Most of what I write about in this blog is derived from the science of pain management. But, I also find lessons about coping with pain in daily life. Those lessons often correspond to science-based recommendations. Today I want to talk about something I have learned through spin class. If you are an indoor or an outdoor cyclist, someone may have suggested that you “lean into it” when the pedaling gets tough. The first time I heard a spin class instructor use that term, I thought she only meant something about posture: hinge at the waist, push your bottom back, relax your shoulders, use your core to power through. Soon, I realized that leaning into it is a mindset as well. Stay calm and quiet and let your inner strength be revealed.
What does this have to do with chronic pain management?
When you have something that just needs to get done (even though you have pain) or when you have severe pain or breakthrough pain, you may benefit from the concept of leaning into it. Let's talk a bit about the three components of leaning into it (as defined by me) and how they may be useful for chronic pain management:
Notice Your Body
Notice what you do with your body when you are in pain. You may have the tendency to be stiff and tense. You may hold the part that hurts in one position – an attempt to guard your body. Tense and tight muscles and guarding can aggravate pain. Generally, you may do better to try to release the tension in your body while making sure you have good alignment and that you move around as much as possible.
When pain is especially rough, it is natural to feel anxious and afraid. However, a state of anxiety will tend to make your pain feel even worse and make it harder to function. generic cialis no prescription