Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fighting the brain's message "it hurts, don't move" is really hard with CRPS/RSD.

At our neighbourhood party before Christmas my foot hurt so much I had to force myself to walk. People were asking what was wrong, why I was limping. I was really trying not to limp but the pain was very convincing. The thing was I knew I'd had no injury and I was pretty sure there was nothing wrong. But the pain was acute, severe and very convincing of an injury. Try as I might to overcome the urge not to limp, I struggled to walk.

The next day I was stung by a Blue Bottle.

The extreme pain from the Blue Bottle sting was overwhelming and dominated my perception of pain. Amazingly, the foot pain was gone!

I had been right about the foot pain. It was a message from the brain saying there was pain and that something was wrong and that I should protect the injured part. I can now usually recognize that the extreme pains are an incorrect message. It is very, very hard to ignore that message but I know I must. Neglect symptoms come from protecting and not using body parts that are very painful and that our smart brain tells us is best practice to rest and protect.

I believe with the condition Complex Regional Pain Syndrome I must rely on what I know and keep active. For me bed rest is the worst thing. I know with most of my pain there is no injury, and that rest and protecting behaviours such as limping are counter productive.

So for me it's a case of, "It hurts so move it!"

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