Just when you think you're doing good, something like Covid-19 hits. Just kidding. But in reality, there are going to be things in life that happen and create a flare up. The goal is to jump on the flare ups as soon as you can.
Personally, flare ups come to me when I am stressed out. Flare ups can come from stress, trauma, sex, and sometimes too much strain (coming from exercise or physical therapy).
So what to do when a flare up hits?
First off, talk to your doctor. Everyone is different when it comes to Chronic Pelvic Pain. If you have found your specialist, give them a call or email and see if they have a plan. There were times where I did my normal flare up solutions but nothing worked, so I called my doctor. Sometimes flare ups are worse than we think. I have gotten pudendal nerve Blocks as a result of flare ups, for example. This was after a bad period of tie of extended symptoms.
If stress is the cause of your flare up, get to the root. Things that help me are breath-work, yoga, or boxing. If you have not found what works for you to reduce stress, keep trying. Something different for everyone. Sometimes its punching a boxing bag senseless and sometimes it's meditating in yoga class. It could be writing it out in a journal, talking to a therapist, or painting. Also, I realize when I am stressed I tighten my abdomen ( I suck everything). Wearing a band or bracelet reminds me throughout the day to release my stomach. I find this helps A LOT!
There are a hundred different treatments to flare ups. What medications are you currently on? Can you increase any of these doses (such as Gabapentin)? There is pudendal nerve blocks and bladder installations for bigger cases. There is diazepam suppositories for better sleep and relaxation. For long, extended periods of flare ups look into pudendal botox.
What about non-doctor related treatments? Something that doesn't require a prescription or medical solutions? Figure out what works best: Soak, Heat, or Ice it!
Soak in a low bath (or Sitz bath) filled with epson salt. The water should be warm.
If that doesn't feel good >>
Heat your pelvis with a heating pad. Place on your lower back, glutes, or under the stomach.
If that doesn't feel good >>
Ice the area directly. You can use a flexible ice pack that looks like a pad that goes in your underwear made from a cold pack. You can also freeze a water bottle and place it in between your legs.
Covid-19 has caused a lot of stress for everyone. I have felt stir-crazy more than ever during this time. To reduce the flare ups, I have been doing yoga and stretching every morning, talking to my therapist once a week, and practicing physical therapy exercises as much as possible.
Luckily, I know when I have a flare up it's not permanent. It makes things harder, it heightens anxiety, but there is always a way out. Stay strong and ask what can be done. Hold on no matter what! I have had every kind of flare up and sometimes I need to find a new way out, but there is always something out there that works.