Life with chronic pain is challenging, as the pain often limits what you can do or how can you do something. Simple tasks become pain triggers and you have to adjust your life around the pain. There are plenty of treatments for chronic pain, from pills to surgery, cognitive behavior therapy and acupuncture. A lesser known treatment for chronic pain is exercising. Despite how it might seem counter intuitive to exercise while in pain, physical movement can actually help to manage chronic pain. Chronic pain does limit the types of exercises you can do, but here are some that can actually make you feel better.
Benefits of exercising in chronic pain patients
According to Dr. Reyfman, pain management specialist, exercising helps your body cope with pain. Lack of activity weakens the muscles and joints, causing more pain. When you exercise you strengthen your muscles and increase energy? Another great benefit of exercising is the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which block the pain receptors in the brain, relieving pain. After a good workout you can get better sleep, which is another benefit, as during sleep your body regenerates.
When it comes to exercising with chronic pain, there is no size to fit all. Pain management clinics offer customized programs and encourage patients to try different exercises until they find the ones that work best for them. Here are some simple exercises that are proved to manage chronic pain and help you strengthen your body.
Simply walking can help you feel better, especially if you walk in the park or somewhere in the nature. Walking boosts your energy, reduces stiffness and provides more oxygen to your muscles. Studies revealed that walking can relieve back pain and are the most effective type of exercises for fibromyalgia.
Stretching is a great way to improve your flexibility and relieve the tension from your body. When you suffer from chronic pain your muscles become sore, as tension builds up. When you stretch, you relieve that tension.
Pilates strengthens your core and back muscles, which reduces back pain. Studies have shown that Pilates can be used to relieve back pain, but you have to practice it with an instructor to make sure you are doing the right movements.
Another type of light exercise is Yoga, which combines the power of stretching with meditation and deep breathing. By doing yoga in the nature you strengthen your body and relieve the tension from the muscles. Because you also breathe deep, you get more oxygen into your body, improving the function of all your organs. While your body relaxes, your mind also relaxes, calming your entire being. Studies revealed that yoga helps relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia, improves posture and lessens the pressure on the joints. Make sure you practice yoga with a trained instructor, who can follow your movements and ensure you are doing the poses correctly.
Exercising in water helps relieve muscle tension and the pain. Because the water supports your body weight, it takes the pressure off from your joints. As you move, the water provides a full body massage, which helps relieve pain and tension from your muscles.