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Chronic Pain

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  • #430373
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi everyone!

    I’ve had a chronic pain condition for 8 years now. Since there are a few people here who have chronic pain issues. I thought I would share some of the things I have learned over the years. There is so much to cover, so I’ll write a little at a time. Some of it will already be known, but you never know when something will be helpful and every little helps. If anyone would like to share any advice that has helped them. It would be welcome too.

    I’ll start with the basics simply because the best place to start is the beginning.

    When I have a flare up I have a checklist in my head. Did I sleep well last night? Have I done any gentle exercise yet today? Have I done too much activity and need to rest? Have I eaten or drank anything recently? Did I eat or drink anything that upset my tummy? Am I stressed, angry or upset? For younger women, am I on my period? All of these things are known to increase pain sensitivity.

    Different people even experience pain worsening at different times of day. I experience stiffness in the morning and notice pain more intensely at night because I am starting to relax and shut down.

    Wishing everyone all the best! 🙏❤️

    #430400
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hiya. Thanks Helcat. A very apposite post for me as I am about to reset my chronic pain management regime. I just became old so have to dial down my activities. As my exercise physiologist says, stop “pushing through”. Very difficult when your default has been action woman. So instead of walking for two hours or doing my own regime in the local pool, based on the warm-ups of my favourite footy team, (all 18-28 yr old men) and hurting for two days, I  am now starting to dial it back. My sleep regime is ridiculous, again as it has been all my life to date, so I need to work on that. I wasn’t living in the fast lane, but I definitely need to slow right down and so have committed to walk around the block or half block every day, to begin, and then build from there. as long as it takes.

    #430470
    Roberta
    Participant

    Dear H

    My flexibility  & fitness levels have really taken a nosedive over this long wet winter in conjunction with my dad slowing down, so as his carer I have to go at his speed. I am now doing qi gong which can be done inside in a small space and doing it thru youtube means dad can watch & join in if he feels like it.

    #430481
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi H

    Thank you! I’m glad that you enjoyed the post.

    Well done on getting back into your pain management routine! It sounds very hard to dial back your activity when you are used to being a superwoman and doing it all. Slowing down and gradually building up activity in a more comfortable way is an excellent plan. I wish you lots of luck.

    I don’t know if you’ve heard there is a term for that. Graded exercise therapy, if anyone is interested in looking for more information about such a plan online.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had difficulty with sleep for your whole life. It can be especially difficult sleeping when you have chronic pain issues. Do you have any plans for what you might try to help your sleep?

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏❤️

    #430482
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Roberta

    You have such a beautiful relationship with your father. I can’t help but admire it. I’m sorry to hear that your fitness and flexibility dipped over winter and with caring for your father. I’ve found qigong very helpful for chronic pain too! I wish you lots of luck with it.

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏❤️

    #430769
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Everyone!

    I’ve been thinking about what to write about next and today’s topic is muscle atrophy.

    For certain chronic pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia. There’s some rhetoric around that there’s no physical damage to the body. In theory, true but in actuality varies. A lot of people have muscle imbalances, which when addressed can help minimise pain.

    Inactivity leading to muscle atrophy, is another source of pain. Muscle atrophy occurs with as little as 2-3 weeks of inactivity. Muscle atrophy causes weakness, loss of mobility and is challenging to reverse. It takes a lot of time, effort and pain to rebuild strength and stamina bit by bit.

    This has really been drummed into me with my newborn son. Watching him build the strength to do basic things such as sitting is a process that takes a long time.

    This is why it’s important where possible to resume daily activities after a bout of illness as soon as possible.

    Wishing ya’ll all the best! ❤️🙏

     

    #431895
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Everyone

    Today I’m going to talk about the nervous system and the role in chronic pain. This can also be helpful for anxiety too. Some of you might already be well versed in this.

    So main parts I’ll be discussing today are the sympathetic nervous system (related to fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (related to relaxation).

    Stress, exercise, some regularly consumed medicines or intoxicants wearing off and lack of sleep are the main things that trigger the sympathetic nervous system and increase pain sensitivity.

    The parasympathetic nervous system which decreases pain sensitivity can be activated by a few different things. Stimulating the vagus nerve can be helpful. Things that can be helpful include massaging the base of the skull and neck, yawning repeatedly, shaking your whole body for a couple of minutes, singing, laughter, splashing cold water on your face. There is a ton of information out there for anyone interested.

    Breathing exercises are really helpful too, specifically diaphragm breathing. Also, an important factor in breathing exercises is to have a prolonged exhale for maximum effect.

    Everything has a balance and whilst exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, after exercise, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. So, it can be helpful to exercise regularly to allow your body to practise this balancing effect.

    Wishing everyone all the best! ❤️🙏

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