Hello everyone! Today we have a chronicles of illness post from the lovely Zoe of ZoeSews, with some tips on managing chronic pain. I hope you enjoy the read, and make sure to check out her social media!
I am Zoe from ZoeSews (on youtube, Instagram and very sparse blog) and as you may or may not know I have a chronic Illness. I haven’t spoken much about my chronic illness online because I try not to draw attention to it with the fear of what people might say and although that fear may be perfectly rational it really helps no one. I was hugely inspired by Harriet to talk about my health and help break the taboo of invisible illness. So I am here today to talk about 5 ways you can help manage your chronic pain.
Before I begin I just want to say that I am not in anyway trained and these are tips and tricks I have picked up over the years I have been living with chronic pain. I would highly recommend seeking advice from your doctor if you are really struggling. I also want to say that I am not officially diagnosed if you have or know it is very hard to get a diagnosis! Currently, a few specialists and I believe it to be Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type 3 but whatever my illness is I still have chronic pain and I know how horrible it is to suffer from pain on a day to day basis. So let’s stop rambling and jump right into it!
My first tip for you is own a microwavable bag. I currently have 3 heat bags, two made with beans and one made with rice. The rice one also has a belt which means I can walk around the house whilst keeping the pain in my back at bay. Here is a DIY for making your own heatable bag! Heat helps to relax stiff and tense muscles which is why heat is good for hypermobile people, with your joints moving about the place our muscles take a bit of a beating and get very tight. For on the go I use reusable hand warmers which defiantly come in handy in the cooler months.
There is nothing worse than wearing an uncomfortable outfit and being in pain. So I have sewn up a whole pile of clothes dedicated to those days where I am in a bit more pain and just need to be comfy. Above are my top three favourite comfy outfits. The best part about sewing is you can make your clothes to your style but still be comfy. I’ve found that dresses, jersey and allowing an extra bit of room are the key to comfort whilst remaining stylish.
Good Quality Footwear
Now I’m not saying you should spend hundreds on a single pair of shoes but investing a few bucks in a pair of shoes may help to relieve pain in your feet, knees, hips and back. I wear insoles which defiantly helps but I can still feel the difference between cheap footwear and good quality footwear as my insoles wear through quickly and they don’t support my ankle well. My top three brands are Dr Martens (they may take awhile to break in but this means that they stay supportive for longer), Birkenstock (I wish it was always summer just so I can wear these all year) and Nike (Basically pillows for your feet). I buy my Nikes from Deichmann because they are much more affordable. I know these shoes are on the pricier side but you can pick DM’s up from eBay and the Birks Eva are much cheaper and just as comfy. Your feet will thank you, I promise!
Lush Massage Bars
I kid you not this stuff is godly. Here is a link to all of their massage bars and here is a link to the one I use. I found these massage bars through a friend who highly recommends this which is specifically designed to help with aches and pains. I use a citrus one which is just a generic massage bar but still help soften my muscles and makes me generally feel a bit better for using it (and it smells great). I apply this about once a week after a shower or bath and it really helps if you really massage it in. I have had mine nearly half a year (I think) and as you can see I am still going strong. not only does this help your joints it does feel like a treat when you use it.
Get enough sleep
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Without sleep, your body doesn’t have time to repair itself. I know that sometimes it is very hard to get to sleep because of the pain you are in but just laying down and resting will help and this gives you a chance to read some blogs and watch some videos. I personally don’t nap much because my body starts to get tired around 3pm and I don’t like to nap to late in the day or I won’t sleep that night but naps can help you especially if you have Chronic Fatigue. Sometimes I do just have to accept that my body is telling me to go to bed and that’s okay.
Head over to my youtube channel and check out my videos, a spoon diaries video is coming very soon. I hope that this is helpful and has helped at least one of you. If you have any more tips please leave them below!
Thank you for reading and happy sewing x