This article is based on my meeting with my physiotherapist at one of the treatment centres at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust Foundation.
What is a set back?
Set back is any barrier which comes in the way of you managing your pain. If you have a regular plan or pacing of doing things, but you were not able to do it on a particular day for some reasons, you have got a setback. Putting it more simply, anything, person, place, event, action etc which prevents you to manage your pain according to your plan is a set back. Pain here refers to any pain like back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain etc. etc.
Most Common Set Backs
There is no exhaustive list of setbacks and can vary from individual to individual. A barrier may be preventing one individual performing his or her activity while the same barrier may not affect another individual at all. However, there are some common barriers which can be called as Most Common Set Backs.
- Increase in pain
- Not having enough time.
- Being unwell
- A family member being unwell
- Events like birthdays, weddings, parties etc.
These general setbacks limit your activities and you feel more frustrated with an increased level of worries. This, in turn, leads to more inactivity; which may even lead to more pain.
How to Get Back on Track?
The first important thing note about these barriers is that these are no unusual things. These are all normal things and routine parts of life. Furthermore, their effect grows from bad to worse when you impose them on your mind. Here are a couple of tips to manage this.
1. Shed the psychological barrier
This is the biggest culprit. We often have excuses. For instance, if you have visitors in the morning and you also normally go for a walk, then you may drop your walk that day simply because somebody is visiting you in the morning. Similarly, if you have appointment in the morning, you don’t want to walk because you have an excuse. All these are just psychological barriers. If you don’t find time in the morning, do it in the afternoon or in the evening. You need a little bit of adjustment with all these setbacks.
2. Reduce instead of Dropping
If time or more pain on particular day restricts your activity, just reduce it rather than dropping it. You may pick the exercises which are easier and takes less time.
3. Take your pain relief measures
Taking your pain relief measure helps you in managing your pain and avoiding a set back. For instance, do not forget to take your pain killers, ice or heat treatments.
4. Ask for more help
Ask for more help of those around you. It does not have to be a big favor. Many times only small favors can do big wonders. We should also not under estimated other people’s feeling of love and care towares us. Many times, you will find people are ready and even happy to help.
5. Prioritise your tasks
This is also very important. You may delay those thing which are less important and prioritise the ones needing urgent attention.
6. Slow and steady wins the race
You must have heard the story of the hare and tortoise. The boasting and fast hare loses to the slow paced but perseverant tortoise. Gradually build your exercise routine. Let your body adjust until you reach a level that you are comfortable with. Stick to that level.
7. Make your activity a fun
It may happen that you find your exercise boring. First do exercise which you find more enjoyable. It may look boring, but after exercise you will cheer up as more endorphins are released after exercise.
8. Be part of a group, if possible
Things become interesting and more enjoyable when performed in a group.
9. Keep pacing
The best strategy is to avoid over and under doings. Space out things to avoid stress. Click here to know more about pacing.