More pain — more movement


I have been experiencing a lot of physical pain, lately, especially in my legs, which have been extremely tender. I feel like I’ve been pounded by a steak tenderizer, and it’s no friggin’ fun.

My lower back has been spasming, and my upper back has this seemingly permanent knot of pain right in the middle. The headaches are back with a vengeance, and at times I can’t seem to move without some level of discomfort or outright pain.

Clearly, I’m not having much fun, these days. I’ve been getting up early to go into work for early meetings, which has been pretty hard on me. Early mornings and late nights. And a whole lot of pain.

But I’ve realized that there was something really critical missing in my daily life — regular exercise. And I don’t just mean the usual routine in the mornings. I’ve realized that doing the same amount of exercise with the same weights every day for months and months on end is not getting me where I need to go, anymore. When I started out, it was a real struggle to A) lift the weights, and B) remember which exercises I needed to do, and in what sequence, and C) get it done in the half hour I had before I went to work.

Well, close to two years after I started exercising regularly, I’m starting to get a clue — I need to mix things up, and I need to renew my commitment to my daily exercise. I slacked off for a while, and I did need the rest. But I haven’t been as good about getting up and getting active, first thing.

And I’m feeling the effects. For sure.

Because I know (when I think about it) that when I’m exercising regularly (for real) my pain decreases significantly. I don’t have the level of tenderness that I’ve been having lately. I don’t have the sharp, stabbing flashes that tear through me when I move my arms or legs or back. I don’t have the headaches. I can just get on with my life and not have to constantly negotiate how I’m going to make it through without snapping out at everyone or pushing through to the end of each day.

So, I got up this morning and did the right thing — I exercised. And not just the usual routine. I doubled up on my light calisthenics and weight lifting — doing 20 reps instead of 10. And I was smart about it, too. I’m not going to hit my whole body hard with this change. I’m “chunking out” the increases, doing twice as much of half the usual exercises today, then twice as much of the other half of my exercises tomorrow.

I’m hoping this will work. It has in the past.

We’ll see…

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

4 thoughts on “More pain — more movement”

  1. if you are lifting weights improperly you will cause injury – particularly to back. the shift may be subtle – when you are younger this matters less but as you get older it can cause major problems. it is very helpful to have a knowledgeable person assess you and teach you techniques for you – you may know what you are doing but your body will fall back into its familiar habits.

    also find a good yoga class. yoga gave me huge amounts of movement back


  2. Good advice, yes. I have been thinking about finding a personal trainer to work with for a while, to get my form in order. I’ve also discovered some hot yoga in my area, which really appeals to me, because I hear it’s great for range of motion, and I work with a hot yoga instructor who swears by it. They’re quite healthy, and hot yoga is their main thing. Of course, everyone is different, but I’ve always done well with heat, and I plan to try this out.

    Thanks for the tips.


  3. i like hot yoga myself however I must say that the woman who teaches my yoga class (Anasara) is brilliant – she studied therapeutics and she REALLY knows what she is doing – she improved some of my movement by 75% (I had significant loss of movement in neck and spine). She knows how to modify things and there is no sense of pressure to push through in the class – that is important.


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