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Chronic pain is one of the most common symptoms associated with Sjögren’s. I have the interesting position of working as a healthcare provider in the field of comprehensive pain medicine as well as being a Sjögren’s sufferer.

My role working as a Physician Assistant and Chiropractor is to help patients manage their pain. In our practice, we treat a variety of diverse conditions with a continuum ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to abdominal pain and everything in between. While this can be a challenging area of medicine to practice, it is also quite rewarding to assist others in living a more enhanced quality of life.

Prior to being diagnosed with Sjögren’s, I rarely experienced pain. Recently, I was reminiscing back to a time not many years ago in which I only used ibuprofen once or twice over several years’ time. My own personal struggle with Sjögren’s causes me to endure discomfort in various areas of my body every day. I experience joint pain, especially in my knees and fingers. The nerve sensations in my muscles are also very discomforting. Additionally, only since the development of Sjögren’s, I suffer from debilitating pelvic pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications ibuprofen and Celebrex seem to help the greatest for my pain. Heat is also quite effective. When I make more anti-inflammatory diet choices, my pain is absolutely better. This includes avoiding excessive sugars, flour, dairy, red meat as well as processed and fried substances. When I regularly take vitamin D and eat fresh cherries the pain also improves. If I have poor stress management and sleeping habits, my pain worsens. Finding motivation for regular exercise can be difficult as I also fight significant fatigue, but I know that movement is necessary to keep my joints and muscles mobile. I also use a TENS unit from time to time as well as over the counter lidocaine products.

It is fulfilling to assist in improving the quality of life of others that suffer from chronic pain. This is especially meaningful being that I endure pain daily. I encourage anyone experiencing chronic pain to seek out a comprehensive pain management specialist for evaluation.

by Rebecca Hosey, DC, MSPAS, PA-C

Dr. Rebecca Hosey is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Chiropractor. She has practiced interventional pain medicine for many years and was diagnosed with Sjögren’s in 2015.

This information was first printed in the Foundation's patient  newsletter for members. 


Comments

— Jun 27, 2020

Hello, I am five years into being diagnosed with SS. I am reading past posts regarding pain, and found the sentence "nerve sensations in my muscles also very discomforting". I am curious if anyone finds an "all over" body prickling /tingling sensation? I believe this to be related to SS, particularly when there is a flare up. Any comments would be most appreciated!

Hi. I am 53 and recently diagnosed through bloodwork.
I have chronic pain all over, both neural and muscular.
At night when I lay in bed, I have all over body tingling and an almost tremor like feeling
all over. The only medication I tried so far is Rheumate, which is RX.
I am not sure If it actually helps.

Thank you so much for writing this blog. I was diagnosed with SS a few months ago and you have touched on some things I have been having issues with. Pelvic pain is one of them. My doctor thought I had a hernia and sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon sent me to get a CT scan of my stomach and pelvis and it was negative. The surgeon sent me to a pain clinic but I wasn’t told or I didn’t quite understand why he was sending me to a Neck and Spine clinic for pelvic pain. The pain doctor sent me to get a internal ultrasound and then an MRI which showed calcified fibroid tumors. I decided myself to go to the gynecologist to see if it was something the test didn’t showed. Well the gynecologist repeated my pap and no cancer was found but normal postmentalpostal things that is found in most women. He was puzzled of why they ran so many test on me regarding the possible hernia. He told me that it could be pelvic pain from the SS. I was so happy to read that in your blog.

— Apr 29, 2021

I was diagnosed 6 years ago by my Rheumatologist. Under stress , I find the symptoms flare.
I then review my diet and exercise program. And use Ibuprofen for the pain. Being cold, exacerbates the symptoms.

Sensitivity to cold and heat, numbness in fingers and fatigue are my enemies as a person used to having had a very busy professional and personal life. Family has trouble understanding the flares.

Any suggestions?

Annette

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