Friday, November 02, 2007

Understanding Pain and Taking Control

Our pain signals travel through a system of nerves in our brains and spinal cord. Our bodies try to produce chemicals to help block pain signals. They are called endorphins. There are different factors, such as our emotions and thoughts that cause the body to produce endorphins. Different types of treatments can can stimulate the body to release endorphins or block pain signals. Such treatments can be medications, cold and heat treatments, tens units, yoga, stretching and a number of other treatments.

The list noted below can cause your pain to feel worse:

* Anxiety
* Focusing on pain
* Stress
* Depression
* Focusing on pain
* Overdoing, not pacing yourself

The list noted below can help you block pain signals:

* Relaxation
* Medications
* Massage
* Distractions
* Some Topical pain-relievers
* Humor, positive attitude and pleasant thoughts
* Heat and cold treatments
* Stretching, Yoga, Appropriate Exercise

Managing our pain is a job in itself. So try thinking of pain management as a positive step towards taking control of the pain. I remember going to my pain management classes, while it was difficult to get up out of bed, bathe, and get ready, by the time I completed the days schedule I felt better. I know how difficult it can be to try and get up when you are in pain and have extreme fatigue. If we want to feel better, we must take an active role in working towards managing our pain and fatigue. Adjusting our thoughts and attitude helps us meet our goals.

Try the following steps towards understanding how to control pain:

1). Practice self-talk, consider what you say to yourself. Be positive and don’t say, “I just don’t feel well enough to complete those stretches, it hurts to move.” Try this, “I don’t feel like stretching, but I know I will feel better after completing them.”

2). Try not to focus on the pain and if you do, at least try listening to that pain and ask yourself what you might be doing at that moment that caused the increased amount of pain. Think about what you might do to help decrease that pain.

3). Plan and keep a positive attitude. Talk to your doctor and ask about different treatment options. Plan out your day, medications, and practice relaxation.

4). Be honest with yourself and consider your behavior and habits. Do you need to change something? Be open to change.

5). Try tracking your pain. This will help you figure out what increases or decreases your pain level. It does not have to be something fancy or hard. Keep it simple. On September 3, 2007 I created a Daily Journal for Tracking your Pain. Go back and print out a copy of it and use it. Take it with you when you visit your doctor.

We all suffer from short term memory loss, seek help, ask your partner, a family member or friend to help you remember to track your pain.

Please remember you can write to me and ask questions or just vent. I want to help. That is my mission, reaching out and helping you.

I hope and pray this information has helped someone today.

Fibro Viv

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