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LornaLove's avatar

Do you suffer from ongoing physical pain? If so how do you deal with it.

Asked by LornaLove (9389points) July 8th, 2014

Perhaps your back is always sore or other body part. How do you manage your pain psychologically? Or, do you just hit the pills?

(I have a very sore back at the moment, frankly I am not ‘good’ at pain).

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18 Answers

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Yes. I’m not all that old, but my knees can hurt so much that the pain’s disabling. I take some naproxen (generic Alleve), walk my doggie, go to the gym, and soldier on.

hominid's avatar

Very much so. Without going into too much detail, my body fell apart about 1.5 years ago (at 40 years old), and I went from a very healthy guy to a series of overlapping issues.

A large amount of my pain is related to my lower back. I am unable to lie down because of this, so I have to sleep sitting up at a particular angle (almost straight up). And due to a complicated sleep disorder I developed (central sleep apnea), I am unable to treat my pain with medication.

The accumulating health issues and the chronic pain have definitely changed my perspective. I already had a meditation practice, which I credit with providing me with some clarity and an ability to not keep my anxiety about my situation to a minimum.

hearkat's avatar

I have always had a high tolerance for pain. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is now being called Rheumatoid Auto-Immune Disease because people confuse it with osteoarthritis that people get with age or injuries.

The best way to describe it is that on a “good” day, you feel the way you feel just as you realize that you’re coming down with the flu – achy, fatigued, and inflamed/feverish. A bad day can vary from feeling like the worst flu to having flares in particular body parts. It is a chronic, progressive, incurable, debilitating disease.

Since diagnosis, I’ve put on weight, since I’m too tired and sore to move much, and I’m depressed. This makes me even more sore, because my body fights harder against gravity. This makes me more depressed. I use the word depressed, but I have suffered major depression in my life, and I’ve managed not to succumb to it, but sometimes I feel myself teetering on the brink.

I’m on a mild prescription for the RA, then I take NSAIDS: Advil (ibuprofen) or Alleve (naproxen), and/or Tylenol (acetaminophen/paracetamol) depending on the situation. I used to hate taking pills, but I’m slowly coming around to accepting that I need them. Distraction works, so when I’m busy at work, I am less aware of my aches and pains. I do try to do some yoga stretches and apply heat to the sore areas. When my lower back hurts, I remind myself to suck in my gut to give the back more muscular support, and the BenGay patches help on my back and neck when I get muscle strains.

hominid's avatar

Ugh. Just missed my edit window.

My answer was very brief and I do have much to say on the topic. Feel free to IM me if you have any questions related specifically to back pain.

Also, one thing to notice is how we frame our experience of pain. When we lift weights, we get pain and a burn. But we don’t mind that pain because we associate it with improving our strength and health. But if the same exact sensations were the result of an injury, it would be unbearable. Why is this? This tells me that there must be ways of framing our experience of pain in a way that can reduce our suffering related to the pain. In fact, if you pay attention to the mind broadcasting its thoughts as you experience a particular bout of bad back pain, you might notice all kinds of terrifying thoughts arising (Is this permanent? Will it get worse? Will I ever be able to play with my kids again? etc). Meditation allows me to witness the anxiety and pain-inducing thoughts that my brain generates, and see them for what they are.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Hope you feel better Lorna.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I have 4 bulging disks in my lower back, 2 in my neck and a pinched nerve in my back that leads to constant leg pain. (car accident) . I deal with the pain by just accepting it. I have a high tolerance for pain IMO, and live most days in pain so it’s at this point just become a background thing that I have to deal with. I guess complacency has some good attributes.

I found staying active and living in a warm climate really helped me a lot though. It didn’t get rid of the pain but it reduced it a lot. When it’s cold out everything just tightens up and constricts, when it’s warm everything feels a lot more fluid.

And when the pain gets really bad there is always my little green friend :)

On the upside, I gained a super power, I can tell ya when it’s going to rain more accurately than the news can :P

Unbroken's avatar

Chronic pain. Yes yes yes! My treatment involved agreeing to no type of pill form or weed or drugs.

I sleep a lot. I mentally reframe pain. Boosting endorphins Meditate, music, singing humming laughing keeping busy and engaged when i can manage it. Eating healthy and taking supplements that promote healing and well being.

Look up brain wave therapy. Theta and beta for healing spirituality and rest I believe.

Walking and hatha yoga is good for back pain as well as salonpas, working the kinks out strengthening your core, just don’t push take it at an easy slow pace. Cold packs to reduce inflammation.

If you can afford it try acupuncture reiki massage or water therapy.

Speedy recovery to you.

wildpotato's avatar

I play video games. I find the most immersive ones to be those that require constant attentiveness and reactivity.

I found out recently that this is a common strategy – even the Army uses video games for pain.

@hominid I always felt that what is unbearable about chronic pain is its unrelenting quality. I get two types of pain – the kind that has dips and valleys of feeling normal and then cycles back into pain over and over, and then the kind that just maintains the level of pain constantly with no breaks. The latter is much more difficult to ride out. This makes me think that chronic pain is unlike workout pain for two reasons – workout pain is intermittent whereas chronic pain often is not, and also workout pain is chosen, or at least entered into willingly, but chronic pain is not.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I get RSI because I type and use my mouse so much but it comes and goes (thankfully). I do worry that it won’t go at some point. Sorry you’re suffering with chronic pain. I’m sure it’s a horrible thing to live with.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Panado and Panadeine extra strength.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

No pills nor booze for me. I treat my pain the good ole fashioned way. Smokin’ da ganja mon!
The pain still be dere, but it is now happy pain :)

JLeslie's avatar

Yes I do. I have neck and shoulder pain frm an accident. I do my best not to aggravate it. I rarely take any pills for it. Mostly, I avoid lifting heavy things and I try to sleep in a comfortable position. I am a bitch, or I am sure it seems bitchy, when my husband does something that for anyone else would be no big deal or funny. He can’t put his arm on my shoulders, and if he give me a little nudge I tell him he’s hurting me, and so on. It sucks.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I have miserable chronic sinus/allergy issues that cause a lot of discomfort and age related break down stuff. I have tendonitis and trigger finger in my thumbs and fingers, neck and shoulder DDD issues, basically run o’ the mill over use/ age related and have a wonky left ankle from repeated severe sprains over the years.
Also a creaky stiff shoulder with limited mobility that has a pin in it from my wild horse days back in my 20’s when I was thrown and dislocated my shoulder so badly it needed to be pinned. Knees, back and hips all good.

Getting older sucks! lol

Paradox25's avatar

I suffer from persistent headaches, and I have my entire life. I try to live with these, but it’s hard. Pain medication is useless for me too.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I. Am. So. Fortunate.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@LuckyGuy I wish I really recognized that before my accident. I guess I can blame a bit of that on being young, but I never took into account how lucky I really was to not have to wake up and live every day in at least some degree of pain.

cazzie's avatar

I have permanent scar tissue in my neck that gives me all sorts of trouble from time to time. I fell on the ice this past January, hit the back of my head on the ice, and really jarred my neck and then tried to go back to work, lifting babies and pushing them on swings and my body just wasn’t having it. Bed rest, stretches a pain pills no stronger than Ibuprofin or Paracet. Baths and hot water bottles. I have orders from my doctor get to a physiotherapist, but they never help. The only person who ever helped was a guy who practiced as an osteopath in New Zealand. I need my Paulie!

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Yes, pain. YES! PAIN! I don’t medicate, though if herb were an option I would not hesitate to light up. Almost seems worth checking real estate around Denver.
I do my best to suck it up, for the sake of my daughter’s sanity. There are definately days though, when passers by must hear screams and wonder if they should report a torture victim to the police. Fortunately, my nearest two neighbors have talked with me regularly, and are aware of my ongoing medical issues. They have seen my worried little girl climb into an ambulance with me. My next nearest neighbors have health issues of their own, and one just lost a cousin to HIV complications.
I see a few suggestions here I will try.
I hope some of us here will benefit from the thoughtful tips shared.
@LuckyGuy, yes, you are! Before, when I was healthy and invincable, I knew how good it was. I relished my strength, and enjoyed my youthful vigor. Sometimes I dream that none of that had changed, and when I wake up, I cry. That’s when I visit Fluther, hungry for humor, and good vibes.
@wildpotato, I too use video games. I like poker a lot. The banter is repetitive, but I have fun replying in such a way that it seems they have heard me. Sometimes I go snowboarding with Shaun White. For a while, both my legs work, and I can do quadrupal back flips and land on a rail. Yeehaw sonofaguns, lookit me go!

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