Pain is making me afraid to stand up — Scope | Disability forum
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Pain is making me afraid to stand up

System Posts: 753 Scope online community team
edited October 2018 in Cerebral palsy
This discussion was created from comments split from: Hi, my name is peterharris120!.


  • peterharris120
    peterharris120 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hello Sam. I need help and I don't know who or where to ask. I'm 69 and have COPD and osteo-arthritis in my knees, hips and back. I've been using a wheeled frame to get around for many months now but in the last week pain has really 'closed in' on me. All movement now hurts. I've been given exercises to do but I've been too stupid and lazy to do them (this is longer story by the way). It's got to the stage where I'm afraid to even try to stand up. Like I said I don't know who or where to ask.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,673 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @peterharris120
    Im sorry to hear you are having such a tough time. Your GP is a good first point of call to talk through your symptoms and see if they can offer more support around pain.

    Your GP may:

    • carry out a physical examination
    • discuss your pain history
    • identify where the pain is coming from
    • record your level of pain
    • check for signs of any illness that could be causing your pain or making it worse
    • ask how your pain is affecting your life

    There's lots of self-help advice available from a variety of organisations supporting people living with long-term pain, such as:

    You say you havent managed to do the exercises given to you, do you have anyone who can support you with these? To remind and encourage you? I have physio exercises and I set an alarm on my phone to prompt me to do them, could that work for you?

    There is more information about pain management on the NHS here.
    Senior online community officer
  • peterharris120
    peterharris120 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you Sam_Scope. Appreciated.
    My problem isn't really the pain, well pain is nasty, don't want it, can't use it but it's not being able to do what I need to do that's really horrible. The pain comes from muscle spasms in the leg and sometimes my legs just give way under me. I have walked with my leg muscles spasming but oh heck it's just too risky. I live alone and I need to use my emergency button (always with me) to get up. They then have to call an ambulance as they're not allowed to get me up (I'm 6'2" and 16 stone). Burly paramedics get me up. You see I get scared.
    I need physio but I need encouragement too. That's the tricky bit.
    I've had a good talk with my GP this morning. But you always remember stuff after they've gone.
    Thank you so much for this. it's direct encouragement. Something I'm short of.
  • janekim96P
    janekim96P Member Posts: 44 Courageous
    Hi Peter Harris I know exactly how your feeling living with chronic back 24/7 the trouble is I can't get comfortable sitting for long periods of time I have to get up and do my exercise otherwise I stiffen up but I would definitely seek help from your doctor they are usually pretty good with pain relief meds Good Luck .
  • Waylay
    Waylay Member Posts: 971 Pioneering
    I totally hear you, @peterharris120 . I get back spasms (well, left lower back, buttock, hip, and thigh) 0-5 times a week, which last from 10 minutes to 9 days, and range from 6.5-9.5/10 pain. Stiffness, fatigue, mobility limitation too. Sometimes when my general pain is fairly low, (it can go down to a 3 sometimes!) I'm terrified to even roll over, never mind stand up. It's so hard to do something that we know will likely cause more pain, and spasms are the worst pain I've ever felt.

    However. I don't know if you've done any pain management, but there's this thing that happens to chronic pain patients called deconditioning. Basically, we're scared to do things because we know they'll hurt, so we don't do things. But then our muscles get weaker. When muscles are weaker, they support our bones/ligaments/tendons/nerves less, and so things hurt more. So we move even less, so our muscles get even weaker, so they support us less, so it hurts even more, so we move even even less, and our muscles get even even weaker.... You see what I mean? The stronger we can keep ourselves, the more support our muscles can give us, and the better our posture, etc. will be. Those things will reduce the amount of pain and fatigue (and for me, stiffness and mobility limitation) that we feel. Not moving because you're afraid of pain will actually make the pain worse, and worse, and worse..... Downwards spiral.

    We're all afraid of pain! That's why pain exists! We get pain messages to tell us that something's wrong, and our first reaction is to stop moving and rest. That gives us time to heal. Fear of moving when we're in pain makes total sense for acute pain! Unfortunately, chronic pain doesn't make sense at all. It's not the way the body is supposed to work. So our normal reaction to pain isn't useful - in fact, it's the opposite of useful!

    Basically, when things hurt our instinct is to STOP. Going against that instinct is hard! It's hard-wired into our brains. Luckily we have higher brain functions, and we can understand why we feel that fear of movement and choose to react differently. You can do it. I can do it. *drags self off bed and picks up cat toy with toys. Cats get excited* Your turn.
  • AndMac
    AndMac Member Posts: 27 Pioneering
    edited December 2018
    Can identify with this to a certain degree.
    You mention you are using a wheeled frame for walking, is this an actual walking frame with two wheels at the front, or a four wheel rollator type as used for shopping?
    I've just switched from rollators and sticks, and now use a frame with two wheels at the front, and legs at the back,
    It's far more safe and stable, and I'm moving around a lot more, as the risk of falling is almost zero. My frame supports me really well. The increased mobility is helping things.
    My arthritis related pain is in my hip and knee, and due to the greater support given by the frame, my knee pain has decreased. Even when cerebral palsy muscle spasms are at their very worst, I can still move with the aid of the frame. 


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