Tag Archives: inflammation

NatraCure Product Review, Part 2

If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

Natracure Plantar Fasciitis Wrap. $10.99. natracure.com

Natracure Plantar Fasciitis Wrap. $10.99. natracure.com

As I mentioned in the link above, I am a woman who wears many hats. Since I spend a majority of each day on my feet, I need tools that will help me remain as comfortable as possible. It’s been pretty difficult trying to accomplish this goal.

For the past few weeks I’ve been using NatraCure’s Plantar Fasciitis Wrap. This handy little wrap has a built in pad that sits under the arch of your foot. Up until now I’ve been using ace bandages to wrap my feet, which comes with its own set of problems. Ace bandages are bulky and hard to keep in place (especially when it’s so easy to lose those little clip thingys). The Plantar Fasciitis wrap fits comfortably in my sneaker without cutting off my circulation, while the velcro on the wrap makes it easier to put on and adjust when needed.

It took me a couple of tries before I could put the wrap on comfortably. I was having trouble aligning the cushion with my foot so that I couldn’t feel it when I walked. I find that I’m more comfortable when the wrap is put on over my socks, rather than against my skin. I had to adjust it a few times throughout the day, but eventually I got used to the feeling of the pad. And, obviously, this wrap isn’t discreet enough to wear with my summer attire, but that’s not a huge issue. While I would love for NatraCure to improve on the design and possibly make the wrap even thinner, this is my new favorite remedy for my terrible feet.

 

Advertisements

NatraCure Product Review, Part 1

RA is merciless when it comes to feet. When my disease was active my feet would become twice their size, which I tended to not realize until my socks started cutting off my circulation or I couldn’t get my shoes on.

Despite my remission and the overall improvement in my health, my feet have continued to be a source of never ending frustration, with burning and throbbing sensations becoming a constant. I can’t say I’m surprised though. According to my Fitbit, I’m averaging 12,000 steps on a slow day and as high as 15,000 on a normal day. As an elementary school teacher, I rarely ever sit down at my desk. This is all before yoga 4 times a week and the occasional hour on the elliptical or doing Zumba or running at the park. I take every opportunity I can to be active because I never know if/when my RA is going to come back with a vengeance. Regardless of how much I try to take it easy, my feet aren’t appreciative of my gesture.

I’ve tried ace bandage wraps, ankle braces, athletic tape, and Epsom salt soaks. I’ve tried wearing only one specific shoe to work and wearing nothing but sneakers on nights and weekends. There hasn’t been a high heel in my closet in over two years. These things have definitely helped manage the discomfort level, but I was still searching for something more immediate and effective.

A few weeks ago a representative from PolyGel contacted me to ask if I’d be willing to write some product reviews. PolyGel has a line of natural orthopedic gel products under the name NatraCure. Until recently, these products were only available through the medical professional market, but PolyGel is now makeing NatraCure products available to general consumers. While the line contains products to help with pain in many areas of the body, I requested to try products for my feet.

Today I’m going to review the Cold Therapy Socks. But first, I’d like to point out that I wasn’t paid to write this review. PolyGel did send me the products, but it was with the agreement that I would be completely honest with my readers.

The socks have three separate compartments and come with two removable gel packs per sock. One large gel pack is meant to sit below your foot. The smaller pack can either go in the pocket over your toes or in the one behind your heel.

NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks. $20.99. natracure.com

NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks. $20.99. natracure.com

You place the socks (with the gel packs in place) in the freezer for at least 2 hours. The socks are not meant to be walked on, so I grabbed a book and headed to the couch to relax.

At first I was skeptical that these would work, because cold therapy has never really been my thing. I prefer using heat to manage my RA pain because I’m extra sensitive to cold temperatures. I put the Cold Socks over my regular pair of socks to play it safe. Honestly, I probably never would have kept them on if I hadn’t, but this is a matter of preference. I wear a size 7 1/2 shoe, and the small/medium size socks (the blue ones shown in the picture to the right) fit perfectly. They hug your feet just tight enough to provide some compression without you worrying about cutting off circulation. Almost immediately I began to feel relief from the burning.

I kept the socks on for as long as I could personally tolerate, which was about 20 minutes. They were still cold to the touch and could have continued to provide relief, even though the gel packs were not as frozen. By the time I removed them, the throbbing in my feet had stopped completely. There was no aching, and I’m sure if my feet had been swollen, the socks would have helped with that too.

I’ve used the Cold Therapy Socks every night since receiving my package and I’m pleased with the results. The effects are not permanent, but I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in how I feel every evening. Plus, I don’t wake up with achy feet anymore, which always happened on the mornings after my super active days. So while I wouldn’t call the Cold Therapy Socks a miracle cure, they’ve definitely become my favorite way of treating my wounded feet. I told my mother I’m going to buy her a pair for her birthday.

