes with this disease. Music and watching others be able to clap for long periods, hop around, stand around on their feet and full of energy do amaze me and at times helps relieve the pain. With RA I have learned that just when you think you got it figured out or you can handle it, the rug gets pulled out from under you again. It is pretty exhausting. Here is another music video for those that have a music therapy list: