Monday, January 21, 2013

Learning to Manage Winter Pain

Winter typically means large amounts of pain and frustration, but I'm finally learning how to manage both.  My techniques include:
  • Rolfing -> I'm continuing appointments despite some bruising from the deep tissue work.  I notice my muscular structure more now than before, and feel like I am fighting to keep my hard-won gains in the battle to stand straighter.  In response, my rolfer and I agree to make visits more frequent, once every 2 weeks instead of once a month, in hopes to help my body "remember" what it *should* be doing.
  • Warmth -> most people seem to prefer cold on a soft tissue injury, but for me, especially in the winter, this results in more pain as my capillaries collapse.  So, I am trying to keep myself warm before I notice I'm cold.  This is currently working with the assistance of flannel lined pants/jeans, fuzzy slippers, flannel sheets, and not being afraid to wear gloves indoors.
  • Staying active -> the more I hurt the less I want to move.  I'm fighting this instinct by continuing to move despite the discomfort.  This idea came from a friend whose child has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and staying active helps minimize the flare-ups.  I figured it is worth a try.  My biggest effort is walking since yoga during the winter still results in dislocations.
  • Laughing ->   they say laughter is the best medicine, so I look for something to laugh about each day.  Occasionally, this results in jaw pain, but I think it is worth it.
Dislocations and subluxations still occur, but I feel like I am managing them okay at this point.  Usually, when I see the arctic cold descending into my area of the country I cringe and cry, then am miserable until spring thaw.  This year it doesn't seem as intimidating.