Can Exercise Help with Pain Management?

If you suffer from chronic pain, you probably have days where you want to lie in bed all day. It’s tempting to want to stay in. Pain makes it difficult to function, concentrate, and enjoy your day. However, when this happens on almost a daily basis, this can lead to an inactive lifestyle. Unfortunately, prolonged inactivity can lead to a downward spiral of more pain and fatigue.

How Inactivity Can Lead to More Pain

An inactive lifestyle often leads to the deconditioning of your body and physical health. According to the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, when you are not fit and healthy, this can lead to negative views and thoughts. This pessimism, in turn, can lead to a disinterest in exercise, a negative outlook, and more inactivity. With more inactivity, your muscles weaken and your threshold to pain is reduced.

Overcoming the Cycle: Finding Pain Relief in Exercise  

The first step to overcoming this vicious cycle is to start an exercise program. First, speak to your pain management doctor to see if you are healthy enough for exercise. Depending on your health, exercise may not be the best solution. Or, there may be only certain types of exercise you can perform. Also, if you have been inactive for awhile, start with exercising only a few times a week (such as twice a week) and avoid over exerting yourself in your initial workouts. This will help prevent new injuries as well as aggravating your current injuries or pain areas.  

With an appropriate and doctor-approved workout program, you’ll begin to experience the reversal of the inactivity-pain cycle. You’ll start to gain muscle strength, flexibility, and increased aerobic fitness. This boost in overall fitness will help you better perform your daily activities. Also, studies have shown that exercise and fitness have positive effects on your mental health, happiness, and optimism. When you have an enhanced feeling of well-being, you’ll be more likely to enjoy your daily life and continue exercising.

It’s never too late to start exercising! If you’re worried about beginning a workout routine, consider low impact exercises such as water exercises, yoga, light free weights, and walking. Remember to contact your doctor before starting. Also, consider seeing a pain management doctor in you have further questions about finding pain relief.

Author
Apex Medical Center

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