At the time of writing this, I’ve only been working full-time for two weeks, but I’m already learning a lot about how best to manage my pain when I’m in the office.
I’ve had my cerebral palsy all my life so I like to think I’m become pretty good at pain management over the years, but it turns out adding a job into mix adds a few extra challenges too. I thought I’d share my advice.
Start the night before
It only took me a couple of days to work out that taking a hot wheat bag to bed with me, regardless of whether I think I need it or not, makes a huge difference. It keeps my muscles relaxed throughout the night so I wake up in less pain. The lavender scent helps me sleep too so it’s a win/win situation as far as I’m concerned.
Set your alarm early
I’m pretty sure we all dread our alarm going off in morning, but set it earlier than you need to get up. My legs always take longer to wake up than the rest of me, so I find it (physically) easier to get moving if I hit the snooze button first. Plus, if I wake up in more pain that usual I have extra time to reheat my wheat bag and stretch out.
Take Stretch Breaks
It’s amazing how much of a difference taking regular stretch breaks can reduce your pain throughout the day. Try and get into the habit of taking them often, preferably before you even feel like you have to. I’m terrible for forgetting until I’m really uncomfortable. Schedule some into your e-mail calendar so it sends you reminders, or get up and go to the kitchen with your workmates when they go for a brew.
Actually Tell People about your pain
I know this probably sounds like a strange one, but I’ve actually found that just talking about my pain at work helps me manage it better. Back when I used to feel like I had to keep my pain a secret from everyone, even my friends, I used to get stressed about what I could do to ease it without anyone noticing. That would make my muscles get tighter and make everything worse. Being relaxed about the fact I have pain is a major part of the battle I’ve found.
Those are just my tips, do you have any?