nerve damage from injury

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 7/20/2008 5:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Once nerves are damaged, and there is no chance of them getting better, do they get worse, or is my increase in pain just all in my mind.
My pain doc has made it perfectly clear that his job is not to repair the problem but to control the pain, and he also insinuated that my nerve pain is increased by my thinking about it.  I have noticed that at times my pain can be decreased by getting my mind off of it, and that at times like at night when I am winding down and I have nothing else to think about except the pain that it does in fact increase.  Then when I get involved with something like a TV show or somehting that it does start to subside.  BUT its been 2 years since my injury and my foot doc says my increase in pain is probably because I am trying to do more, but I dont see that I am doing that much more and my pain is most definately getting worse and getting further up my leg. 
So, is it getting worse or am I making it worse?
 I am getting extremely frustrated to the point I actually find myself being
bitter and resentful to people who can walk normally just because they can and I cant.  I have since the beginning been so optimistic and positive, but now when someone says "wow you look like you your getting around good"  I just want to blow up at them.   
O happy day.
CRPS what a piece.
Permanent severe nerve damage from crushing injury.
CRPS, unwillingness to take meds.  Doomed to a life of misery but with a positive outlook.

tom inpain
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/20/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Su: Sorry in my experience the pain does get a lot worse, and Your in my world with being bitter about others walking so freely like we used to. I ve been disabled for a long time and been thru all types of meds and therapy for depression and nothing worked-- again this is me others maybe able to function and God bless them for me I await a medical breakthru "miracle". I asked my Specialists the same question years ago i never got a straight answer all I got was the medical researchers find cures eveyday. Again sorry for being negative .
Tom Lasko

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/20/2008 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Su,
Well, there's two different issues from what I can tell in your post. One is can nerve pain get worse - yes, as far as I have learned from researching my own "stuff". (I'm not a doc!) Not only can the compression be worsening (or whatever the original cause of the problem) so that the pain may be spreading, I think the nerve actually - in its own feeble attempt to actually heal in some fashion - grows more nerve endings, and thus the pain can increase. This is kind of my lay interpretation of things I've read, and maybe someone else can chime in who has more knowledge of physiology. I've not read anything so far that can stop the growth of these small nerve endings. It's why I read (of course, way after the fact) that had some of my pain been treated earlier, perhaps the nerve wouldn't have had a chance to spread. Probably true for many of us.

As far as the psychological aspects, I can weigh in a bit more knowledgeably on that. Yes, distraction is one way to help decrease our awareness of pain. The psychological techniques are most often to assist in managing pain, not necessariy to cure it, although the more we learn to retrain our brain (things like deep meditative techniques work best, but are difficult to practice) the more we can re-direct and calm the pain signals being sent to the brain. Because sometimes the problem is more in the brain in that it, simply put, doesn't know how to shut off. It may keep reading "pain" even when pain signals are no longer being sent. And that is something techniques such as biofeedback, etc. can help with. And at the very least these techniques can help us lower the volume on the pain. But most of us have to learn to make peace with having some level of pain, and then find the best tools (meds of all kinds- including for depression & anxiety, distraction, relaxation, and others) that can help us regain a slice of life. I know firsthand it's easier said than done, though. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques (CBT) are the first level of techniques that can be learned, and are often used by therapists who work with pain patients. But a lot of them can be learned via self-help.

Hope some of this helps!

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