Chronic pain from trauma
March 26, 2013 8:01 PM   Subscribe

For the last year I have been experiencing varying intensities of chronic pain due to past trauma. My doctors have started shrugging me off. Since I cannot get a referral to anyone else is there anything I can do to make it more bearable on my own? (Trigger warning: Sexual abuse)

From an assault in my teens I have had a lot of intense physical pain over the last year. This has mainly involved choking feelings, and pain in the genitals and rectum. As I have processed the events in therapy the intensity has lessened and I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I was doing good handling this pain through meditation and a lot of anti-inflammatories. It is still there but at a degree I can handle.

I am now facing the trauma of years of child abuse, both physical and sexual, and it has tipped the pain scale into a hellish region. It is painful to have bowel movements (which leads to panic now which doesn't help). My genitals either feel like they are having acid poured on them or are being split apart. My hips are constantly sore. My back in periodic spasm. My forearms in agony. Did I mention I have insomnia on top of this? FUN.

I know this is all in my head and it is hard to believe that I can experience physical pain from years ago but everything physical has been ruled out. My GP has given me Gabapetin but I have topped out at the top dose he will give me and now just lectures me on reporting the people who hurt me as he figures that is the cause. He turned me down for a referral to medical pot (and I can't just get another GP as there is a shortage in my city and people have been waiting years to see one. I know I could get the pot from other sources but I prefer not to as I struggle to stay sober as it is).

My shrink just gives me my psych meds (I finally found ones that work after two decades of trying so I have done all the SSRI routes), told me to try the Gabapetin and won't give me anything else either because of a risk of OD or addiction. He also suggested that I just use mindfulness to deal with it.

I do meditate. I journal. I paint. I am in therapy. I take my meds on time. I exercise daily for an hour hiking with my dog when I can. I am overweight but am trying to lose to see if that helps any. My diet is crap because of binge eating after therapy. I do smoke but am working on quitting even though my therapist approves of me using it as a grounding devise.

All of this excess detail I guess is just to try to get across how hard I am trying to get past this and how I feel like everyone (but my therapist) thinks I am making it up. I can't refer myself to any specialists here and my shrink is the only one in town. Is there anything I can do to help this ease besides pot (which puts my brain in a bad place and I really can't afford) and hot baths?

Sorry if it seems I am making excuses but I am curled up in a ball on the couch and feeling desperate for some relief.
posted by kanata to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You mention gabapentin. Has your psychiatrist discussed tricyclic antidepressants? These can have a positive effect on reducing chronic neuropathic pain.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:39 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Man i will leave it to the more knowledgeable but the one thing i can think of is that a lot of intense stretching/yoga would probably help any area of your body that you are keeping clenched because of the pain. that's what i would start with, at least. very best of luck, this sounds quite challenging.
posted by facetious at 8:40 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am so sorry you are going through this.

Does your therapist know how serious this is? I know that personally I sometimes act like things are ok when they really, really aren't with my therapist. It is a way of both trying to please her, because I am a people pleaser, and it is a way that I avoid what is really happening with me. Just something to think about. On a scale of one to ten, tell your therapist how severe the pain is on a daily basis and how much it is affecting your quality of life. Be specific about how bad you feel. Tell him the mindfulness is not working, and again be specific: "I journal. I meditate. I'm exercising with the dog. But these things are not working and I feel desperate."

I don't mean this to blame you. It just might help.

And if hot baths work, schedule one or two or three or however many you need a day. Hot baths are great and harmless. Keep doing that, and keep trying to find other, similar things that might work to stave off the pain. Swimming? Sitting in a sauna? Brainstorm about what has relaxed you in the past so you can build up a repitore of things that work. I hope others in this thread have more specific advice on that front.

I hope you feel better soon. I am glad you posted this, because it might help you find relief and might help others in the future with a similar problem, so thank you for this.
posted by sockermom at 8:44 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

First, I just want to say I totally believe you that your pain is very real and it makes complete sense to me. I really wish that I had more to offer you, but I just want to share a few simple things as a fellow human who was also traumatized by many years of child abuse. It doesn't manifest for me as physical pain but it does manifest at times as intense anxiety and sometimes panic attacks. (I am pretty much guaranteed to start on the road to a panic attack if I am in pain and someone is also screaming near me, even if it's totally unrelated like I have a sprained ankle and the person screaming is an over-enthused music fan at a concert).

