Review: Oska Pulse

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "





What is the Oska Pulse?

Well, it is an external stimulation device designed to relieve pain, muscle stiffness and inflammation through pulsed electromagnetic field technology (PEMF). It promotes recovery for all types of pain and is drug-free.


Where to purchase? Price?
You can purchase Oska Pulse at OskaWellness.com. The cost is $399.
Return policy?
There is a 90-day money-back guarantee.
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The desk of a hectic blogger and my Oska Pulse at work on those hypermobile knees
I'm using it for fibromyalgia but I do have migraines as well, and there is research for that too. I have been using it 6-7 times a day to get some maximal effect due to the fact the pain is widespread. I use it ankles, knees, shoulders and head.

You don't actually feel anything when you are using it. But when I fell down the stairs and used it for my poor abused tailbone, at that time, I felt a warming sensation, which is entirely normal for some cases due to the increased blood flow.

It isn't like a TENS unit which is basically just contracting the muscles. Reminds me more of other external devices of similar function but different types like the Cefaly which is a cranial analgesic electrotherapeutic device. But Oksa Pulse is a PEMF specifically device and used for all pain not just migraines.
Oska Facebook

Results

So I felt nothing right away and I was using it emphatically. Since you cannot tell if something will help if you do not use it and I am greatly intrigued with things like transcranial stimulation... but clearly this is portable and uses a slightly different process. Nevertheless, there is a boatload of research out there on it. So intrigued.

So then a few weeks in I actually injured from a tumble down the stairs. (I had a vertigo bout and my body flung itself down the stairs. I was not amused). During that time it was impossible for me to exercise on my stationary bike as it was damn hard to just sit comfortably. I kept on using it and used it on that injury in fact. Maybe it helped me recover faster. But what I do know was the very surprising result when it came time to exercise again.

First, exercise is a painful venture for me. It is always a painful venture due to the fibromyalgia, exercise intolerance, and the hypermobility syndrome combo. My knees... they hurt like hell. So pretty much immediately the pain hits and gets exponentially worse the more I progress. I have never, ever had it not be extremely painful to do. Just doing it all the time I slowly gain minutes on my time. Took me about 6 months to work up to an excruciating level of 20 minutes? I never look forward to it. And I don't believe in endorphins because I sure don't get them. And I have no idea how more pain is supposed to help me with my chronic pain. That is what I think about exercise. Until that Oska pulse kicked in.

I went down to exercise. And that immediate intense pain didn't kick in. At all. Just like a moderate sort of ache. Not even moderate, like a mild ache. And it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my entire life. Because even after two weeks of inactivity, which Would have meant I would have been able to do 5 minutes, I was able to do 20 minutes before the fatigue got to me. And at that point I knew... this is doing something.
I have noticed it in other small ways. Walking distances. Capacity to color longer (stress reduction hobby). I get nerve pain in my hands, and coloring I love to do but cannot do for long... but I can longer now. I can do housecleaning longer. Fatigue is always an issue, but pain isn't as limiting with it. I have also noticed my excessive migraine persistent nausea has diminished since using it and I have no idea if that is to due with its use... but the nausea has been pervasive for two years and now the intensity is about 70% reduced.

Now with migraines, which I get daily, it is harder to tell. I recently have started BOTOX so it is hard to say which is doing which. But I have noticed some really low-intensity days lately. A few migraine free days, period. I feel that with migraines it is slower to respond because this pain is ingrained in me for two decades. But I feel it is doing something. I am on the first round of BOTOX which shouldn't have an effect yet... I was a complete non-responded the first go around on the first round. It should take me 2 to 3 rounds to make any difference. Yet I feel a difference and I believe that difference is the Oska Pulse. I know it is doing something migraine-wise. The reason I know this is that when I started using it on my head it flared up my auras every time and was pretty obvious. But then it seemed to adjust to it and got used to it and that effect stopped. So clearly it was working in that area of my brain pretty good. I am optimistic if I use it more in the head area regularly I will see a better response in this regard and excited to do so. As you might have heard these external stimulation devices are not new to migraines... there are some types on the market and a new one coming out. Not sure if any of them are PEMF tech, but the reason they are coming out is because external stimulation does work, doesn't require surgery and is safe. It is a great thing to add to your regiment.

