Pain was one of my main debilitating symptoms from Lyme and co-infections. I experienced severe headaches, jaw pain, and neck, shoulder, and back pain daily. Before I was diagnosed, I tried prescription pain killers and they did nothing. Today I still get headaches occasionally (but rarely), and occasional jaw pain and neck, shoulder, and back tension, but it’s very manageable and most days I’m pain-free (except for pelvic pain, which I will write about in a separate post.) Here are a list of treatments, oils, and other remedies that helped me most:
According to upledger.com, “CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams - about the weight of a nickel - practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.”
In order to alleviate my headaches, shoulder, neck and back pain, I did craniosacral therapy weekly for about a year, and every time I walked out off the office pain-free. It was amazing how a few gentle touches could completely release the pain in these areas immediately. Although I don’t think it was a permanent cure for my pain, it allowed me to better cope with these debilitating symptoms.
I started going to a chiropractor 7 months ago. One of my healers, who previously had Lyme Disease, suggested that I go to a specific practice. It was my first time going to a chiropractor, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I got hooked. At the time, I was having occasional headaches, almost daily jaw pain, and occasional neck, shoulder, and back tension. Although it was a lot more manageable than before I started treatment, it was still uncomfortable. I was assessed for about 45 minutes, and then shown the results on a computer program. I couldn’t believe how out of alignment my body was as I looked at pictures of me standing still! I was carrying over 5 lbs of extra weight on one side of my body, and when I had to close my eyes and march in place, I ended up on the opposite side of the room. I was also told that my body was disconnected at certain points and was not properly communicating. I fell in a low percentile and it was recommended that I start going twice a week. I received a session after the assessment, and I walked out of the office with my headache, jaw pain, and neck pain completely gone.
The practice I go to is focused on NeuroSpinal Connection (the tone of the spinal cord and nervous system.) They use light touches to release physical and emotional blockages in the body. The sessions are only 15-20 minutes. I always walk out pain free, and I have gotten many fewer headaches and less jaw, neck, shoulder and pain since going. I recommended them to some Lyme doctors in my practice, and I got them hooked too!
Acupuncture is a treatment that involves sticking needles in various parts of the body in order to restore the balance of energy or “Qi.” Studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain.
I started going to acupuncture weekly and now I go every other week. You can read more about my experiences with acupuncture here.
Acupuncture has greatly helped my headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain, and stomach pain. One of my acupuncturists would put needles in my fingers (which honestly wasn’t so pleasant) that correlated to spots in my head, and parts of my headache would dissipate a few seconds after putting the needle in!
Cupping also greatly helped my back pain. Cupping involves the practitioner placing small cups on the skin and creating a vacuum in them so that they suck up the skin. It breaks up muscle knots and scar tissue and restores the flow of blood to the area. I usually did cupping in conjunction with acupuncture. Cupping treatments always caused a herx for me, but I found them worth it for the back pain relief.
This has been one of my lifesavers for pain! I have an older version of this one in my apartment that I have been using for over 2 years. You can read more about the benefits of my infrared sauna here. Infrared sauna sessions immediately relieve my headaches (when I sit completely inside it!), jaw, neck, shoulder, and back pain. It also greatly improves my mood.
Here are some of my go-to essential oils for pain:
Deep Blue Roll on (by DoTerra)- I used this for headaches, jaw, neck, shoulder, and back pain
Past Tense Roll On (DoTerra)- this really helped me with headaches. My friend used it for her back pain and said it helped a lot.
DiGize (Young Living)- great for stomach pain
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, I recommend contacting Mikayla (@mikayla_jennifer) on Instagram. Essential oils have been helping her with pain and other symptoms and she can recommend which ones would be best for you.
I occasionally used these for relieving back, neck, shoulder, and pelvic pain:
Sombra Warm Therapy- One of my doctors used this on me when I was having cramps, and it helped dull the pain a bit (my pain is usually pretty intense!) I haven’t used it on other parts of my body but I plan to use it for neck, shoulder, and back pain if needed.
Farmaesthetics Deep Lavender Rub- this contains lavender, menthol, rosemary, ginger and eucalyptus. I put it on my face and chest to help relieve sinus pressure/headaches and on my pelvic area for minor menstrual cramps.
Mary’s Nutritionals Elite Compound- this is a CBD balm that is great for joint and muscle pain.
Biofreeze- this is also great for muscle and joint pain. I first tried this when I was visiting a friend last year and my pain started acting up. It immediately helped!
Magnesium Malate- I remember reading online that this type of magnesium helped people with muscle pain. I talked to my doctor and switched from a different form of magnesium, and noticed a difference in my muscle pain. Studies have shown that magnesium can help relieve pain caused by fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Epsom Salt Baths
I find these are helpful for general achiness, but not so much for acute pain. I usually mix essential oils in Epsom salt (I use this one) and soak for about 20 minutes. I take one almost every night before bed.
You can check out my essay on a different perspective of pain here.