It is well known that exercise can help with the management of chronic pain, but it is often met with uncertainty of what to do. Sometimes homework given in the form of physical activity just does not happen. So when the words, "you must do these exercises" come out of the mouth of health professionals, what goes through your mind?
Being prescribed exercises for your rehabilitation are given from Health professionals who have the best interests at heart - they want you to get better. But what happens if there is a mismatch?
There is a necessity for conversations to be based around things such as:
It’s not about blaming the activity or even the person who gave you the exercises to do, it’s really about collaboration. By working together to formulate a plan which can enable you to achieve your goals, whether that is to become stronger, feel better or even lessen the pain.
Dr Bonnie Thompson, explains the following really simply:
Remember exercise doesn’t have to mean going to a gym or rehabilitation center etc. It may not even look like exercise, it can be activities such as dancing, doing the gardening, taking the dog for a walk, playing with the kids, going diving or exploring the Waitakere’s.
If you are going backwards or had little success in your recovery and you are still experiencing pain and niggles, what can you do?
Perhaps we have to adjust our focus and energy of becoming pain free because it really is an impossible feat - chasing pain will send you on "merry-go-rounditis" of health professionals and that can be expensive! Have a read of this blog by My Cuppa Joe on successful living. Jo brings a different perspective, and really highlights there has to be a better way to live with chronic pain.
Have a think about these questions:
Now take your time to mull over it and put some things in place – remember we can only eat an elephant one bite at a time but it must come from within. You are the intelligent one who holds the keys to unlocking those questions - no one else knows your body better than you do, right? So we don't need to hand over complete ownership of our bodies to someone else.
Taking ownership of your life and identity, can get you one step closer to your goals, and what you really value in life. Starting small, making tiny changes and if you need help, then do consult someone who understands your wants and needs. BUT (a big BUT) you have to be prepared to invest yourself as being one of the major stakeholders. For anything to be a success it is important to have you on your side because if you don't who else is going to fight for your cause.
It may be interesting to know that you are not alone and here are the stats:
Before I leave I sign off, there are a couple of really good places to go for help:
First up for those who suffer from chronic pain, we do recommend Paul Lagerman at Active Physio Plus, Albany. Why do we advocate Paul?
Secondly, there are online tools as well:
1. A free online self-management tool called live plan be, so you can manage pain your way.
2. An introduction to pain booklet by Greg Lehman, designed for both you and your health professional, it teaches you what we know understand pain to be.
That's all from me this month!
If you have any questions, please leave below or be sure to contact Anj at firstname.lastname@example.org