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Troubleshooting Pain, The Mental Checklist

Thinking about all of you and your pain level this week. As I have a bunch of pain in my wrists, I think more about others who are suffering from chronic pain. Pain cannot only be distracting but also overwhelming at times. It can be endless wracking pain or it can be a week of an oddball pain that shows up like mine this week. Time to troubleshoot some pain ideas and see where it takes us.

Flashing Warning Signal

Pain can be a flashing warning signal that something is wrong. I highly suggest that when we are in pain, we listen to any possible warnings our body may be trying to tell us.

Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I bend my wrist. —- Well, don’t bend your wrist!!!

It is so basic, so simple. Pay attention to pain, it can put you on the right path.

I am all too familiar with chronic pain, as most of you are also. With disease comes symptoms like pain. It is there for a reason and worth listening to. Had I listened to some of the wild pain before my health crashed, the whole story would look quite different today.

Lesson learned. Now when I am in pain I simply run through a mental checklist to resolve anything that I can. Pain creates stress which contributes to all kinds of health issues. I have learned to deal with my pain when it gets worse instead of ignoring it.

Mental Checklist

My hands have been the target of tremendous pain in my body so I am familiar with what is “normal” for me, what is new, what is old, yadda yadda.

I still run through a mental checklist when I am in pain.

The obvious:

  • Any new injury?
  • Any old injury?
  • Any visible bruising, gashes, wounds or burns?

Get personal:

  • Have I felt this specific pain before?
  • If so, when and why?
  • If so, could it be the same reason?
  • What worked to relieve the pain last time?
  • Have I tried this again during this episode?
  • Is it inflammation related or not?

New ideas:

  • If this is a new location or feeling, how can I get relief?
  • Does warmth make it feel better? Do it!!
  • Does cold make it feel better? Do it!!
  • Does resting the painful area relieve it? Do it!!

When did the pain start:

  • Simply try to pinpoint when it started hurting?
  • What is different from before the pain started?
  • Did I eat something that I could have reacted to, causing the pain?
  • Did I push myself too hard and the pain is from the physical and/or emotional stress?
  • Did I start (or stop) a new medication or supplement?
  • Did I get a new pillow, bed, sofa, chair that has me sitting or laying differently?
  • Did I get so emotionally stressed that I tensed up without realizing it?
  • Am I in the middle of a detox and my body might be going through some retracing?

Silly, but worthy ideas:

  • How long has it been since I took long slow breaths?
  • Am I hydrated?
  • Am I nourished? Without proper nourishment, our bodies scream at us.
  • Is the temperature comfortable enough?
  • Would a shower, bath, or a walk change things up enough to provide some relief?
  • When was the last time I did something other than look at a computer or TV screen?
  • Would a nap calm the nervous system enough to get some relief?

Okay, you get the idea. Not rocket science, just common sense things. Yet, when we are in pain, our common sense seems to get shut down. We can easily get focused on the pain and not run through a mental checklist to troubleshoot.

Years ago when my pain level became “wracking,” I would shut down. Emotions shut down, actions shut down. I barely endured but I did not DO much because the pain got so bad. Lesson learned — do anything I can BEFORE it gets that bad.

Many times we can figure out some interesting information that may help us get to a more comfortable place. I know, there are other times that we have no control over some of our pain and we have to endure it.

Everyone has different circumstances, different pain thresholds, different tricks that help us get through. No two situations are the same. Yet, pain is universal. All I have to do is say the word, pain, and you can feel it to your core.

Do what you can to get more comfortable to be able to deal with any aspect of the pain that you can. If you have help, LET THEM HELP YOU. If one idea does not work, try another.

Never a dull moment when we are chronically ill!!

Maribeth Baxter, MBNC (Certified Mind-Body Nourishment Coach)


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AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:  In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself. If it is not good enough for me, it certainly is not good enough for you!!

HEALTH COACH DISCLAIMER:  Health/Wellness coaching is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Trained and certified Health Coaches may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care. As your health/wellness coach I do not provide a second opinion or in any way attempt to alter the treatment plans or therapeutic goals/recommendations of your personal physician. It is my role to partner with you to provide ongoing support and accountability as you create an action plan to meet and maintain your health goals.

1 thought on “Troubleshooting Pain, The Mental Checklist

  1. […] First gathering our own information, usually, it is simply a mental checklist […]

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