Pacing Activity


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Also see the end of Julie Liebelt's article Conservative Management of HNPP, for more information about pacing activity.


Pacing activity is one way to handle Pressure Palsies which recur doing a particular activity. This would involve spreading the task out over a longer periods of time with rest breaks or days off in between. But when HNPP causes fatigue and weakness, pacing is a way to allow you to keep active without over taxing yourself.

How much you should pace activities and which ones to pace really depends on the severity of fatigue and weakness you are experiencing and what you are trying to do. Just like trying to control pressure palsies, pacing becomes a trial and error process to determine the correct level for you. Pay attention to what activities you are doing and how you feel afterwards. Then do less (or more) next time depending on how you feel. Keep as active as you can. Do use rest breaks as Julie suggests.

Pacing activity can be one of the hardest things to do. This is in part due to the fact that you may physically be able to do the activity (i.e. carry the box, mow the lawn, sand the furniture, etc.), though you may know from past experience that you shouldn't. If you want to do it, it may be very hard to say no.


Miscellaneous Tips:

Use a planner that shows a week at a time. If you are pacing activity, a planner is almost a must (whether you are employed or not). Write down all your appointments for that week, as well as appointments in which you will be going with others. If you have set rest periods, schedule those in as well. If there is room, off to the side of your planner, make a list with these three headings and space after each to write more: 1) things to do; 2) calls to make; 3) errands to run sometime during the week. Otherwise make these lists on a separate sheet of paper and keep it with the planner. The activities from this list can be scheduled in ahead of time if you have stabilized your activity level. Or the activities from the list can be scheduled on the actual day. Make sure that you change off between light activities and heavier ones. Another option is to do many of the lighter activities, such as phone calls, on days when you have less energy.


Get creative!

Consider breaking an activity down into smaller pieces and doing a piece at a time. Examples:

Break kitchen clean up in to: emptying or loading the dishwasher, cleaning off counters, sweeping the floor, and so on

Rooms can be vacuumed one at a time

Painting a wall can be broken down into 10 or 15 or ?? minute segments of time. Hint: wrap the brush in aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer if it will be more than an hour between paint sessions.

Use my Grandmother's motto: "Use your head and save your heels" Plan ahead. Put things on the stairs that need to go up or down and take them as you go. eliminate extra steps as you can and find easier ways to do things.


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