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Can virtual reality really soothe pain?

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How VR could break America’s opioid addiction

Can virtual reality really soothe pain? Jo Marchant meets the doctors who say yes, and who hope this is a solution for the country consuming 80 per cent of the world’s opioid supply: the United States of America.

“It’s like a crawly feeling inside,” says Judy*. “You get hot, then chilled, and you feel like you want to run away.” The 57-year-old has short dark-grey hair and a haunted expression. She’s breathless and sits with her right leg balanced up on her walking stick, rocking it back and forth as she speaks.

Judy explains that she suffers from constant, debilitating pain: arthritis, back problems, fibromyalgia and daily migraines. She was a manager at a major electronics company until 2008, but can no longer work. She often hurts too much even to make it out of bed. Continue Reading

Back on the treatment trail

Author:

VicpainHomeScreen

Maybe I should have titled this post, ‘Back on Pain’s roller coaster‘? But then I’d have to explain my position – which would it be? Up or down? Or is this another case of in the middle – managing?

I have many descriptions for my health status and they are constantly revolving around in my head. That’s because I don’t know where I ever stand with this chronic pain. And there seems to be no one else who knows where I (or you!) stand either. So damn frustrating.

But last year, I got fortunate. Someone planted a seed… Continue Reading

Yoga for Pain via Skype

Author:
Rachael West(Excerpt from findingyoga.com.au

Rachael West is a yoga teacher, facilitator and educator.

She is an accredited yoga teacher with Yoga Australia with roots in the Krishnamacharya lineage and in 2011 completed a University Diploma in Yogic Education (University of Lille, France) with first class honours.

As the only Australian to study this specialist practice area, Rachael is able to work in a unique space in health care: allowing each person to understand what wellness means to them and to develop the practices that will get them there.

Rachael has also graduated from a Circus in Performance qualification with Greentop Circus in Sheffield, England. Prior to that, she obtained a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Curtin University, Australia) with first class honours and worked as a civil engineer and facilitator in the public and third sectors.

She is credited with creating the first Gentle Yoga for Fibromyalgia program in WA, allowing sufferers of chronic illness and persistent pain to gently resume exercise, manage the stress of their condition and build confidence in their bodies. The program is allowing them to re-discover their relationship with their bodies.

Changing how we feel about our bodies when they hurt

The Yoga for Pain program is available in person or online and helps those with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and persistent pain return to gentle exercise safely, manage the stress of their condition and feel confident about using their bodies.

With a special focus on body awareness and effortless movement, Yoga for Pain is helping people to reconnect with their bodies and change their relationship with pain. Continue Reading

Piecing myself back together

Author:
Collage Portrait 5
Excerpt from soula.com.au/blog September 22nd, 2013

I’m having a great and most satisfying time with this self-portrait. From scouring for different pieces of paper, to painting my own, to writing on the portrait, every experimental and contributing part has hit my pain spot.

The word ‘broken’ was so often used by Frida Kahlo, I so understand why even though I don’t have anywhere near the injuries or horrific post surgery trauma she must have suffered. I certainly feel that the solid body I once felt I had is no longer solid at all. Continue Reading

My_Space, My facade, living with Pudendal Neuralgia

Author:

Sunday Style My SpaceWe don’t usually love media, but a little attention after some lengthy hibernation from work was bound to be very valuable for our (Theo’s and my) 12 or so year old business, Origin of Image. The lovely Sunday Style (Herald Sun) offered an interview in their ‘My_Space’ feature… hmmm, quite funny for us as there’s nothing ‘my’ about ‘our’ life. We share work, living, we even share Pudendal Neuralgia (PN). Continue Reading

Over to Ms Soula

Author:
Ms Soula by MarijaIvkovic

I remember the very moment my new project completed the mind development stage and entered the reality realm. It had me jump up in my aeroplane seat; and I could almost reach out and touch it… I mean her.

Most of you know, I have a love for character. Recently, I had also been influenced by our trip to Italy and all the Pinocchios and beautiful Venetian masks. Add to this the time I’d been desperately waiting for, the time when the pain would subside and allow for a new phase of life to begin, and my project formula was taking shape – finally! Happiness, character and a big story to tell. Continue Reading

Next stop: Traditional Chinese Medicine with Raffaele Vavala

Author:

Acupuncture6Although I’ve tried acupuncture many times before, I’ve never felt as much of a response as I am feeling now after my four sessions with Raffaele Vavala. It’s possible my body wasn’t ready for it, being in ‘the thick of it’ until about a year ago my onion was just too big!  But I also believe some practitioners do have more of a gift than others and Raffaele is gifted!

The consultation methods make great sense to me. My scans have been considered, but my tongue, palms and pulses on both wrists do all the pain and story telling. These body parts describe a system that is quite debilitated after dealing with the years of Chronic Pain, an issue Raffaele understands in-depth. So when I speak of sounds hurting, activity accumulating into a flare up fire-ball, fluid retention, my legs unable to move with extreme heat conditions, the desperation for Western intervention in the form of an implant and nerve blocks, my exhaustion that arrives with the pain and ‘protects me’ by encouraging me to sleep, the inability to focus, reach out and ‘just move that thing’ or carry out a simple task, the ability to create seeming too exhausting, Raffaele understands… ALL OF IT.  He reminds me of my diagnosing physio, and for once I’m the one staring in disbelief at their look of complete understanding for me (when other practitioners screwed up their faces or frowned at my statements). Continue Reading

Peeling onion layers… “No.6!?”

