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Post exercise pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ninamel, Jan 10, 2021.

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  1. Ninamel

    Ninamel Newcomer

    Hi guys! I have a lot of pain and muscle tension after exercising, mostly on the head (tension headache), neck, shoulders and upper back. It started a fee years ago, I used to be very active (run, muay thai, weight lifting...), now just a simple pilates class will give me pain in this area. The pain would come a few hours after exercising and stay for days, I would have insomnia due to the intense headache. I would like some advise on this, why do you guys think that happens? What can I do? One of the things I love most in life is exercise so this is very sad for me. I can also have this pain due to a stressful week, poor sleep, but it's mild. Since it started (4 years ago), I have tried different workout modalities and them all give me a lot pain. I don't have anything wrong in my body, no injuries. Any comments would be highly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    Think back to when it began and if it correlated with any stressful event/situation in your life that might have served as a trigger. The symptoms are strongest after exercise, which you love the most in life, in order to draw you into preoccupation with them. The brain will use this remembered pain pathway as a distraction from what it perceives as 'more dangerous' repressed emotions. Is there anything in your life out of balance or that you are chronically avoiding that might be generating inner rage or pressure? Just some thoughts for you to work on.
     
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  3. Larkspur

    Larkspur Peer Supporter

    I have this as well. I get severe muscle aches after heavy exercise, followed by a migraine. What has helped me personally is realizing that this is TMS--and it's important to not catastrophize it (there is nothing wrong with you, your brain is just being overprotective!) Personally, my brain seems to interpret any stress that I experience (whether physical or mental, it doesn't matter) as a lion attack plus an alien invasion and a category 5 hurricane...in other words, it freaks out. Perhaps your body/brain is similar.
    I'm still working on this but a few things that have worked for me personally are: I don't stop exercising, but I try not to overdo it. I keep increasing the amount of exercise that I do slowly and gradually. I tell myself that I am completely fine and I do the TMS practices that you'll find on this site. I especially try to practice stress reduction and be gentle with myself and stop any negative self-talk.
    I love exercise so sometimes I do overdo it, in which case I let myself take an advil preventatively--because I'm not completely healed from TMS yet I think it's ok to bridge the gap with whatever works at this point. And I do find that it helps, but of course you want to be careful with it and not use it too frequently.
    I also have to let all expectations drop--I have a general weekly plan for running, but if I wake up and don't feel good, I don't push through it and I don't feel bad about taking a day off. You have to really listen to your body, and you have to accept those days when you just shouldn't be pushing it. This can be difficult but once you become more attuned to your needs, your body/mind will feel safer and less reactive. I also tell myself that I'm taking a rest day to take care of myself, and I think it's important to send that message to your brain--that you are paying attention to your needs, that you can be trusted to keep yourself safe and cared for.
    I am not healed yet but I'm a lot better, so I know that the TMS practices work, and I'm also confident that eventually I'll be 100% healed, and you can be too. Good luck!
     
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  4. Larkspur

    Larkspur Peer Supporter

    The other thing I do is that while exercising I take the opportunity to send positive thoughts to my brain. "I feel good," "I am healthy," "I am taking care of my body and my mind," etc. It sounds cheesy but I figure I've spent years sending negative thoughts to my brain, and now I have to actively counter those thoughts and create new neural patterns. When I first started I didn't have a lot to say that was positive, so I told myself things like "I am getting better day by day," "I am sending oxygen to every cell in my body," or whatever. I would change up the messages so they didn't feel stale. It's also important to say things that you believe, so find something that feels authentic. I also will go through my gratitude list while exercising and set my intentions for the day--anything positive that will keep reinforcing those patterns of thought. I've been doing this for almost a year now and I feel so much better mentally--I haven't been depressed since I started this (I'm not saying it's a cure for depression, just that it's probably one thing that has helped me feel better).
     
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