Life with chronic pain

Every day is a mountain

Think of the worst pain you have experienced and imagine it will stay with you constantly — for the rest of your life

As cyclists we are all familiar with a certain amount of pain and suffering. However ours is relatively short lived and subsides once we have reached the top or finish line. But for some people daily life is one constant struggle with pain!

Daphne, Co Founder of TICCC, has been suffering from severe chronic pain since a road traffic accident. It has changed every aspect of her life and requires constant strength and determination in order to manage her condition. For her every day is like climbing a mountain. Unfortunately she is not alone. 1 in 7 people in the UK suffer from chronic pain and an estimated 1 in 5 people globally.

What is chronic pain?

Think of the worst pain you have experienced and imagine it will stay with you constantly — for the rest of your life. Chronic pain is an invisible disability, it comes in many forms. It has been proven that chronic pain can be more painful than a sprain, broken bones and even arthritis.

Medically it is defined as pain that persists after 6 months of an acute injury. Therefore the injury has healed yet the body still experiences severe pain. This happens because trauma can cause damage to the body’s neurological system. When this happens the body’s protection system goes into a state of constant alert and confusion. As a result the body responds by producing more nerve receptors which makes the Central Nervous System hypersensitive and over active.

Think of it as a short circuiting computer. So for example, everyday changes in our bodies such as changes in atmospheric pressure can be translated by an overactive CNS as danger! As a result the CNS sends alert messages to the brain in the form of pain.

Cycling can help

Research shows that regular, non impact exercise and self management techniques can help chronic pain sufferers. Everyone is different but for Daphne cycling is an important pain management tool.

She says: ‘Cycling is an immensely important part of my life. The training, challenge and achievement gives me the strength, focus and purpose to help me manage my daily life of pain. The natural endorphins provide me with temporary pain relief, which in turn helps me cope better with my pain throughout the day. There is no question that the psychological and physical effects of cycling, is for me, an essential part of staying resilient and coping with this immensely challenging condition. I want to raise awareness of the issues facing chronic pain sufferers, and actively promote the benefits of cycling as a way of helping self-manage chronic pain.’

Daphne encourages people to explore exercise as a pain management tool. However, she highly recommends that you consult with a medical expert and physical trainer prior.

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