Okay, I think we’ve now covered all the different body regions when it comes to stretching. That doesn’t mean there won’t be more stretching videos though (assuming everyone reading/watching wants more!) so don’t worry. On that note, if you’d like to see more stretching videos, please leave a comment! And if there’s anything specific you’re requesting let me know that too! I’ve also done some amazing podcast episodes that are relevant here: “Exercise for Chronic Pain with Dr. Frank Nhan,” “Pelvic Floor Physio with Queenie Woo,” “The Essentials to Health with Dr. Stephan Bohemier,” “How Stress and Anxiety Manifest in the Body with Dr. Alex Triendl,” and “Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain with Danielle Potvin.” Head over to the “Podcast” page to get access or check out – Chronically Living and how to make the most of it – wherever you get your podcasts!
I had a request to do a video on what I do for hip stretches so here it is! Obviously I made this video before my hip surgery (I planned in advance!). This video includes stretches, strengthening exercises, and range of motion exercises for the hips that are great for tight hips, arthritis, and labral tears (the last 2 exercises were given to me because of the tear, the first two due to hip pain/tightness). Please consult your own healthcare team before trying them out. If you have any video requests please shoot me an email or a DM on Instagram @janeversuspain.
For more on the importance of stretching, check out my podcast episode, “Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain,” where Danielle Potvin explains how stretching can help your body.
Isn’t it always the case when you have an autoimmune disease that there are multiple updates over the years? Like either a change of diagnosis or an added diagnosis. I follow so many people on Instagram with the same experiences. This week I had an appointment with my rheumatologist (and a resident, so two docs which was fun – by the way I love that the hospital I go to is a teaching hospital because I think that makes everyone work a little harder to provide excellent care), and of course there is an update to my diagnosis.
Lets travel back a bit. First I was given an incorrect diagnosis of gout back in 2015 by my GP. Fast forward to February 2016 when I first saw my rheumatologist, ran some tests and then a month later gave me (maybe a little too quickly) a diagnosis of lupus. Fast forward to June 2016 and she added fibromyalgia to the list. Then we skip over to November 2016 and she decides that I don’t qualify for a lupus diagnosis and I am a “mystery.” So I have remained with a fibromyalgia diagnosis since then.
Now my diagnosis has been updated to Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease, which upon looking up what exactly that was, makes a lot of sense. So what is UCTD? It’s a systemic autoimmune disease that doesn’t quite fit the criteria for any differentiated autoimmune disease – like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or scleroderma, etc. I’ve read some different statistics on it, and it seems that around 25% of rheumatology patients have UCTD, and only between 20-30% of patients will eventually get a diagnosis of lupus, RA, etc. Symptoms usually include high ANAs, arthralgia/myalgia, arthritis, Raynaud’s, and fatigue, among a few others.
My symptoms include consistently high ANAs on blood panels that are taken every 6 months, arthralgia/myalgia, I don’t quite get full-blown Raynaud’s but certainly very red and slightly swollen fingers in the cold, sometimes numbness in my fingers or toes, and fatigue. So, while I don’t fit the criteria for lupus, I certainly fit the criteria for UTCD.
Now how does this make me feel? Honestly, a sense of relief. I am happy to have a diagnosis again, and one that seems to actually fit what is going on. My rheumy is going to fill out the paperwork I need for my work coverage (because they’ve been after my sick days), which also makes me feel relieved. Basically, I feel like it’s good to get a diagnosis because the waiting game on diagnoses can be anxiety-riddling experiences as I’m sure many of you know.
I also want to give you an update on Spike, because last week I mentioned he was at the vet. Unfortunately he had to be put down. I am heart-broken as I’ve lost my best friend.