Dan here, and I’m about to get a bit personal on this little space of ours, for the first time ever…We all know the phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ but what if it’s all just pain, chronic pain. Let me explain…
I thought I would share some thoughts and experiences as the new year kicks off, it’s that time of year when we’re encouraged to make a fresh start, so here’s why I’ve got plans. Pain, especially chronic pain is a subject people tend not to mention that much in casual conversation but I’m sure I’m not alone with what I’m about to describe. Firstly, I would say I’ve become a fitness addict over the last decade so I’m familiar with the muscular burn of a good workout.
Unfortunately I’ve been struggling to keep it all going at my usual pace with what is generally described as chronic pain. My hips, mid & lower back, thighs, shoulders and ankles have been in almost constant pain for the last twelve months. It’s limiting how much I can do in a week of training and the bigger endurance sessions tend to need much more recovery than ever before. It also wakes me up at night and generally means I can’t stay in one position for very long before I need to move simply to try and shrug off some of the discomfort. Now before you say ‘you’re probably just getting old’ let me mention that this came out of the blue and I’ve had great mobility and good flexibility for as long as I can remember. It all started as a pain in my hip that I developed when trying to ride my road bike to and from work, I saw a physio almost immediately to try and figure out what was wrong. After weeks of sessions and his excellent work not producing a single lasting effect we had a chat and he sent me off to the GP. He was as baffled as I was as to why an effective session lasted only hours and I would then return the next week in the same, if not more pain. An initial series of blood tests for every imaginable condition only served to show that I was severely Vitamin D deficient. A very common issue in the U.K. that was compounded by me also working in a basement studio for most of my career. I stacked myself full of Vitamin D over a three month period and that particular issue started to level out nicely but the pain didn’t go away. I certainly felt better and my mood brightened but it didn’t prove the key that would rid me of the pain and let me get back to the usual level of training I enjoy. So back I went to the doctor and was sent for more blood tests. Again, there were no concrete results or pointers towards anything being obviously wrong. So why then do I still hurt, every single day? I ask myself this question multiple times a day. I asked the doctor repeatedly and in the end she just shrugged her shoulders and said ‘it might just be a phase’ – something I found just a wee bit frustrating!
It’s now 2017 and feeling as bad as ever, I’ve decided to take the matter into my own hands for a month and see if I can heal and rid myself of this chronic pain by adjusting lifestyle habits and diet. I’m already pretty healthy but I think we all know areas in which we can improve… I’m looking at you, sugar and caffeine. I’ll go into more specifics in my next post but in the meantime, feel free to get in touch if you’ve experienced (or are experiencing) something similar, absolutely any tips or advice you have would be hugely appreciated and if I’ve mentioned something here that you think might be of use then as before, feel free to get in touch. I know that I can’t be the only one feeling this way and I’m sure there’s lots of good information out there that’s perhaps not as readily available as we would like.
2017 is definitely the year of taking back some control over this body of mine.