The most important factor in how I feel, often way more than anything else combined, is whether or not I have gotten enough sleep. I would say, try starting there. You can always get NyQuil and other sleep aids over the counter. Try getting at least 8 hours consistently for several weeks, and see if it doesn't make a difference in your overall level of anxiety and panic.

The second thing that helps me is to run. Exercise is good overall but there is something specifically about running that really, really helps. I have this idea that my anxiety sometimes builds up as my body is waiting for an attack that never comes, getting ready for fight or flight, so if I can give it that flight, sometimes that can release that anxiety in a way.

Also, can you try a little bit of prune juice or other diuretics? Maybe if you could get your BMs to be a little softer it would be less of a panic trigger for you.
posted by cairdeas at 8:46 PM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

Have you spoken with your gynecologist about the genital pain? If I remember correctly, vulvodynia is often related to tension and muscle spasms in the pelvic floor. There are many options for treating this kind of pain (antidepressants, physical therapy, biofeedback, etc.) A good physical therapist can also help with the back spasms and other problem areas.

Another possible option is acupuncture (which helps with my muscle spasms). Google "community acupuncture" to see if there is a low-cost clinic in your area.

Also, I have friends who have had good experiences with EMDR therapy, if that is available to you.

It must feel overwhelming; hang in there and feel free to memail me.
posted by tanuki.gao at 8:56 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Maybe self-hypnosis training or progressive muscle relaxation?

He also suggested that I just use mindfulness to deal with it.

Maybe vipassana meditation then, as per: Mindfulness in Plain English. If it seems a little woo reading about it, talk to your therapist about finding a trainer for it?

I exercise daily for an hour hiking with my dog when I can.
I'm not a gym rat myself, but I've been meaning to do free weights. The yoga suggestion earlier sounded sensible.

and hot baths?
Try a sauna at a YWCA?
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:57 PM on March 26, 2013

I work for a university school of medicine and one of the classes I arrange is "When psychiatric illness causes physical symptoms"

Now you may not have a psychiatric illness but I definitely believe that your trauma is having an effect on your body, and you are most certainly not imagining it.

Talk to your therapist some more. Or do you need to go to psychiatrist instead who can give you different meds. It's a real condition, and obviously your GP is not helping. Find someone else.
posted by Youremyworld at 8:57 PM on March 26, 2013

I can't help with the doctor side, unfortunately, but i came in, gabapentin made my (possibly) fibromyalgia pain worse, as did Lyrica. It apparently happens to a small number of people. I didnt even realize that gabapentin was doing that until I went off it because it gave me insomnia. It got so bad, that the bed touching my skin hurt. Off the gabapentin my pain dropped a considerable amount. It's still bad, but the gabapentin and lyrical definitely amplified my pain. I mention lyrical because they are related drugs.

I'm still working on adequate pain control, I wish I had better suggestions. But you might want to try and think back before you started the gabapentin and see if it was better then.

Oh, have you tried hypnosis for pain? My therapist specializes in it, and while it's not perfect, it does really help. I was skeptical, but if anything, it helps a lot with the involuntary tensing I do when I have an episode of pain.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:59 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Narrative therapy is something you could look into - their resources may be something you can use as self-help.

The narrative therapy way of looking at this would be that your pain is real, it is a response to your trauma, and that by acknowledging your pain as real, this gives you the opportunity to take greater control over it and manage it.

Support groups might also be effective - there may be some online.

And seconding the EMDR and acupuncture.
posted by heyjude at 9:01 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

(also, self directed trigger point therapy has been a godsend). You can work on yourself at home, several times a day.
posted by tanuki.gao at 9:08 PM on March 26, 2013

Take a look at these books about back pain by John Sarno, MD: 1, 2.

He explains the situation in a very clear way. And he finds with his patients that just understanding the situation, the mechanism by which this kind of pain works, helps them to reduce the pain. (It is in your head but it's not ONLY in your head. It's real pain cause by real muscles, tendons, etc.--but the pain itself is caused & controlled at an unconscious level by the person's mental & emotional state. It is a feedback loop among mind, emotion, nervous system, muscles, etc. Once you understand how the feedback loop works, and why, you're in a much better position to be able to break it up.)

