Utilize Tools, Technology to Enjoy Life Despite Chronic Pain

  • When faced with a permanent disability, one has choices: to do things as usual, to quit doing things, or to find alternative ways. If one were to continue doing activities in a usual fashion, pain will persist or get worse most of the time. If one were to quit doing things all together, life gets boring and depressing. Finding alternative ways to do activities is the best way to adapt to a permanent disability.  Discovering abilities can be easier with the right tools. During the summer months, people often have many activities of enjoyment that make life fun.  Here are some suggested tools to keep summer fun.

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    • 1. Trekking Sticks: Walking, hiking, and meandering are made easier with an extra "leg" for support. Even the best adventurers will use a walking stick to maintain balance on rough terrain. Those with spinal stenosis may greatly benefit from trekking sticks or a walking stick.
    • 2. La Fuma Chair: This zero-gravity patio chair can make camping and watching baseball games a bit more comfortable. The portability of this chair makes it easy to pack-up and go have fun. Additionally, the lightness of this chair makes it easy to move around the house.
    • 3. Back Brace: Sometimes the low back can benefit from some extra support during times of extra stress. Lately, I have been recommending the corset made by Aspen called the "Quick Draw". Simple to adjust and comfortable, this corset can make many summer activities less painful.
    • 4. Foot Stool: Some people like to travel by RV or car to get to a favorite summer hideaway. Passengers can rest the feet on the stool to draw the knees closer to the chest, a comfortable position for the low back. Foot stools are also handy when standing. Placing a foot on the stool while standing can ease some low back pain.
    • 5. CamelBak: The heat is cranking up and you need to stay hydrated. CamelBak products take hydration to a convenient level. No more excuses, drink more water during all your summer fun. (As an ex-firefighter, I can't tell you how important it is to stay hydrated for optimal performance.)
    • 6. Pedometer: These nifty electronic tools keep track of the number of steps, total distance, calories burned and more. Starting a walking program for the summer is made easier by setting realistic goals based on the numbers. After incremental increases, one can set a new individual record for walking and fitness by the end of the summer. Transformation starts with setting realistic goals.
    • 7. Floatation "Noodles": What pool is complete without a "noodle"? Floating is a great way to unload the spine and body. When properly placed, a couple of "noodles"' can be wonderful pain relievers. Try placing one around the upper chest, under the arms. As the body dangles in the water, the spine is gently stretched into traction. Make sure you have enough "noodles" to share with everyone.
    • 8. Kindle: Summer time means summer reading. However, holding up a book might be too much of a strain. The new Kindle electronic device is lightweight and small enough to place on a lap. No one likes to haul a bunch of books to a destination; the Kindle can store more electronic books than most can read during a vacation. One can even listen to audio books with the Kindle, a great tool for anytime.
    • 9. TempurPedic.com: Don't forget to use the hotel locator to find a hotel that carries the TempurPedic mattresses. Nothing can ruin a summer trip faster than a bad hotel mattress. Chose your destinations wisely.
    • 10. Thinking Cap: Summer fun activities do not have to be inaccessible. With some ingenuity and creativity, alternative ways to do things can be revealed. Being smarter than the problem is sometimes half the battle for remaining able to have fun.

    I hope this list gives you some better options for this summer. It is just an example of possible tools that can help keep life fun. Doing something you enjoy everyday can bring some much needed pleasure into a life with chronic pain and permanent disability. Please share your ideas about your tools for summer fun. Sharing creates solutions!

Published On: June 01, 2009