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Cold Shower Update...Are You Doing It?
January 01, 2015

"Yes You Can"
Living with Back Pain Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
My name is Dave and I run the website at living-with-back-pain.org. Just like you, I am living with back pain and have been for many years. I started his website to try and help people, like myself, who are living with pain that will never go away.

We got lots of mail last month about the cold showers and not everyone thought they were a good idea, and that is ok. Not every idea is a good one for every person, but I certainly wasn't putting anyone down for not doing it and I apologize to anyone that was offended.

My Cold Shower Update

I got kind of inspired by those articles about the cold showers. I have been trying to do the Scottish Showers that they talked about but I just can't get myself to step all the way into the cold shower. I am still just sticking an arm or leg and part of a shoulder into the coldness. Am I being too whimpy? I don't know, maybe.

But, I am doing it consistently that should account for something. I do it every time that I shower and it is getting easier to do as much as I do. I keep thinking that if I don't give up, and if I keep trying, sooner or later I will get my courage up and step all the way in.

Who Decides Failure?

Speaking of giving up. When you are trying to do something: Who decides at what point you have failed?

It is nobody but YOU.

Whatever it is that you are trying to do: As long as you keep your determination and as long as you keep trying, you have not failed. You simply have not yet succeeded.

You are the one that decides when you have failed. Whatever it is, as long as you are still trying and fighting the good fight you are not a failure. And, if you are not a failure, you are a success!!

So there you have it.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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The Ninth Edition of "Yes You Can", #0009

Well, here it is another edition of "Yes You Can". This month in the Tough Talk section we talk about using your brain and putting pain in its place.

For this month's distraction I have brought out my old TENS unit. We briefly cover the benefits of electrical stimulation and how it is also an excellent distraction.

Our article from the web makes some good suggestions on adjusting your sleep position to protect your back. This latest webpage on living-with-back- pain.org covers what a slipped disk is and is not.

I hope you enjoy it.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Tough Talk About a Tough Problem

Here is something to consider. What about the concept that "Life is Pain" or maybe "Pain is Life" or maybe pain is just part of life just like breathing and seeing and touching. I think that the more we can objectify pain and examine it the less power it will have over us.

Think about that. Examining pain as a thing.

Pain is just a thing. Everybody has it. Some may have more and some may have less but everybody has pain. Everybody knows pain. Just like everyone knows what it feels like to breathe and walk and talk and all of the other normal activities that we do every day.

Pain is normal and everybody knows pain.

What is the difference between discomfort and pain?

Is your pain really pain? Or is it just discomfort?

If your pain so severe that you really cannot do anything? I bet that if your home suddenly burst into flame your pain would not be so severe that you could not get out of the house. Your pain would not prevent you from helping your family get out of the house.

Is your pain really pain? Or is it just discomfort? Is your pain is severe? Or is it only annoying?

That is what you need to decide.

If you decide that it is pain and if you decide that it is severe. That is your decision.

What if you choose to decide that it is only discomfort? That is your decision too. What if you decide that it is only annoying. Everyone is annoyed by something but it doesn't stop them from living their life.

How you choose to think about your pain will determine its affect on your life.

You can train your brain to put your pain in the proper perspective.

Stop saying "my back hurts", instead say "my back is bothering me". Stop thinking "I can't do anything" instead start thinking "I need to find something I can do". Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something.

I work in a pain clinic and I talk to people about pain every day. It's amazing to me how cheery and pleasant some people can be in spite of their obvious severe deformities and chronic pain. There are a lot of things that these people cannot do, but there are still many things that they can do and they are doing them. They are living their life.

Then I talk to someone with a little arthritis and their pain is so severe it has ruined their life.

You just gotta wonder...

It is all in your brain. Your brain decides if it is pain or just discomfort. Your brain decides if it is severe and crippling or only annoying. Your brain decides if your life is ruined. Your brain decides what you can and cannot do.............. and really the facts make little difference.

Control your brain and control your pain.

Let's decide to not say "pain" anymore. We can frame it another way. Say a bothersome. Say annoying. Say discomfort. Say inconvenient. Say dammit. Say anything, just don't say pain.

Think positive thoughts and do positive things. Decide to start exercising a little. Decide to cook your family a nice meal. Decide to start volunteering somewhere. Decide to find a job.

Do what you can and decide to start making positive changes in your life.

People must choose to suffer.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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What Is In A Distraction?

Thanks to everyone for all of the comments about the cold shower distraction from last month. Some were positive and some were not so positive but I think everyone agreed it was a great distraction.

This month I have pulled out my old TENS unit and started using it once in awhile. I think for me and my kind of discomfort it may work as much as a distraction as anything else. I know what all the theories say about interrupting the pain signal and stimulating endorphins and I guess I probably get some of that.

E-stim and then REAL Stimulation

Whenever it is, the electrical stimulation does seem to help for a while. But, if I use it consistently, after a while it gets to where it doesn't seem to do very much unless I turn it up pretty high. Then I think it works as much as a distraction as anything.

When I really crank it up, I am not feeling just a gentle buzzing or tingling, I am feeling real electrical stimulation. It is probably stimulating the release of endorphins and at some point it changes from stimulation to real discomfort.

At the higher settings it still helps control my discomfort because it is an excellent distraction.

Sometimes it is more "relief" than I can tolerate and I need to turn it back down.

Well that is my distraction for this month.
How much pain relief do you really want?
How much pain relief can you stand?

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Latest from the Web

Good Advice

This article from everydayhealth.com makes some very useful points about sleeping with back pain. They consider what is the most comfortable position for you and then make small adjustments to protect your back. Worth your time to take a look.

Switch Your Sleep Positions to Ease Back Pain

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Latest News from living-with-back-pain.org

Who knows what a slipped disc is? I know it is a common term for a back problem or a flare up of back pain. But, I don't think there is any way a disc can slip. This latest page on living-with-back-pain.org reviews the most common disc problems.

Slipped Disk? What does that Mean?

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Well, that is it for this month.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Stay busy this winter and make some time to exercise as much as you can. Exercise is always a good way to lift your spirits and burn a few calories. It is too cold today to go bicycling without putting on a bunch of extra clothes so I will probably jump on the treadmill later today and boost my endorphins.

Shoot me an e-mail at living40@living-with-back-pain.org and let me know what you think. Good or bad I read them all. Stay busy and enjoy your life because "Yes You Can" have the life you want.

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