My top 5 tips for reducing pain

Pain and Parkinson’s

It might not be surprising to hear that pain is one of the most common non motor symptoms among people diagnosed with PD.

Pain is subjective. Everyone owns their own feelings around pain and shouldn’t be compared to the next person in pain. Pain continues to be under treated but I have found many alternative treatments myself and have listened to many of my clients talk about what has worked for them. I’m going to share some of my go-to’s with you and what my clients with PD have found works for them as well.

The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are typically the main focus of care for your physician and I believe pain has been historically under treated as a legitimate non-motor symptom. Learning and understanding your own symptoms and keeping track of your test results and having a pain diary can go a long way in figuring out how to best treat your pain. The hardest time to do so is when your pain is at its worst. When you are having a good day with less pain would be the best time to start your diary.

Personally, I do not have Parkinson’s but I have a disease called Endometriosis that consists of adhesions throughout different parts of my body that flare up and cause wicked pain and fatigue. I have had 4 abdominal surgeries to date to help relieve some of the pain and restrictions but surgery is only a temporary fix. Consequently I do consider myself quite knowledgeable in the area of pain management and I am always seeking different alternative treatments and techniques that can help lessen the pain for an improved quality of life. No doctor can ever tell me, or understand how I feel. I am my best judge of this, as are you for your pain.

I know which drugs work well for me and which drugs don’t. I encourage you to learn about the drugs you are taking and how they work for you and don’t put your entire health in your doctor’s hands.

I’m going to focus more on the Musculoskeletal Pain that my clients are bothered by the most in this blog because pain is a broad topic to talk about. Did you know that pain can sometimes be worsened by postural changes related to PD or can sometimes fluctuate with changes in medication?

Being an RMT for over 12 years I learned a lot about the body and what treatments worked not only best for me but where I saw the most improvement with my clients. Myofascial Release was my treatment of choice and that’s why I dove into this therapy and learned as much as I could to help myself and my clients. Fascia is a specialized system of the body that is similar to a spider’s web. It covers all of our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, organs as well as our brain and spinal cord and it can be quite thick in some areas. It is one continuous structure from our head to our toes.

Trauma, inflammatory response or even surgeries, create myofascial restrictions that can produce tensile pressures of approximately 2000 pounds per square inch on pain sensitive structures. Yikes, right?

So many people who are suffering in pain or lack range of motion may be having fascial problems but are just not diagnosed.

I highly recommend seeking therapy from a trained RMT or PT that has experience with Myofascial Release (I prefer John Barnes trained therapists) and experiencing this treatment for yourself. It is not the same as getting a deep tissue or a “fluff’ spa massage. The techniques are sustained for longer periods of time to allow the fascia to gradually soften and let go as this is the way to lasting results.

I teach all of my instructors at Boxing 4 Health the importance of learning self massage techniques to help our clients learn to release their own fascia. Learning and feeling the tight, tender and restricted areas in your body can help you figure out what to treat and what parts of your body need the most attention. Tip: It’s typically not the areas that are causing your pain. That is only where the pain shows up but it’s not the root of the problem.

These balls we use often in our classes