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Monday, July 9, 2018

5 Ways to Troubleshoot Pain

I deal with some sort of pain all the time.

I have Adhesive Arachnoiditis and Level Four Endometriosis - the most severe kind to have. I'm also on a long ass waitlist to see if I also have Ehlers Danlos. It's fun being me and I'm only slightly sarcastic when I say this.

Side note, my spunky much younger sister-in-law told me about a tee shirt that said, "I see your sarcasm and raise you some sass." I definitely need this tee.

Seriously, it is fun being me, pain and all, and after the two and a half years of darkness I was in, I can confidently say this.

However, that doesn't mean I get frustrated when new things occur or when I suddenly start having severe pain either in a known area or a brand new one.

This is where troubleshooting comes in. I have to ask myself if it related to my endometriosis or adhesive arachnoiditis first. If it's not - then I have to figure out what happened to me that this new issue is chronically hurting...(my knees, my shoulders, my ankles, etc.)
5 Ways to Troubleshoot Pain

1. What is New in Your Life?

Have you started a new supplement or medication, a new workout program, new eating habit, new furniture, or heck, even new shoes???

I have really emphasized starting only one new thing at a time. Unfortunately, I should take my own advice. Insert laughing until you are crying face here.

In one week, I bought a new sofa, started pilates (because yoga has currently messed up my shoulder), and driving myself around my giant mega-metroplex. Then I went on vacay with #leohusband to see his family. Talk about stupid. We got back late, late Thursday night and by Friday I was in so much pain my seven-step process didn't work. I was in so much pain I eventually passed out due to exhaustion around 1 AM.

Luckily, I woke up Saturday around a 5 and have worked hard to keep my pain at a 5.

So again, don't do what I did these last two weeks, try to stick to one thing at a time to see how it is affecting you.

2. If you Start Hurting, Immediately Stop.

This is a great piece of advice from my Physical Therapist and a Level (something or other but extremely advanced) Iyengar Yoga Teacher, I had the lucky opportunity to take a private lesson from.

If I'm totally honest, I'm also bad about this. I have a hard work ethic and sometimes I have this drive to work through the pain because I want to get stronger. Unfortunately, this backfires on me all the time. If you are doing something that hurts, as in sitting, standing, and new exercise etc. Immediately stop and do something different.

In the middle of writing this, my nerve pain turned on and I immediately got up and got ice to sit on. After I complete my thoughts here I will probably start a new sewing project so I am moving around and not sitting down. Plus, my mind is distracted so double bonus.
3. If That Area is Talking to You, Don't Scream Back at It

My #breadwinnerbff and I were talking about her getting back into CrossFit. They did a day of arms and shoulders and she was commenting on either taking the day off because her shoulder was 'talking to her' or letting the trainer know at the gym to modify her workouts so she doesn't injure her shoulders.

Oh, how I wished I had that conversation with my yoga teacher back in April. My left shoulder was still talking to me a week later and revisiting all the exercises we did in the previous week landed me with shoulder bursitis and impingement. You don't ever want bursitis or any kind. It sucks just as bad as my adhesive arachnoiditis. Ugh!

So the point here is if you are aware of an area in your body because it has been overworked then don't work it further, especially if you are over the age of 30! 18-year-olds can do that crap, not you.

4. There are Sore Muscles and Then There's 'Holy Crap, Cut This Part of My Body Off'

I've been sore and I've been sore where it's kicked off my arachnoiditis, but with a true injury - there's throbbing, limited movement, and sharp pain. This is the kind of thing that needs medical attention. The first week I overtaxed my left shoulder I was sore but I could still move and had no agonizing pain. The second week was a totally different story.

If I could have cut my shoulder off I would have. That is not normal and if you are feeling anywhere along these lines then you should get a doctor's appointment immediately.
5. Surgery Should be Always Your Last Option

There are some people who believe that if you step into an orthopedic's office that they will immediately recommend you have a surgery. Now, this is quite possible but I believe a good orthopedic surgeon will exhaust all options first before suggesting surgery.

If you go to an orthopedic surgeon that immediately suggests surgery, get a second and third opinion. If there is severe damage then yes, you may have to have surgery but in most cases, you can recover with physical therapy and a combination of pain management treatments like acupuncture or dry needling, ultrasound, steroid injections (never get a spinal steroid injection), cryotherapy or topical medications.



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