CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOBBY THAT WON’T CAUSE A FLARE-UP OF YOUR PAIN…

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 –

1. Comping
2. Get a penpal
3. Sewing
4. Photography
5. Writing
6. Card Making
7. Art with Mosaics
8. Antiques
9. Scrapbooking
10.Jewellery Making
11.Learn a new language
12.Knitting
13.Reading
14.Book group
15.Music
16. Webpals

17.Travelling
18.Blogging
19.Crocheting
20.scrabble/games
21.Cooking
22.Genealogy & Family History
23.Crafts
24.Cross Stitch
25.Astronomy
26.Stamp Collector
27.Poetry
28.Calligraphy
29.Suduko
30.Surfing the Internet
31.Home Study Courses

32. Cross-stitch

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.

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HOW TO KEEP POSITIVE WHEN IN CHRONIC PAIN…

With so much going on with myself at the moment I’ve really had to get my mind into creative mode to take my mind off my pain.

I adore making hand made cards but with needing to keep my one bad foot up it’s not possible for me to have all my craft bits out to make my cards. Then today, out of the blue popped up a link to The Positive Planner, The mindful gratitude journal that inspires you daily and encourages mental wellbeing.

The details on the book say The Positive Planner……. The Happy Journal 

The Positive Planner is a traditional journal meets DIY therapist, with sections dedicated to daily reflections, a weekly mood tracker and mindfulness activities as well as everyday organisational extras such as meal planners and shopping lists. It is designed to be a one-stop-shop for organising yourself and most importantly improving your mental health and wellbeing. 

The Positive Planners bright and uplifting yellow colour radiates positivity and the slick designed pages feature inspiration quotes throughout-out along with originally designed cool artwork and illustrations which are perfect for mindful colouring in! 
The positive Planner is a 12 week journal and planner dedicated to self-care. 
Just the lovely bright yellow colour with the the smile on it makes you feel better. The cost is £23.
Other options that I have seen available on Amazon are similar to this one but all slightly different with their content. The Inspire Journal is a bit more of a productivity journal and is written as a DAILY PRODUCTIVITY JOURNAL:- Increase your Productivity, Stay Motivated, Inspired and Committed. Organise your goals and enhance your inner ability to achieve them every day. This one is £24.99 and in a choice of two colours, turquoise or grey brown.
One more similar version of the The Five Minute Journal : A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, also on Amazon for £13.19
The five minute journal helps you cultivate gratitude. It changes how you feel, alters the actions you take. It’s simple quick and effective to help focus the attention to the good in your life. Improve your mental well-being and feel better everyday with affirmations.

CONTROL MY PAIN – WEEK 6 – COMMUNICATION AND DEALING WITH PAIN FROM THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE …

This is my review on Week 6 and Conclusion of  Control My Pain Program from the Survive Strive Thrive team which was designed to teach people holistic strategies to heal their pain. The whole course is video and audio content which I think makes it more interesting and easy to understand.

Week Six – Communication

Communication and relationships are discussed through a video which explains in great detail on how important it is to have a good communication and relationship with anyone who is looking after you as your pain may interfere with your communication. Your relationships are important to your well being and can increase or decrease your pain.

They then go into communication styles through a quiz and explain with an infographic on 10 tips to help a family member in pain. Another infographic will help you to improve communications when living with chronic pain. I think the infographics are a brilliant way to remind you how to deal with certain pain problems and are something you can always look back on if you are going through a bad patch with your family/carers/friends.

This particular lesson was even more appropriate for me at the moment after losing my father two weeks ago at the young age of 93. I had no idea how the loss of someone so dear could affect my pain and health. It’s been an uphill struggle ever since but as my father had been in hospital for the last three months it should not have come as a surprise to us that he could end up with pneumonia, which eventually took his life.

This week’s session on how to let your family and friends know how you are feeling has made it easier to speak to friends and family without feeling that the odd tears are good for your pain rather than boxing it all up which then causes more pain.

For anyone suffering from chronic pain in any way be it emotionally or physically this program will definitely help you get through it. You can look back on different strategies they have put together whenever you need it but always remember to discuss your problems with a Doctor or specialist before trying anything different to do with your pain control.

I would suggest you also write the the details of this program down to take to your Doctor so they can also see the advantages of this type of treatment for dealing with chronic pain.

“BUT YOU DON’T LOOK IN PAIN?” WHAT SOME SAY TO PEOPLE LIVING IN CHRONIC PAIN…

“But you don’t look in pain?” What some say to people living in chronic pain.

