The one thing that I have had to deal with my entire life is pain. Back pain, leg pain, and headaches from the stress that comes with the pain. Physical therapy can help. Strengthening exercises, proper stretching, and warm up exercises do make me feel better, but the pain doesn’t really go away.
Massage therapy can bring about relaxation and it makes me less stressful. The main problem is the ability to afford it. Unless someone knows otherwise, my insurance definitely does not cover it.
The Spina Bifida Association has a document on pain. “As people with SB age, they often have pain associated with degenerative conditions that affect the spine, joints, or muscles (musculo skeletal pain). In SB, commonly seen conditions are: arthritis, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tethered cord syndrome. Back pain is common in adults, and can be very debilitating.” Yes, yes, and yes.
Not only has the pain I experience increased, as I’ve gotten older I now have Spinal Stenosis. This demands that I be very careful in the way I move and twist my back. I do everything possible not to fall.
So how can we deal with pain?
My experiences have given me the following insights.
I don’t take pain personally.
I’ve seen many people with chronic pain become bitter. They may blame God or just start feeling hopeless. Don’t fall into this trap!
Do you want to pity yourself or do you want to effectively deal with your pain?
Pain is there for a reason. It tells us that something may be wrong, to stop doing what we’re doing, or keeps us from hurting ourselves. Pain in itself is neither good nor bad. It helps, but it also can hurt.
I use pain medication sparingly.
I noticed a long time ago that the effectiveness of pain medication decreases over time. This means either taking more and more medication or weaning ourselves away from the pain medications. As I get older I am more apprehensive about how medication affects my heart health. I read the warning labels and I become concerned.
If your taking pain medication, don’t stop based on my opinion. Talk to your physician.
I’m conscious and careful.
If I twist in certain ways, I hurt more. When I fall I may cause enough pain to have to go to the emergency room. If I’m on my feet too long I suffer for several days.
These are the times I take medication.
I focus on other things.
This is one of the key ways that I deal with pain. Keep busy doing something. Laying or sitting around with nothing to do is a big mistake.
Keep busy working, having fun with friends and family, pursuing a hobby, talking with people, exercising, reading, going to church activities, traveling, and just about anything else.
When you start thinking about your pain, refocus. Think about something else, anything else.
There is pain that stands up and kicks you every time you try to get up. Trust me, I know this kind of pain. Focusing on other things becomes totally impossible. For this kind of pain…
- See a doctor
- Reposition yourself
- Get help from someone
This kind of pain needs treatment. Get help.