Friday, June 7, 2013

It is Important to Take Care of Yourself During a Flare Up

Relaxing in ChairThis week has been fairly challenging for me and my pain has increased dramatically in my upper back.  Even though, I don't always verbalize my additional pain.  I would hope that others notice my change in pain levels.  I know that I probably should verbalize it but I hate to feel as if I am constantly complaining about my pain.   I always think others around me can sense that I am in pain.  The last few days my upper back has decided to flare up.  A few years ago my vertebrae in my upper back showed that I had arthritis.

Disclosure:   This post is for informational purposes only.  The opinions reflected in this post are my own and may differ from your own.  This post shouldn't replace any medical treatment that you may need for your flare up. 

Arthritis is often something that most people think of older people having and not younger people like myself.  However, when you are injured your body tries to heal itself and if it is unable to fully heal your body tends to age and break down sooner than if you were uninjured.  When I get an arthritis flare up in my upper back, my muscles begin to spasm.  I also feel an intense burning sensation and major pain in my spine and muscles.  So far my normal course of typical treatments that I use during a flare up hasn't helped to ease the pain.  In fact, it has kept me up several nights in a row and it is even more difficult than usual to find a comfortable position to sleep in.  Even sleeping during the day has been challenging.  

Last night I tried putting the heating pad on my upper back, to see if it would help ease the pain.  However, it didn't seem to help or reduce my pain.  Generally, laying flat or sleeping also helps to ease my pain but even that doesn't seem to be working.  I have been waking up in the mornings with the same pain that I felt when I went to bed.  I am already taking pain medications on a daily basis and it doesn't even touch the pain.  If this pain lasts much longer, I am going to have to break down and go see my doctor sooner than my scheduled appointment.  

If you find that your normal methods of pain isn't relieving your flares, you should go see your doctor for an evaluation.  I am thinking some of this flare is caused by some additional stress that I have been dealing with this week.  When I tend to get stressed out, my muscles tense up and begin to spasm.  Once I have set off that chain reaction, it takes several days for things to settle down and in the past I have been prescribed heavy duty muscle relaxers to help ease the pain.  I have been resting as much as possible the last few days trying to relieve the symptoms of my flare up.  Hopefully, things will calm down over the weekend and I won't have to make an emergency trip to see my doctor.  

It has been a few years since I have had my upper back checked out because I usually my pain is more localized in my lower back.  My previous doctor said that my upper back is a direct result of me compensating for the problems in my lower back.  However, next time that I have to have an MRI done, I will ask my doctor to do a full spine assessment.  So that we can see what is really going on in my upper back and neck.

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What relieves your pain during an arthritis flare up?