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pain management: hypnosis, biofeedback, intrathecal pump

johnsfo's picture
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I've been having severe pain caused by a tumor at the sacrum.(Originally diagnosed in February 2009; further spread seen in August and in January.) I've had chemo and two courses of radiation therapy to slow the growth of the cancer and reduce the pain. All of that worked temporarily, but the cancer continues to grow (very slowly now, that's good) and the pain has returned each time worse than before. In January I had a hypogastric nerve block (surgeons inserted needles to the nerve roots that transmit pain from the sacral area and injected them with bupivacaine, a numbing agent). That gave me some relief for about 2 weeks, but the pain came back, and now I'm taking double the dose of pain meds that I took before the procedure (and that's a lot!). The pain and pain meds leave me drowzy.

So I'm looking into hypnosis and biofeedback for pain relief. Do any of you have any experience with these techniques for treating pain or know anything about them?

I'm going to try non-drug therapies to manage pain, but my doctors have also suggested an intrathecal pump (surgically implanted reservoir and pump that delivers pain meds directly to spine). If anyone could offer information about that, that would be very helpful too.


PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi John
I am so sorry you are having such bad pain. I have know 2 people that had the internal pain pump,(not for cancer but for degenerative back disease and injury) They have been able to stay mobile for years, where it was impossible for them to walk before, and had been on oral pain meds for years. One fellow, it quit working so well after several years, and last year he just had a type of tens unit implanted that delivers electrical current to disrupt pain signals, this is working somewhat for him, not 100%. He is now looking into a brand new treatment that is available, injecting sea snail venom into the nerves that signal pain, it is a non-narcotic alternative, you can look it up on the internet, it is pretty new, and not being done everywhere, but it is an alternative that does not dope you up and your mind stays clear. I hope there is something that will work for you. My father suffered with pain from bone cancer that nothing would touch unless he had enough to knock him completely out, which he did not want till the end, and I had my experience with the pain from cancer, so I am hoping you can find something. My best wishes for you.

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