Can a pillow help with neck/shoulder/back pain?

I am so sorry for all your pain!!! I can relate b/c I hurt my lower back in September (bulging disc). These are the things that helped me: chiropractor (get a good recommendation), physical therapy, a Tempurpedic knockoff bed (Sealy Trueform), a Tempurpedic pillow...and then after I started feeling a little better--yoga and pilates. Yoga and pilates have really helped me to get to the next level in recovery. I am getting much stronger in my back and abs. (I already had the flexibility and good range of motion) I now only go to the chiropractor when I feel like I need it (about twice a month if that) and I no longer do physical therapy. (I "graduated" from it!) I know your pain is in a different area, but maybe one or more of those things might be helpful to you, too.
I am so sorry for all your pain!!! I can relate b/c I hurt my lower back in September (bulging disc). These are the things that helped me: chiropractor (get a good recommendation), physical therapy, a Tempurpedic knockoff bed (Sealy Trueform), a Tempurpedic pillow...and then after I started feeling a little better--yoga and pilates. Yoga and pilates have really helped me to get to the next level in recovery. I am getting much stronger in my back and abs. (I already had the flexibility and good range of motion) I now only go to the chiropractor when I feel like I need it (about twice a month if that) and I no longer do physical therapy. (I "graduated" from it!) I know your pain is in a different area, but maybe one or more of those things might be helpful to you, too.
Originally Posted by Bekah79
Thanks for the advice!
I do actually do pilates when I can. When the pain is really bad, it's pretty much useless, but I'm hoping with the muscle relaxants, I'll be able to get back on it. I'm also hoping the rheumatologist suggests some sort of physical therapy. My muscles are so sore it literally hurts to touch them. My boyfriend tries to give me massages, but I end up in tears. I can't even touch it myself. But if I know it'll make the pain better and have someone who knows what they're doing, I'd suck it up and work through the pain.
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So the first night with the pillow was rough. I woke up a lot and at one point was just in incredible pain and couldn't be back to sleep for a while. When I eventually did, I woke up comfortable but still in back pain, which is better than upper shoulder and neck, too. I would have stayed in bed had I not heard my roommate shut the door and not lock it, which isn't cool if i'm out cold upstairs. So I went downstairs to lock it, and here I am, considering maybe getting some more sleep.
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From your description of how sore and tender your muscles are, fibromyalgia sounds like a real possibility. Did we have this discussion once?

Yoga might be better for you than pilates, since it involves a lot of stretching which helps back pain a lot. My BF got good results from physical therapy for his herniated disc pain, after trying medication, acupuncture and chiropractic without success. When he saw me practicing my yoga, he realized a lot of the physical therapy was the same stretches as in yoga. Now he practices yoga with me and has kept his back in good shape.

If you could find an Iyengar yoga teacher, that would be ideal since they know a lot about anatomy and can modify the poses for someone with injuries or pain.
From your description of how sore and tender your muscles are, fibromyalgia sounds like a real possibility. Did we have this discussion once?

Yoga might be better for you than pilates, since it involves a lot of stretching which helps back pain a lot. My BF got good results from physical therapy for his herniated disc pain, after trying medication, acupuncture and chiropractic without success. When he saw me practicing my yoga, he realized a lot of the physical therapy was the same stretches as in yoga. Now he practices yoga with me and has kept his back in good shape.

If you could find an Iyengar yoga teacher, that would be ideal since they know a lot about anatomy and can modify the poses for someone with injuries or pain.
Originally Posted by SuZen
Yes, you've mentioned it before. I was afraid to bring it up with my doctor, because typically he brushes me off with concerns, at least lately. But when I had the name for the pain from my mother's physical therapist, I was able to go to him and tell him what the problem was, straight from a professional's diagnosis. I mentioned fibromyalgia with it, carefully, because the myofascial pain is associated with it. He ran a bunch of tests that all came back ok, and then he said he wanted to refer me to a rheumatologist for a potential fibromyalgia diagnosis. He made it sound like his own idea, which was funny, but I'll take it how I can get it. What would actually be so great about the diagnosis is that I have all these things wrong with me and often feel like an utter mess and like I'm falling apart, but most of those things fall under fibromyalgia, so I'd feel a lot healthier--like what's wrong me is only in relevance to the system that's messed up. It's not like a have a bad heart, the mitral valve prolapse is associated with FM. It's not that my stomach/intestines suck, IBS is associated with FM... like there's one thing that's causing all my problem instead of my body just not working for a million different reasons. A lot could be wrong, but it's still only one cause. That'd make me feel a whole lot better.

I don't have the money or time to take lessons, but are there DVDs I can buy for yoga? Are there any you'd recommend?
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These two are good for complete beginners. They teach the poses carefully.

http://tinyurl.com/3xejok
http://tinyurl.com/3334cn

This one is gentle and soothing. The actual practice is only about 20 minutes.

http://tinyurl.com/2l4rn3

This is a longer practice that is still one of my favorites. There is a good level of instruction and it's not too strenuous -- good stretching.

http://tinyurl.com/2pbecg

If there's any way of taking even a few live classes, it's much easier to learn the poses that way instead of from a video.
These two are good for complete beginners. They teach the poses carefully.

http://tinyurl.com/3xejok
http://tinyurl.com/3334cn

This one is gentle and soothing. The actual practice is only about 20 minutes.

http://tinyurl.com/2l4rn3

This is a longer practice that is still one of my favorites. There is a good level of instruction and it's not too strenuous -- good stretching.

http://tinyurl.com/2pbecg

If there's any way of taking even a few live classes, it's much easier to learn the poses that way instead of from a video.
Originally Posted by SuZen
Thanks!
I'll look into what the classes options are around here, but that might be way down the road from now. I'll take a look at the videos if that's the case.
Under construction.

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