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Pacing Out Of The Pain Trap

Chronic pain and activity

Are you pushing yourself and suffering after? Or doing very little due to the pain?

Overdoing and avoiding

Pacing can help both problems. It is a way of controlling both overdoing and underdoing (avoiding) so that you can do more of what you want to do more of the time.

It is not a magic answer to all pain problems, but a vital tool in the armoury of pain sufferers.


book cover of secrets of pacing ebook


How Would You Like To Control Your Pain And Reclaim Your Life?

Get the “Secrets of Pacing” today!

How will you feel when you can do the things you want to again? When you have regained control over your own body and can plan your life the way you decide? The “Secrets of Pacing” can show you how!



The over and underactivity cycle

We have seen the problems the over/underactivity cycle can lead to - the gradual development of increasing disability. So how do we get down to the nitty-gritty and actually DO pacing?. There are four aspects to pacing what you do - measuring the test times, setting the quota, sticking to the quota and increasing the quota over time.

1. Measuring activity

I’ll wager you will have little idea how long you can do an activity in term of minutes or hours. To get control of your pain you will need to know this exactly. If an activity gives you significantly increased pain for a time afterwards, you need to pace it.

How long can you do the activity before you pain significantly increases?? Use the M word here, measure, measure, measure. I can’t emphasize how important this is! You may need to make several measurements to get a accurate average figure. In minutes.

2. Setting the quota

Take the average time you measured and take off 20%. The remaining 80% of the average is your QUOTA. Quotas are levels we are not allowed to go over, and this applies to you too. Here is where the discipline comes in, I know you have it!

Most people with pain drive themselves to keep going and are not lazy. Harness you discipline and use it to stick to the quota time. Use a stopwatch or timer, and never, never go over the time you have decided. Remember you are trying to get control of the pain and so you need to be patient, the road is narrow.

3. Sticking to the quota

This is the hard bit! Whenever you do the activity, time yourself and when the timer goes off you ….. STOP. Stop wherever you are in the activity, don’t be tempted to finish off the last bit… that’s the trap. Go and do something else, or ‘rest’.

For how long? I don’t know, you are going to have to work that out for yourself. It might be a few minutes or a day, depending on the activity and your condition. Err on the cautious side, though, because when you overdo something you can’t go back (the pain’s worse!). But if you do too little you can always increase in the future. I know it’s annoying, frustrating and seems pathetic, I’ve had to do it too! But it does work.

4. Increasing the quota

This is the good news. You may not have to stick to 8 minutes ironing or 6 minutes gardening for the rest of your life. Once you have control and can do your quota without significant increase in pain you can think about increasing it.

But take care, it is easy to be overconfident. If your quota is 10 minutes hoovering then doing an hour is almost certain to be a bad decision. Decide on how much to increase the quota BEFORE you do it, not while you are doing the activity. Then stick to that increase until you have complete control, when it may be time to increase the quota again.

With time your quota may increase, rather than reducing as in the past. Your levels of activity may never reach what you would consider reasonable for a ‘normal’ person, but accepting some reduction in ability when you have pain is one of the keys to progress.


book cover of secrets of pacing ebook


How Would You Like To Control Your Pain And Reclaim Your Life?

Get the “Secrets of Pacing” today!

How will you feel when you can do the things you want to again? When you have regained control over your own body and can plan your life the way you decide? The “Secrets of Pacing” can show you how!



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