Since my car accident in 1999, I’ve had chronic pain in my neck and migraines. For the past 13 years, I’ve lived on antidepressants, muscle relaxants and painkillers. I have an injury that has caused bone spurs to grow on either side of my vertebrae in my neck and when the muscles stiffen, those bone spurs put pressure on my spinal cord and cut off the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid. This is what causes my migraines.
Exercise has had a huge impact on my pain levels, but stretching has really made all the difference. After injuring my knees over a year ago, I realized I needed to get some stretching into my routine. Building muscle isn’t a great idea if those muscles don’t have some elasticity to them.
Thankfully, UFCPersonal Trainer has a wonderful warm up and cool down program. The cool down, specifically, has many of the stretching exercises I really enjoy. Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 also has stretching in the form of Yoga and Tai Chi, but some of the postures aren’t appropriate for someone with osteoarthritis among other things.
After just 2 months of doing the stretching exercises, I noticed the pain in my hips was so much better. I could once again sit Indian-style on the couch while writing! I love sitting Indian-style, it makes me feel thin!
If I don’t exercise, my pain comes back almost instantaneously, and I become very grumpy. I’ve been pretty grumpy lately! I’ve been horrible about getting my workouts in, and my pain is back with a vengeance. I can just feel my muscles tightening up because I haven’t been stretching, and my abdominal muscles are atrophying. So, why can’t I convince myself to get my ass of the couch and workout? I have an excuse…
My husband was just diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He needs to have surgery to repair it and because it’s a workman’s comp (WC) thing, he has to wait for them to pick a surgeon, schedule his consult etc. Meanwhile, I’m stuck doing all the chores, and he can’t move from the couch. Unfortunately, he’s not making any money sitting at home waiting on WC to decide when he can have surgery, so there’s a strong possibility we’ll get behind in bills. To make up the difference, I’m trying to write my little heart out, but it’s really hard to do when you have to take care of everything else in the house as well.
Trying to fit in a workout is proving to be impossible, and not just because I’m not motivated. I really don’t have the time at the moment. Consequently, my pain is getting worse and a vicious cycle is perpetuated. I know I should probably cut myself some slack, but I’ve worked so hard to lose the weight that I have, and I really don’t want it coming back. But, at the rate I’m going, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Despite my attempts to schedule time in my home management notebook and gain extra hours in the day with a biphasic sleep pattern, I’ve failed miserably at getting everything done that I need to get done.
Something has to give. Stretching was so beneficial in controlling my chronic pain that if I need to remove a few things from my to-do list so that I have the time to work out, then that’s what I’m going to have to do. I just have to stop being lazy about it.
“Working out is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination.” – Unknown