How I convinced myself that my body was not injured

Contributed by: Sherri
Reviewed by: Evelyn Corsini, MSW, July 2010

Sherri is a 49-year-old medical writer from Utah with neuropathic pain (complex regional pain syndrome).

I’m replying in response to your question about how people with neuropathic pain have convinced themselves that their bodies are no longer injured.

I developed CRPS after a wrist break/surgery; the symptoms spread to both arms and shoulders. When it was first diagnosed and the symptoms were pretty intense, I did several things:

  • I stretched, touched my toes, etc. — anything I could do to move my wrist and arms around.
  • Odd as it may sound, while meditating I talked to my sympathetic nervous system, telling it that it could calm down and that nothing was wrong.
  • The physical therapist suggested carrying a small weight (less than 5 pounds) on my formerly injured side — not doing lifts or anything, just carrying it around so that the hand/wrist would be able to feel it was normal. This was helpful.
  • As for pain treatment, I tried to avoid opioid pain medications as much as possible (I was on an anticonvulsive drug instead). I also had a couple of series of stellate ganglion nerve blocks.

Three years later, the CRPS has mostly resolved itself — other than days when the barometer changes, I don’t feel the symptoms very much. I am extremely grateful for that.

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