Can Fasciablasting Help Intractable Pain?

If you haven't heard of the latest trend in health, Fasciablasting, you are not alone. While it may seem to those "in the know" that Fasciablasting is on everyone's radar, it isn't.

Last month when I got together with #breadwinnerbff, I had to explain what it was to her, and it didn't help that I hadn't brought either of my blasters with me.

I showed her some YouTube videos and she was already in the know about fascia and how it can affect your muscles and pain.

So first what is fascia?

Fascia is a connective tissue within your muscles. It can become tight and inflamed contributing to muscle spasms (knots), muscle weakness, tenderness, and a host of other issues.

When you get a deep tissue massage the therapist is often working on breaking up some of your fascia that has clumped and thickened.

What is Fasciablasting?

Fasciablasting is a term created by Ashley Black, the creator of the Fasicblaster, where you use a many-pronged device to break up the fascia that you can use in the comfort of your own home. Back when I started Fasciablasting there were only two devices, the original and the travel. Now there are so many that I can't even keep track.

Can Fasciablasting Help Intractable Pain?

Let's get down to the nitty-gritty, I'm not going to make judgments about levels of pain and so on, suffice to say that while fasciablasting is recommended for things like fibromyalgia, my problems and pain levels are much more serious.

I have Adhesive Arachnoiditis which is classified as one of the worst pain conditions. It ranks at the top of the list along with metastatic bone cancer, renal colic, chronic regional pain syndrome, and migraine.

So when I say I Fasciablast, I do it completely different than what is recommended for fibromyalgia.

First, if you have inflammation, I have neuroinflammation, do not use heat.

I fasciablast only the areas that have a hard time keeping muscle strength and are consistently tight. I never fasciablast along the nerve pathways that are affected by my adhesive arachnoiditis. I save those for dry needling. I fasciablast my upper legs and stomach.

Second, I do mine in the shower. I have a process. First, I dry brush my entire body and then get in a warm shower. I start fasciablasting my legs then my stomach, finish the shower and get out.

In the beginning, I started with five strokes down my IT Band, 5 stokes down my quad, 5 down the inner thigh, and 5 down my hamstring and over a period of 4 months, increasing by 5 each month, I worked up to 20. The same for my stomach.

In the fifth month, I added on horizontal strokes at 5 and worked up over a period of another 4 months.

In all the effect I have received is my legs are less sensitive to touch which for me is major. My stomach blasting has allowed me to work on my core since the blasting helped me to lose some inches. It also has helped digestion issues.

Do I blast my whole body?

No, and in honoring my body and what I need to do for it, the energy expended blasting my whole body would dampen the benefits of the blasting itself. Plus, I did that once and the inflammation it caused and the resulting pain flare took me months to get over.

When I get out of the shower I immediately put ice on my "nerve pain" areas and follow up at night (or afterward) with an Epsom salt ice bath for 20 minutes.

Fasciablasting is not pleasant but I did eventually find relief in combination with all of the other things I do to stay on top of my pain. Again, doing natural, alternative medicine treatments can take months if not a full year to see a benefit. Stick with it chronic pain warriors.

Chronic Pain Crafts: Learning to Crochet

Recently, #LeoHusband went on a trip to Scotland. He always likes to surprise me with something on his trips that speaks to my soul. This trip was no exception he brought me yarn from the Isle of Iona.

From an arts and craft store called Iona pebbles that he literally ran into on his hike across the island. He got to meet the sheep that the yarn was made from and spoke to the owner.

Back before the s*** hit the fan and I was able to keep up with my blog every day, I was talking about national craft month.

I really enjoyed talking about my love of sewing and quilting because it keeps my body moving, which is so important when you have a disease like arachnoiditis. In fact, keeping moving helps other diseases like fibromyalgia and MS as well.

Sometimes though, we, chronic pain warriors, are in such pain that all you can do is be in front of the TV and try to get through a really bad pain flare. This is when I turn to things like knitting and crochet.

I keep a box next to the couch of crochet projects, and I swore that I was going to start knocking projects off my crochet to do list. Needless to say, I was very surprised when #leohusband brought me seven skeins of yarn.

Instead of sitting on the yarn and not doing anything with it, which is my usual MO, I decided to immediately find a pattern and start working on it.

I found this gorgeous shawl by Mama in a Stitch called smoky mountains triangle crochet wrap.
I don’t know why but making a wrap/shawl felt right with yarn from Scotland.

She also has a YouTube video on how to get started.
This is a very easy project so if you have never crocheted before you should have no problem doing this with her instruction.

She also has a nice pdf version of the pattern for sale which I highly recommend you support another artist by purchasing her patterns. I have several of them and she is a great pattern artist.

I am in no way getting a commission from Etsy for this pattern sale. All proceeds go to Mama in a Stitch. Support Independent Artists.

What is Arachnoiditis?

So you have just gotten a diagnosis of Arachnoiditis or Adhesive Arachnoiditis.

