Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Physical Limits or Mind over Matter?

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Chronic Pain
I’ve been really thinking about the concept of limits. The invisible nature of chronic pain makes it incredibly difficult to define physical limits. Furthermore, the lines are blurred because the signal used to define limits for “normal” people is meaningless to us- more pain, for most of us, does not indicate physical harm. In the absence of physical harm, defining our limits becomes more a question of tolerance…

I guess what inspired this line of thought is the constant adage of “mind of matter.” I think we all hear it on a regular basis, and it can be incredibly frustration. No one would tell an asthmatic that if they just “want it badly enough” they’ll be able to run a marathon, yet with chronic pain it is often a question of “can you suck it up and push through.” For me, there are days when sucking it up and slapping on my TENs unit, taking pain meds, and doing what I have to do is absolutely the best approach, yet there are others where to do so only worsens the situation physically and mentally. I am not sure what separates the two…There is a very fine line between pushing through and continuing to live in spite of the pain, yet also respecting the need for self care and the very real limits that come with chronic pain.

I think goals are incredibly important- they are what give me hope and keep me feeling like I’m moving forward even in the presence of continuing pain. The question becomes, how do you define goals in the shadow of chronic pain? When do goals motivate us to better ourselves and to continue living in spite of chronic pain, and when are they simply us pushing ourselves beyond reasonable limits and making unrealistic expectations of ourselves? How do you decide when to push yourself versus when to hold back and accept that because of the chronic pain you simply cannot do it?

Chronic pain unfortunately touches every aspect of life- careers, family, relationships- and these are questions we each have to answer for ourselves…


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    I have always tried to maintain a positive and strong outlook regarding dealing with Chronic pain.

    The mind is such a powerful tool and yes, many times, it is just that what gets us through rough periods.

    But can the mind completely hand the physical limits of chronic pain? NO

    However, the mind can help you press on through and figure out all the things that you are still capable of doing.

    When you give up, that is the time when chronic pain will consume your life.

    When you resist, thats a start in heading in the right direction.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Well said! My kids and I took my husband to dinner and play putt putt golf for father's day. I took my meds, slapped on the tends and out the door I went. The place was packed so I did a lot of standing and waiting on the concrete but I told myself I would push through and not ruin the day.Although everyone was having a great time, you could see the concern for me on their faces. It just breaks my heart that they must always be thinking of me.

    Lala, how often do you use your tends unit? I seem to be using it quite a lot lately. Expecially at night.
  • As always your intelligence far out reaches your years. But the question above is something I have struggled with since my horror began 2 years ago. After so much thought I came up with the following:

    1) Needs vs. Wants -> We never had to put this restriction on ourselves prior to our CP woes in terms of physical limitations and only since seeing my new therpaist have I come up with this. My problem is I was always thinking about my wants. I want to ride my bike as I did, I want to lift my weights and I made the excuse of doing them as even the doctors said the more I do the faster I will get better. Sorry all wrong! Farmgirl said it best...the spine is a joint and the thing we need to do is not use the joint to allow it to heal. Once you start to stop over thinking it, it becomes clear.

    2) I stopped all my other stuff and bought a lumbar support belt, a kneeling chair, standing chair and began to just do Mckenzie stretching like press ups and mini-cobras. The only thing I do is walking as far as exercise. Also I no longer sit on the couch...I lay on the floor in a cobra position and watch TV or computer. I am off all meds and take just quinine every so often.

    3) I am starting to see the improvement. Will it last, I am not sure but I see the focus should be

    Do what you NEED TO DO TO LIVE while causing the LEAST AMOUNT OF PAIN and give the JOINT TIME TO HEAL.

    We have to stop thinking of the past and understand that is the past...all goals need to be redefined. And the key to any good goal is to push you far enough but is obtainable.

    Now this is on my case and I know you have a cyst so may not apply but we should not thinking in terms of pushing past the pain but how can we can continue to improve without making the pain worse.


    Cause lets face it, if we go and push ourselves to a point that we can not get out of bed the next day would we feel as good about our accomplishment? Set the bar lower on the physical but set the bar higher on the pain level.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.