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And it is finally Friday! I apologise for being MIA recently. I took a break during the holidays when I had the boys, as I do for all the school holidays, but it has just taken me a while to get back on the computer and writing again! The creative juices are flowing but being able to sit at my desk and get posts written just seems to be a struggle at the moment.
I am not sure whether this a good idea or a bad one after my last sentence – but Stephie over at Colitis To Ostomy has convinced me to do Blogtober again. For those that don’t know what that is – it means I will be posting on the blog EVERY day of October – crazy right?! Luckily I have some (hopefully) interesting ideas so I hope you are kept entertained and interested!
Recently my arthritis in particular has become a bother again. Following another episode of my right knee locking in June, I have been referred to a complex knee specialist who has arranged for me to have an arthroscopy – this is a keyhole surgery which involves a small camera being inserted into my knee joint to have a good look around from the inside. I have had a mini flare up while waiting for my next Stelara dose, although luckily I had my injection at the beginning of the week and it is now calming down
As for pain management, I have been looking towards alternative methods which might help alongside my medications. I have always been interested in aromatherapy oils for my joints. I use magnesium and epsom salts when I bath rather than shower. I have also been bathing more recently as the warm water really helps. I have also started meditating, especially to help me sleep as I find my pain much harder to deal with when I haven’t slept as well. I find massage for my joints works well. It sounds a bit odd but having them squeezed really seems to help! I have also restarted doing exercises from my childhood physio sessions and using heat/ice packs as I have since being young.
I was also approached by the Pathways app about collaboration. Although I haven’t been using it for long enough to form a proper review, I have been really enjoying it so thought I would share some information about it with you.
The Pathways app is a pain relief app created by patients, backed up by decades of pain science and research. It aims to help make 1 million people pain free who are suffering from problems such as
• Back pain
• Headaches and migraines
• Neck Pain
• Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
• Shoulder Pain
• Joint Pains
• Digestive Issues
Pain that has lasted longer than 3 months is considered long term pain. Some or all of this pain can be due to your body becoming overprotective, which is what Pathways aims to find out and help you fix.
The first few sessions are focused on education. Helping patients understand the complexities of pain is an important step. Many people who suffer from chronic pain feel they have to justify it and may have been treated as if it is all in their head. Pathways make it clear that that is not the case with them – pain is real and part of this education section will help you understand the science behind this.
The programme then moves on to attempt to change behaviours that could be keeping your system in high alert. They do this through exercises including physical therapy, guided imagery, visualisation and mindfulness, meditations and more. All the sessions are between 2 and 20 minutes long audio clips which make it easy to fit into your day.
There are three different price plans and you can pay monthly or yearly, or buy a lifetime pass. You can download and try the app for free to see what you think before you commit to paying. The website is also really helpful and has lots more information on it, including more information on the scientific research and evidence the programme is based on.
I have been kindly gifted the app and so far am really enjoying it. I have had issues with the way some people approach me claiming to have a way of relieving pain – almost like they don’t believe me – but I have found the fact that Pathways address this early on very helpful. I haven’t been using it long enough to note any major difference in my pain but I am enjoying the informational content and the ‘science stuff’ actually makes lots of sense!
I will be sure to keep you updated and would to hear if there are others using this app to help with their chronic pain. How are you finding it so far? Let me know in the comments below! Have a great weekend everyone,