Camping with chronic pain/illnesses

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
14,046
Albuquerque, NM
One of the nice things about having a popup is that once you develop a routine, you know how things are arranged inside, so it's always "home". I don't sleep well in unfamiliar places, but found, even in the tents, as long as we had it in a standard configuration, I was fine (unless the campground or weather was crazy, but that is rare).
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,820
I have fibromyalgia. That's why we have had to switch from tent camping to a PUP. I can no longer sleep on the ground. But being owners of something completely new has put my anxiety disorder into over drive. Can't wait to figure it all out and get out to relax.
You will figure it all out...We all were new to it at one time.
Beauty of here is...We always learn things and get great ideas.
 

davekro

Super Active Member
Aug 30, 2019
767
SF Bay Area, CA
I do not suffer from constant pain or tinnitus. Many have shared they have exhausted every possible helpful treatment they could find and already gone to any lengths to get a respite from their debilitating pain. I have read no one mention if they have tried acupuncture to see if it might help with either their chronic pain or tinnitus. Several decades ago, I had a nerve damage condition called drop toe, where the brain was no longer able to send signals to the muscles to raise the front of my right foot. I was prescribed and got acupuncture. For this situation, they attached electrodes to the needles and sent mild electrical signals that was able to actually reestablish a new nerve path for my brain to raise my toes. It worked. I recently started getting acupuncture just for general well being because a friend found a low-priced community supported clinic, so acupuncture is on my radar again.

I obviously make no claims, but offer the idea as something to consider for your particular individual situation.
I wish all peace of mind and heart and whatever level of relief they may be able to find.
 

kudzu

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 20, 2014
680
Knee deep in kudzu
Acupuncture didn't help me. Was it me, the practitioner, or perhaps targeting the wrong type of pain? I've no idea but I think the biggest problem was that it was painful to remain in the position necessary for the treatment. It wasn't just during the treatment, but lasted for a day or two afterwards. Sitting and most positions laying down have this effect. It's a factor of my spinal issue, not a problem the practicioner could remedy. After the first try I found I felt stressed going back for another round, knowing that it was going to hurt. And again it didn't help. At that point it seemed counterproductive for me. I do, however, believe there is enough evidence to support it as a viable treatment, well worth trying.

This is an interesting thread. I suffer from some of the issues others have raised except "suffer" really isn't the right descriptor. Have arranged my life and camping style to accomodate this so I'm not suffering at all. Of course, a large part is just being lucky. My tinnitus has been with me for forever or at least I first noticed it when I was 3, about as far back as I can remember. The gradual increase over the decades has been easy to adjust to. As a small child it wasn't 24/7. Which is the only reason I know I have it. Otherwise I would have thought this is just the way everyone hears things. At this point it is much worse in my left ear than my right. Am partially deaf in that ear which might account for the difference. With my hearing aid in, the tinnitus is less distracting since I am hearing some of the high & mid pitched sounds outside my own head. Am also incredibly lucky because exercise helps and medication is very effective for me in reducing pain. I do take a lot, but nothing addictive. That applies to my spinal issues, arthritis, nerve pain and a low grade, 24/7/365 headache. It isn't a migraine, but without medication it's a continuous annoyance and just sort of wears me down over time. With medication it's bearly there.

While sitting is the worst, really impossible after a while even with medicine, I can stand for a good while and the best medicine for me is walking around. Keeping busy, moving around is the best thing for me and that's important since I am also ADHD, with heavy emphasis on the hyperactive. Like I said, I'm super lucky that many of the things I love doing are also very helpful for my chronic issues. That's also why I find my investments in camping are as much or more therapeutic as a luxury recreation. It really is an investment in my health.
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,364
League City, Texas USA.
I have fibromyalgia. That's why we have had to switch from tent camping to a PUP. I can no longer sleep on the ground. But being owners of something completely new has put my anxiety disorder into over drive. Can't wait to figure it all out and get out to relax.