So I will continue to use it for the migraines with the BOTOX and see if I can get some pain management that is better than what I currently have. That is all a gal can ask for.
With the FM I will continue as I am and continue with the results that I am getting. Enabling me to do my exercise routine is a big deal to me. Without the massive amount of pain as well.
This wee device works. It is sneaky and takes a bit of time but then BAM you notice some sort of difference that wasn't there before. I am so glad I have reviewed it. It is my favorite buddy now. I actually am using it on my knee right now as I type. It is certainly worth it for FM and quite possibly based on what I am feeling so far, for migraines as well. Oska Pulse sells itself to every person who tries it for about three months of continual use. Doctors should hand these out to people with chronic pain. I know these sorts of devices actually are becoming more popular in chronic pain management (as in one neurologist clinic I went to had a few gamacore devices they gave to people to use for chronic migraines) so it is very possible we will see more universal devices like the Oska Pulse in pain clinics for chronic pain management. Quite frankly I believe firmly in utilizing all thing we can for pain management in conjunction with medication so I would like to see pain clinics explore options that benefit the patients.

Benefits:

  • non-drug treatment
  • external device, so no surgery to implant it.
  • portable and I can bring it with me anywhere anytime
  • It has a band so I can attach it do my shoulder or back or knees as the need may be
  • Chargeable
  • Runs on 30-minute cycles and turns off by itself.

Some research

A study done in 2007 on FM and chronic pain with FM yielded some interesting results specifically in the area of fibromyalgia. (A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a low-frequency magnetic field in the treatment of musculoskeletal chronic pain. Pain Res Manage 2007;12(4):249-258.) "A differential effect of PEMF over sham treatment was noticed in patients with FM, which approached statistical significance (P=0.06) despite low numbers (n=17); this effect was not evident in those without FM" The study was for 4 weeks and compared to a sham group who received a device that did nothing.
The net reduction in pain on the VAS was equivalent to allow to moderate dose of opioid analgesic in PEMF-exposed patients (63-67). It has often been pointed out that both the endogenous and exogenous opioid systems are influenced by PEMF exposure sessions in animals and humans (68-70). Moreover, when an opiate such as morphine is used in combination with PEMF, the side effects of the opiate may be reduced(42). Consequently, we believe not only that PEMF should beinvestigated further as a replacement for opioid analgesics insome patients with chronic pain, in particular those with FM, but that PEMF may also warrant investigation as a supplement to opioids, especially in patients with more severe pain.
Of course, with the Oska Pulse we have a device we can use at any time and we are not limited to a study where they were testing for a short duration. Continual use naturally affects results. What is important about this study is that they thought the results helped with FM due to it being used on the head rather than the body... due to the nature of FM pain. If it were OA, for example, you would use it on the location of the arthritis for the benefit, but with FM the location is the brain.
 
It should be noted I have been using it on the head and body, because I have FM and hypermobility syndrome... so pain seems to be caused by a lot of factors and I can't necessarily gauge which is which.
 
And for the area of migraines there have also been studies as well: "Treatment of migraine with pulsing electromagnetic fields" involved 42 subjects had treatment 1 hour a day for 2 weeks. 73% reported decreased headaches (45% a good decreased and 15% and excellent decrease). 10 went on for an additional 2 weeks of treatment. All showing a decrease in headaches (50% good, 38% excellent).

There is actually a lot of PEMF research and I am just plucking two in the areas I am using it for. But it ranges from uses in arthritis to depression. And is being explored in wound healing.

The perks of working

Have too much ambition_ On the fast track and don't know how to get off_Try migraines..jpg
I have always been an ambitious person with specific career goals. And it is hard to reconcile that chronic pain doesn't really allow for ambition. Really ticks me off, to be honest. But we can work and a lot of us do work. And there are certainly benefits to doing so.
  • People- yes, social interaction with actual people. Major perk for chronic illnesses because we are prone to isolation.
  • Pain distraction- As long as you are not exceeding your pain limits, work is actually a fine pain distraction. Rather than ruminating on it, you are focused on other things.
  • Keeps you engaged- keeps you mentally engaged. I don't know about you, but when I am off work I have to work hard at keeping myself mentally engaged. I do a lot of freelance writing on the side to keep my brain from stagnating into a puddle of goo.
  • Money honey- Yeah, no one wants financial instability that comes with disability. And people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain tend to suffer financial due to disability and compromises in jobs. It is a fact of our lives. So money, doesn't hurt.

So working comes with it a few benefits. As long as we do not exceed our limits, because when we do that, it becomes torture. If you are exceeding your limits you have to a) adjust work or b) adjust your chronic pain management. Or both. But certainly helping with chronic pain management goes a long way in helping a person continue to function in their workplace.
I still constantly fight myself over ambitions I have. What I believe I can do vs. what my body has historically told me I simply cannot do. Frustrates me immensely. Especially when it is also an enjoyment factor. What you enjoyed doing vs just a job.

