Everyone has dealt with pain before, but some people don’t understand how awful it really is to have to live with it on a day to day basis. There are plenty of stories that show just how easy it is to become addicted to painkillers and how it ruins families. Chronic pain is any pain that has lasted for more than twelve weeks after healing. It is usually considered incurable. However, there are things that can relieve the pain.
Some pain comes with age, unfortunately, it can turn into chronic pain. For example, I suffer from a condition called Cervical Spondylosis, which is generally called arthritis of the neck. It formed due to the discs in my spine shrinking which created bone spurs. Unfortunately, I have the same thing in my back, but it’s called Lumbar Spondylosis. I also have Cervical Degenerative Disk Disease, this is also due to wear and tear on my spinal discs. To add to the list of my many issues, I am also plagued with pain from Cervical Radiculopathy, Lumbar radiculopathy, and Myofascial pain. Cervical Radiculopathy is the medical term for a pinched nerve in the neck area. If you’ve ever had one of those, then you know how painful that is. Similarly, Lumbar radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in the lower back area. It is most commonly associated with sciatica. Myofascial pain is a condition similar to Fibromyalgia, but instead of pain all over, it stays in one area. It is also different because it can be short-lived, while Fibromyalgia lasts much longer. The other difference is that Myofascial pain is characterized by knots in my muscles. These knots cause me a lot of pain and is thought to have occurred due to an improperly healed muscle.
Living with chronic pain is a major setback for me because I like to be active. I love being an actor and a writer, of course. That means I need to stay flexible and be in good health. It can sometimes be a challenge, but I found exercise to be a great help. Here are some exercises I do to help me tremendously reduce my pain.
Bridges – Although this exercise is normally used to target the glutes, it also helps to build and strengthen my core. To do this exercise, lay flat on your back with your arms to your sides. Then bend your knees while keeping your feet hip distance apart. With your palms facing down, use your core to lift your buttocks off the ground and hold for a couple of seconds and then slowly come back down. This is a repetitious exercise.
Single Knee to Chest – This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles that help me to bend forward. It also helps with flexibility in my hip area. When I do this exercise, I am also lying flat on my back with my legs straight. I raise one leg up to my chest in a bent position and hold it with my arms. Then I switch legs and do the same thing. I alternate a couple of times while doing this exercise.
Lumbar Rotation (without weights) – This is primarily an exercise for my back. It strengthens the muscles, alleviates tightness, and restores mobility. I also do this exercise while on my back. I put my knees in a bent position and keep my feet and legs together. I then slowly tilt both of my knees to one side as far as I can (without lifting my back off the ground). Then I slowly, move them back to the center and then try to tilt them to the other side. I alternate sides a couple of times too.
Neck Rotations – I feel like everyone has done this exercise in gym class. It really relieves the tight muscles in my neck and shoulders. I can stand up straight to do this exercise. I start by tilting my head forward and try to touch my chin to my chest. I hold it there a while and then slowly move my head to the right as far as I can. Then I do the same toward the left. Lastly, I tilt my head backward and stretch those muscles. This exercise is also done in repetitions.
I know that everyone will be different, but I hope that these exercises will help someone that’s going through what I’m going through. Try to get on a consistent exercise schedule. Doing so will help regularly relieve chronic pain.