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I have chronic pelvic pain syndrome and have suffered with lower pelvic pain for 6+ years. When it first began, it was something that I thought would go away, but it didn’t. It progressively got worse. So, over time, I’ve had to adapt and manage my pain in whatever ways I can.
Chronic pelvic pain affects so many people and in different ways. You may have a dull ache, sharp pain or burning and tingling pain, it’s totally different for everyone. But one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is the fact that it can be debilitating and makes navigating through day-to-day life so much more difficult.
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TRUST THE PROCESS
For the first few years of me having lower pelvic pain, it felt like too much and I found it really difficult to manage. It was affecting my social life, career and mental health. It felt like no matter what I tried or how many doctors I spoke to, nothing was helping.
When you have chronic pain, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of information and remedies out there. You feel you should try everything in hopes of some pain relief, rather than being mindful and focusing on the things you’ve already tried that have actually helped.
That’s why after years of being my own test dummy, I finally acknowledged all the things that were actually helping and incorporated those things into my daily life. I saw an enormous difference. Although the pain is still there, these things have helped me to manage it so much better.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to never try new treatments or things that may be beneficial. But pay attention to the things that are already helping and stick with them.
Here are 6 tips that could help you manage your lower pelvic pain
1. Use a hot water bottle or heating pad
I can’t function without my hot water bottle. It’s the one thing that I can count on for some comfort and slight relief from my lower pelvic pain. Chronic pain causes pain in targeted areas, but sometimes the pain is widespread and my hot water bottle helps to soothe those aches.
According to specialists, heat “stimulates your sensory receptors, thus blocking signals of pain to the brain” which, as a result, works as an effective pain reliever.
2. Rest when you need to
When you live with chronic pain or any chronic illness, it can feel as though you do more “resting” than “doing”, but that’s not a bad thing. Rest is probably the most important thing to embrace when you have chronic pelvic pain. Getting enough rest will help you manage a lot better, as a lack of rest and sleep can make your pain worse.
If you’re tired and having a flare up, it’s imperative for you to rest your body rather than trying to push through the pain and doing yourself more harm. Listen to your body, rest and practice some self-care when you need to and once you feel a little better, you can use pacing to help you continue with your daily activities.
3. Use a TENS MACHINE
I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t keen on the idea of using a TENS machine to manage my pain. But after speaking with a few pain specialists and doing my research, I was sold.
TENS machines (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) are small battery operated devices with sticky pads that you apply to your area of pain. They work by sending small electrical pulses to the body. Those impulses reduce the pain signals sent to the brain, which can help relieve pain and act as a muscle relaxant. I like to use my TENS machine when lower pelvic pain is really bad, which is really beneficial when combined with my medication.
If you want some more information about how TENS machines work for pain, check out this great article by Pain concern. It will tell you all you need to know. Of course, if you want to try a TENS machine, be sure to consult with your doctor first.
4. Practice Yoga
Yoga is something I did to keep my body moving and relax. I had no idea yoga could be a treatment of chronic pelvic pain. Research has shown that yoga can decrease pain and enhance the quality of life for people with chronic pelvic pain. This is as it incorporates as few things :
- Breathing – which helps relax the pelvic floor muscles, which helps to reduce pain
- Meditation and mindfulness – which can help you be mindful and identify triggers so you can adjust your daily activities accordingly to reduce or avoid pain
- Learning how to relax and activate certain muscles – which can also help you do daily activities with less pain.
5. Take your medication
When you have chronic pain or any chronic illness, taking medication is usually an important part depending on your (treatment plan). Keep all of your medications organised and in a place where you can reach them.
Brain fog is real when you have a chronic illness, so I like to organise my medications and keep them in this pill organiser for each day of the week. It comes in super handy when having a flare-up, as it has sections for your meds, for the morning and night.
6. Stay Hydrated
Over time, I’ve noticed that when I’m dehydrated, my pelvic pain symptoms are so much worse. So now I try my best to stay hydrated. To be honest, this is something we should do, anyway. Water is literally life. Also, according to scientific research, staying hydrated can help lessen the impact of chronic pain.
These are the 6 things that help me best manage my chronic pelvic pain. Hopefully, these things could help you manage your pain, but of course, things work differently for everyone. If you want to try any of these things, please be sure to consult your doctor or specialist first.
What are some things that help you manage your chronic pain or lower pelvic pain?
The information provided in my blog posts is strictly from my own experiences and is not intended to replace medical or professional advice. Do not disregard any medical advice you have received after reading any of my posts. For more, please read my disclosure page.
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