Preparing for work with chronic illness

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The Brainless Blogger is returning to work, once I get all that sorted out. I had to get a new vehicle because my brother hit a deer and wrote my off. So that part is taken care off. And I need to get my migraine Botox redone again so that side of things will be done. Then just the work side to get done.
Working with chronic illness and pain is a complicated thing. We have a lot of strategies we use at home to cope with pain and illness that we have to somehow transfer to the workplace to cope with the pain, fatigue, and illness. What I do, is by no means what you may do but it is how I transfer things over with my two primary illnesses fibromyalgia and chronic migraines.
  1. Mental illness- I had my depression due to pain treated, which was necessary. It was compromising my capacity to cope with the pain. So that was a step that was needed. And I am glad it was done. I feel much better for it.
  2. I saw a pain psychologist regularly and learned a bit about acceptance and pain management. And in general some of this issues holding me back from my coping skills.
  3. Exercise- A regular exercise routine is important and I hope to maintain it when working, since it helps with FM.
So what to take to work with me?
  • Mindful meditation- It can be done in an office environment pretty easily. I find it relieves a lot of the stress of the pain I am in fairly quickly.
  • Ice pack- Nothing like an ice pack for a migraine during a break to get some cold treatment when needed on lunch break. It really does help. I do it often at home and I think at lunch it would be a fine idea as well. Combining that with the meditation likely, with ear buds to knock out sound.
  • Magnesium oil- for general pain and for migraines- absorbs the magnesium quickly but bypasses the digestive system for those of us who have digestive complaints with magnesium. As I sure do. But a shot of magnesium helps with migraines. It also helps with muscle pain.
  • Migraine balm- I use Japanese mint oil for a migraine balm. Apply it all the time, as needed and a must have for work.
  • My fatigue herb I take twice a day. Rhodiola. One in the morning. One in the afternoon. My B mix in the morning.
  • It would be nice to have aromatherapy but I doubt that is a plausible request, however, you can buy the ones you wear around your neck.
Then, of course, regular medications to manage intensity and frequency of migraine attacks and FM pain.

Monday Manual: recommendations for fatigue

Monday manual fatigue part one and now the recommendations....

fatigue recommendations
BONUS:
  • Take Rhodiola. (Pronounced Road-o-weena. Silent L. Inserted sneaky W. We are not sure where the N sound comes from). Researched for fatigue this may give you a boost. Always talk to your doctor about new supplements. Not because they will know anything about them or contradictions, but because it covers our liability for mentioning it.
  • Take random supplements and herbs until it creates some sort of energetic concoction that may or may not be illegal in some States. Name this concoction after yourself and sell it, thus making you rich and, therefore, enabling you to retire early and manage your fatigue.

I don't need approval

I am awesome as is.I rock my chronic illness selfAnd I don;t need to validate it to you.I need to live the best life that I can..png
I am in pain.
I don't need to validate that pain to anyone.
I cope with chronic illness and pain in many ways.
I don't need anyone's approval of my methods.
All I need to do is live the best chronic illness life that I can.

I don't want to fear life for fear of the pain. The pain will always be there. I want to cope with the pain the best that I can so that I can have the best life that I can. And that involves several strategies and some acceptance of the pain itself and chronic pain management.
I have a life to live. I want to live it. Carefully. Moderately. Pacing. Doing the work I need to do. Getting the treatment I need to get.

Maybe I should...
Why don't I...

No.

I am on a path. I am trying the strategies that I want to try right now. If they fail I will move to the next strategy and the next and the next. I find what works, and I keep it. I find what does not, and I discard it. Every single on of us is different. We often do not need the random health advice from a perfectly healthy person. Not that I will not listen because I will. I will listen and see if it is something I know or do not and hold that information for later. But that information never gives one the right to dictate that I must do such and such 'or I don't want to be well' or 'I don't want to cure myself'. I must do nothing. You have no right to dictate anything. And I want to be as well as possible... there isn't a cure.

You can't be in pain because...
You were fine yesterday...

No

My pain is mine alone. You have no right to dictate how I should or should not behave with it. That I cannot laugh. That I cannot enjoy myself. That I cannot have good days. That I must be in abject misery forever. Well, you are wrong. Simple as that. And my pain is my own, not yours to comment on. To doubt. To judge. I have to cope with it. Live with it. Endure it. How I do so, is my choice. My good days, are mine. Pain variability is a simple fact. Good days. Bad days. It is a mix.

