When dealing with lifestyle changes, you may need to look at it as permanent lifestyle changes and not just temporary lifestyle changes. Having nerve damage is very different than breaking a body part, which eventually gets better. Once the nerve is inflammed and / or entrapped, you need to take care of it for the rest of your life, to avoid further damage to the nerve although many people who have had nerve release surgery are able to return to most of their previous activities.
Changing your lifestyle is the one thing that you should start doing first and immediately. Sometimes people with pudendal neuralgia, can avoid further testing, medications etc. with lifestyle changes alone. Change can be extremely hard, especially if you are used to doing something for a long period of time. This particular change though, is necessary for a good outcome. There are people with pudendal neuralgia that have done extremely well with lifestyle changes alone.
Thoughts from a former cyclist.....
"Not that it helps the situation too much, but I also concur with the rant about cycling dangers. I knew about it, but also thought it was simply a blood flow issue, as that is all it is ever termed as (some bike companies actually test blood flow to the bits as a determiner of saddle rightness). I thought, "okay, in the unlikely event that I start getting warning signs of ED issues I can simply stop riding and all will revert back to normal". Of course the reality for me was, no problems or warning signs at all for two years and then one day 'bang', life ruined."
~ from a HOPE forum member.
All of this information may be a bit scary for a new comer. There will be alot of questions that you may have. How do I continue to work if I cannot sit? How do I get my daily exercise without damaging the pudendal nerve further? As you begin to read you will begin to see the changes that may be necessary to make your pain better. When you first start out making changes, don't be hard on yourself, if you find yourself doing something that you normally do, like sitting. These changes will take time to accomplish. If you catch yourself sitting when you don't need to, just keep a mental note to yourself and change your position so that you are no longer sitting. One of the hardest things is to give up something that you love to do, in hopes of keeping the nerve from being further damaged. There are some PN'ers that have given up cycling, motorcycling and other things that they used to do. This will probably be one of the hardest choices you will encounter. Each choice will be an individual choice. This information that we are providing is for the maximum benefit of trying to help heal a damaged nerve. Some people with PN can do some cycling on a limited basis, while others cannot. You will need to pick and choose what you are willing to give up for optimum pain relief.
Here's how one mom with PNE described her lifestyle changes:
"As time goes on, you will be amazed at what you CAN do, even with the limitations you may have with chronic pain. It has always astounded me, the way that people will get around when they need to with this condition. For example, I myself have found ways to play with my young son. I play with him mostly on the floor, so that I do not have to sit. I have found ways to fold clothes, which may be laying down on the bed, so that I do not have to bend. I have found ways to put laundry in the washing machine, by kneeling, so that I do not have to bend. I have found numerous ways of doing numerous things, without hurting the nerve already more than it already has been. You too, will be amazed at how much you can do, when you start working on and begin to change some of the ways that you used to do things. Some PN'ers have gone to the hairdresser and have stood up or kneeled on the floor to get their haircut. These are all real examples from real people in pain. I hope that you find this information useful in the beginning of your journey in making sifnificant lifestyle changes that may help to minimize any further damage to your already damaged nerve."
Here are some great pieces of information that may be useful in making the necessary lifestyle changes. Above all, sitting should be completely avoided at all possible times.
Here is a list of things to avoid:
Here is a list of things that are OK to do with PN.