As I’m sure all of my chronic pain warriors are in a similar situation, I have been struggling with how long it’s been since I’ve been to the chiropractor, physiotherapist (though I’ve done virtual), naturopath, and massage therapist. I normally see each of these specialists once every month (chiro and physio) or every other month (naturo and massage), so going over 3 months without any of it has been a long time. That being said, I cranked my neck at work (cranked meaning I don’t know what I did to it but I couldn’t turn it much) last week so I messaged my chiropractor to get an emergency appointment – the only type available at the moment.
I had to buy a microwavable heating pad to use on my neck and shoulders at work between Friday and my Monday appointment.
On Monday I went in for said appoint and it was amazing. I can now move my neck as normal, plus in addition to adjusting my neck, he did my spine as well. While we were chatting, we had two major talking points in addition to catching up on our time off, my schooling, etc. The first was about the body-mind connection (amazing how this keeps coming up) and how stress is one of the most common causes of physical ailments. My work has been extremely stressful because of the business model we have at the moment. Basically, it’s no surprise that I threw my neck out, or that a lot of the fibro pain that had subsided during lockdown returned. Of course, no one can totally avoid stress, so self-care is a really important thing everyone needs to practice in order to combat some of that stress. Since going back to work I’ve kept up with my daily meditations (even on my lunch break), I walk to and from work every day, I take my nightly baths, and I’ve been using some essential oils more frequently. Self-care continues to be a priority to me!
Spending time with friends is also great for self-care.
The second subject was that of how physical exercise can help with pain and other symptoms of illness. Not necessarily that you need super high levels – walking is very good exercise and one I highly encourage – as it all depends on needs and abilities. We came on the subject when I told my chiro that in addition to doing my assigned chiro and physio exercises daily, I’ve been doing a ton of body weight exercises and getting really fit. He asked if it has helped with me, and I responded truthfully, that yes it has. He told me that a surprising number of people don’t understand the impact regular exercise can have on their symptoms. I guess what I’m saying is, if you are able to but not doing some kind of exercise regularly, you’re not setting yourself up for success in the chronic pain battle. Yoga, body weights, cardio – light or heavy, stretching, etc. can all help you and most are very easy to incorporate into a daily routine as some of it can be done at work, on lunch breaks, during a commute, when you get up in the morning, or right before bed.
Several people have commented on my biceps. Totally unintentional but I am very happy with them!
As the world slowly reopens, try to keep up or set up some good routines for self-care and exercise, and you might like what you encounter. (In other news I really do want things to open up a bit more so I can get my hair cut and coloured, and a mani-pedi… but I’m also willing to hold off until I know things are safe!)