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Chronic pain: Advice and useful tools to help me manage?

lucy8712 Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hello! My name is Lucy, I'm 23, and I'm new to this group! I've just been told I've got chronic pain in my left knee following surgery last february for an accident I had back in 2018....and if I'm honest...I'm feeling so emotional, overwhelmed and just despondent, any advice in terms of getting started and useful tools to help me manage would be great. 


  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Member Posts: 7,945 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @lucy8712 and I'm sorry to hear how you're feeling. Firstly, take a deep breath, we can help you :) Feeling emotional when receiving a new diagnosis is completely understandable and normal.

    You suddenly get all these thoughts in your head, not knowing where to go or what to do next. The important thing is to pace yourself and take one day at a time.

    Would you like to talk to someone who can help you with your emotions? If so, I will find helplines for you :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • lucy8712
    lucy8712 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hello @Ami2301

    First of all, thank you for your reply to my first post, it feels good to be apart of a page where other people understand. 

    In terms of the numbers, that would be great thank you, however I'll be honest, I think in my mind I'm not fully ready to speak aloud how I feel, as it makes me voice crack and tear up just talking about it! Typing is easier! I'm trying to build up the courage to be able to speak to a psychologist, my physio reccomend speaking to one for mindfulness etc.

    Are there any activities yourself or anyone find relaxing, when you have a 'flare up' (apparently this is what you call a massive amount of pain?!) To distract yourself? 

  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Member Posts: 7,945 Disability Gamechanger
    You can contact the Samaritans by email, their email is [email protected] :)

    Puzzles are really good at distracting me, and blogging has helped massively. Have you tried any activities?
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • lucy8712
    lucy8712 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thanks for the contact!!

    I haven't tried any I'll be honest, I love my arts and crafts, painting too, but I work in the NHS so it's super difficult to find time to do activities. I think my biggest challenge is to try and loose weight! But then with the pain at its worst the gym is literally a no go  :o
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,465 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    Can i just say that you don't have to exercise to lose weight. Exercising will help you lose the inches to tone your body, it won't help with weight lose. I lost 6.5 stone in 1 year without doing any exercise at all. I can't do exercise because of my mobility. It's about eating healthily and i did this with fat free healthy eat and limited my chocolate, crisps and cake.

    I'm going to tag my friend @thespiceman who i'm sure will give you some advice with healthy eating and depression, could you please help here? Thank you in advance!

  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2020
    Hello @lucy8712   Pleased to meet you.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    Thank you to my friend @poppy123456 mentioning me.

    I have mental health issues my self. Have knowledge, expertise, qualifications, experience on mental health and diet, nutrition.

    Sorry to hear what you are going through.

    Please may I suggest the following. I am going to give you some links to organisations that can help you.

    I am also to add some nutritional and diet information that will be useful.

    Please if I may read this carefully.  With any diet, nutritional changes always speak to your GP.

    I used these three mental health charities.  All offer floating support, advice, information, guidance with your issues.

    Benefit advice, support.

    Wellbeing and health.

    Might not be in all areas.  You can self refer or speak to your GP.

    Do take clientele with additional disabilities or conditions, illness as well mental health.


    1.  Whole grains. Bread, Pasta, Rice.  Plenty of fruit and vegetables.

    2.  Pulses, Beans Tomato based sauces.  

    3. Lean meat and Fish could use frozen or tinned Fish.

    4.  Make sure that you use a bowl .  Pasta bowls are useful because it restricts the amount you can eat.

    Eat slowly drink water with every meal.

    5.  Use portion control your bowl should be the following, 40% Carbs either Rice or Pasta Or Potatoes not mash or with added Butter, cream.

    Whole Potatoes.

    40% vegetables either fresh or frozen.  20% meat.  Remove skin Chicken cut off fat any meat.

    Should be eating when hungry not because of boredom, make it colourful stimulating.

    Use spices and herbs, lots on line websites. Adapt recipes for you.

    Not cooking look for simple things you can do in a Slow Cooker.

    Or look at courses.

    Your wellbeing service. Community Health Unit.  County Council should be helping.

    6.  Make a meal plan each week, look at including vegetable only dishes, recipes three times a week, helps a lot.

    Simple to do Soups, any thing Pasta or Rice.

    Look on this forum, have lots of Recipes ideas. Or ask me.

    Look on websites supermarkets .

    Create a stock list, you then buy that week.

    7.  Start of the day always eat Breakfast. Include this with Fruit and any Whole grains . Use Porridge or other Cereals.  Not ones sugary.

    I eat Cornflakes or cold days Porridge, topped with fruit yoghurt.

    Yoghurt dairy use this with defrosted berries.