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Maybe you, that judgmental random stranger, will have to accept people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain have complex treatments. Pain you would beg for mercy for it to end if you had it. So, no, we are not lazy twiddling our thumbs all day doing nothing. We are doing all the things we need to do to manage the pain so we can do things like work and socialize and have some semblance of a life again. We will take what we can get when we can get it.

Frames of Mind

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Announcement of this awareness campaign has come out to post your art to help awareness of migraine.
Select submissions chosen by notable migraine experts will be displayed at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society from June 8June 11, 2017 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, MA and other migraine-related events throughout the remainder of 2017. Additionally, art submissions will be displayed on the My Chronic Migraine Facebook Page.

So consider participating in this migraine awareness campaign via art that expresses your migraine experience. Not one for art myself, since I am not too artistic. More for the written word; fiction, poetry, essays- that sort of deal. But I will be eagerly awaiting to see what everyone comes up with.

Research: looking at sleep and fibromyalgia

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I have talked about fibromaygia and sleep before.
See: Fibromyalgia, sleep hygiene and insomnia
Lack of continuous sleep in Fibromyalgia
#sleep duration and# fibromyalgia #pain intensity
 
Now we have another study looking at our quality of sleep and sleep dysfunction in fibromyalgia. It is one of the hallmark symptoms of the syndrome. This study unsurprisingly states we have difficulty falling asleep and worse quality sleep compared to control groups of healthy individuals. Surprise! Not really. Sort of knew this from my actual sleep.
The study Sleep Disturbances In Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis Of Case-Control Studies was a meta-analysis of previous studies. I rather like these because they are reviewing a lot of combined data. In this case 25 studies with 2,086 subjects in total.

Studies evaluating sleep with polysomnography reported significant differences between fibromyalgia patients and healthy individuals concerning wake time after sleep onset, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency, among other parameters.
Studies assessing sleep with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index reported significant differences in global scores, sleep onset latency, and sleep efficiency between the two groups of participants. Fibromyalgia News today
Again we get the notion we wake up 'unrefreshed', which we do, no matter how much sleep we get feels like we got none at all. With this study this may be because of our difficulty falling asleep, the poor quality of that sleep (long suggested), the lighter sleep (I would also say frequent sleep wakings) and shorter sleep duration.
“Clinical trials have shown that improving sleep quality can reduce pain in individuals with fibromyalgia,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, primary care providers should be informed by the findings of the present study and proactively assess the risk of sleep disturbance in patients complaining of chronic widespread pain or consider the diagnosis of fibromyalgia in these patients. Clinicians should also actively treat sleep disturbances when poor sleep is identified in individuals with fibromyalgia.”Fibromyalgia News today
This is important-- actively treating the sleep dysfunction. The consequences of not doing so are plenty. Sleep deprivation is not fun. One example that happened to me is I started getting regular sleep paralysis events the more sleep deprived I got. I had suspected partial seizure events as well. And my migraines in the morning were brutal due to lack of sleep. When the sleep issues were treated, even moderately, morning migraines diminished (migraines start a few hours after waking most of the time) and the other events ceased. I do occasionally get sleep paralysis still, when I have a few days of really poor sleep. This isn't even counting pain from lack of sleep or cognitive dysfunction purely from lack of sleep.

Review: Fibro Soothe

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. "

2017-04-12 01.09.54



Prohealth offers the product Fibro Soothe. I personally am pretty interested in these fibro supplements and I have tried some before. They save me from having to buy so much more, and I can just buy the one to take regularly to help my Fibromyalgia. Right there is one perk.

It contains: Frankincense, Turmeric Longvida, DL-Phenylalanine, Ginger, Devils Claw, Ashwagandha, Bromelain, Papain, and Turmeric Powder.

I am pleased to see Turmeric on the list as well as Ashwagandha and ginger.

