Exercising Your Pain Away
By Donna Stark
If you are living with chronic pain and think about exercise, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you believe it is only for healthy people? Are you convinced it is only for those who are pain-free? As difficult as it is to stay physically active when your body is hurting, it is also equally as important. But being able to understand that can be hard, especially if you are in the midst of pain's grip. That's why it may be necessary to switch perspectives.
Chronic Pain and Exercise
Of course, the last thing you may want to do when your body is screaming in pain is to work out, but daily exercise may be exactly what your body needs. In addition to maintaining strength, flexibility, range of motion, and stability, daily exercise can also help to restore joint and muscle function. But that's not all. Take a look at a few other reasons why you need to stay in motion and how exercise can relieve some of the pain you are already experiencing.
- Healthy weight - Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight which can reduce the stress, pressure, and strain on your joints, muscles, and organs
- Medical conditions - Daily exercise can reduce the risk of serious medical conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers) that can easily exacerbate the pain you are already dealing with
- Mental health - Exercise increases the production of endorphins, your body's natural painkillers and "feel-good" chemicals
Plenty of Choices
Before you head out the door to engage in some physical activities, it's important to understand which ones will bring you the most benefit. Too much of the wrong exercise can make your pain worse, so be cautious. Start slowly and keep the intensity level at the bare minimum in the beginning. You can always increase it as your body (and doctor) allows. Here are some good suggestions on which exercises you may be able to safely start with.
- Aquatic therapy
- Yoga or tai chi
- Reclining bikes
- Elliptical machines
For many people, daily exercise is just what the doctor ordered and it could be the same for you! Just remember to start slowly and increase the intensity only if your body allows. And if you aren't sure of what you should do, just ask your doctor or your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic for advice! They will be sure to get you back on the road to recovery!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo.