Saturday, April 1, 2023


Do you live with chronic pain?

Okay, that’s not exactly a question about RVing, but we think it’s worth asking. To a lot of people chronic pain is a big deal. In many cases it severely limits how they live their lives.

A lot of people do, in fact, live with constant pain. According to the the CDC, in 2018 an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults (50 million) had chronic pain and 8 percent of U.S. adults (19.6 million) had high-impact chronic pain. Both were more prevalent among adults living in poverty, adults with less than a high school education, and adults with public health insurance. In fact, the overall chronic pain prevalence in the U.S. is higher than that of diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.

Chronic pain contributes to an estimated $560 billion each year in direct medical costs, lost productivity, and disability programs.

We know this is a tough subject. When our staff talked about asking this question, we couldn’t agree whether RVers, as a group, suffered from less or more chronic pain than others. Does the fact that we are out and about, leading interesting lives, have a bearing on our health? We wonder…

So, to the point. If you don’t mind sharing, do you suffer from chronic pain? Please comment if you wish.


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John Koenig
2 years ago

A decade+ ago, I experienced several bouts of severe lower back pain (bad enough for me to go to my doctor). Fortunately, I had NO “structural” damage; only soft tissue overuse. On the worst of the episodes, I collapsed on the floor at home and could not get up for several hours (and even then was incredibly painful). My doctor, after sending me for X-rays (on the first event) simply directed me to take extra “Aleve” and, ride it out for the two or three days it took to fully subside. I hope to never have to go through that again! Usually, just some simple stretching gets me past any discomfort after overdoing it.

2 years ago

Both my wife & I suffer from chronic pain. She is my pain in the neck and I am her pain in the butt. We both deal with it with smiles and the Lord’s help.

Bob Weinfurt
2 years ago

Mostly just a few aches and pains from aging. As for the biggest pain, I love her.

2 years ago

My wife and I both suffer from chronic pain. Mine is the most severe but it’s nerve pain and the only relief comes from Methadone. I have contacted our Senators asking them to intercede. Doctors are not able to prescribe controlled substances across state lines and we have to monthly visit a “pain doctor” in order to get the meds we need.
Our senators have been in meetings with the DEA but whenever you have to deal with law enforcement they are not willing to negotiate even when shown that a law is unconstitutional. They insist that a court needs to rectify the situation. The issue is not that a law has to be changed because it is DEA created “regulations” that are to blame.
Perhaps if the RV community would all contact their representatives that the weight of Congress would prevail over the DEA and we could be free to travel and explore this great nation of ours.

2 years ago

I have four herniated disc in my lower back, the doctors have me limited to only lifting 20 pounds, I can only be on my feet standing for 20 minutes at a time and short walks of not more then 3 miles a day total. And when I try to do more I end up feeling it the next day, then wind up able to do nothing. I hate seeing my wife trying to do everything that needs to get done around the house, and she yells at me quite a bit for doing things that I know that I shouldn’t be doing. I have been this way for going on two years now. So when COVID-19 started I already had plenty of practice with staying home! 😉

Dick Hime
2 years ago

Arthritis limits the amount of standing and/or walking I can do because the pain both induce. I never really enjoyed hiking after two years in the combat infantry so that’s not the issue. But I like sight seeing and sometimes it entails a hike to get to the scenic areas. A cane helps as does my rollator if the surface allows. My rollator or a cane/seat is necessity for standing in long lines, which has not been one of my favorite activities since mustering out of the Army. Haha. But I still love RV’ing and meeting wonderful new friends. has been wonderful for us.

2 years ago

I have arthritis throughout my body, chronic inflammation and pain. I have discovered that my lifestyle has created these conditions. I have eliminated all prescription meds, by changing my lifestyle. Exercise, stretching, go to physical therapy, get a personal trainer. Exercise hasnt been easy for me, just start moving. You have to move for your body to function properly. Eat unprocessed foods that are organic, 100% grass fed beef, humanely raised organic meats. I also use anti-inflammatory herbs that replace prescription meds. Prescription meds have negative side effects but herbs have few if any. My favorites are turmeric, ginger, and ashawagandah. Homeopathic pain meds hypericum for nerve pain and arnica montana for muscle pain. I have found supplementing with cod liver oil, krill oil, vitamin D withk2 and magnesium are also helpfull. I also like medicinal mushroom reisi, chaga, lions main, cordyceps and tukey tail. Everyone is different, but most people cant go wrong with these

2 years ago
Reply to  Eugene

With out these changes that I have made in my life I might not be here today. My quality of life would definitely be terrible. We have so many easy choices in the USA that are detrimental to our health. Processed food for me is ok on a very occasional treat. I also have to stay away from sugar and most cooking oils, mainly use olive, avocado and coconut oils. Most restaurants use cheap oils that cause inflammation. I still have some pain today, but this life style keeps it manageable. Hoping my story helps you with your healthy pain free journey.

