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Other Accountability thread: back pain treatment and ptsd/fibro

This is a very interesting thread! I wish I had more time to address all the incredible points made by you and everyone...

I just wanted to say that I really get the whole barrier to exercise because of it feeling dangerous....

I've had fantasies over the years of how I'm going to over come these fears and al the amazing sports I'll do... but I always get pushed back down into 'Nope, not happening...

2 things are my staple exercise go-tos. Swimming and going for a walk. There's alot of evidence that both are good for us. I know it's not a team sport. I know it's not high level cardiovascular exercise... but actually with PTSD that's what needs to be avoided when you're starting out on this journey..or else it will just confirm to your body that exercise is dangerous and no amount of talking therapy will address that....

What I'm trying to do is go step by step into slowly building resistance to slightly more physical effort... started with doing 10 mins in the pool.. then 12, then 15 etc... now I'm up to 20... I go slow or do less time on days i feel challenged... I go faster or do longer on days I feel better (not often but can happen!)... on weeks I can't do that, I follow a walking route i know i can achieve and just getting out the door to do it is a major tick...

Strength building is important too and can be done via YouTube videos at home for 10 mins a day! All seems like a lot but if you can get into routine...

I don't know if any of this will help but wanted to share..

So much to say about other things you wrote but not enough time!!
 
My little 2 cent plea - please be very careful when getting strength training from insta/yt/tiktok etc. A lot of these guys form is really, really bad. And they jump straight in without any of the basics being in place first.

For people not injured/fit already - this is going to do you no favours and might just make you sore. For those of you who are just starting to try out a little exercise/or have injuries to consider, this might make compound your problems badly.

If you can afford a one off session with a PT they will run you through what’s most appropriate, the appropriate weights and suitable exercises bearing in any problem areas. There’s some good resources online but definitely be wary, even things like sit ups *will* wreck your back if you do them with bad form.

So, I did more exercise yesterday than I usually would... And then at night, I was so sore... And trauma brain is like "Oh no, pain... this is a punishment for doing exercise... I told you that movement = danger!"
The first little push is the worst! Can you help your mind distinguish the two types of pain? Muscle soreness = great, worked hard, that’s your body is building itself up to be the best & strongest version of itself it can be, Sharp pain/Burning/Stabbing sensation etc = that exercise probably wasn’t quite right for me, and I need to back off that a little bit. Personally I friggin love that muscle burn, that urgggghhh when I get up and feel it the next day because I know it means I worked damn hard and it feels soooooo good.
 
I've been a bit back-and-forth with this over the last week.

Initially I did more exercise (nothing crazy like suddenly going jogging when you're not adapted to it...). Basically just yoga, exercises from the physio, taking the dog for walks or bike rides...

My muscles were really sore the next days... Like, really sore. I figure it's partly just having moved way, way too little for too long... plus fibromyalgia.

The first couple of days, everytime the muscle soreness pain would become triggering I'd humourously remind myself that "@No More would be loving this" and that seemed to take the triggery aspect out of it and it was just annoying discomfort.

Then I had a really busy weekend, just running errands from dawn til dusk basically, and no time or even headspace to do any "exercise" apart from the general running around I was doing with the errands. So, I was really surprised when after I'd exercised Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I was still feeling sore on the Monday. That seemed a bit weird/ excessive. I'm wondering if that's the fibromyalgia bit?

Most specificially what's sore (and still is, a week later) is... heh... okay, now I dunno how to describe it... It feels like the tendons or where my muscles join the bone... Feels like they are inflamed, maybe? And it's where my legs join my hips, but at the front. So, if I'm standing up and lift my leg up, like lifting my knee up towards my chest, whatever muscle/ tendon is making my leg bend towards my torso... Okay, I'm going to try and google this...

Okay, this is what it seems to be:


I'm wondering whether this is going on a) obviously cos I've "suddenly" added in new movement/ exercise that I wasn't doing before, b) cos of the fibromyalgia and c) cos the orthopaedic surgeon pointed out my lower back was very inflamed to start with, so maybe my body's just reacting with "inflammation" generally for any physical strain/ stress in that part of my body?

Anyway, since then, my week was really busy too, not much time for specific "exercise", just walking the dog plus as I'm moving house, there was a lot of carrying of boxes, moving furniture... lots of physical "work"... nothing to aggrevate my hip flexor tendons specifically, other than bending down a lot to pick things up, which seems to aggrevate them... So this hip flexor tendon pain isn't major but it's enough to be annoying, to make me walk a bit stiffer, to make me want to avoid movement which aggrevates it and it's kind of simmering in the background.

