There isn’t one single guide to help those living with CRPS/RSD because each case is unique, but some tips can help with daily activities and routines.
Managing Stress and Tension
Stress and tension always make things worse. The system responsible for fight or flight is the same involved with CRSP/RSD, when somethings ramps you up, it feeds the CRPS and makes the symptoms worse. There are some stress management tools you can use. A common one is breathing exercise – focused breathing is going to help in managing tension, you also need to make sure you are getting enough rest and restorative sleep. If you feel like you need counseling, do it; there is no need to toughen it out because it doesn’t work. It can be very beneficial to have a support system.
Exercise is Important
Maybe the last thing on your mind is being active, but moderate and light exercise a couple of times a week can help manage pain and retain your strength. Walking, stretching, restorative therapies and myofascial release are great activities. If you choose physical therapy, always ensure you choose someone who has experience dealing with patients suffering from RSD/CRPS.
Deal with Hypersensitivity
Pain symptoms for those suffering from CRPS can be worsened by what otherwise might seem minimal. Some examples include sitting near an AC vent, being in a moving car, or listening to music. These situations tend to intensify the pain. Drafts, vibrations, and changing weather fronts can result in increased pain. When someone has CRPS, the slightest sensations can result in increased pain and how they feel. Anything that keeps you warm is going to help. CRPS reduces blood flow to the skin, and things that are going to increase your blood flow are going to help. Some of them include taking a warm bath (Epsom salt can also be helpful), setting your thermostat up higher at home, or supplements such as magnesium citrate that relaxes blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Maintaining a healthy diet
It is important to eat well, but the food you choose can help in managing your CRPS. You should stay away from foods that decrease blood flow, e.g. chocolate and coffee. If you are allergic to nigh shade vegetables such as white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, lactose, or gluten, stay away from them. Anything that can challenge your immune system is a no-no because it can make things worse.
Listening to your body
There are times when you feel like you can push yourself a little further and do more, even if you don’t feel like it, but you shouldn’t be overdoing it. it is a good idea to pace yourself. Always keep in mind that how you might be feeling right now is not the whole story. If you are doing something and there might be cold or pain coming, but you keep pushing, it will end up as a very bad idea. You shouldn’t be feeling defeated or down because you weren’t able to finish your laundry or vacuuming. You need to accept that there are good and bad days, so all you have is to do the best you can when you can.
Embracing Something That Gives You Meaning or Keep Your Mind Busy
People have things they enjoy. Some are in search of a greater purpose and meaning. It can sometimes be hard to appreciate these things when living with chronic pain. If you can learn how to live with CRPS so that it does not control your life, then you might have an easier time doing all the things you enjoy doing. This may seem strange, in most instances, CRPS is going to give you the tools you need to empower yourself and needed to help others. This is going to require insight training, but if you manage to make CRPS your purpose, you will find it easier to live with the condition. Get a hobby because it is a good way of keeping your mind off the pain. Get a pet, challenge yourself to a puzzle, or download a mobile game on your phone. There are many different ways of distracting yourself from the pain.
A Guide to Managing CRPS at Work