For those who suffer from chronic pain, you know how hard it can be to get around. Bending over, climbing the stairs or getting in and out of the car are actions that come with great amounts of care so as to not worsen your condition.
This is the reality of Carole and Calvin, two adults who suffer from chronic pain. Their stories differ in how they ended up with chronic pain, but they both found that pain relief can come in small but mighty packages.
What is Chronic Pain to… Carole
When Carole was 18, she was involved in a car accident that led to whiplash in her neck, shoulders and back. Since that accident, Carole studied and trained to become a physical nurse. In the 70s and 80s, there wasn’t a lot of information on how to protect the body when doing the heavy lifting required by the job, such as moving patients. The wear and tear caught up to her in the form of pain in her back and knees. She’s lived with chronic and acute pain for over 35 years.
Becoming a mother is no small feat. The endurance needed to raise a child asks a lot from the body. When Carole became a single mum at age 32, she’d already been dealing with pain for over 10 years. Soon after having her first daughter, she realised there were things that she couldn’t do – like lifting her child up from the ground, for example.
“My daughters always knew I couldn’t pick them off the floor – they had to climb four steps up the stairs when I needed to carry them,” she remembered.
Natural chronic pain relief
Like many seeking relief from their long term pain, Carole was prescribed painkillers but didn’t want to stay on them. The side effects of the pain medicine called for additional medication. She prefers natural remedies for pain management. Aromatherapy, Bowen therapy and active patches are Carole’s go-to pain relief treatments. For example, to ease her knee pain, she found success using two small To Better Days active patches on either side of her knee.
“The patches take all the inflammation pain away,” she said, and she’s noticed how she is able to move with more ease and walk farther since using the patches daily.
What is Chronic Pain to… Calvin
For more than half his life, Calvin has been training in martial arts. When he was young and living in Singapore, he’d head to the gym every day after school and train into the evening, training for even longer periods on the weekends. He had a habit of pushing himself as hard as he could. It paid off when he eventually qualified to compete at a national level.
Without giving his body the proper time and rest to recover, however, training so hard and often increased his risk of chronic pain.
“Because sport science wasn’t as established in Singapore back then, post-training recovery was not a thing we really cared about,” he said.
When Calvin entered the army, his body didn’t get a break. He continued to push himself without resting enough. All of his training without recovery resulted in patellar tendinopathy, inflammation of the patella tendon. To avoid surgery, he had to take a step back in his training.
“You have to accept that when you compete at a high level of martial arts, you’ll definitely have an injury at some point or another,” he noted as he considered the advice he’d give to young people training in martial arts. “If you have some kind of pain, speak to somebody about it. You might be able to find support and they might be able to share their knowledge and advice about how to protect your body.”
Living with chronic pain
Calvin has tried many different forms of pain relief, ranging from painkillers – which he didn’t care for, as they made him less aware of his physical senses – to more natural solutions, such as patches that improve the health of the muscles.
Menthol muscle patches such as Tiger Balm have a cooling effect on the body as obvious as their aroma. So when Calvin applied To Better Days active patches and noticed no scent or immediate results, he thought they weren’t working. About 15 minutes into the session, however, he started to feel relief from the pain in his hamstrings, right where he applied the patch.
“What’s more, I noticed some improvement in my movement range, which was very promising.”
Living with chronic pain can make going for a walk or climbing the stairs feel nearly impossible to manage sometimes. Natural pain relief remedies such as aromatherapy, Bowen therapy and To Better Days’ active patches helped Carole and Calvin find relief from their chronic pain and begin living their lives to the full once more.