Hey gang, I know this is basic stuff and has probably been discussed here MANY times before, but I cannot underscore more the role muscles play in the Lyme equation. I have been able to give myself at least temporary relief from muscle and joint pain just by listening to my body (through a biofeedback device), and remembering how basics like proper sitting and standing posture, as well as breathin and gait, are vitally important to coping with everyday chronic Lyme pain. You guys would not believe the amount of gadgets I use (mostly dog toys like rubber balls, rope bones, and rubber tug toys) on a daily basis to apply pressure to certain muscles/trigger points that I otherwise would need a therapist to release. Relief without popping pills of any kind, or shelling out tons of money for physical therapy...a novel concept ;-)
There are two fantastic publications most if not all of you on the forum are familiar with, but I'll mention them here as a reminder for the vets as well as Lyme newbies:
Claire Davies' "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" - IMO, the finest self-help book ever written for those with chronic soft tissue pain of a known or unknown origin. Predicated on the work of Travell and Simons (nice illustrative maps), BUT VERY EDUCATIONAL for the layperson in terms of explaining exactly what certain muscles are designed to do, what shortens them or throws them into spasm, and how to clear the spasm. I got some of the ideas about using rubber balls and leverage from chairs, the wall, or the floor, and was able to develop a few of my own along the way. A MUST OWN for any Lyme sufferer, IMO
Bonnie Prudden's "Pain Erasure" - Where Claire's book falls short, Bonnie's picks up the slack. Claire does a great job of telling you about what muscles do and what everyday activities make them hurt. But I think he understates the importance of stretching and strengthening shortened muscles for maintenance and long-term improvement of your symptoms. Bonnie's book provides great stretching exerises, and illustrates them with various photos.
I don't think I would have made it as long as I did in my career (law enforcement) without either of these publications. I know there are days you may not want or feel like you are able to get out of bed--I know, I have been there, and still have days like that. But try your best to, even if it is only for 5-10 minutes every hour. Ironically, most beds are NOT friends of fatigued and shortened muscles in spasm because of poor sleeping position or improper support of the spine. I have had a great deal of success in relieving pain and spasm, even if it is only for a few minutes. And I am a HUGE proponent of biofeedback. You may think you are listening to your body, but you really aren't listening to your body until you give biofeedback a shot and notice how you can feel your muscles relax as the tone gets lower, and how stressful thoughts will get the tone very high almost immediately. Such a simple concept, but I know having developed 41-years of bad habits myself, just sitting in a chair watching TV or listening to music may seem "relaxing," but try do it with a biofeedback device. You may be surprised what you hear.
It goes without saying, but human beings are creatures of habit. Healthy people with bad habits (poor posture and gait, and shallow/short breathing) can get away with them and deal with the minor aches and pains they cause, but not us. Only now am I fully appreciating just how important proper posture, gait, and breathing is to overall wellness. I think sometimes we are so desperate and so focused on the pain, we look for that magic bullet and forget the basics. I know I do.