Reduce Stress – Stress is a major trigger for me. My pain levels soar when I’m stressed.
Meditate – Meditation has allowed me to find peace with this disease. I have been able to go further with my exercise than I thought I ever would. I’ve increased my pain threshold and learned to help manage stress. If you have never tried it … go now!
Exercise – Exercise has been proven so many times to do so much for our body, especially us Spondy’s. If you haven’t been able to find something you can do let me know. Maybe I can help you find a way to move it so you don’t fuse it.
True Sleep – Is there such a thing for a Spondy? I don’t think so but we can always work to improve what we can. Exercise helps us sleep better. Stress and meditation as well so check and check. Sleeping habits are very important as well. Just like exercise sticking to a sleeping schedule helps your body. Go to bed and get up around the same time everyday. I’ve found this helps and when I change my routine I feel worse and have a harder time sleeping.
Pain Medication – This strikes fear in many. We’ll become raging addicts, right? Using pain medication to treat chronic pain should be monitored through a pain management specialist and is not the same as an addiction. True pain needs real treatment options and this is one. I was on three different pain meds a day for a long time. One for emergency “break through” pain, a daily, and a muscle relaxer. I strongly recommend starting with a muscle relaxer. I credit it to being able to start my first exercise regimen after diagnosis. I would take it about an hour before I started and I could move easier without sounding like a bag of potato chips being smashed. There are real side effects to these meds still so I would use it as a last resort. There have been studies done that show the long-term use of these meds can lower our pain threshold because we build a greater tolerance for the medication and need more. Not something we as Spondy’s need added to our struggles. So just like all of our treatment options you should gather all the info and make an educated decision based off what you think is right.
I would love to hear what other methods you use to manage your pain. Essential oils? Acupuncture? Massage?