Chronic pain (which also known as persistent pain) is pain which persists beyond the anticipated healing time of an injury. As opposed to acute pain which is as a result of tissue damage, chronic pain is less about the structural or tissue injury and more about the sensitivity of the nervous system as well as ‘non-tissue-related factors’.
Frequently, when we feel chronic pain we avoid physical activity and exercise in an attempt to not cause pain flare-ups. However, we know that gradually – over time – people who experience chronic pain become less capable of completing activities which were previously enjoyed, for example walking and other types of exercises. They commonly also have difficulties in completing activities of daily living such as housework.
Exercise is a very common treatment for chronic pain. Dependent on your current state of health, it may assist with:
- Decreasing inflammation,
- Increasing mobility, and
- Decreasing overall pain levels.
No additional medication could be required. Try out a mixture of the cardio, relaxation, stretching, and strength exercises.
6 Ways Regular Exercise Affects Chronic Pain
- It decreases pain.
- It improves energy levels and reduces fatigue.
- It improves mood and reduces feelings of depression.
- It enhances joint health.
- It increases global day-to-day functionality.
- It assists with controlling weight (when combined with a healthy diet).
Cardiovascular exercise has a number of physical and mental benefits. In addition, it can be particularly helpful for people who are suffering from chronic pain. Cardio can be performed at any time of day and frequently requires little or no equipment. Try out these two exercises.
Walking for approximately 30 minutes, three to five times per week may help to increase strength, endurance as well as heart health. If walking is challenging for you, begin slowly and then work your way up to doing longer walks as you get stronger. If you make use of a walker or a cane, ensure that you take it with you.
Swimming And Water Aerobics
This is a great alternative to walking for people who suffer from mobility issues. This low-impact, cardiovascular exercise could help to keep you moving without putting additional stress on your joints as well as muscles. Swimming can frequently be therapeutic and it’s also a great way to clear your mind.
If you struggle with chronic pain in your low back or neck, stretching may relieve tension as well as stiffness. Try out this these equipment-free stretches for the back and neck in order to improve overall mobility and to facilitate proper movement.
Lower Back And Glute Stretch
- Lie supine on the floor.
- Bring your knees in close to your chest and then wrap your arms around your knees. Give yourself a gentle hug.
- Rock from side to side, feeling a stretch through your hips as well as your lower back. Attempt crossing one leg over the other for an additional glute and piriformis stretch.
- Stand or sit next to a door.
- Lift your elbow above your shoulder on the side that you want to stretch.
- Rest your elbow next to the door jam. This will turn the outside of the shoulder blade up.
- Next, turn your head away from that side and then bring your head to look down.
- Lightly deepen the stretch by putting your free hand on top of your head and then applying slight pressure.
If you want to learn about more exercises to help with chronic pain, then you should do our Personal Training Diploma. Find out more here.