Also it's not just back pain--the same principle applies to certain other kinds of pain in different parts of a person's body.

Not trying to diagnose over the internet or anything, but it is just possible that Sarno's explanations will resonate with you and help you figure some things out.
posted by flug at 9:26 PM on March 26, 2013

I have a friend with a similar history. She was certain that her physical pain was due to past abuse and trauma and shared this belief with all her providers, usually before they even examined her or ran tests. The result was that they did not take her symptoms seriously. It turns out she had a tumor that took far too long to discover. (She's fine now, btw.) Of course, YMMV, but this is a cautionary tale about not being too insistent that this is "all in your head." Have you seen a rheumatologist?
posted by Wordwoman at 9:28 PM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]

Not that I can help with anything, but I did want to clarify: did the pain begin for the first time last year, or did it increase sharply from a previously low level? Did it coincide with therapy, does everyone agree on that? Do you have reason to believe there might be an alternative cause, or more than one cause?

Would you consider travelling to a nearby city, maybe with more GPs or different diagnostic facilities, for a second opinion? (Have you heard any opinions other than the ones that built on this GP's diagnosis?)
posted by nelljie at 9:29 PM on March 26, 2013

This is common. It may help to think of this as a perfectly natural response to chronic stress, so that you can try not to beat yourself up about it quite so much. Saying "I know it's all in my head" isn't really helpful; fundamentally everything you experience is all in your head because that's where you brain is and your brain is what lets you experience things.

Second, fuck doctors and their total inability to deal with either chronic pain or effects of abuse...seriously, what the fuck is your doctor thinking pressuring you to report the abusers? Even if you wanted to do that anyone in their right mind would tell you that can be re-traumatizing and horrible.

For more specific suggestions: yoga can be very, very helpful. EMDR can help, as can neurofeedback. Melatonin can help with the insomnia. More exercise - especially intense exercise - can help with everything, if you're in a state where you can handle moving & working out.
posted by medusa at 9:34 PM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'm so sorry you're going through this.

You mentioned hot baths. If you don't have one already, get yourself a sitz bath, too, so you can have quick warm-water soaks to help ease the pain and muscle spasms you may be having in your pelvic and rectal region. Also maybe get a heating pad to sit on throughout the day, and a clay heat pack that you can take to bed with you -- heat therapy can be very soothing, so find ways to take advantage of it as much as possible.

Also, regarding your rectal pain: perhaps this has already specifically been ruled it out, but if not, is there a possibility you could have a chronic rectal fissure? Fissures usually heal up after a few weeks or so, but sometimes can flare up again and persist for months or even years. If it is a fissure, there are some medications that can help promote healing. If you haven't actually seen a gastroenterologist or colorectal specialist, please do try to get a referral -- a GP may miss a chronic fissure (usually because there's little to no bleeding with a chronic fissure, unlike an acute one).

This is an approach to mindfulness and pain relief that might be useful for you (it might be available at your local library, too).

I just want to say that it sounds like you are doing so many right things, and I want to commend you -- and reach through the screen and hug you -- for working so hard and being so strong. I wish you all the best.
posted by scody at 9:40 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

To follow up and clarify things. Sorry my brain was scattered from the pain when I posted this.

I have a psychiatrist who prescribes me meds + a therapist. The therapist is excellent and has taught me mindfulness meditation and journaling in a way of dealing with and othering the pain. He was the one who pushed me to ask for medical pot. He also is trying to find me funding so I can find a private therapist to do body work/EMDR with since it is not recognized as "real" by our Provincial Health Authority. (that's a whole nother rant about how Victim Services ignores you unless you have a police file).

The pain began when I started meditating. Well, the choking feeling but I had been complaining of it for a few weeks before then but the meditation really brought it out. That was the first instance of pain (I didn't feel my body much before then). I had none of these symptoms before trusting him enough to share the abuse.

I went to my GP with the symptoms first and did not tell him about the abuse until after he ruled out via x-rays, some weird barrium test, etc, pelvic exam, rectal exam. Then I mentioned it may be related to the assault. Here we need a referral to an OB/GYN and the one in town mysteriously left work (it made the papers) and they haven't had a replacement.

