Every day there is pain, I can’t remember the last time I had a completely pain free day. I have good days, bad days and terrible days, but every day involves some level of pain. Most of my pain is in my leg, knees, lower back, shoulders, neck and hands. Sometimes it is a headache, other times stomach cramps and every now and then somewhere totally new and unexpected.
I learned very early on that I didn’t have time to wallow and moan about my pain. Fact was, I was going to be in pain all of the time and so I had to make the decision to be in pain and miss out on life or be in pain and get on with it. I chose the latter.
I deal with pain in a number of ways but these are the 3 strategies I use when I am having a really terrible day and I need some relief.
1. Hot Showers
Having a hot shower is my ultimate favourite thing to do. Even if I have had one earlier in the day, I often hop into a hot shower again when I am lots of pain. Showers are particularly helpful when I have a headache or neck pain as they relax the muscles and in return relax my tension. Occasionally, I will have a bath but I am not a big fan of baths and if it is my legs
Having a hot shower is my ultimate favourite thing to do. Even if I have had one earlier in the day, I often hop into a hot shower again when I am lots of pain. Showers are particularly helpful when I have a headache or neck pain as they relax the muscles and in return relax my tension. Occasionally, I will have a bath but I am not a big fan of baths and if it is my legs that’s causing the problem, it’s often hard to get back out of the bath again! I have heard from a lot of people that they find showers exhausting and completely wipe them out, but for me, it is the most relaxing and revitalising thing I can do when I’m feeling sore.
2. Hot Water Bottle
If I am pain of an evening, before bed I will most likely make up a hot water bottle. It’s such a lovely comforting thing because it reminds me of my childhood, making hot water bottles up to warm the bed down at my grans when we had a sleep over. A combination of the fond memories and the warmth from the hot water bottle do help to calm and relax me while also easing the muscle tension and helping me at least manage to lie mostly still and not flinch as much in pain if I’m not able to fall asleep.
3. TENS Machine
I had read about how effective people had found tens machines for Fibromyalgia pain and a lot of the feedback was that they were a great addition to a pain management toolkit. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and they are basically a machine that passes harmless electrical signals into the body from the gel pads. It helps my pain in 2 ways:
- Blocking the body’s pain signals to the brain.
- Stimulating the body’s production of endorphins [a natural painkiller]
I started with a Boots Mini TENS [£19.99] to see if it made any difference and I found it to be really, really helpful. The only snag with it was that it only concentrated on one area of my body only and I had to use it 2 or 3 times in a sitting to feel the effect everywhere I needed it. My partner had seen how difficult I found it some evenings with my legs constantly twitching and my crying over the pain, and so he bought me a bigger one. I now have the LloydsPharmacy TENS Dual Channel Digital Pain Reliever [bargain at just £14.99] and it is fantastic. It has 2 controls with 4 gel pads which can be placed strategically around my body. A session lasts 30 minutes and I am always in control of how strong the electrical signals are. Of course, sometimes it’s impossible for me to know where exactly I want the pads to be because everywhere blooming hurts!
What strategies do you use for pain management? Do you find showers a help or a hindrance? Have you tried a TENS machine? Do let me know in the comments.