Considering how much money I’ve been spending on Epsom salt and medical tape and whatnot, I’d say the $21 investment is worth it. Plus, the socks give you a chance to relax, and who doesn’t want an excuse for that?


RA After Bodily Trauma

To sum up a long and complicated story, I was in a car accident at 3am on Monday. My airbags deployed. My car was totaled. A trip to urgent care on Tuesday ruled out spinal damage, but I did get a diagnosis for bad whiplash. I’m taking muscle relaxers that make me feel groggy and bleh (which is the most accurate description I can muster at this point) so I don’t feel like writing much this week.

Since the accident, I’ve noticed two things. One being that I could potentially have Raynaud’s disease. It was -12 degrees with the wind chill factor the night of my accident. By the time the car was towed away and I was done talking to the cops, my feet were in so much pain that I couldn’t walk. The defrosting period was even more painful. It felt like someone was stabbing my feet repeatedly with a knife, and no amount of moving or sitting or rubbing my feet helped.

My second observation is that after Monday morning, my joints started feeling hot and swollen. I’m pretty sure I’ll be having a full blown flare soon. I’m wondering if the crash pulled me out of remission, since people often say that they were diagnosed with RA after a traumatic injury.

I made an appointment with my rheumy, so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ll be parking myself on the couch for the weekend.


The Shaving Dilemma

I realize that most of the men who follow this blog will have absolutely no interest in this post. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about it, of course.

Shaving. In the U.S., it’s basically expected. Those who deviate are quickly labeled hippies (I’m not saying being a hippie is a bad thing. I’m merely pointing out stereotypes). So what happens when a woman in her early twenties begins finding it difficult to continue this ritual?

I’m glad that I enjoy wearing jeans in 90 degree weather, because I happen to be said woman. That whole “bending down to shave my legs everyday” thing ain’t working anymore. I might be able to get away with it if I had a bathtub to sit on, but all I have to work with right now is a walk-in shower.

Talk about frustrating. No, I don’t enjoy the feeling of having ape legs. And as ridiculous as it sounds, I’m too damn stubborn to buy a shower stool. I contemplate, I research various products online, but I never purchase. Quite frankly, I think I’m just ashamed of the reaction people will have if they find out I have one. A shower stool is an “old lady thing.” I know I’m being stupid. Watch, pretty soon I’ll be writing a glowing review on one of them.

I think I’m ranting here more than trying to make a point. I guess the moral of this story would be that sometimes we’re forced to do things that might embarrass us for our own good.  And that sometimes you just need to suck it up and deal with it so that you can be a productive human being.

Now this particular human being needs sleep. Good night all.


RA And Sjögren’s Syndrome

Though I’m living more pain-free these days, I don’t think my eyes got the memo. Quite frequently I wake up feeling like I spent the night frolicking through a windy desert. Sometimes I’m forced to leave my desk randomly throughout the day (as I just did while in the middle of writing this sentence) to dart into the bathroom and attempt to put eye drops in my eye (I miss on the first try every time. Without fail). It becomes a bit of a problem when your job requires you to stare at a computer all day.

It’s not rare for Rheumatoid Arthritis to affect other parts of the body besides the joints. Sometimes certain medications people take for RA are the culprits. A lesser known fact is that there are other medical conditions that develop as complications to autoimmune diseases like RA. Sjögren’s syndrome is one of those complications. It is an inflammatory disease that affects tear and salivary glands. According to the American College of Rheumatology, between 400,000 and 3.1 million adults have Sjögren’s, and half of those people have a disease like RA or Lupus. A rheumatologist can test for it during a routine visit. I haven’t been tested for it, to the best of my knowledge. Either that, or I have been tested for it and it came back negative.

The good news, it seems, is that the symptoms of Sjögren’s may go away on their own. Certain RA drugs like Plaquenil may help alleviate symptoms.

Even though my eyes get dry and itchy and my mouth sometimes feels like it’s stuffed with cotton, I’ve found that drinking a lot of water and keeping artificial tears in my bag really helps. My favorite brands are Blink Tears and Clear Eyes Natural Tears. Just make sure that whatever drops you get don’t contain an antihistamine or other allergy component.

Anyone else have this issue? What have you done about it?

 


The Frugal Crafter Blog

Groovy craft projects, crafty recipes and other artsy stuff.

Rebirth of clarity

Live out Loud, Love, Fight, Create and Share

Prose, Poetry, and Coffee

As the title explains, I will post my prose or poetry on a weekly basis (or whenever I feel so inclined). And to jazz things up, I’ll post some of my favorite literary quotes or favorite poems. (I just threw coffee in the title...so *annoyed face* I've gotta clean that up...with my tongue. I love coffee...)

The Clovers Project

Good support is better than good luck.

5x5

Strong, Clear Literature

RAClaRA

A Young Adult's Battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Globe-T.

Le Bonnet voyageur • The travelling Winter Hat

The Thinking Writer

Classes & Community for People With Ideas

MFwAiting

You're Doing Better Than You Think You Are.