A MUM left a “prisoner of my own body” due to a chronic pain condition claims a £9.95 cream eased her agony in just 20 minutes.
Carly Mullane, 36, suffers from fibromyalgia, the same chronic pain condition as Lady Gaga.
What started out as pain and stiffness in her shoulders spiralled into pain so severe she was left housebound and depressed.
But then she discovered a drug-free, natural remedy called Celafen, which she claims has helped her condition.
After first experiencing tummy troubles and difficulty sleeping in August 2013, Carly caught a virus that “completely wiped me out”.
Thinking the fatigue, pain and rashes were from the virus she waited until her body had fought it off, but the pain in her shoulders never went away.
Doctors initially thought she had arthritis triggered by the virus, but in January 2014 the pain and swelling in her shoulders had begun to spread down her arms into her hands and fingers.
Carly, from Coventry, said: “The swelling was always so much worse in the morning and sometimes my fingers were so swollen by the time I woke I couldn’t grip anything.
“I used to have to hold my hands in water to try to reduce the swelling before I could even think about using them.
“I felt absolutely awful but I was made to feel as if it was all in my head.
“The pain was constant and at times so overwhelming I simply couldn’t move, my stomach was still playing up and I was absolutely shattered.”
Fed up of being told it was arthritis Carly booked to see a private rheumatologist in April 2014 who diagnosed fibromyalgia.
But she was devastated to be told there is no cure for the condition.
FIND OUT MORE What is fibromyalgia, what are the symptoms of Lady Gaga’s condition and how can it be treated?
“I’m not one to mope but there were times when I just wanted to be left alone, I didn’t want to see anyone and I certainly didn’t want to be seen,” she said.
“I’d gone from having an active social life, going out at least once a week with friends and family, go-carting at weekends, ‘going ape’ or just meeting up with the girls once a week, to being a
prisoner in my own home, a prisoner of my own body.
“The physical problems were bad enough but living with a condition like this affects you mentally too, it’s difficult for it not to.
“I was irritable and snappy and kept thinking ‘surely this can’t get any worse?’.”
Prescribed a myriad of painkillers for the condition, Carly followed her doctors orders but soon suffered the side effects of taking medication.
She was initially prescribed codeine and amitriptyline for the pain but her blood pressure “went through the roof” and she was switched to the epilepsy drug pregabalin.
In two weeks she gained 8lbs and medics decided to change her treatment again, this time switching her to a drug called duloxetine, often used to treat depression and nervous disorders.
“The side effects were so horrendous I could only manage one tablet,” Carly, a civil servant, recalled.
“My pupils dilated, I was sick and I didn’t sleep for a full 36 hours.
“All this time I had continued to take codeine for the pain but now I was having trouble breathing.”
Carly, pictured with Emilia, said since using Celafen she has been gradually able to get her life back on track[/caption]
In October Carly was prescribed Tramadol to help with the pain, but the drug can be highly addictive and she worried about becoming reliant on the medication.
It was then her brother-in-law suggested she try Celafen, a chemical-free blend of fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties, celadrin (a blend of fatty acids), menthol, vitamin E, antioxidants and extracts of arnica.
According to the manufacturer’s website, Celafen is an “effective alternative” to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to manage daily pain.
Within 20 minutes of using the cream for the first time Carly said she was able to lean forward “without my muscles screaming at me”.
“A simple movement that anyone else would take for granted, but for me, being able to do this without being in any pain was momentous. I was so relieved I cried.”
Carly has been using the cream on a daily basis for the last eight months and “gradually I began to regain my life back”.
“I was able to shower unaided, I was able to take a walk to the shops, I was able to do the normal day to day things,” she added.
“Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days. The cream hasn’t cured me of my condition but it has been an enormous help to me.
“I still have nights when I wake up in pain, but when I do, I apply the cream and it relaxes me back to sleep again.
“My movement range has improved considerably. I’m not fully mobile by any means and I imagine it will be a while before I’ll be able to ‘go ape’ again but the cream gives me a
break from the pain and allows my muscles to form different memories.
“I no longer anticipate pain as much as I used to which is hugely liberating.”
A CHRONIC PAIN CONDITION THAT CAUSES STIFFNESS AND FATIGUE
Also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), fibromyalgia is a long-term condition which causes pain all over the body.
As well as chronic pain, fibromyalgia can cause increased sensitivity to pain, fatigue and muscle stiffness, according to the NHS.
Sufferers can also have difficulty sleeping, as well as memory loss, concentration problems, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to chemicals in the brain and could be affected by genes inherited from your parents.
There is no cure for fibromyalgia, although in many cases symptoms can be controlled to make it easier to live with.
Exercise has been found to help ease many painful symptoms, while others find relaxation techniques can help keep the condition under control.
Treatment could include a combination of lifestyle changes, painkilling medication and counselling or another form of therapy, like CBT.
According to the NHS there is no cure for fibromyalgia, but some treatments can help manage the condition and make it easier to live with.
Medications like antidepressants and painkillers are often prescribed, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling.
Some patients may find it easier to manage with lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques, and one study found that tai chi may help.
Alternative treatments, like Celafen, may help some people but it’s best to speak to a doctor before using a treatment that isn’t regularly prescribed.
MORE ON FIBROMYALGIA
'I'm a fighter'
Lady Gaga posts emotional apology to fans after postponing European tour due to 'severe physical pain'
Lady Gaga posts pic with a drip in her arm as she cancels gig after revealing Fibromyalgia battle
In the trailer for the documentary – which was filmed over eight months last year – Gaga can be seen wincing in pain as a physician works on her shoulder.
Celafen can be bought online here.
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