I haven't seen anyone else about this but my GP and "SHRINK" for the medical stuff. Mostly because GPs here don't really refer to other GPs and I have no idea how to get a second opinion in Canada when you are on disability for mental illness. Also (although I seem to have no problem spreading this all over the net) this is not a subject that I would like to be discussed all over the place.

I will ask my SHRINK about the TCAs though I believe he said something about them being pretty "dirty" for pain (lots of side effects) and maybe getting more help that way. Maybe I just need to stop being the "good" patient and tell him how agonizing it is but he seems pretty dismissive of it since I met him when ODing.

Too long to say thanks, basically. And if anyone has any ideas please add or memail me. This is tiring and exhausting and triggers flashbacks. I will look into stool softeners too. As I would like to be able to do that without crying.
posted by kanata at 10:46 PM on March 26, 2013

I will ask my SHRINK about the TCAs though I believe he said something about them being pretty "dirty" for pain (lots of side effects) and maybe getting more help that way. Maybe I just need to stop being the "good" patient and tell him how agonizing it is but he seems pretty dismissive of it since I met him when ODing.

Some doctors are unfortunately just not sympathetic to patients who experience pain. If your current doctor is dismissive of your pain and other symptoms, and if your current treatment regimen is not working for you, and if a new regimen is not proposed (even to discuss side effects and how they might be managed), then you should try to find another doctor who is more capable and more interested in working with you to address your problems.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:56 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ugh, I really empathise here. Please please please take stool softeners because the fear just makes things so much worse. Life is infinitely easier when you poop. Infinitely. The feedback loop you are in right now only gets worse - actively treating the physical manifestations helps shortcut the mental loop which can then let you treat it. And I find my vaginal/rectal pain is linked with my period (which is also a trigger point for me AND when I am most prone to constipation) so I know it's coming and I can start taking stool softeners (as advised by my GP) and preparing myself mentally for it. Constipation can also cause vaginal pain, and again, it's a feedback loop.

Mindfulness has been amazing for me in terms of dealing with trauma and was once diagnosed as PTSD. Like sudden amounts of amazingness and working things out and being able to change them. I don't tend to do much journalling about it, but meditation and just checking in has helped so much.

Best wishes, I really feel for you.
posted by geek anachronism at 12:06 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

I know you mentioned that it's difficult for you to see an Ob-Gyn, but I hope you get the chance to see another practitioner. Firstly, it's important to rule out any problems, and secondly, there's some evidence that an examination (sometimes surgical) which shows normal anatomy reduces pelvic pain that's otherwise unexplained.
posted by quercus23 at 12:32 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe your doctor comprehensively and justifiably excluded all other possible causes. Maybe there's room to revisit some questions, or ask different ones. Being human, he might have settled somewhere between the limits of his resources and his bias.

If you did feel you wanted a second opinion, you can ask any GP with a free spot to be enrolled in his/her practice. As far as I'm aware, being on any kind of disability is no barrier. You would have to take yourself off your current GP's list, but I think you could do that after speaking with other potential family physicians.

If you did want to try (and are, as I hope, within a reasonable drive or train journey to a biggish city) - would you feel comfortable just asking for recommendations for a woman-friendly doctor (from your irl network, or here)? Or maybe keeping an ear open for stories in which someone's had a different constellation of complicated symptoms, but their doc was great at routing them to the right people? If those kinds of leads don't turn up, and you haven't already checked, this article has links to the colleges or authorities for each province and territory, which have listings (or numbers to get listings) of docs taking new patients.

Fingers crossed you find the help you need, soon.
posted by nelljie at 12:57 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a psychotherapist friend who has been studying Somatic Experiencing and says she has found it greatly helpful in helping clients heal from PTSD body trauma from abuse. It might be something to do a bit of research on.
posted by Vaike at 1:20 AM on March 27, 2013

Your posting this is excellent, and an important step on your road to improvement - well done for taking it! How about just printing it off to show your GP and therapist, as a simple illustration how severely this affects you on a daily basis (along the lines that soccermom suggests)? Many of the responses so far have been very thoughtful, and I would totally second what cairdees suggest, and the stool softeners.

