Are you in constant pain?
Do you find that you cannot manage to do conventional exercise because of it?
The following link takes you to a post on a website dedicated to living with Chronic Pain and is appropriately called ‘The Princess in the Tower’, which makes me remember how many times that I have associated myself with the Fairy Tales ‘Princess & the Pea’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ & ‘Rapunzel’.
All referring of course to the pain hypersensitivity, chronic fatigue and points in my life where I’ve been housebound!
In this post Princess discusses when we’re in too much pain to actually exercise and what it’s like when exercise is too painful to perform before moving onto how to strengthen our bodies without the use of conventional exercise. Princess goes on to talk about exceeding our limitations and the drawbacks of doing so and the need to set personal limitations (baselines). One of my favourite topics and tools that I use daily as part of my Chronic pain management is relaxation and it is also discussed in this post along-side how to use restorative yoga as a means to help manage your chronic pain.
Princess gives us plenty to think about in her post and, also, some options that we may not think of ourselves regarding how we can strengthen our bodies without the use of conventional exercise because our pain makes it too difficult to do. However, I must state the importance of talking to your GP as a pain & physio assessment may be a way forward for you before embarking on anything new. It could lead to specialist treatments & therapies that may run in line with what Princess is discussing anyhow but without the risks of potentially causing yourself any damage.
originally posted July 7, 2015 by
As a Support group leader and advocate for the charities Mind & FMA UK I am often asked about how exercise can help us to cope with our pain and state of mental well-being and to be honest I find it a difficult question to answer.
If we were all the same and equal in parts it could be easier to explain but we aren’t. It really does depend on the types of pain, locations of pain and also the causes, whether it is due to injuries or illness for example, or even a combination of both!
Chronic pain in my own personal experience has hindered my own personal ability to perform exercise as the ‘norm’ would probably do and in a lot of respect it has caused my health and fitness to landslide and leave me in a position where I can’t exercise in a regular manner anymore, so any help I can get is crucial. Of course!! we must again remember that we all have differing abilities and capabilities due to differing illnesses etc so we must remember to classify exercise on a personal level and find our own ‘norm’.
Establishing our own ‘exercise-norm’ is no easy feat and takes time and commitment. Through the help of a pain management programme I have since found that mapping my baselines/tolerance levels of great, initial, importance before embarking on anything. I then use the pacing techniques which pain management taught me to manage my chores/activities. Nowadays most of my stretches are incorporated into daily normals such as opening the curtains, using the stairs or hanging laundry, or, they have been adapted by a specialist physio for me personally.
However, years ago, long before my diagnosis and that pain management programme, my friends and I decided to join the Uni Yoga class to try to keep ourselves fit and ‘in the zone’ mentally as well as physically. This proved to be fantastic in theory and the best example that I can give to explain our differing needs!
Friend A was born with hip dysplasia so her balance was a bit cock-eyed, Friend B had back problems and Myself who had knee-caps which liked to randomly pop when they felt like it and lower back problems.
Myself, I have no idea what I must have looked like to onlookers because my balance was way off and I had to sit half the class out 😮 Friend A did well considering but also had to sit parts of it out, whereas, FriendB did rather okay.
Friend A felt the pain at the time of the class, whereas, Myself felt the pain 2 days later and it floored me for a couple of days with fatigue to boot, this was pre-diagnosis of HMS, CFS, & FMS. Friend B was fine.
We each had our own exercise norms/tolerances and baselines meaning none of us would do the same as each other, also I was possibly attending the wrong type of yoga class where it didn’t involve ‘restorative yoga’ practice.
Incidently this was the point in my life when I realised something was most definitely not right with my joints, tendons, ligaments and pain sensitivities 🙂
Hope this example helps to put things into perspective.
Wishing you all wellness and I hope you enjoy this post 🙂