Muscle soreness = great, worked hard, that’s your body is building itself up to be the best & strongest version of itself it can be, Sharp pain/Burning/Stabbing sensation etc = that exercise probably wasn’t quite right for me, and I need to back off that a little bit.
Luckily I've not got any of the sharp pain going on... When my back started being messed up in my 20s and I had those terrible Dr's/ physiotherapists, I didn't know the difference between those kinds of pain and with untreated C-PTSD was in no position to advocate for myself... They were having me do "exercises" which were totally inappropriate and I was telling them I was in a lot of pain and they thought I meant "muscle soreness" and was "just whining" and told me to "keep going" and "it's supposed to hurt".

Now with PTSD, I was already dissociating away most of the pain, other than the sharp, stabbing, never-damaging pain... which is why I was saying "it hurts" but they just kept ignoring it and telling me to ignore it, which is how the permanent nerve damage ended up being done... I ended up leaving that treatment cos things got so bad I couldn't walk and could barely get in/ out of the car to go anywhere and even at 20 with untreated PTSD, I could tell that this "treatment" was making things worse and that even if I didn't know what to "do", I certainly needed to stop this treatment.

So ever since then, I learned the difference between normal muscle discomfort when doing exercise (which is triggering for PTSD but fine from a general medical/ physical point of view) and which I may or may not notice, depending on dissociation levels.... versus the sharp, stabbing nerve pain which says "Stop doing this right now cos you're damaging tissue".

This hip flexor tendonitis is a bit different... I guess somewhere between those two things - it's neither "just" the healthy muscle soreness, nor the "stop right now" kind of pain... But it is telling me that tissue is inflamed and that it needs rest... That I need to go slower, need to give my body more time to adjust.

I'm not sure whether I should be aksing my doctor for some cortisone to take the edge off the inflammation? It seems my body is struggling with inflammation generally atm, so this sounds like a good idea to me.

And I guess I should focus on upper body exercises, until the tendonitis has subsided. I've certainly got enough shoulder and neck issues to deal with that I should be doing exercise for anyway...

In terms of self-care, I've booked a massage with my physio for my shoulder on Thursday, cos I've been exercising that and made *some* progress, but not much, so I'm hoping that by adding massage to the mix, it might help get those muscles to release a bit better.

Also, the new-fangled, weird online physio programme that my Dr signed me up for starts this week. I'm kinda looking forward to it... I guess I can speak to both the physio at the massage appt and the online physio about the tendonitis and get their feedback.

Anyway... I guess this has been a long ramble to say that I'm still sticking to the exercise plan, but there have been some complicating factors and I'm trying to find workarounds and not lose motivation because of them. Overall, I feel like the increase in exercise is helping (quelle surprise) and that I'm focussing on better posture, which is also helping.

Speaking to my T about it, we agreed that practising "breaks" in the body-dissociation of 30 - 60 seconds at a time is an important factor. I learned to just "dissociate away" my body during childhood, so much of the time, it feels like my body just doesn't exist... even tho logically, I realise that it does... So anyway, just practising these brief "breaks" in the dissociation of "oh, right... my body does exist... hi body... well, this is weird... I guess I'm supposed to *feel* my body, or something..." is a) helpful and b) as much as I can currently do in terms of decreasing the body-dissociation.

So yeah, it's a work in progress, I guess, with lots of hurdles but some progress...
 
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Making some progress with this... Cortisone helped get rid of the tendonitis issue, thankfully.

Had a physio appt yesterday especially for my shoulder and neck issue and it really helped. He did those chiropracticer "moves" where they crunch your bones back into place... Yikes... It did help a lot tho... And he spent the rest of the session massaging neck and shoulder and using the trigger points to get the muscles to release... Sore/ painful, but the good kind, where you can tell it's helping...

Did my exercises for my shoulder and neck this morning and my range of motion is so much better, thanks to what he did. I'm hoping that will motivate me to keep doing exercises/ watch my posture and that it will finally get both neck and shoulder back to normal.

I've signed up for the weird new-fangled online physio thing. The intake appt is on Monday. I'm a mixture of curious and sceptical that I'll be able to stick to their programme, but I guess I'll see...
 
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