FYI, Pregabalin (Lyrica) is a slightly more modern - and thereby expensive - cousin of Gabapentin, and sometimes works better/faster than Gabapentin, but for both of them the success rate on neuropathic pain (which is what you describe, even if your symptoms are presumably psychogenic) is only moderate, approx. 1 in 3 patients benefitting, and the side effects (mainly muzziness, difficulty concentrating, balance problems) can be severe. As [insertclevernamehere] says, any medication also has the potential to actually make the symptoms worse - as is often the case with simple analgesics taken for chronic headache. Amitriptylene is an old-fashioned antidepressant which has been found to work on neuropathic pain in low doses (10 to 25mg). It is cheap and has the added benefit of inducing drowsiness which, when taken at night, can help with sleep deprivation. Its side effects include dry mouth and possibly visual focussing difficulty and slight problems voiding your bladder (which can help if your bladder is unstable/overactive).

Just a word about anti-inflammatories which you seem to take a lot of: These are very good for purely physical pain, but have several major downsides - they do not work well at all for neuropathic pain, can badly exacerbate wheeziness if you are (severely) asthmatic, can damage your kidneys if you allow yourself to get dehydrated, and of course can give you stomach ulceration. So best avoided except in particular circumstances and for short-term treatment. Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) is actually nearly as powerful for many pains as NSAIDs, provided you take it continuously, allowing your body levels to build up - that means taking 4 grams daily every day. While not necessarily free of all adverse effects (avoid overdosage, can cause liver damage), it is reckoned to be the least harmful analgesic currently available.

Another medication you might try (if your GP can be persuaded) is Clonidine, an old fashioned blood pressure lowering drug. It has analgesic and sedative properties, and is used a lot for these in intensive care (where I work). Again, it is best taken late at night so as to improve night sleep as well as pain symptoms.

Magnesium is an electrolyte (i.e. not a drug as such) which has analgesic and muscle-relaxing properties, and about half the population are actually mildly deficient in it. Unfortunately when taken orally it acts as a laxative and is poorly absorbed, but if you ever find yourself in hospital attached to a drip, it might be worth trying to persuade the doctors to let you have some intravenously (careful, it gives a hot flush sensation going into your vein). Meanwhile, you could try building up your body levels by daily taking smallish amounts orally over a period of time (it is available in all health food shops) as it is great for leg muscle spasms (possibly also for anal spasms). On second thoughts, its laxative effect may do for the stool softening that you want anyway ...

Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) has come a long way and a machine now costs peanuts. Have you tried it? The idea is that the tingling caused by the stimulation distracts your brain from feeling other pain(s). It works really well for some, not so much for others - people and pains both. Acupuncture is thought to work on a similar but more sophisticated principle, and I fully accept that it works surprisingly well. Maybe try to find an expert practitioner (trail if necessary)? Hypnotherapy, likewise.

Hot baths, working out, massage, relaxation/meditation, psychotherapy are all excellent aids. I tend to recommend swimming in particular (since it is a whole-body work-out and alleviates the effects of gravity), but of course the exposure involved (and added claustrophobia for sauna attendance) is a no-go area for many women - but consider checking out "all-female" days/sessions at your local facility.

Sounds to me as if you must - and will - beat this, although not necessarily completely. Your posting and its content show that you are smart and resourceful, and the hive mind is here to help. The main thing is to keep a positive outlook (at least more than 50% of the time), and I'm sure you can do that.

Good luck (I'm an anaesthesiologist and pain specialist, BTW).
posted by kairab at 4:24 AM on March 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

You might ask your therapist about visualizations -- things like safe spaces or healing light -- as complements to the mindfulness meditation, which some people find over-intense, especially if they've been numbing or dissociating. The book "The Courage To Heal" has a number of guided visualizations specifically written for survivors of sexual abuse. Having a way to "stay in your body" but still feel safe and protected might be helpful (in addition to getting your medications figured out).
posted by jaguar at 6:53 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Standford University offers Chronic Pain Self Management groups - but they also have a lot of info online. University of Victoria offers the equivalent in B.C. The workshops cover visualization, pacing, using distraction and using daily schedules and goals. But more importantly, the workshops are about being with others and not letting pain take over your life.
posted by what's her name at 7:22 AM on March 27, 2013

Lots of good advice above - yoga, stretching, other exercise to help loosen the muscles. Perhaps even see if you can get in with a physical therapist? Although your GP didn't find anything wrong before, constant pain has a way of making you hold muscles tight and can cause problems that weren't there before.

