Choosing the right hobby to enjoy while in chronic pain can be as important as trying out a new drug. What many people do not realise is that chronic pain has a very unpleasant side effect – boredom.
Being diagnosed with any type of chronic pain can be distressing to anyone and cause anxiety about how they will manage it. The pain could cause problems from swelling, stiffness and difficulty moving joints, but the severity may vary and symptoms come and go in flare-ups, so the last thing you want to do is cause your own flare-up.
One of my personal favourite hobbies is writing this blog, but I have had to adjust how I write it to be comfortable because of my neck problems and only last year changed my laptop for an iPad mini which I can position so it’s the right height so as to not cause any flare-ups.
Another of my favourite hobbies is making handmade cards and only a couple of days ago I made some new designs. I was probably making them for a couple of hours and I admit I didn’t really think about the position I was in as I was enjoying myself so much.
It was a bad decision and last night I had probably one of the worst nights of neck and arm pain I have had in a long time which kept me awake most of the night. Today I had an appointment to see a spinal consultant about my neck and arm pain and he showed us the problematic disc causing all my problems. I now have to have a CT Scan so he can look at my bones and how the two previous cervical surgeries are doing but he is leaning towards me needing further surgery.
Even with extra medication today and resting all afternoon the pain has only subsided a little so I am really cross with myself for even thinking I could make some cards with causing a major flare-up.
Three very important factors to remember when starting a hobby while in pain are –
1. Am I going to put any pressure on my condition by trying this hobby?
2. In the long term can I cause a flare-up of my condition by taking up this hobby?
3. Is this hobby really worth taking up if it is going to irritate my condition?
I really wish I had just thought about this before I started making my cards on Sunday. I have been in a mess since last summer with this particular disc so I should have known better. It won’t put me off enjoying my hobbies but it will make me think before I embark on one again.
The UK Mobility Group have a list of hobbies with recommended modifications to avoid flare-ups. Some great books on the subject are Crafting: The Top 300 Best Crafts by Susan Hollister. and The Neuroscience of Mindfulness: The Astonishing Science Behind How everyday hobbies help you Relax by Dr. Stan Rodski.
Some other very popular hobbies for people in pain are –
2. Get a penpal
6. Card Making
7. Art with Mosaics
11.Learn a new language
22.Genealogy & Family History
30.Surfing the Internet
31.Home Study Courses
What are the hobbies that help you while in pain? I would like to add them to my list as I would quite like to research and write on this subject in more detail.