2 years ago

Motorcycle accident in 89 and have a rebuilt Tibia from scrapping on my left hip (6 screws and a plate) and compound fracture of left wrist. Weather change are a real pain but manage with keeping both warm don’t use pain meds 99% of the time.

Richard Hughes
2 years ago

My wife suffered a career ending broken back. She is unable to take any opioids and took only Tylenol post surgery. Despite the pain and being told she would never walk, she, despite a leg with no feeling she taught herself to walk, using forearm crutches. Back pain was a constant. Procedures brought temporary relief. Last January she had a spinal stimulator inserted and the relief was immediate. She still has some.pain and realizes the damage has not been reversed, but she is a totally different person. We now try to spend at least one week each month in the RV and are enjoying a freedom we missed for nearly twenty years.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Hughes

The stimulator is almost magic. Auto accident almost did me in. Now I am upright moving with 80 percent pain gone and the other 20 with meds. Enjoy the freedom you have now, do it all.

2 years ago

No real complaints, I’m 75 years old and have had MS since I was 29, now considered Secondary Progressive MS. Can’t do much walking or activity (on a walker). Lots of pain and discomfort but I’m still getting around and still enjoy leaving home in our motorhome. Would be better if it weren’t for those darn steps in and out!

Ron T.
2 years ago

After reading these comments I know I’m incredibly lucky to have the few infirmities of my age (70) that I do. My wife, however, does deal with chronic pain so my empathy for her extends to all those in that same boat. Most here, being RVers, have expressed their willingness to carry on despite the pain to enjoy their lives and their travels. I only hope I can follow their example.

Janet Newman
2 years ago

I was very interested in the supposed characteristics of “typical” chronic pain sufferers. I have a Masters Degree, excellent private insurance and we are fairly well off for being retired. Yet I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 17 years (just as I turned 50!) and now Fibromyalgia, too. We travel 6-7 weeks at a time in retirement, determined to see the sights in the whole country. We only have 6 states left! But some days it’s hard to even climb the steps into our Cougar. And at each 4-5 day stop, we have to have a “recovery day” where we do nothing. I rarely get doing before 11AM. It’s a real challenge, but I love camping. Healthy friends are up and running by 8 AM. We laugh and say we take Old People Vacations. It’s what works for us. God bless my husband who is happy to go and do at my speed!

Manuel Ramirez
2 years ago

Although I don’t have chronic pain, my wife suffers from knee and hip joint pain which limits her time walking . Perhaps the question should be, how many in your RV suffer from chronic pain?

Abe Loughin
2 years ago

Does our spouse count? Lol. Just kidding, like Nanci Dixon said in her article, use some comedy to help get through this pandemic age.

Judy S
2 years ago
Reply to  Abe Loughin

Ha, I was going to make the same wise crack. Agreed, comedy helps. (And I think everyone should keep their Christmas lights up until we turn the clocks ahead next Spring.)

2 years ago

it’s not constant pain in one specific area but something hurts every day, no biggie.

2 years ago

Had my left shoulder replaced March 16, 2020, that relieved some pain (also created some in other shoulder muscle. I have two bad knees that need replacement (surgery scheduled twice and canceled due to Covid restrictions) along with a hip aggravated by the knees. I have 5,6&7 fused in my neck, along with three different types of arthritis. Do I have pain, yes a lot. I was off 5yrs with a back injury and told I would never use my left arm again. During that recovery I had a doctor & chiropractor treating me. the doc said “Don’t ever say you are having a bad day, some just don’t measure up to the good ones.”. I try to live by that every day of my life and it has helped immensely. I also believe attitude is an important part of healing. I recovered to drive semi for 35 yrs. Remember when you get up in the morning, look back at the bed, if your body is not there it will be a good day! Keep a positive attitude. Happy trails.

Ed K
2 years ago

I have Muscular Dystrophy, not in a wheelchair yet, though that is in my future as the disease progresses. Still great to be alive and enjoying life to the best of my ability.

2 years ago

I’m married to someone who, until his accident 5 years ago, was a robust, athletic, strong, and always on the go kinda guy. Now he’s in constant pain that is sorta managed by meds. This has completely changed his life. I feel so sorry for anyone who has to live this way.

2 years ago
Reply to  Suru

Seek a neurologist and have a discussion about a spinal cord stimulator. Look them up on the internet. They can be programmed all over the body. They will try a temporary for a few days to see if it works. If it does then the next step is the actual Implant. I have been loving this thing for 17 years now with one replacement.

Mark Kaye
2 years ago

dealing with chronic Lyme, Babesia & Bartonella since 1993
constant pain, fatigue & brain fog
do the best i can

2 years ago

I live with pain. Knee, hands, and sometimes back. Problem is, due to the loss of a kidney I can`t take many pain relievers. They allow Tylenol but due to side effects I use it very sparingly. So just live with it is all I can do.

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