The Top 3 Pelvic Pain Solutions No One's Telling You
Pain is a normal part of life, but living with pain is far from normal. No matter what you do, who you see and what pills you take, if you don’t re-conceptualize how you think about your pain, it will continue to run the show.
So what’s it gonna take to free yourself from pelvic pain?
Listen up, because I’m about to share with you my top three solutions to help you live a life without pain.
Persistent pain is like a habit.
We’ve all got habits and the only way that we begin to recognize these habits is when we change up our routine.
Think of it like that wastebasket in your office, where you can throw away anything with your eyes closed until somebody moves it on you and you miss.
Pain is similar in that if you pay close attention, follow it for long enough, it will only get stronger, digging deeper grooves into your mind until the pain orchestra in your brain is stuck on repeat playing the same tune over and over again.
Solution #1 – Ditch the painful version of yourself
The pain orchestra has played the same tune so much that it doesn’t need the conductor anymore. That’s why you start to identify with a painful, hopeless version of yourself.
It’s easy to gravitate towards a negative mind when you’re in pain. Familiarity is what keeps pain set as your default mode.
But pain is NOT the true, authentic version of you. It’s just a familiar habit. And like all habits, it can be changed.
Think about pain as a transient experience, one that isn’t permanent, like clouds in the sky that move swiftly on a stormy day.
You don’t go around introducing yourself like this:
“Hi, my name’s pelvic floor dysfunction, nice to meet you.”
So don’t relate to that painful version of yourself. Instead, relate to the best version of yourself. Changing the version that you normally identify with will be helpful in detaching yourself from the labels of pain and diagnoses you were given.
When you think of yourself as a fixed, permanent self, it leaves no possibility for change and naturally, you’ll feel stuck. When you start to shift your perspective about pain and your current situation, you’ll begin to feel less attached to the person in pain.
As a result, pain will loosen its grip.
Think of someone in your life who’s having a tougher time than you. Develop an attitude of gratitude. It could always be worse.
Help someone in need.
Relate to yourself as a person who has the potential to be free from pain.
Throughout the day, ask yourself: How’s my mind now? Take notice.
Use breathing mindfulness to anchor your mind.
Solution #2 – Welcome your pain
Pain isn’t easy to deal with. That’s why you avoid it like the plague. The thing is that you can’t avoid pain no matter how hard you try. (Gulp!)
There are countless external problems that we all face. Just when you think you’re in the clear, another one pops up. That’s just the reality of this human condition.
So if life’s constantly throwing us lemons, making lemonade doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all.
Pain is unavoidable but suffering is optional.
WHAT THIS MEANS:
Accept that you’re having a painful experience at the moment instead of freaking out. When you’re stressed and freaking out, your brain releases powerful substances that can amp up inflammation in your body. Making pain stick around or even worsen. In other words, what you resist will persist.
Think balance. Accepting that you’re in pain doesn’t mean you’re throwing in the towel. Acceptance allows you to find a solution from a place of balance. There aren’t many good decisions made with anger and frustration so having a balanced mind will do you some good.
Practice peace. When your mind is at ease, you’ll find that the protective mechanisms at play (pain, anxiety, muscle tension, etc) will follow, lessening your overall pain experience. The more you practice maintaining a balanced mind the better you’ll get at it, creating a positive and familiar habit, which will better equip you for future painful states.
Solution #3 – Dose yourself, don’t close yourself
Probably the most counterproductive decision you can make when in pain is to stop doing what you love. It’s like using gasoline to put out a fire. It makes no sense.
Instead of closing yourself off from the world, start having some fun. There’s good evidence to support that having a healthy social web helps strengthen your immune system and decrease pain sensitivity.
The key to getting back into the swing of things is spoon-feeding. Activities like sex, food, drinking, exercising, sitting, and working all require dosing so that you minimize your risk of temper tantrums. Whoops, I mean flare-ups!
When you’re in pain, the adrenaline system is amped up and the alarm bells keep ringing, which can make it difficult to enjoy yourself.
However, rest assured that there is a way to self-soothe your nervous system one spoonful at a time.
DOSE YOUR ACTIVITIES:
Start with one activity that you really want to do more of (i.e. sex, driving, sitting, standing, reading, masturbating, pooping, peeing, driving, partying, talking to a friend, you get the gist).
Find your baseline. How much of that activity can you do knowing you won’t flare up?
Start small and build. Incrementally increase your exposure to the activity you choose and be consistent. It’s important to plan your baseline increases in advance, so pencil them into your day. Remember, you’re creating new familiarity, not replaying the pain song.
It’s not uncommon for you to want to push yourself further too quickly as you start feeling better, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Some flare-ups can take days or even weeks to present themselves, which can lead you back down the pain path if you increase activity too soon. It’s important to spoon-feed your increases and build up your tolerance slowly.
And remember, if you flare up, don’t freak out.
With persistent pain, your alarm system is sensitive so it’s impossible to avoid flare-ups completely. A flare-up is just your brain and nervous system trying to protect you.
Although pain is hard, it’s hopeful. It can change and you will change. Focus on the process and less on the destination. You’ll be surprised how much good can come out of a difficult experience.
Finding the right support and tools to help you navigate out of pain can be a pain in the ass, literally.
So stop the endless internet research and let’s chat.