5 Famous People Who Battle Chronic Pain

George ClooneyMore than 40 percent of the population suffers from some type of chronic pain, so it’s no surprise that some big names deal with pain. Today, we show you that you’re not alone in combating chronic pain. Here’s a look at five celebrities who are continually battling chronic pain.

1. George Clooney – The famous actor nearly called it a career back in 2005 after he suffered an extremely painful back injury while filming the movie Syriana. Clooney struck his head during a particularly action packed scene, and he suffered a torn dora – the area around the spine that holds in spinal fluid. Before several surgeries were able to correct the issue, Clooney told reporters that he thought about ending his acting career once and for all.

2. Jillian Michaels – Micheals, best known for her role as a trainer on The Biggest Loser, deals with endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome on a regular basis. The conditions cause debilitating abdominal pain and can cause complications during pregnancy. Michaels eats healthy meals and exercises regularly to help keep her symptoms at bay, but she has decided to adopt in lieu of pursuing a painful and potentially dangerous pregnancy.

3. Montel Williams – Williams had been misdiagnosed as having chronic pain for 10 years before he was correctly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 1999. The talk show host said he viewed the diagnosis as a “call to action,” and he went public with his diagnosis in an effort to raise public awareness as well as funding for a cure. He runs the Montel Williams Foundation, which raises money for MS research, and he noted that he exercises for 75 minutes a day to keep symptoms from flaring.

4. Sinead O’Connor – Mrs. O’Connor had to step away from her music career in 2003 to deal with her painful Fibromyalgia. She returned to her career two years later, noting “Fibromyalgia is not curable. But it’s manageable. You get to know your patterns and limits, so you can work and plan around it.”

5. Kathleen Turner – The two-time Golden Globe award winning actress has battled with rheumatoid arthritis for over 20 years. The condition attacks the body’s soft tissue and joints. Just like the above celebrities, Turner said the diagnosis gave her a fresh perspective on life, saying “Suddenly all that stuff about having good looks and being sexy took secondary position to being able to walk without pain.” She now speaks out about the condition with hopes of raising awareness and finding a cure, and she earned a lifetime achievement award from the Massachusetts Arthritis Foundation for her efforts.

Related source: Prevention.com

Another NASCAR Driver Dealing With Problematic Pain

Denny Hamlin is the latest NASCAR driver to have his season impacted by debilitating pain, as he needed to withdraw from Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway with neck pain.

Hamlin told reporters that he pulled something in his neck during the 12th lap, and he didn’t feel want to compete if he thought he was a danger to others.

“I can’t move my head or neck like I need to, and I’m not doing this team any justice if I go out there like this,” Hamlin said after withdrawing from the race. “I have no idea what happened. I think it’s just a pull, something where you jerk your head around and you feel a pain. Almost like you slept on it wrong.”

It’s surprising that the injury occurred so early in the race. We’ve shared ideas for avoiding pain and injuries while driving in the past, but NASCAR drivers don’t typically have the luxury of getting out of their car and stretching to break up the drive.

Denny Hamlin

Despite pulling out of Sunday’s race, Hamlin said he plans to compete in three races this week, which seems a little aggressive for a driver who only completed 22 of 500 laps last week. He added that he’s received treatment early this week, and he’s excited to compete this week at a track 20 miles from where he grew up.

“After treatment this week, I feel close to 100 percent, and I’m confident that I’ll be good to go this weekend in Richmond,” Hamlin said. “It’s a great track for our team, and one that means a lot to me personally. Hopefully we can go out there and compete for the win.”

Another NASCAR Injury

Hamlin’s neck pain is the one of the first NASCAR injuries we’ve heard about this year, but last season the injury news centered around Jeff Gordon, who claimed that chronic back pain could force him into retirement. Over the course of his career, Gordon has undergone professional treatment, strengthening exercises and received anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone injections to manage his back pain.

Although he hasn’t publicly stated that it’s due in part to his back, Gordon has already announced that this season would be his last full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series.

I’ll keep tabs on Gordon and Hamlin as the NASCAR season progresses, but under the playoff structure, Hamlin has already qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he missed some races to ensure he enters the Chase as healthy as possible.

How to Deal With Pain After a Marathon

The Boston Marathon is underway, and although the winners have already crossed the finish line, thousands of other runners will soon complete their own 26.2 mile trek. Even if you’ve trained for months, running a marathon is sure to leave you feeling aches and pains in the coming days. To combat post-race pain, we’ve come up with a few tips to help prevent and alleviate pain after a long run.

Right After The Race

Although you’ll likely be looking for family and friends after you cross the finish line, there are also some steps you’ll want to take to within a few minutes of finishing. The first thing you’ll want to do is refuel, but it’s easier said than done. Your body isn’t going to be able to handle a big meal, but if you can get your hands on a banana, orange or energy bar, you’ll be able to help prevent post-race cramping. Once you’re back home, consider taking a cold bath to help destress your muscles. After that, you’re due for some much needed R and R, but try to get up and walk around a bit to keep your legs loose.

