Resistance Can Increase the Pain

Resistance Can Increase the Pain
I've been fighting acute pain for weeks now. I'm not speaking of total body pain like that of fibromyalgia. Rather, this is an additional illness I have dealt with for nearly 40 years called myofascial pain syndrome. Usually, it comes and goes, but lately, it has come to stay. Rather than take prescribed narcotic medication, I've sought alternative treatments. Acupuncture was no help. Chiropractic treatment helped initially, but it has ceased effectivity. My last resort was physical therapy. And it was a good one. The stretches my physical therapist prescribed have significantly relieved the frequency of muscle spasms I had going on. Unfortunately, those same exercises aggravated a nerve in my neck, causing a secondary condition called occipital neuralgia, which is a condition as painful as the myofascial pain syndrome I originally treated. To say I'm discouraged is an understatement. Until I see my physical therapist later this week, I'm afraid to continue the prescribed stretches that seem to be worsening the pain. I'm also concerned that skipping the stretches may prolong the pain. It's a lousy situation at best. One thing I've learned from this experience is that resistance increases pain. As highlighted in Psychology Today, your pain will hurt less if you accept it. Of course, this article was written in the context of emotional suffering rather than physical suffering. However, my experience tells me that this concept is true for both forms of pain. When you fight physical pain, your body tenses up. As you await each jolt, you're poised, anticipating. Your muscles tighten. That muscle tension alone can cause pain. When added to the pain of a different cause, it creates a second dimension. Now you're fighting two pain sources instead of one.
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  1. Nancy says:

    Great article…..I suffer from fibro and myofascial pain syndrome. One thing that i find extremely frustrating about physical therapy is that many times it creates more problems than it solves. I have yet to find a therapist who really knows which exercises will make you better and not worse.

  2. laura says:

    I too suffered from myofascial pain syndrome. I saw a therapist for a couple of years. My friend and I created a device made of fabric that can be used for self care. We use different size balls and place them in spots all over the body where the tissue is tender and has restrictions. This can be used while sitting, standing or lying down. Please check out our FB Real Ease page for more information. Good luck to all who need the release and freedom from these “sensations”.

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