If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
My left foot hurts unless I’m asleep. That’s just the way it is with CRPS. So, to tackle the pain I make sure I’ve taken my medications on time, eat well, the occasional heating pad (yes, it works) and I move my feet every day. I rotate them, stretch them through cramping and walk as much as possible. I know it sounds strange to exercise and walk when I’m in pain, but it helps tremendously. And I don’t want to incur any more irreversible damage than I have to.
You see, CRPS comes with its complications, two of which are Dystonia, muscle tightening, contracture and Atrophy, muscle and tissue wasting. You can read a bit about Dystonia in a recent post, Fighting Dystonia. These states often create irreversible damage.
I want to use my feet as long as I can. I do use an electric wheelchair if I have to walk long distances, like going to the mall. But I do my best to walk as much as I can. I try not to limp and walk as straight as possible to exercise the right muscle groups, but it takes concentration and effort. Walking exhausts me and I do rest afterward with my feet up to relieve the inevitable swelling.
You can see in my pictures where my left foot is smaller and has less muscle mass than the right. I was diagnosed in 2014, so they are showing six-years of muscle and tissue wasting. In the first three years I babied my foot, used my wheelchair more and wouldn’t walk far. Now I have a Dorsal Root Ganglion Spinal Cord Stimulator and I am much more mobile. I take advantage of the reduced pain by moving more and resting when I’m fatigued.
I do fight other illnesses, so life is not back to normal by any means but it’s definitely better. My treatments and methods my not be for you, but if I can get one thing across it’s to say don’t give up and keep moving your CRPS limbs.
Maintaining mobility and much love,
P.S.: Don’t let CRPS steal any more of your life than it can.