I bet most of my readers will have been told this at least once while they are actually in great pain.

I have many a time wondered why some people have to make say this comment about how you look. I mean why on earth would we say we are in pain if we arent?

Did you know that the National Health Service spends more than £1 billion per year on back pain related costs? In the private healthcare sector, £565 million is spent on back pain every year. Back pain is the number 2 reason for long-term sickness in much of the UK. In manual labour jobs, back pain is the number one reason.

It also does not help if you are suffering from #fibromyalgia pain as for years it was described as general aches and pains or even seen as mainly psychiatric, related to depression and anxiety. The trouble with #fibromyalgia is that as yet no authoritative test has been established.

The British Pain Society says that approximately 8 million adults in the UK  report chronic pain that is moderate to severely disabling.

So, how are you supposed to look if you are in chronic pain?

The Harvard Medical School call chronic pain the “invisible” disability. Laura Kiesel contributor to The Harvard Medical School writes about her own personal story of her diagnosis of #fibromyalgia and how they said ‘you don’t seem sick’. She was even told by a school nutritionist “You have such shiny, healthy-looking hair,” she explained, pinching a lock of it between her fingers as though I were a doll on display. “People who are really sick don’t have hair like yours.”

Spine Health says that what your friend or family member needs from you is your support and kindness, not condemnation. Statements like “Get over it” or “It can’t be that bad” don’t accomplish anything other than to discourage those with chronic pain. Thankfully, there is an increasing consensus in the medical community that all chronic pain is real, and that it needs to be treated even if there is no known cause.

Pain is deeply personal. Each persons experience of pain is different. For example, two people may have the same condition, and one may display no ill-effects, while the other may be incapacitated.

An article on The National Pain Report website wrote ” If there’s no evidence of some bodily damage or injury, people seem more willing to believe we’re making it up or imagining it. They become suspicious of our motives. To them, our incapacity seems like a built-in excuse to get our way, and this provokes resentment.”

This is so true for the majority of chronic pain sufferers.

So, what’s the answer? Well, Survive Strive Thrive (I am currently covering their Control My Pain Project) have two great images which explain about chronic pain.

They also have a great quote to remember to tell anyone who does not seem to understand what chronic pain is “I won’t tell you I understand your pain because I don’t, nobody does…except you.” Failing that, listen to what Princess In the Tower says how you should respect a person in pain by understanding that we “are merely coping, sounding happy and trying to look normal.” 

I think that final statement says it all, failing that this quote is a good one as well  “I had learned quickly that life doesn’t always go the way I want it to, and that’s okay. I still plod on.”—Sarah Todd Hammer, Determination

 

GROUP THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF #FIBROMYALGIA AND CHRONIC #PAIN…

Group Therapy for the treatment of #fibromyalgia and chronic #pain.

You read something new every day on treatments for #fibromyalgia and chronic #pain, but now they are saying that group therapy can help pain sufferers. A trial published in the Lancet, revealed that after only six sessions of group therapy, it showed patients still found improvements a year later.

All patients who took part in the study were given advice about remaining active, avoiding bed rest and taking pain medication, and felt more positive about being able to deal with their pain and less fearful about their situation. The study, led by Professor Sarah Lamb at the University of Warwick, found: “Compared with advice alone, advice plus cognitive behavioural intervention was associated with significant benefits in nearly all outcomes. This trial shows that a bespoke cognitive behavioural intervention package, Best, is effective in managing subacute and chronic low-back pain in primary care.”

The treatment also compared favourably with other ways of combating back #pain, such as acupuncture and teaching correct posture. Dr Laxmaiah Manchikanti, from the Pain Management Centre of Paducah, in Kentucky in the US, said the study “showed rather impressive results”. The book ‘The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy’ by Irvin Yalom and Molyn Leszcz is a great book to help you understand what is behind group therapy. It presents the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as the writers’ clinical wisdom and expertise. Hailed by Jerome Frank as “the best book that exists on the subject,” Irvin D. Yalom’s The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy has been the standard text in the field for decades.

In this completely revised and updated fifth edition, Dr. Yalom and his collaborator Dr. Molyn Leszcz expand the book to include the most recent developments in the field, drawing on nearly a decade of new research as well as their broad clinical wisdom and expertise. New topics include online therapy, specialized groups, ethnocultural diversity, trauma and managed care.

The charity MIND also has lots of details on group therapy treatments.

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