Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Glorious Pain Free Day!

I had a most amazing day this week: a day when I was Completely Pain Free.

If you live with chronic pain, I don't have to explain that. If you don't live with chronic pain, you should take a moment and thank your body for being so well behaved.

I have had chronic low back pain (as just one example) since my early teens, at least. It could have started earlier than that. I imagine that I have just always had it and that is why the memory of it is so blurry. (A few years ago, I discovered I have many structural issues in my spine, and of course, the more flexible amongst us tend to have pain issues.)

But...I have learned over the last 8 months that the key to my health is movement. The more I move every single day, the more likely I am to get one of those breath-of-fresh-air days of no pain. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. It feels miraculous and freeing.

It feels like I have someone else's body.

I have even very recently gone many days in a row with barely any pain at all. I felt light as a feather (say that in a British accent; it's much better that way).

How is your body doing? Do you give it what it needs? Do you just assume pain is unavoidable? Do you continue with habits that you know only make you more uncomfortable? Like not sitting on soft using pain as an excuse to avoid life?*

*(Remember...I can ask that. I am in pain almost every day but I rarely let it stop me. And do not assume that means my pain is less. It's all relative to our own experiences.)


svasti said...

Love the Toby Kitten piccie - he's such a sweetie!

High five on the pain free day. I know exactly what you mean about super-flexibility causing you problems.

Today my physio (who I'm seeing for my current shoulder/neck issue) told me I have hyper-mobile shoulder joints which probably saved my bacon when I stacked my bike, but they also mean issues down the line. And we looked at my neck x-rays which show a permanent C4/5 impingement. Yeah. And like you, there's more than that. But most of my pains are manageable, especially with yoga.

Really, if I don't do my neck exercises every day and do enough yoga to work the kinks out of my spine, then it's not a very fun time for me.

In fact, if it wasn't for yoga I know I'd be a great deal worse off as my ongoing injuries/pain would slowly but surely stiffen up, causing me more pain!

Every time I see a grey haired lady or gentleman all bent over I think to myself... if only they hadn't stopped moving. And it bugs me when people I love complain about their pain and yet refuse to consider even the most gentle of yoga routines which would benefit them greatly!

Here's to wishing you many more pain free days :)

Linnea said...

I'm not super-flexible (even after years of dance lessons, martial arts training, and yoga of all sorts -- not at the same time), but I have chronic pain in my neck, as my top two vertebrae are messed up from an accident I was in at 15.

Today, it doesn't hurt (yet). It probably will later, as I have a newsletter layout to plow through and a meeting at my daughter's school. As Ravi and Ana say, we allow negativity in through our neck and shoulders, and I'm living proof that they're right.

I go through my pain, because I'm inherently stubborn and am not going to let pain, or panic, or anxiety, or anything else, define me. I don't always do that perfectly, but I do the best I can.

I see you dancing your way toward many more pain-free days.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Svasti, I certainly feel your frustration over relatives/loved ones who like to complain about their pain but try NOTHING.

Linnea, Hello, SISTER of Stubborn. But this is one case where it works for us, most definitely. Not allowing the pain to define us is a beautiful and courageous form of stubborn, I think. ;)

Brooks Hall said...

I like your discovery about the key to your health being movement! And so many people who are in pain are afraid to move! It is true over and over in my experience that when people start moving in yoga that they also start to feel A LOT BETTER. It's true for me, too!

claire said...

You remind me that to take care of my knee I need to return to yoga... Which I have not done in the past few days since I had this realization...

Congratulations, again, Christine for doing so well and being such an inspiration to all who come here -- like me as one among many many:-)

speck of dust said...

I also had severe lower back pain for years. Then I started to get coccyx pain from working at a computer all day. I saw a chiropractor who x-rayed me and my joints were fused due to one leg longer than the other. He really did a lot of good work on me and gave me acupuncture which really helped. Oh, and I had a hernia which healed with yoga.
Now I work as a gardener, do yoga, walk a lot. I totally agree keeping active is vital. And our bodies are capable of changing completely as our minds are. I love that we can have a whole new body. And we need pain to know no pain.