Treating pain without Painkillers, Episode 1: The Little Things
Many are shocked to learn that despite my daily #headaches
, regular #migraine
, I rarely take #painkillers
of any sort. Usually only 1-2 times per month!
Don’t get me wrong. I definitely didn’t start this way. In fact, my initial diagnosis 4 years ago was Medication-overuse migraine. In otherwords, painkillers had changed my #painsystem
) leading it to CREATE pain instead of fighting it. Crazy, eh?! Keep in mind that I had taken pain medication only as prescribed.
This meant that for the first 3-6 months of my chronic pain journey, I took NO painkillers - no Tylenol, no ibuprofen, no triptans, no opiates. I did this to attempt to get a clear idea of what my pain was like without medication overuse. .
It was tough. When my #neurologist
first told me what she planned, I didn’t think it would be possible. Tears were shed. Fears were voiced. But I didn’t have any other choice. The sooner I started, the sooner we could explore other options. .
My time without painkillers taught me A LOT. Perhaps most importantly that every little bit helps. I began treating my pain, not by trying to get rid of it, but instead by trying simply to decrease it, just a little bit at a time.
How did I do this? The little things. And I mean little, tiny things I’d taken for granted over the years. Things like:
⭐️ Making my bed
⭐️ A cup of tea
⭐️ Comfy clothes
⭐️ Washing my face
⭐️ A cold cloth
⭐️ Vick’s vaporub ⭐️ A short walk
⭐️ A bit of dark chocolate
⭐️ Coffee with a friend
⭐️ And so on. .
By focusing on treating myself well and doing the little things that make life even a little, tiny bit better, I began noticing the impact these things had on my pain. But I had to pay attention. .
Ironically, I learned that I needed to focus on my pain quite intently in order to learn what helped and what didn’t. If you haven’t heard about #mindfulness
, you may want to explore it’s fit for you. .
Next Episode: Stretching