Biological Link Between Fatigue and Pain

Yes, I manged to re-injure an old injury again.

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While I’m not really ready to discuss it, or what we’re going to do on a longer term to “fix” it, I did notice I’ve been exhausted during the ordeal. I mean really, really tired.

So, I started to wonder if there was a connection between pain and fatigue. I know I was in so much pain I was sweating. So, I thought there might be something there.

Turns out, there is.

I did a lot of searching through the internet, and while WebMd and eMedicine agreed with me, I tend to be skeptical of these sites.

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I kept digging, and I learned suffers of arthritis have known this for years. I’m not suffering from anything as severe as arthritis, thank goodness, so more digging. And the internet delivered. I found an article from the University of Washington Medicine: Orthopedics and Sports Medicine that lists pain right below disease as a cause of fatigue.

I know how tired I was when I had a cold, which is nowhere near the level of disease they are discussing, but pain did make the list. So I feel like maybe there is some vindication and science behind what I’m experiencing.

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More digging led to me to an article written by the University of Iowa. It goes into why pain causes fatigue, and why men suffer less than women from it due to a protein involved in muscle pain and how it worked in conjunction with testosterone. As men have significantly more testosterone in their system, this reduced the pain they feel.

Of course it does. We get labor, and they get reduced pain. Where is the justice?!?

But I digress.

Sadly, while this all tells me what I’m going through is normal, it doesn’t give any insights in how to manage it.

At this point, I figure the best plan is to listen to my doctor (as my husband drilled into my head) and rest. Really listen to my body. Pain response evolved for a reason, and that reason is usually to tell us to knock off whatever we’re doing because it injured us, and now the body needs us to do a certain thing so it can heal.

pain

This thing is usually rest, and for me, keep that injured area immobile.

Which is so hard when there is always so much to do.

Before I can anything, thought, I have to heal. “I am not going to rush this. Really.” I repeat to myself over and over again.

After I do heal, I need to find someone that can help me build an exercise regime a middle-aged desk jockey who has some underlying medical issues can still do without injury.

And I will. I want to be healthy and live to be there for my kids and husband. I will find a way.

 

Have you ever found yourself really tired if you’re in pain? How did you handle it? If you’re in less than pristine condition and have a workout routine, how did you develop it?

 

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7 thoughts on “Biological Link Between Fatigue and Pain

  1. I have fibromyalgia, it’s pain & exhaustion rolled into one. I take low impact exercise like walking & yoga. A healthy diet helps as does listening to my body, if I’m exhausted I need to rest or else I’ll suffer more.

    1. I looked up fibromyalgia. I’ve heard of it, but only vaguely knew what it was. It sounds awful! I give you huge kudos writing with that on top of the rest of life.

      I’ve been warned off yoga because I’m so flexible, and have another issue which prevents running or jogging. Walking it is! I aim for 4-5 days a week. More great, less, I try again the next week.

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