Author:

Onion

Another year gone by since the pop! Now I know what practitioners mean about peeling onion layers. My onion layers have gone something like this:

  1. Removal of pelvic thickened ligament
  2. Peripheral stimulation device implant
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Nerve blocks
  5. Medication
  6. … Could it be my Traditional Chinese Medicine? Continue Reading

PN Directory: Who can help and where in the world are they?

Author:

Pudendal Neuralgia treaters around the world

I’m sure there are more practitioners and therapists helping with Chronic Pelvic Pain but these are the ones I have been in touch with or have been referred to from other specialists. Please let me know if you have been treated appropriately so I can keep my resource up-to-date. I do particularly want to hear personal recommendations but I also need approval to list anyone here.

Australia

Melbourne

Adele Burgess
Head of Dept. Colorectal Surgery
The Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, VIC.
Private Consulting Main Rooms:
Suite 7, Level 2, 8 Martin Street, Heidelberg VIC 3084.
Phone: 03 9456 9077 Fax: 03 9456 9177
Also at : Epworth Hospital, Richmond VIC
www.adeleburgess.com.au

Peter Courtney
499 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, VIC, 3150
Phone: (03) 9566 2733
Melbourne Pain Group

Dr Bruce Mitchell
Metropain Group

Sports & Interventional Pain Physician
Level 1, 544 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South Victoria, 3162
Phone: (03) 9595 6111
bmitchell@metropain.com.au
www.metropain.com.au

Julienne Moore
Associate Physiotherapist
Albert Street Medical Centre
Level 4, 372 – 376 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002.
Phone: (03) 9486 0512
julienne@fitwise.com.au
www.fitwise.com.au

Pain Matrix
Dr Michael Vagg – Pain Specialist, Dr Diarmuid McCoy – Pain Specialist, Dr Brett Chandler – Pain Specialist, Jenny Bravin – Psychologist, Emma Musella – Clinical Psychologist, Dr Stephen McKenzie – Psychologist, Lucy Schipanski – Physiotherapist, Ben Boyd – Practice Manager
Suite 8 | Level 2 | 73 Little Ryrie St
Geelong Victoria 3220
Phone: 03 5229 6996 Fax: 03 5229 0941
info@painmatrix.com.au
www.painmatrix.com.au

Anne-Florence Plante
Pelvic Chronic Pain,
The Women’s Physiotherapy Department
The Women’s chronic pelvic pain pdf

Professor Teddy
(Responsible for my peripheral stimulation device)
Precision Neurosurgery

Phone: 1300 773 247
info@precisionneurosurgery.com.au
Neurosurgeon, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Western Hospital, and Northern Hospital

Victorian Pain Specialists
(my current treatment team)

27 Erin Street
Richmond VIC 3121

1300 798 682 (tel)
1300 798 385 (fax)
reception@vicpain.com.au
vicpain.com.au

Queensland

Sue Croft Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy for Pelvic Floor Recovery
47 Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill, Qld, 4101
Phone  07 3848 9601 Fax 07 3846 6811
Mob: 0407 659357
www.suecroftphysiotherapist.com.au
twitter.com/scroftpf

Peter Dornan Physiotherapy (Specialising in Men’s Health)
13 Morley Street,
4066 Toowong QLD, Australia
Phone: 07 3371 9155
peter@peterdornanphysio.com.au

Robin Kerr
Integrated Pelvic Physiotherapy
7 Maud Street Nambour QLD, 4560
Phone:(07) 5441 4764
robin@ipphysio.com
www.ipphysio.com

South Australia

Dr Susan Evans
38 The Parade, Norwood SA, 5067
Phone: 08 8363 2811  – for appointments (except physiotherapy)
Phone: 08 8363 7071 – for physiotherapy appointments
drsusanevans.com.au

Sydney

Sherin Jarvis
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and a Conjoint Lecturer, UNSW
Level 12, 97-99 Bathurst St, Sydney,
Phone: 1300 722 206
info@whria.com.au
Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia

Thierry Vancaillie MD (Belgium), FRANZCOG, FFPMANZCA
Gynaecologist and Pain Medicine Specialist
Conjoint Professor, UNSW
Level 12, 97-99 Bathurst St, Sydney,
Phone: 1300 722 206
Women’s Health and Research Institute of Australia

Western Australia

Alison Lutz
APA Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist
Hillview Physiotherapy
6/294 Gt Eastern Hwy
Midland  WA 6056
Ph:08 9274 5666 Fax: 08 6230 5376

Timothy J G  Pavy
Head, Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine
King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women
374 Bagot Road, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008
Clinical Associate Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia
Phone: 08 9340 2222 Fax: 08 9340 2227
Tim.Pavy@health.wa.gov.au

Judith Thompson
Dip Physio, Post Grad Dip Continence and Women’s Health,
PhD, FACP, APAM
Clinical Director & Specialist Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist
Shenton Park Clinic
215 Nicholson Road Shenton Park WA 6008
Phone: 08 9381 7940 Fax: 08 9381 7941
www.bodylogicphysiotherapy.com

Continue Reading

Do I dare put it in writing…?

Author:

Happy… post nerve block No. 3.

I’m at 5.3 weeks and have managed to walk a few days in a row, practice some extremely mild yoga and have a few meals out without the pathetic fire warning in my pelvis. Could it be? Could it really be? Here’s hoping 2013 begins with some pain free magic.

Right now, I feel like this… and I wish that everyone who comes across my website, or is a regular reader feels the same. If not, please, remain hopeful.
(Read about Nerve Block No.3)

Happy post nerve block No.3...

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What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?

Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggrevated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

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