Physical Coping Mechanisms

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 10/16/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
What are your coping mechinisms when the pain gets out of control?
I have a few really odd ones sp please don't laugh.
  • I pant
  • I grind my teeth (bad, I know)
  • I dig my nails into the nearest object
  • I tense every muscle and try to relax just the area that hurts
  • I count - this is the best one for me. When I count I tell myself if I reach xx then I will go to the ER. That gives me a limit and a hope if I reach that limit. Now, I tend to cheat myself and not go if I hit that limit but somehow, it helps.


Take care,


Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4



Meds - vicodin : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E


In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 10/16/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think anyone here would laugh at your coping mechanisms, I certainly wouldn't. Sometimes I pant, too when the pain is so severe. I also do deep breathing constantly to try to get my mind off the pain. It doesn't keep the pain away, but...I don't know I just started deep inhaling and deep exhaling, don't know why really, it's just something I automatically do. I also grab things, I clench my jaw and actually grind my teeth in my sleep. I also know that I tense all my surrounding muscles, but I think I do this automatically, as well. If I such severe pain, say, on my right side (either sciatica down my leg or nerve pain around my outer hips)..then my whole left side tenses. Since I really cant walk putting pressure on the right when that happens, my other muscles are always very tensed in order to use the good side to try to move or walk. And of course I always get horrible muscle spasms. Sometimes it seems like my entire body goes into spasm. I also cry.......I try everything imaginable to try to get somewhat more comfortable, like positioning all sorts of different pillows for lying down, etc. And the things that keep me from totally going insane when in extreme pain...are my kitties! I have a 5 yr. old and a 6 month old kitten. So pets are definitely a HUGE help in coping with most things.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 10/18/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think your post is laughable. I use my left thumb and forefinger and squeeze and rub my right hand in the same spot so I always have a bruise there.  And yes the tense jaw, sometimes I rock myself. My husband tells me I whine a lot in my sleep.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/18/2008 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Definitely not laughable. I think what I do is take whatever pain meds. are available (meaning allowed as per doc's orders), get heat or sometimes ice, sometimes call my cousin and cry, or go lie on my bed and cry into my pillow. Sometimes a good cry can help relax you, although sometimes I find I have learned to hold the tears in, and it's tough to let them go.

Also - I put on some relaxing music or a guided imagery tape.

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