Drug-Free Remedies for Chronic Pain

Jun 30th, 2015
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“It felt like I had been doused with gasoline and lit on fire,” recalls Toussaint, now 48, who was a student at the University of California, Irvine. “I can’t imagine surviving something more devastating.”

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Health ReportDrug-Free Remedies for Chronic PainEscape from Pain Without Drugsby: Loolwa Khazzoom | from:AARP The Magazine| Jan./Feb. 2009 issue In the early 1980s Cynthia Toussaint was a promising young dancer, close to snagging a role in the hit TV series Fame. But then she tore a hamstring in ballet class. Usually such tears heal on their own, but in Toussaints case the injury led to the development of complex regional pain syndromea little-understood disease characterized by chronic pain that spreads throughout the body and can be so excruciating that even the touch of clothing hurts. It felt like I had been doused with gasoline and lit on fire, recalls Toussaint, now 48, who was a student at the University of California, Irvine. I cant imagine surviving something more devastating. Toussaint had become one of the many Americans suffering from chronic painas many as 76 million, according to theAmerican Pain Foundationwho are dealing with everything from arthritis to cancer. And like many pain patients, she struggled to convince doctors her symptoms were real. Toussaint says she was refused X-rays, misdiagnosed, and dismissed as crazy. One doctor patted me on the head, saying, Youre making a mountain out of a molehill, darling. You need to see a psychologist, she recalls. Meanwhile her diseaseoften reversible if treated earlyonly got worse. Bedridden and folded up in a fetal position, she was un

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