  • Turmeric: Within Turmeric is Curcumin, the active ingredient which is well known as an anti-inflammatory. The site says it may 'Promote soothing comfort in muscles and joints.' Fact is, FM is one of those syndromes investigated for low-grade inflammation so this is a good product for us. (study, study, although you can find many). So treating inflammation, so a good idea at this point.
  • Frankincense: (Boswellia serrata Wokvel)- is likewise an anti-inflammatory. Here is a study on osteoarthritis where they had significantly improved pains scores and function. Most of the research on it for arthritis is good and positive.
  • DL-Phenylalanine: is thought to boost dopamine and Norepinephrine. Most importantly, it is thought to help with help with how the brain and the nervous system process pain and respond to pain. And fibromyalgia is a pain processing disorder. It actually can be used to relieve minor depression, which is an added perk for me.
  • Ginger: They put in the ginger due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. But just so you know, it is awesome for nausea, which I have a boatload of. I welcome it in any supplement because my nausea doesn't agree with them either, or anything.
  • Devils Claw:  It has been used for pain, arthritis, and musculoskeletal disorder. The Prohealth site references this study where it was seen as equivalent to the NSAID Vioxx. Since we know the risk with NSAIDs, and I have experienced the long-term side effects, that is something to consider.
  • Ashwagandha: Has been used for anxiety, insomnia, and stress. It can decrease cortisol for stress. For those factors alone I think it is valuable. This study showed it reduced stress and substantially reduced cortisol.
  • Bromelain: Is being used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Although you might be interested to know it can reduce heartburn and help with nasal congestion. Bonus!
  • Papain: Used for pain and inflammation

Other mentions:
Other Ingredients: Silicon Dioxide, Starch, Soy Lecithin, Stearic Acid, Maltodextrin, Ascorbyl,Palmiltate,Milk, Capsule (Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Purified Water). Contains Soy, Milk.
Contraindications: Not to be used during pregnancy. Freshness packet is not edible and should be discarded Prohealth
So we see a theme here. Inflammation. Why is that? Again, because there has been a lot of research recently indicating there is inflammation in fibromyalgia. It makes a great deal of sense to address that. I liked this supplement for that focus given all the recent research I have read on the subject, not to mention, the general pain relieving focus. Prohealth product Fibro Soothe is, I think, a well-combined combo of herbs.  The Ashwagandha and ginger being I think great additions. The Tumeric providing a good core to build the others around. On my trial of it, I have been in a lot of pain, flaring majorly lately, but it seemed there was a steady reduction in there. I think this is one I will add to my other fibro vitamin supplement choice as I think the two will work perfectly in conjunction. I am going to see how it goes in an even longer period of time, because so far it has had a benefit on a severely bad bout. Bound to do better once I am not so flaring.
The one issue I have a problem with is the soy in the pills. Since I take synthroid and I am supposed to avoid soy. But it seems to be everywhere these days. Hard to do really. I'll have to look into it but it might be like my calcium... can't take it within 4 hours of the synthroid. Synthroid is the most finicky med for such things.
Inflammation in Fibromyalgia


In 2013, Spanish researchers published an hypothesis that inflammation in fibromyalgia could be the result of dysfunction in the mitochondria (parts of your cells that break down nutrients to create energy.) Another study out of Spain, from 2010, showed elevated levels of mast cells—which release inflammatory chemicals in response to various triggers—in the skin of people with fibromyalgia.
Also in 2012 and 2013, multiple studies revealed several markers of inflammation in fibromyalgia, including high levels of C-reactive protein and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Very Well
. Further reading about inflammation in FM: Study Reveals New Treatment Target for Fibromyalgia: Inflammation in the Brain

Poem: Time

So many lost days to pain

Time

Lost days, melded into decades.
Concentration, focus slid away.
Memories erode and it all fades,
Locked in infinite pain, time's prey.

Monday Manual: Fatigue




This is a new humour section on the blog for Mondays. Starting with the Chronic pain Manual and moving on from there.

Research into brainfog and FM w/ depression

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The Spanish study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology  called “Cognitive complaints in women with fibromyalgia: Are they due to depression or to objective cognitive dysfunction?” recurited105 women with fibromyalgia for their analysis.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, cognitive dysfunction, sleep dysfunction and fatigue. However, the cognitive dysfunction of fibrofog with its concentration issues has not always been thought of to be from the FM. Studies have shown it is from the pain, from the sleep dysfunction and even from depression.

Results:
Eighty-four percent of the patients reported subjective cognitive complaints. Depression scores, everyday physical functioning, and working memory performance were most strongly associated with subjective cognitive complaints. These three variables were significant predictors for subjective cognitive complaints with a final model explaining 32% of the variance. Study
In conclusions “Cognitive complaints are very frequent in patients with fibromyalgia, and these are related to functional and cognitive impairment as well as to depressive symptoms.” Study

In other words, even if the patient has depression, all the cognitive issues are not related to it.

I would love to just redirect you to the new site...

But sadly the redirect function doesn't function. I will continue to persist hitting it and see if it will eventually do something. Or s...