Rewire your pain - a new resource for people living with pain
Dr Stephanie Davies, a member of APMA's Clinical Advisory Committee and colleagues from WASPS (WA Specialist Pain Services) will shortly launch 'Rewire Your Pain – An evidence-based approach to reducing chronic pain'. Packed full of transforming tips on how to manage pain and get the most out of your life, many suggestions are based on movement, healthy lifestyles and positive thinking, rather than increased medication.
APMA CEO Elizabeth Carrigan endorses the message provided by the book, which she believes "provides people of any age who live with on-going pain practical and evidence-based strategies to manage their pain."
People can learn techniques that give them a greater sense of control, which in turn reduces the threat value of pain, and calms down the nervous system. As Dr Davies says, “A walk will stimulate the brain so thoughts are clearer. It can make you feel better and therefore calm your nervous system. Some may have to start small, even with a trip to the letterbox or around the corner, but it is important to build up the activity and form a habit.”
The book introduces you to ways of thinking and daily habits that can make a huge difference. Its recommendations may look simple, but the effects can be profound. People in pain can transform their lives by learning techniques that give them a greater sense of control.
Medications are only a small part of the puzzle and small changes (or habits) can be very useful for people in pain. That pain may be lower-back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain, headaches, pain following an injury or operation (nociceptive pain), arthritis (inflammatory pain), immune-responsive pain or neuropathic pain.
Ongoing pain is something you can change. This book is about rewiring your pain and winning back your life.
Top Tips to Help Manage Pain for People in Pain, and their carer’s
1. Turn down the ‘alarm’ in the central nervous system. A painful experience triggers a danger message in your brain’s alarm system, the sensitivity can be hard to dial back down to normal. Each day you can gently coach your brain to a peaceful place.
2. Focus on some minor everyday actions such as a sip of water or a snack. When ongoing pain disrupts your life, introducing new small daily actions can make big changes to it.
3. Avoid stirring up the nervous system by overdoing physical activity, being stressed or angry or focusing on negative thoughts.
4. Make good habits part of your daily life. These could be short or long walks (depending on what you can manage). Walking boosts your mood, helps you think clearly, aids digestion, helps you sleep, improves fitness, gets sunlight on your skin, reduces inflammation and calms your nervous system.
5. Mindfulness meditation is a simple daily habit you can teach yourself and offers relief from tension and a way to reduce pain.
6. Train yourself to worry less. Deal with your worries in a step-by-step approach. Solve problems, resolve issues and conflicts and dissolve your worries. Sometimes sharing with friends helps dissolve them.
7. Say No to things you can no longer manage.
8. Structure in fun activities to look forward too. This could include music, visiting special places or even gardening.
This new book is available through the APMA Shop for only $30.00 plus postage. You can order the book here.