Before you push the panic button, take a deep breath. No seriously. Do it now. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this three times...I'll wait.

You are going to be ok.

You are at a crossroads where you can choose to live a life filled with love and joy or a life filled with the pain you are in now.

I want you to choose to fight as I have.
What is Arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis is classified as a rare disease.

The majority of Arachnoiditis cases are iatrogenic which means caused by medical intervention. There are numerous causes of arachnoiditis:

1. Direct mechanical injuries (dural cut/tear) caused by surgical interventions, especially repeat spinal operations, after fusions or minimally invasive procedures requiring corrective surgeries.

2. Trauma to the spinal cord.

3. Epidural disc prolapse.

4. Repeat manipulation during catheter or leads insertion.

5. One or multiple spinal taps.

6. Several steroid epidural injections.

7. Injections of epidural steroids gone intrathecal.

8. Difficult epidural blood patches.

9. Injection of myelogram dye into the spinal cord.

10. Infections that may cause meningitis (viral, fungal or bacterial).

11. Epidurals during childbirth

All of the current, non-existent, research says that it is an incurable and progressive acute inflammatory condition that occurs in the dura (exterior) and the arachnoid (interior), two of the three membranes that cover and protect the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerve roots leading from the spinal cord.

The arachnoid contains the cerebrospinal fluid which circulates from the brain to the sacrum every two hours. The fluid filters any invasion and usually responds first by inflammation. Secondly with a chronic life-long phase characterized by scarring and fibrosis.

As a result, abnormal adhesion of nerve roots to the dural sac or to each other (clumping) occurs in a variety of configurations that alter significantly the function of the nerve roots, the spinal cord, and the cerebral fluid.

This causes a variety of neurological deficits and severe chronic neuropathic pain usually located in the area affected and referred pain to the extremities.

Now what to do about it?

First, read my blog posts on how to get pain free days.

6 Steps to Have Pain Free Days
Day in the Life of a Chronic Pain Warrior

Second, get a knowledgeable doctor that has time to listen, learn, and work with you. I found a functional medicine doctor so I recommend googling "FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE" doctor for your area or a "NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE" doctor.

Third, research, test, and figure out what is going to work for you. Check out these materials by Dr. Forest Tennant and Practical Pain Management

What does your future look like?

Well, I decided to try everything, and I mean everything. Yoga, meditation, changing my diet, reiki healing, acupuncture, dry needling, IFC therapy, Epsom salt ice baths, light therapy, chiro therapy, chiropractic, medicine, supplements, dry brushing, fasciablasting, inversion therapy, traction...the list goes on and on.

The point is I didn't give up and it took two years of working on my health every single day to see improvement but gradually I did.

The hard part, your health is now your career. If you want your pain to decrease, doing what it takes is now your job.

Good Luck.

If you need any advice, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cassava Flour

I hate to bitch about April of 2019 constantly but it was seriously a bitch. Pun intended.
After I got home from seeing #breadwinnerbff at Harry Potter World I was so tired physically from the demands I placed on my body in one day. I didn't really get the chance to recuperate because we adopted a senior pup on Easter Sunday, just 4 days after my trip.

New pup = Nights of little sleep for about a whole week. Friday ended with me desiring some chocolate chip cookies and wanting to work on a paleo recipe.

This is the first batch I came up with, I'm sure over time the recipe will evolve but these were pretty tasty.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cassava Flour

1 C of Cassava Flour
1/2 t of baking soda
1/2 t of salt
1 stick grass fed butter
1/2 C Coconut Sugar
1/2 t Organic Vanilla
1 egg
1 C of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or Morsels
1 C Pecans (optional)

Oven to 375 Degrees • Baking Time 9 - 11 minutes

Melt the butter in a large bowl and let cool while you mix the dry ingredients.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the cassava flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the vanilla, coconut sugar and egg to the melted cooled butter and whisk.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir. Add the chocolate and pecans, if using, to the batter.

Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, create drops of cookie dough on a parchment covered baking sheet. Press down each drop to create a flat cookie base. Refrigerate for 10 - 15 minutes.

Pop into the oven and bake for 9-11 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


5 Supplements to try for Chronic Pain

I'm really into supplements for my chronic pain. Before I even met with my functional medicine doctor I was already on a supplement protocol that I had pieced together for myself from different resources.

In January of 2017, I still was undiagnosed, I didn't know what was wrong only that my second back surgery had made my life into a living hell.

Thinking I just needed some massive rehab and that my current program, doctor, and physical therapy wasn't working. I set out to educate myself with as much information about pain and what helps it. I looked for new doctors and consulted the ones I trusted.

If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Supplements for Chronic Pain

In my education search, I came upon two great books.
Ending Fibromyalgia & Auto-Immune Disease: A Comprehensive Holistic Protocol by Tony Xhudo MS HN

Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Mari Skelly and Helen Walker.

I read one and my mother read the other and we compared notes. I talk about these books in this post here and I highly suggest reading that one too because right now I'm going to talk about supplements.

