Sunday, October 22, 2006

We walk a fine line in management of symptoms of this complex regional pain syndrome.

Yesterday, the arm exercises that were beneficial on Friday set off a chaotic chain reaction of symptoms which started in my left shoulder and quickly progressed down the arm and left trunk. I did exactly the same exercises for the same number of repititions. The only difference was I'd had a big day on Friday and I was generally in pain with the shoulder noticably uncomfortable. I was allert and focused (due I think to the oil treatment from the night before) and I'd put the general pain down to the inclement weather. I misread the symptoms. Movement is imperative but it's very difficult to get it right. It doesn't take much to tip me over the edge from enough to too much. Again I felt like tearing away my flesh in my shoulder, an extreme version of throwing back the blankets. My rational mind knows that the pain serves no useful purpose. I can't pop a pill so I practised parasympathetic activation breathing (in and then out twice as long as in). Then I remembered to use the mirrors. Each time I do this I have in the back of my mind that it can't work or that this time it won't work and that in the past I must have imagined that it worked. As at other times where my shoulder (a long standing problem) is concerned there was no immediate change in symptoms. However after a while I noticed that the muscle spasms had eased. I repeated the exercise with the mirror a number of time and after a while each time there was a gradual improvement. What seems to happen is a paring back of symptoms and reduction in the area of pain until again the pain becomes confined to the shoulder. My rational mind knows that if I keep working at reducing the symptoms eventually there'll be an improvment overall. If the pain becomes less some of the other things like labile blood pressure and reflux will settle. That's the plan. For now I am confronted again with the old "do too much, pay for it later" story. Well, I'll just have to focus on doing it smarter. Go to the left of the blog and click on archives August to see photos of what I do with mirrors.

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