If your Tow Vehicle is up to the task, its a great way to go. But if you love tenting, mobility and pain issues aren't necessarily a show stopper. I have osteoarthritis of the lower spine, and currently some nasty pain in the knee, meniscus...

Anyway, I insist on standing room tents, which are going to be either large dome tents, or cabin tents. I have a couple of each. My favorites are a Coleman SunDome 6 and an Ozark Trail 10x14 Dark Rest instant cabin tent...
I do not suffer from constant pain or tinnitus. Many have shared they have exhausted every possible helpful treatment they could find and already gone to any lengths to get a respite from their debilitating pain. I have read no one mention if they have tried acupuncture to see if it might help with either their chronic pain or tinnitus. Several decades ago, I had a nerve damage condition called drop toe, where the brain was no longer able to send signals to the muscles to raise the front of my right foot. I was prescribed and got acupuncture. For this situation, they attached electrodes to the needles and sent mild electrical signals that was able to actually reestablish a new nerve path for my brain to raise my toes. It worked. I recently started getting acupuncture just for general well being because a friend found a low-priced community supported clinic, so acupuncture is on my radar again.

I obviously make no claims, but offer the idea as something to consider for your particular individual situation.
I wish all peace of mind and heart and whatever level of relief they may be able to find.

I've had limited success with accupuncture. Not saying no success, but it has been limited.

What has worked for me is a mix of physical therapy including hydrotherapy (Hot tub dun, to cool pool soak, back to hot tub lather rinse and repeat), and deep tissue massage.

Since the gym opened back up post COVID, and I have been able to resume my therapy, I am able to get up and down without any assistive devices (I.E. cane, trekking pole, car door etc...) for about 90% of the time, and about 70% range of motion to my knee has come back... No more being awakened at 2:00 A.M. with shooting pain in the knee either.
 

davekro

Super Active Member
Aug 30, 2019
767
SF Bay Area, CA
If your Tow Vehicle is up to the task, its a great way to go. But if you love tenting, mobility and pain issues aren't necessarily a show stopper. I have osteoarthritis of the lower spine, and currently some nasty pain in the knee, meniscus...

Anyway, I insist on standing room tents, which are going to be either large dome tents, or cabin tents. I have a couple of each. My favorites are a Coleman SunDome 6 and an Ozark Trail 10x14 Dark Rest instant cabin tent...


I've had limited success with accupuncture. Not saying no success, but it has been limited.

What has worked for me is a mix of physical therapy including hydrotherapy (Hot tub dun, to cool pool soak, back to hot tub lather rinse and repeat), and deep tissue massage.

Since the gym opened back up post COVID, and I have been able to resume my therapy, I am able to get up and down without any assistive devices (I.E. cane, trekking pole, car door etc...) for about 90% of the time, and about 70% range of motion to my knee has come back... No more being awakened at 2:00 A.M. with shooting pain in the knee either.
dbhost,
Glad you are able get better relief by getting back to your helpful exercise and routine. I have had lower back pain issues since my late 20's (degenerated discs L3,4,5). I was told at age 22 w/ a severe bout of eyeritis, that I was predisposed to anchelosing spondilitis and would have back prolems early in life. I have a great stretch/ exercise routine that if done regularly, keeps my back normal. But I usually am lazy about my stretching. When I ignorethe early soreness symptoms I can follow with spasms and imobility. So for me, awareness (of stress tightening my back and hamstrings) and willingness to resond with self care are the keys for me. So I consider my pain times as rather self inflicked by inattention or flatout laziness, than a debility. In that, I am obviously more fortunate than most posters on this thread who do their self care but have a condition that evades the normal and even extensive methods of treatment. My compassion and prayers go out to you wishing for the most relief possible. The occsional miracle gladly appreciated as well. [;)]
 

raising4daughters

Active Member
Aug 24, 2019
144
Wow! This thread hits home. Suffered autoimmune and nerve damage from, of all things cringeworthy, a vasectomy in 2005. Had it reversed in 2006 which cured the autoimmune problems but the nerve damage led to a weak core and that caused my lower spine to erode prematurely. At just 48 in 2012, I had fusion at L5/S1 due to all the bone spurs and instability. Then had a relapse from the damaged groin nerve 2016-18 that finally went into remission with experimental botox treatment. Thought I was out of the woods, but now have a herniated disc in my neck here at 56.