Also - you mentioned that there's only one psychiatrist in town, and formerly only one OB/GYN who left. Is it possible to drive or take the bus into the next town or a larger town/city to see these specialists? If you see them only occasionally it may be worth the travel just to get a better/different experience.
posted by trivia genius at 7:24 AM on March 27, 2013

chronic pelvic pain related to trauma is not uncommon, and is certainly real pain and often responds well to a combination of pelvic floor physical therapy along with medications and psychotherapy. You would probably benefit a lot from seeing someone--often an OB/GYN but not necessarily--who specializes in it. It sounds like the medical resources where you live are very limited. Is there any way you could manage a referral to a specialist in a more urban area who might at least be able to offer some guidance to your GP, or even pay for a few visits yourself/. I would try googling for 'chronic pelvic pain' and whatever relatively large city is most convenient. Many academic medical centers actually have clinics devoted to this problem.

you might also benefit from this book or this book, which I can't vouch for personally but have heard good things about. It might give you some things to try while you are waiting to see a specialist.

Kudos to you for working so hard on your recovery.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:43 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Myofascial release, especially if you can find a PT who will work on a visualization aspect while s/he stretches and manipulates your body.
posted by oflinkey at 9:08 AM on March 27, 2013

It seems like it would definitely be worth seeing a specialist. Never know what it could be.

Also... this is more a side topic, but do you have enough vitamin D in your system? If you are in a high latitude (and it's been a long winter) you might be depleted. It might be worth checking (with a blood test) or taking supplements. Low vitamin D can lead to muscle pain and also places you at a higher risk for diseases like cancer and heart disease.... though the pills do cause constipation, so maybe it's not that good an idea in this case. Just a thought.

Take care!!!

Hot baths can also help a lot (and hot water bottles), and for constipation, magnesium is most definitely effective.
posted by kettleoffish at 3:48 PM on March 27, 2013

Sorry, I realize I may have been a little unclear-- specialists in the overall management of chronic pelvic pain are often OB/GYNs. Pelvic floor physical therapy is done by physiotherapists. It requires special training that not every PT will have, but is often very effective.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 6:33 PM on March 27, 2013

I wish more people understood the physical effects of stress and trauma! I had major stomach problems last year that ended up being from stress. If you're having trouble "evacuating your bowels" as they say, try a bulk laxative like Citrucel. It won't give you the runs or anything, it just adds extra fiber and makes everything run smoothly. And as you know, life is so much better when you poop regularly!

I would also recommend trying to exercise more (I know, an annoying suggestion) because you will feel better in many ways: it's a good stress relief, helps your digestive system function, you'll feel better physically, etc.

Also please give yourself some credit: you've had some horrible trauma and you're doing a lot to try to make your life better. Don't give up!
posted by radioamy at 8:16 PM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Fwiw, my EMDR cost $80 per session, and she would have gone down to $60 if necessary. Her usual price was $110. It only took a few sessions, unlike talk therapy. I paid out of pocket and skipped the insurance route.
posted by small_ruminant at 5:03 PM on March 28, 2013

Re-reading this - one of the things I've found very good has been doing squats. They work all of those muscles that are mis-firing and hurting and can help with regaining some semblance of control. Just do a few while brushing your teeth or whatever, enough to change the way the muscles are tense/strained.

(I find I tense up at night if I'm anxious/stressed, so a few squats before bed actually helps - not enough to perk me up, but enough that I'm not aching in bed).
posted by geek anachronism at 7:10 PM on March 28, 2013

Thanks very much for not dismissing my pain. That means a lot. I have an appointment with my shrink next Friday and will take some of these suggestions to him and see if I can explain how much it is affecting my daily life.

Thanks to that link from "what's her name" I have signed up for an online workshop on Chronic Conditions that starts next week. I don't know if it will help but hopefully at least connecting with others with chronic pain will help some.

I do not know anything about yoga or stretching so if anyone has any exercises that revolve around loosening the muscles of the inner thighs, hips, forearms, shoulders, pelvis, neck, jaw, etc. (thanks for the squat recommendations I will try that tonight) I'd be really appreciative if they could link me to some.

I am also going to follow the advice of magnesium supplements because well, I would like to be part of the "everyone poops" world without intense pain/flashbacks.
posted by kanata at 9:38 PM on March 28, 2013

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