    8.  Avoid Cakes, Biscuits. Caffeine .  Caffeine is an stimulant found in Coffee, Tea, Cola, Chocolate and energy drinks.

    Avoid Alcohol, Smoking the more you feel depressed the more that you consume.

    9.  Exercise does not have to be hard.

    I do this every morning ten minutes to be helping my muscles and joints.

    I am in pain a lot.

    Use Tai Chi.

    Swimming might be a worth a look done this helps support the muscles in water. Speak to Swimming Baths have classes exercise ones in the pool.

    10.. Mentioned wellbeing service. Community Health Unit.  Speak to them one to one support on anything health matters.

    Used them after addiction .

    Please if I can help further please get in touch.

    Please take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,832 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome to the community, just wanted to say hi and hope the info you have been given is helpful.

    Personally I enjoy colouring, the adult colouring books and some good pens different types and textures can make great art work

  • Ails
    Ails Member Posts: 2,256 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @lucy8712 and welcome also to the Community.  It is nice to meet you.  You have been given some great advice above so I hope that helps.  I read with interest that you enjoy arts & crafts.  I enjoy that too and in particular, card making and find this to be really therapeutic and uplifting.  So I'm sure that may help you to take your mind off things when you do it, but realise that if you are working it can be hard fitting things in.  We are all here to support you on the forum so please chat to us anytime.  There will always be someone here to listen.  We are a friendly bunch of people on here and are happy that you have joined us.  Please keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.  I look forward to seeing you on here.  If we can be of any further help/support to you then please just let us know.  All the best.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • lucy8712
    lucy8712 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi all,

    First of all, thank you so much for all your lovely messages and support, sorry for my delay in replying, it's been a very busy day!

    In relation to healthy living and dieting etc, it's something I've battled and struggled with for years (my weight), I'm getting there, but set backs like being told I have chronic pain really doesn't help. I'm hoping on my holiday in 2 weeks time I'll be able to relax and have fun but also make good choices for food!

    I'm a really keen arty person, painted a lot of pictures that I've displayed in my new home...there isn't a way I can find out about local groups in my area for art bits etc?? Something that could interest me...

    Today has been better, sounds bad but my job is so busy I haven't had time to dwell about my diagnosis and think about it. People have been supportive about it, my partner is my rock, mum is too. Work on the other hand i worry about, as I feel that they may try to see how bad my pain gets, and if it starts to affect my job (which often it has) then they might force me to go...luckily working for the nhs I'm protected by unison etc, but still, at the end of 23 i shouldn't have to be thinking whether I've got a job still, while paying for a mortgage!!

    Thanks again for all your lovely messages x
  • Ails
    Ails Member Posts: 2,256 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @lucy8712 and thank you for the lovely update.  You are very welcome as that is what we are here for to support you.  Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better about things.  It will get easier I'm sure.  I hope you have a lovely holiday and are able to get plenty of rest and relaxation, whilst having some fun at the same time.  Are you going somewhere nice?  Yes, chronic pain isn't nice.  I suffer it myself a lot in my hip and legs.  It sounds as though you have a very supportive mum and partner which is lovely and will help a lot.  

    With regards to finding out about local art groups, have you thought about looking online or going to your local library or community centre to see if there is anything you fancy attending in your area?  It sounds as though you have quite a talent there for art.  We have a section of the forum called Kaleidoscope where members send in photos of their artwork/items they create so you maybe interested in having a look at this and maybe even posting some photos of your own work if you would like to.  Have a wee look around the forum when you get a chance to see the kinds of discussions we have going and feel free to join in anything you fancy.

    I can appreciate your concerns regarding your job as I used to worry about my work too when I was in pain, but good to know that you are a member of a trade union if you have any issues.  

    We are here for you anytime as we all care for each other and understand our various health issues/disabilities so please feel free to chat to us anytime.  You will meet lots of lovely people on here.  If there is anything at all we can do for you then you only just have to ask.  Have a wonderful time on holiday!  All the best.  :smiley:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • lucy8712
    lucy8712 Member Posts: 5 Listener

    Sorry for the very late reply, life has been super busy and just haven't felt up to talking about stuff

    I go through good days and bad days with my pain. Usually at work its manageable, it's the evenings that my pain is worse. 

    I'm the type of person unfortunately who will eat their feelings away! So if I have a bad day, I'll just eat rubbish, and with working in the nhs, everyday can be a bad day! I still enjoy my swimming, so hopefully I'll be able to loose some weight with that and trying to make good choices

    I'm off to lanzarote in a weeks time! Definitely a well deserved break!

    My mother has suggested acupuncture and reflexology to help with the pain in my knee?? Any thoughts or other suggestions??
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,465 Disability Gamechanger
    You will need to try to it see what works for you. Personally, neither of them worked for me but it's the same for everything regarding pain. What works for one, may not work for another because we are all different. If you don't try them, you'll never know.


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