Below are tips for sufferers of chronic illness from my website LB Webb Coach. Check out more useful information at www.lbwebbcoach.com
Please Note: It is important to talk with your physician, physical therapist or other licensed professionals before trying new physical activities or tools.
Find a Trusted Medical Professional – Communicating with your physician is critical. This is the most important advice I can offer. Go to appointments with lists of questions. I can offer suggestions on how you can self-advocate. If you are not comfortable with your physician and (s)he minimizes your concerns, find another!! Talk candidly about medications and if one doesn’t work, explain how it makes you feel and try something else. If unable to find a physician who doesn’t listen or make you feel valued, acupuncturists, physical therapists, and other health professionals may help.
A Trusting Ear – Good mental health is an important part of your health program. It is important to have someone to share frustrations as well as successes. Ideally, everyone needs multiple people they trust depending on the circumstances. Family members, friends, professional therapists, life coaches can all be considered. The key is finding someone who you know who does not judge you, accepts you, and appreciates you.
Exercise – Start slow and easy but do something! Whether walking for 5 minutes; sweeping the floor; practicing tai chi or yoga, it is very important to get into a routine of using muscles and joints. Swimming is probably the best exercise for chronic pain and illness as it easier on joints and muscles. Many pools offer classes specially designed for people like us.
Find a Hobby – Knitting, crotchet, creating scrapbooks, photography, bird watching, gardening or anything that is pleasurable for you and takes your mind off your pain is important.
Massage – Many people in pain (particularly fibromyalgia patients) cringe at the idea of anyone touching let alone massaging muscles. Communicating with the massage therapist can make the experience both pleasurable and helpful.
Pampering – Part of the massage experience feels good because it’s important to be good to yourself. If massages are not comfortable, try a manicure and pedicure (not just for women anymore). Going to a matinee, museum or having lunch with friends can feel like a treat.
Warmth – Baths, hot compresses and heating pads, preferably moist, provide temporary relief.
Massage Foam Rollers – Using gentle pressure on targeted areas by moving the roller back and forth on the floor can be very painful in some areas at first. But even doing a few times at first, muscles are more relaxed and fascia (connective tissue that surrounds muscles and nerves) are lengthened and softer.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Unit – TENS is a pocket-size device that sends electrical impulses to block pain signals. Electrical currents are mild but can ease specific areas of pain. TENS is not helpful for migrating pain. NOTE: Ask physician or physical therapist about TENS and how to use it properly.
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