Overcoming A Life with Chronic Pain
March 14, 2017
For 10 years I fought crippling #chronic_pain. The arthritic cry of my muscles caused me to roll out of bed every morning and hobble to the bathroom. I remember this pain every day, because I spend time carefully measuring each chore, all food in-take, and the amount of weight I carry to keep me from ever revisiting that pain of old. Living with chronic pain is an issue that I work with all the time in my hypnosis and life coaching business and also in helping seniors using restorative chair yoga.
Managing pain is fairly easy if you understand the mechanics of pain and how it functions in your body. If, for instance, you strained a muscle in your back, a message gets sent to your brain to protect that muscle. So, the muscles literally harden around the injury, causing painful loss of movement and challenges as you try to move in particular directions. For a back sprain, bending forward could become very challenging.
The pain is supposed to act as a reminder to protect the injured muscle. Managing this particular pain should be easier…
Continue reading below.
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Continued from Above:
…if you don’t have to move in any particular directions or have a strenuous job, which isn’t the case for most of us. The fascinating issue with chronic pain, such as arthritic pain, TN (trigeminal neuralgia), or fibromyalgia is that resting doesn’t seem to help. In fact, moving seems to keep the pain at a minimum.
Many books have been written about pain, but one that is my favorite is Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight, written by Sharon Heller. This book defines an issue called Sensory Defensiveness that seems to follow those who have chronic pain. Our senses get flooded very easily, because our neural pathways are already working overtime, sending pain signals to and from the brain almost constantly.
One clear way of helping the issue of pain is to confuse the brain and the neural pathways by stimulating other nerve centers of the body. You can do this by brushing the inside of your palm with a soft, baby brush. You can wear ankle weights or put on a weighted vest. Some people with chronic pain and sensory defensive issues might even use a weighted pillow on their lap during work to keep the pain centers confused while sitting.
All of these Occupational Therapy tricks are perfect for pain issues, but you may also need an anti-inflammatory as well. Most people prefer nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, because of the bad side effects of steroids. I would have to agree with this information. My pain relief daily has been for a long time a non-codiene-based pain medication called Tramadol, which in the last 2 years has moved to a schedule 3 drug. It is very effective for chronic pain, but may be harder to get these days as it is easy to become addicted to. However, if you talk to any doctor who treats arthritic pain, Tramadol is the go-to drug for most of us. It’s effective and doesn’t cause you to feel high or out of touch with reality. In fact, I can only tell of its effects now when I don’t take it.
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