What pains you? As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned about what my older relatives were complaining about all those years ago. Additionally, almost 20 years ago I found out that I was developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Fibromyalgia. Over these past two decades, I’ve learned to live with pain because I had no other option.
What does this have to do with fitness…everything! When you have daily aches and pains, you think the way to deal with it is only rest. I had doctors tell me that was the best way to deal with it. The truth of the matter is you cannot just sit like a rock and stop living. What I’ve learned from pain management can be easily applied to reduce discomfort, soreness, and recovery time from regular workouts.
The #1 key to pain management is flexibility- both literally and figuratively. Proper stretching and even stretching exercises when you first awake can be the key to having a good day and a good workout. Additionally when you have spot pain in certain areas, before treating with medication, stretching can many times ease the pain. On the figurative side, pain can be an amorphous adversary. You can have a treatment that will work for days, months, or even years and then all of a sudden, the treatment no longer works and you must be flexible to adapt with it.
Although I still use medication, things like stretching, use of a topical alcohol product, pressure point therapy, TENS therapy, heat therapy, massage therapy, and other non pharmaceutical therapies have drastically reduced my medication intake and improved my quality of life. Most doctors will just write you a prescription and before you know it, you are taking 28 pills a day like I was over 6 years ago.
When you take pain management into your own hands, you are able to learn to listen to your body and take on your pain in a proactive way. Just to give you an idea of my perspective, I’ve had multiple kidney stones. I know women who have had both children and kidney stones and they all say they would rather have a child. Well, I’ve had kidney stones and dealt with Fibromyalgia and I would rather have an occasional kidney stone rather than deal with Fibromyalgia.
Over the next few weeks, we will investigate the proper way to deal with pain management covering topics of how exercise can help, the use of non medical therapies, the proper use of medical therapies, and how to reduce your use of medication. If you have been dealing with chronic pain, I’ve been there and I hope to help you on your journey to successfully deal with your pain on a daily basis and learn how to conquer it.