We've still found a way to PUP camp every summer since 2010. I take two supplements for pain every day, Zyflamend and Nerve Shield. Those and exercise keep things manageable....and I mean exercise of some form 7 days/week even if it's just a 30-minute walk.
 

MamaRose

Member
Jun 24, 2021
15
Hello to all here!
I have multiple autoimmune and chronic disorders. I have fibromyalgia, Celiac disease, Hashimoto's, GERD, and chronic pain and fatigue since a very young age. Having the PUP has helped us camp more. The setup takes a bit, but isn't overly physical (for the most part).

I'm a DIY-er and using the right tools are the way I adapt for accessibility. My camper is one tool: it does all the heavy carrying of gear, gives me a comfortable place to sleep, and allows me to cook safely for my needs.
Re-decorating it and working on it have actually been very therapeutic for me.

I'm thrilled to be part of this group!

As far as pain goes, I use cannabis/CBD for it when I can. It is legal in Illinois, so only when I am here. There are so many wonderful, non-altering options for use now that allow the pain to fade, while the mind stays sharp.
 

Rick Thomas

New Member
Jan 26, 2020
2
I'm a genetic and hormone chronic migraine sufferer. I was just wondering if there were any other campers on the site who suffer from chronic pain or illness?
Perhaps we could share tips on how we deal with our issues when we're away from home.
I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis and was diagnosed about 21 years ago. I still enjoy camping and will only give it up when I am in a wheel chair. I may not give it up even then. We have made some concessions and just got a new (to us) hybrid) It is easier to set up and can be used in several configurations...
 

BillOh

Member
Silver Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2019
66
Columbus, Ohio
I'm discovering this thread a couple years late. CHRONIC PAIN is the reason listed on my Medical Marijuana Card. That is another reason I enjoy camping!
 

PopAnimal

Member
Oct 26, 2022
75
Southern New Mexico
Arthritis, two shot knees, back is starting to get worse, tinnitus, ADHD, anxiety and probably PTSD (I'm sure of it, just dont want to admit it). Suprisingly , Uncle Sams motrin 800 (vitamin M to some) will knock me down, but stronger narcos just dilute pain and make me a slower functioning camper. Tiger balm was my savior when my knee locked up last week. I have braces, balms, motrin as a last resort and the good old sativa. As far as body, I know my limits or know i will pay later for too much activity. For the mind, it is the camping, the self sufficence, the quiet, the natural that helps me. Not a big fan of crowds and people that know me can physically see how I change from "at camp" or "at shop" to "at walmart".
 

BillOh

Member
Silver Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2019
66
Columbus, Ohio
Arthritis, two shot knees, back is starting to get worse, tinnitus, ADHD, anxiety and probably PTSD (I'm sure of it, just dont want to admit it). Suprisingly , Uncle Sams motrin 800 (vitamin M to some) will knock me down, but stronger narcos just dilute pain and make me a slower functioning camper. Tiger balm was my savior when my knee locked up last week. I have braces, balms, motrin as a last resort and the good old sativa. As far as body, I know my limits or know i will pay later for too much activity. For the mind, it is the camping, the self sufficence, the quiet, the natural that helps me. Not a big fan of crowds and people that know me can physically see how I change from "at camp" or "at shop" to "at walmart".
We have a lot in common, though I still have two great knees despite 7 marathons and 1500 bike miles a year. My tinnitus started 17 years ago and the PTSD from the lady who ran me off the road on the bike in 2020! A good indica around the campfire and sleeping in the camper does wonders!
 




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