Working Out While in Pain
By Donna Stark
There can be a lot of confusion when it comes to managing pain, and when your body is hurting, a ton of questions can often flood your brain. Ice or heat? Propped up or lying flat? Doctor visit or help from the spouse? It's not easy to know all the correct ways to take care of a body in pain and unfortunately, some of us do the exact opposite of what will actually help in the long run. Exercise is a great example of this. For many, there's a strong temptation to skip their workouts when their body is in pain, but that doesn't always help and it's not always the best idea.
Workouts for Those in Pain
Barring any serious or acute injuries that definitely require some time off, continued exercise has been shown to minimize pain and improve a person's quality of life. That doesn't mean it's easy or that you should plan on participating in a triathlon the very next day, but it does mean that things can get better. Here are some safe suggestions on how to stay physically active when pain and discomfort plague your days.
- Walking - Walking is one of the most preferred low-impact activities for those who experience pain. It is easy on the joints, can be done practically anywhere, and can range in intensity based on your own abilities.
- Swimming - Swimming is a great workout for those who have any kind of medical issue that becomes exacerbated with impact. It is extremely joint-friendly, and if you belong to a gym or health club that has a pool, you can swim year-round.
- Tai chi - Tai chi incorporates intentional movement of the body and focused mindfulness. Tai chi has been shown to help with building strength, endurance, and balance.
- Pilates - Pilates is a low-impact, full-body workout which helps to build core strength. It has also been shown to help those with low back pain and fibromyalgia.
- Stretching - So easy to do anywhere, stretching can relieve muscle tightness and improve the body's flexibility and range of motion. It also supports the spine and keeps it in proper alignment, which can help with back and neck pain.
- Cycling - Cycling is a perfect low-impact exercise that is great for your heart as well as your joints. Take your ride to the intensity that you choose while also getting the benefits of exercising outdoors.
Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Life
There are several different options of exercise to choose from while you are experiencing pain but talk to your doctor first about which ones are the most appropriate for you. Don't let your confusion keep you from staying fit and improving your quality of life!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spartanburg, S.C.