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Chronic pain 5 years

Jun 08, 2016 6:30 PM

Hi all. Just started journaling yesterday. After 5 years of chronic pain you'd think I would have started this earlier. I didn't want my life to be centered around my pain but that's what my life has become. I've changed jobs and do the activities I love to do anymore. I was a full time dance teacher for 3 years. I am switching to an office job at a dance studio I taught at. I finished teaching 5 weeks ago. I thought the pain would have subsided by now, but I still have days where I'm in unbearable pain. It feels like something is wringing out a towel deep in the right side of my body. It started as a lower back issue and has traveled up my spine to my neck and also down my leg. It burns terribly. I am doing Pilates, dry needling, and massage therapy. I am hoping this combination, along with not dancing, will be my remedy. I'm trying to be hopeful, but some days I fear I will never feel normal again. I'm tired of being a "sick" person. I used to thrive on health, dance, nutrition, and exercise. It is my passion. Any help, advice, or words of encouragement welcome. Thanks for listening.

Jun 08, 2016 7:50 PM

Welcome to the community family Tinydancer! I'm sorry to hear that another chronic pain person has had to change their job & lifestyle. Unfortunately it is the same for most of us. Have you seen a chiropractor or orthopedist/physical therapist or neurologist? The description of how and where the pain has traveled to and from sounds like there's a possible nerve involvement. If your pain has continued and worsened, maybe you should get an MRI, to make sure nerves aren't impinged, or the spinal canal isn't compressed.

I just finished PT found hip and leg pain, which actually helped strengthen my back. The PT also stopped most of the sciatic pain coming from my sacrum. I've had spine issues from top to bottom since 1991, following auto accident. Sometimes the chiropractic treatment has helped, and at others PT has. I've had cervical fusions and likely about to have another. I've not had low back or thoracic surgery as the discs are collapsing with OA and DDD. Hoping to avoid it. But PT has helped me more times than I can count.

I have multiple chronic issues that caused me to stop working, following surgery 2010. It wasn't until 2014 I realized I'd never return to work, as illnesses kept stacking up. I'm very happy you are able to work still. Do you have an ergonomic design chair? I used a for rest at my desk, which really provided better relief from leg pain during the work day. I also had a lumbar support pillow on the back rest of my chair. They didn't have the included back massager while I was working. Phooey! Use heating pads, warm showers, microwaved or chilled gel or rice packs, ointment rubs (a PT therapist told me lavender oil works really well on muscle cramps, but I've not been able to find it). I also have a coccyx pillow to sit on which takes pressure off the tailbone.

Don't give up and don't give in. Learn what triggers your pain, what helps relieve it, and what to avoid altogether. It takes time, trial, and error to find what helps us cope best, and each of us is different, respond differently. Learn to cope and live to the best of your ability, and let your body rest when it needs to. Pace yourself, with breaks between sitting, walking, standing, driving, etc. Hugs & prayers as you learn your best coping method! 🙂💕🙏🌼

Jun 08, 2016 8:02 PM

Thank you so much for such a thoughtful response. I will certainly look into getting the support I need when I start my office job... Lumbar support pillow/ foot rest/ I use using a wedge like cushion for a while when I was in college.. Bc I couldn't sit through class. I can't remember if it helped or not but I will certainly get something to sit on.

I have been seeing a spine orthopedist. He wants me to get an mri, although I had one 5 years ago when the pain first started and it was normal. I am hesitant to get an mri bc if their is nerve impingement, I don't want surgery and I don't want another cortisone shot. I had a cortisone shot into my piriformis that was $1300. I can't afford an MRI, although my parents would probably pay for it but I don't want them to. They are already helping with the pillars, massage therapy, and dry needling.

I am hoping that logging my pain and journaling will help me find trends with what relieves it and triggers it. Thank you for your encouragement. I am already feeling much better than I did all day..... (Tramadol has kicked in thank goodness). Just talking about it helps as well. I will be sending good energy and vibes for everyone in this community from now on. ♥️✌️

Jun 08, 2016 8:03 PM

They help with the Pilates ***

Jun 08, 2016 9:11 PM

Hio tiny dancer!
Do you have nerve pain? Just wondering because you mentioned a burning feeling...
I don't know your story, but just from getting to know the dancers at my school, I've heard a lot about dealing with pain, from injuries and car accidents, to CRPS.
I understand feeling frustrated because you can not do your art, honestly it is one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with. Does pilates make you feel stronger? Does it make you happy? Do you do other art forms?
Whatever happens, see if you can find movement where you can express yourself, even if it means you have to adjust for what your bodily limits.
It drove me insane when I couldn't even express myself through art, and most dancers I know are taking the chance to tell a little bit of their story in a piece. I'm sorry, I have no idea what the future holds. I hope you get some relief soon. Good luck!

Jun 08, 2016 9:27 PM

Thanks for the note. Right now my muscle pain is so bad that any little movement/ dancing I do aggravates it. It is excruciating not being able to dance. Pilates helps with that a little... At least I get to move. Some sessions aggravate it, but some give my muscles the release in looking for. It does make me happy for the meantime/ nothing compared to dancing though. I have been considering getting my Pilates teacher certification.

I have signed up for an art class, painting. I liked to paint when I was younger. I start next week. Maybe I will find some self expression through that.

Jun 08, 2016 9:30 PM

Oh and about the nerve pain..I was first diagnosed with sciatica years ago. The spine orthopedist I'm seeing now thinks I have nerve compression going on, but will only tell with an MRI. I'm hesitant to get an MRI, as I had one years ago and it came back normal. My most recent diagnosis is myofascial pain syndrome. My pain begins in my lower back and travels to my butt, thigh and down my leg. Recently I've also been experiencing severe burning pain in my neck and shoulder. All on the same side

Jun 09, 2016 11:10 AM

Chiropractic care has been very helpful for my family member that had suffered (yes-past tense) with sciatica. Also physical therapy -they know all the good tips!

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