Marathon tips

The First Few Days After The Race

You’re going to be pretty sore in the first few days after your marathon. To keep your muscles loose, soak in a warm bath for 10-15 minutes every day, and do some light stretching once you’re out of the tub. Feel free to use a muscle roller to massage your muscles as well. As for nutrition, reach for fruits, proteins and a few carbs. The fruit will help boost your immune system, and the carbs and protein will help your muscles mend.

A Week After The Race

Now that you’re a week out, you’re probably itching to get back out there and go for a run. If you’ve followed the above tips, you’re probably feeling pretty good, but you’re not quite fully back. The first thing you’ll want to do a week after the race is to continue eating a healthy diet. Avoid a bunch of junk food and stick to fruits, veggies and a balanced diet. Get a lower body massage, pour yourself a warm bath, and soak for 15-20 minutes. Once that’s complete, do some stretches. If everything feels good, feel free to try a short 3-5 mile run.

Those are some good tips to follow, but if you know something is wrong after a race, swing on in to a doctor. A professional will be able to conduct a full examine and tailor a rehab plan to your exact injury.

1 in 4 Misuses Chronic Pain Meds

New research published in the journal PAIN suggests that approximately 20 to 30 percent of opioids prescribed for chronic pain are misused. Additionally, the current rate of opioids addiction hovers around 10 percent.

“On average, misuse was documented in approximately one out of four or five patients and addiction in approximately one out of ten or eleven patients,” who were prescribed pain pills as part of their treatment for chronic pain, said Dr. Kevin E. Vowles and colleagues. They added that the new findings provide “updated and expanded” estimates of the opioid problem in America.

Increased Prescriptions, Increased Addictions

Pain PillsTo see how increased opioid prescriptions have fueled pain pill addictions, researchers analyzed 38 reports to measure three separate opioid-related problems:

  • Misuse
  • Abuse
  • Addiction

Researchers examined documented cases of dependence, withdrawal and overdose to come to their conclusion. Opioid misuse was classified as “using opioids contrary to instructions, regardless of harmful or adverse effects.” After adjusting for variables, researchers concluded that between 21 and 29 percent of people who are prescribed opioids misuse them.

“If it is accurate that approximately one in four patients on opioids display patterns of opioid misuse, but not addiction, then perhaps more efficient targeting of treatment resources would be of benefit,” said Dr. Vowles.

As for opioid abuse, which is classified as continued opioid use with actual or potential harmful effects, researchers suggested that about 8 to 12 percent of patients abuse their medications.

Dr. Vowles and colleagues concluded by saying that physicians should seriously evaluate if a patient is a good candidate for an opioid prescription, as the dangers seem to be outweighing the benefits.

“We are not certain that the benefits derived from opioids, which are rather unclear…compensate for this additional burden to patients and health-care systems.”

Related source: Medical News Today

Tiger Woods is Great, But…

The Masters is over, and for first time in a long period Tiger made the cut and finished a tournament. To no one’s surprise, Tiger did not make a run for the leaderboard on Sunday, but he certainly opened some eyes by finishing tied for 17th. At 38 years of age, he is no longer in his prime and now appears fortunate when he makes the cut and finishes. In the future he may have a few more outstanding tournaments, but they will likely be few and far between, and it is likely he will only win a few more tournaments throughout the remainder of his career.

Tiger has now had lumbar back surgery, knee surgery, and may have hip problems besides the above, not to mention he injured his wrist in Sunday’s final round. He pulled out of a tournament earlier this year when he aggravated his back. Most likely, for him to play well, the conditions must be perfect, and he has to have a good day when his pain is controlled. To play at a high enough level routinely is unlikely since either his back or joints will cause just a slight issue such that he will not be good enough to play against the younger and healthier players.

Gold is a Young Man’s Game

To win at a professional level, one must be a top athlete in perfect physical and mental health. All sports at this level require one to be in the best physical shape to master the skill necessary to play a perfect game. After having the physical skill, one needs to have absolute mental concentration for the game. If one has physical pain, the concentration for the perfect game is not present. If one has had back and knee surgery, one also does not have the perfect physical balance to be at the top of one’s game.

Tiger Woods

As we age, there are many changes that occur in the body, and after age 25, for most sports, we are slightly past our prime for physical ability. By the late 30’s we are definitely past our prime for almost all intense sports, especially individual events. There are a few older athletes who are competitive later in life, but this is generally a rare event. The best athletes perform as well as they do because their bodies and minds are in perfect condition for their sport.

For professional golf, a new leader is likely to emerge in the future, and that leader could easily be 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, who ran away from the competition at Augusta this weekend. Tiger was the first very young winner to take the stage. Now, it will likely be someone who is in the young twenties and has great mental strength to deal with the pressure of winning, which sounds a lot like Spieth or Rory McIlroy. I think they’ll be the face of professional golf for the next 5-10 years.