Getting fit and shedding pounds are repeatedly in the top five of New Year’s Resolutions, but if you’re dealing with chronic pain the last thing you want to do is tackle a workout. We all know exercise can help keep you healthy and in shape, but when dealing with a condition that causes pain exercise may feel daunting. While some doctors may tell you to take it easy, that doesn’t mean you should cease exercising entirely.
There are plenty of exercises you can do that will not exacerbate your pain and may even help. Making exercise a priority is a great resolution to stick to if you are suffering from chronic pain and stiffness.
How Can Exercise Help? If you are in pain, exercise may seem like an insurmountable task, but it has many health benefits.
When exercising, your body releases endorphins. These endorphins create a euphoric feeling that can help curb pain, even if only temporarily.
Note: Exercise levels are defined differently for everyone. What a professional athlete considers a good workout may be vastly different than someone who suffers with fibromyalgia, but each person gets a health benefit from the fitness activity they choose.
You don’t have to over exert yourself in order to get the exercise you need. It can also help by strengthening your joints and muscles. Using small weights can help you build muscles that can support the weaker ones causing the chronic pain. If you have joint problems, exercise can help keep these areas moving so that the discomfort is not as painful.
What Exercises Can I do?
For most people with pain, any type of physical movement that does not cause more pain is beneficial.
Walking, yoga, swimming or light weight lifting can relieve stress, strain and reduce chronic pain. When you already have conditions that cause pain, you can exacerbate the pain by staying sedentary. A lack of physical mobility can cause further conditions that will cause more pain.
For chronic Arthritis Pain, try range of motion exercises. Stretching and flexibility exercises can help keep the joints mobile so the pain doesn’t get worse.
If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, strength training and moderate aerobic activity are recommended for this condition. Walking is one of the best exercises to help relieve symptoms. Start slowly and work your way up to more activity.
Sciatica sufferers take heart! Stretching the hamstring and yoga poses, such as the Downward-Facing-Dog pose, can help relieve sciatica pain. Just like with any exercise, start with what feels comfortable until you’re able to tackle a higher level.
Exercise is the first step in relieving certain aches and pains. It may also help to ward off other conditions that can cause pain.
Stretching can help! Do it at least once a day to help increase flexibility, loosen tight, stiff muscles, and improve range of motion—the combination of which will help ease everyday movements, like looking over your shoulder or reaching for a sweater on the top shelf of your closet. Stretching during workouts may also help you achieve the next level.
Bonus Tip: If you do maintain a regular exercise routine and are still in pain, percussive massage can help! From soothing sore muscles to easing tension and chronic pain, personal percussive massagers such as the MyoBuddy PRO Massager are great tools for treating yourself to daily, therapeutic massage.
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*Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any new exercise program.