1. The first thing I tried was Bovine Colostrum.

This is the brand I take and I take two every morning as soon as I get up:

2. Then I took Proteolytic Enzymes.

Both of these supplements help with inflammation, muscle and tissue recovery, blood circulation, immune response, leaky gut, and reduce pain.

3. Tumeric
I also started taking 6000mg of turmeric a day, which I built up to slowly over a period of 8 weeks.

Tumeric is an anti-inflammatory similar to an NSAID but without the side effects to your stomach or liver.

4. and 5. Vegetable Blend and Fruit Blend Juice Plus

My podcast cohort, Rebekah Svensson aka Awkward Yet Healthy, got me into Juice Plus around this same time period. Juice Plus is actually not a supplement, it's food. It's a serving of organic fruits and veggies in a capsule form. I will be the first to admit how hard it is to get all of your daily intake of vegetables. Even with a vegetable at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I still can't get 5 servings a day of vegetables.

Juice Plus takes care of that. It's eating an extra dose of veggies. I will say that while it does not specifically help with chronic pain, it helps me be healthier, boosts my immune system and energy, which allows me to deal with chronic pain better.

I started off with the Green and Red Blend. If you are interested in Juice Plus send me a DM and I will get you started.
Next week I'm going to talk about my diagnosis with Adhesive Arachnoiditis and the supplements prescribed by my functional medicine doctor.

Day in the Life of a Chronic Pain Warrior

Guys! April was a crazy month and it's already spilling into the beginning of May. If it could go wrong it did. I'm not a fan of weeks of disappointment and failure, especially when some of it is my fault, to begin with. I feel like I'm constantly putting out fires.

However, I'm making a concerted effort to get back on track. As promised back at the beginning of April, here is what I do on a daily basis to manage my pain. If you haven't seen 6 Steps to Have Pain Free Days, check out that post first.
If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Day in the Life of a Chronic Pain Warrior

First, I start off my day with The Miracle Morning.

The Miracle Morning is a lifestyle program developed by Hal Elrod. Check out my post here and here for more information.

Basically, it is completing a set of tasks with the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S.

Scribing (Journaling)

My alarm goes off usually at 6:30. I get up and put out Luke Dogwalker, our newest family member, and feed him. I then take my pre-breakfast supplements and medications. More on that to come...

Then I head back to the bathroom to dry brush my body, take my zero THC CBC oil (given to me by my pain doctor), wash and moisturize face, brush teeth, and I down 12-16 oz of water.
Then I either take Luke for a 30 minute walk or do 30 minutes of yoga if #leohusband is walking him that morning, but lately, I've been doing both which has my glutes in an uproar.

So my E from The Miracle Morning's Life S.A.V.E.R.S. is complete.

I then meditate, using the Headspace app, do my affirmations (which are now saying I love my life), visualize something I want to accomplish without pain (like bending over to wash my face or our up and coming trip to Europe).

Now my S.A.V. is complete.

I then make breakfast. Two free range eggs and bacon with green beans or riced cauliflower and a tea. I do the last two S.A.V.E.R.S., R and S, while eating breakfast because of my stage three adrenal fatigue. I can't go too long without food in the morning or it further stresses my adrenal glands.

Then I play a bit with Luke and jump in the shower where I lightly Fasciablast my quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes.

When I'm done with my shower. I have a little me time and crash on the couch with ice bags on the areas that have nerve pain and to rest up to keep my adrenals in balance.


I usually write a blog post, work ahead in my bullet journal, read, or catch up on a TV show.

I spend some snuggle and play time with the aforementioned doggy and then eat some lunch. Usually, paleo leftovers from the night before or a quick and easy salad or wrap with 24oz of water.

Lunchtime depends on the day.

One of my awesomest friends, Rebekah Svensson and I are starting a podcast in June, called Chronic Warrior Women.

If it's a podcast recording day I do that with my awesome co-host Rebekah Svensson.
If I'm feeling drained it's a nap.
If I'm feeling crafty, I sew to keep moving.
Maybe it's the day I'm getting dry needled, because I do this once a week, twice if I'm having pain flares.
Maybe it's the day I'm seeing my chiropractor...
I have a snack around 2-3 which is usually an apple and raw almonds and a cup of green tea.

I set out ingredients for that night's meal and then do some work around the house.

I start cooking at 5/5:30, we eat at 6, then walk our doggo together after dinner.

I start getting ready for bed at around 8:30/9.

Night time routine is as follows: an Epsom salt bath, hanging upside down on my inversion table while doing 4, 7, 8 breathing, and then reading until lights out.

I do this *almost every day. I may take off a day or two during the week if I have excessive physical activities. For instance, when we brought Luke home from the foster mom's house he had a pretty severe flea infestation. So I used my physical energy last week to stay on top of cleaning my house every day. That combined with zero sleep with a new doggy, last week was shot for me. However, I got my first full night's sleep last night in over a week, so hopefully, I'll be bouncing back soon.