Who isn’t familiar with these intense, sudden outbursts of pain that cripple you for what seems to be a lifetime? Pelvic pain flare-ups are by far the most painful experiences I have had to go through in my life (and I have given birth naturally; that pain doesn’t even come close!).
Relaxation, mindfulness, exercise, good diet and medication are all ways to try and avoid these flare-ups from happening, but sometimes they are just simply unavoidable.
Here’s what you can try to manage your pain from a self- management perspective when your flare-up is a given:
Acceptance. This flare-up is happening, nothing you do will change this. When you deal with chronic pain issues, and the flare-ups that come with it, you would have inevitably learnt already sometimes you have to disappoint people and cancel plans. But you know what? That is OK! What matters most is you, and you’re in pain right now. So, no, you cannot come to this party or answer the phone. Accept and let it go.
Perspective. Yes, it hurts like hell. Trust me, I know! But you know what? A flare is temporary, it WILL go away. Try and focus on that and be as positive as you can. A negative response to flares could make the flare worse, and further aggravate your nervous system, and that’s the opposite of what we want to achieve.
Understand where you pain is coming from. Read our blog on ‘Understanding Pain’ for some more insight on this.
Distract yourself. Did you know that working with your hands and fingers is the best form of distraction when you are in pain? I try and write articles for our blog when I experience a flare-up whilst being propped up in bed (this poses a challenge sometimes!), or some good old-fashioned TV watching works really well for me too, especially when Grey’s Anatomy is on ;).
Do some stretches; these 8 helpful stretches can be really soothing, even when you are in pain, and are definitely worth a try.
Let me know what works for you; and if you are going through a flare-up right now, I hope you feel better soon!