Are you feeling the pain of chronic discomfort? You’re not alone. Chronic pain affects millions of people in the United States alone and can be debilitating. And living with chronic pain can be extremely physically and mentally draining. It affects every aspect of your daily life, from getting out of bed to trying to complete basic tasks like doing laundry or grocery shopping. Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, exercise has emerged as a potentially potent form of treatment.
Numerous studies have found that moderate physical activity can help reduce symptoms caused by chronic pain, making life much more bearable for those struggling with soreness or stiffness daily. Whether you’re suffering from widespread muscular aches or localized stiffness, these strategies will help get you back into top shape in no time! Read on!
How Exercising Can Help Manage Chronic Pain
Exercise is an effective way of managing many types of chronic pain. It helps with:
- Endorphin release: Exercise releases endorphins, a type of chemical that helps reduce pain. Endorphins also have mood-elevating properties, providing an extra benefit for those in chronic pain.
- Improved mobility: Working the muscles and joints can improve flexibility and mobility. With these improved mechanics, regular exercise can help you move more freely and with less discomfort throughout the day.
- Increased strength: When done correctly, exercise can help build muscle strength which aids in managing chronic pain symptoms as well as improving posture and balance.
- Reduced stress levels: Stress has been linked to increased inflammation and pain in people with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis. Regular physical activity has been found to reduce stress levels, improve overall well-being, and help to reduce the intensity of pain.
- Improved sleep quality: Studies have found that regular exercise can improve sleep quality and duration, helping the body heal faster from the effects of chronic pain.
Some of the Best Low Impact Exercises
Low-impact exercises that focus on improving range of motion are best for those with chronic pain. So, don’t be afraid to start small and take it slow. Here are some of the best exercises:
- Walking: A brisk walk is a great way to get your heart rate up while also loosening tight muscles. Start by taking a 10-minute walk, then gradually increase the duration or speed as you become more comfortable.
- Swimming: Swimming is an excellent way to move your body without putting too much strain on your joints or muscles; plus, it can be fun! Just keep in mind that swimming in cold water may not be ideal for those with chronic pain since cold temperatures can cause muscles to tense up.
- Stretching: Regular stretching can help improve flexibility, reduce tension in the body, and promote healing. This is especially beneficial for those struggling with tight muscles caused by chronic pain.
- Tai Chi: This low-impact martial art is a great way for those with chronic pain to find relief while also gaining strength and balance. The slow, controlled movements help improve flexibility and make it easier to manage day-to-day activities.
- Pilates: Pilates focuses on core strength and control, making this exercise perfect for those who need to stay in tune with their body. With proper breathing techniques and an emphasis on improved mobility, pilates can be incredibly helpful in managing chronic pain symptoms.
- Yoga: Combining physical activity with breathing and relaxation techniques, yoga can effectively reduce inflammation and improve posture while allowing you to find balance and focus on healing.
Improve the Quality of Your Life through Exercise
Light exercise and stretching can help alleviate your symptoms if you’re feeling chronic pain. Activities such as swimming, yoga, tai chi, pilates, walking, and stretching are great for your physical well-being and aid in mental health by relieving everyday stressors. While everyone experiences pain differently, trying certain exercises can drastically improve chronic pain.
If you’re looking for additional support and want to explore more involved treatments to manage pain without drugs or surgery, Southeast Pain & Spine Care is here to help! We will review your medical history and determine which activities and exercises best suit your needs. Please fill out the form below to contact us today and learn more about how our comprehensive services can help enhance your quality of life!