FROM OUR EXPERTS
As I sit here writing, I'm in a lot of pain. The left side of my low back is throbbing. Often I can ease this pain by popping the back, but this time that hasn't worked, and neither has Advil. The next step will be to put a prescription pain patch on it.
"Depression hurts," say the Cymbalta commercials. Yes, it does, and antidepressants that, like Cymbalta, work to make more of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine available have also been shown to relieve pain.
My questions arise from my own experience. Although I was formally diagnosed with bipolar relatively late, I see symptoms going clear back to childhood. I began to have chronic pain in my early 20s, first in my neck and head, then crippling pain in my arms that finally moved to my mid and upper back. This was diagnosed, after 9 difficult years, as fibromyalgia. Then later I injured my low back and have had trouble with it ever since, while other areas of my back flare up periodically.
One of t...
Take it from me: maintaining your weight while entering middle age – especially for a woman – can be really difficult. I have to admit that I haven’t been great about it. First of all, I always have eschewed looking at the scale and, instead, focused on how my clothes fit. And I’ve always had a solid body type, probably due to being really athletic when I was younger. In fact, my weight and appearance have never matched. In my 40s, however, I have found that a number of factors came into play causing excess pounds to creep onto my frame. First was a high-pressure professional position that meant I spent more time at the office (and less time exercising). Second on the list was being laid off from that position in April 2005, which gave me the time, but also increased my stress level. The third factor was taking on caregiving for my mom as she battled Alzheimer’s from 2005-2007. The fourth factor was injury. A really painful case of plantar fasciitis that ...
Lately, I’ve found that my hips have stiffened up. According to my massage therapist, part of the reason is due to lower back issues that I’ve been facing. It turns out that my lower back has recruited my hip muscles into a revolt that at times can be uncomfortable and at times can be downright painful.
And I’m not alone because, unfortunately, stiff hips can be part of aging for women. In her book, “Fit and Fabulous After 40,” Denise Austin notes that women’s hips differ from men’s. “Our hip socket is called a Q socket, and unlike men, the line from knee to hip isn’t straight; our femurs, or upper leg bones, fit into the hip socket at an angle,” she writes. “For this reason, women tend to experience more hip problems are they grow older.” She notes that issues with your hips can impact your ability to walk and also can lead to back pain and other injuries. Plus, I want to do everything I can to avoid getting arth...
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