Do you suffer from chronic pain? Based on research by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 100 million people suffer from chronic pain which costs them about $635 billion annually for medical care. While there are a few different approaches to chronic pain management, exercise is a critical component of the treatment that has shown to be effective.
Your first reaction to pain is to avoid any movement or physical activity that might cause you more pain. This is an understandable reaction, but it also is a vital mistake since your body will eventually lose its strength. It will leave you unable to do daily home or work tasks. Eventually, inactivity will take over your life and cause you to lose your mobility and range-of-motion.
Research on chronic pain shows that people often experience disabilities and anxiety which leads to a poorer quality of life and higher medical costs. Exercise counterbalances the pain and body conditioning to restore function. It allows chronic pain sufferers to enjoy a better lifestyle by walking, working, or doing daily tasks like household chores or quality time with your family.
It is also helpful to look at exercise as a form of daily medicine that our doctor uses as a strategy to assist with chronic pain management. While you may not be able to begin as a cross trainer, you can stretch, take short walks, or swim laps to get your daily exercise.
As you exercise, we advise you to learn about pain management guidelines and assessment tools so that you can monitor your pain level for changes. Using a scale of zero to ten, you should stop any exercise if your pain level rises two levels. If so, shift your exercise to yoga or Tai Chi.
What Exercises Are Ideal For Chronic Pain Management?
People who enjoy Yoga do so because it is therapeutic on the mind and body. It uses meditation, defined movements that target muscles, and breathing techniques. As feelings of pain are transmitted from the brain and nervous system, people often feel depressed and anxious about daily chronic pain. Yoga relieves your pain because of the ability to use learned meditation to calm brain activity.
Mobility and flexibility are lost when the body is stiff, and the muscles are weak. To improve your range-of-motion, try stretching exercises to improve movement.
Like Yoga, cardio exercises provide mental and physical health benefits that improve cardio pain. Whether you choose to walk for a half hour to improve mobility or swim to reduce stress on your muscles and joints, both these exercises are excellent choices if you want to add cardio to your workout routine.
Strength training is recommended for both rehabilitation and fitness, but it is also great to aid in treatment for chronic pain, health, and weight loss. Strength training can also be done with or without equipment, so it is a safe alternative.
If you would like to learn more about chronic pain treatment, call us at 301-926-8400 (Crofton), 410-881-7644 (Prince Frederick), or 443-672-2600 (Salisbury), or visit our Facebook page.