Exercise is important for our overall wellbeing. It helps us maintain a healthy weight, keeps our muscles fit, and even helps stave off Depression. With so many benefits, it may not be surprising to hear that exercise may even help relieve pain. Not so very long ago, doctors used to regularly prescribe bed rest for chronic pain conditions. Recent developments, however, have led medical professionals to the conclusion that exercise keeps chronic pain sufferers more flexible and raises the patient’s pain threshold
Patients suffering from chronic pain, or any medical condition, should not begin an exercise regimen without guidance from a professional. Talking to the doctor is usually a good first step. Depending on the location, cause, and severity of the pain, your doctor may recommend exercises for you to do by yourself at home or may recommend physical therapy or a personal trainer. The exercises suggested by your doctor or physical therapist will be tailored to your individual needs. An exercise professional will guarantee that the exercises a patient undergoes serve a dual purpose of not causing extra pain and strengthening weakened areas.
The exercises a professional may recommend will likely contain a mix of stretches and cardiovascular activity. The professional advising you will focus on finding a cardiovascular activity that does not cause additional pain. Cardiovascular activity usually starts with brisk walking on a treadmill, a fairly low impact exercise. Stationary bikes and ellipticals are also commonly used exercise equipment. For many people with chronic joint pain, aquatic aerobic exercise is commonly recommended.
The specialist with whom the patient is working may also recommend strength training exercises. The goal of strength training is pretty self-explanatory: regaining and building strength. Focus may be placed on building up muscles complementary to the painful area. For instance, a patient with chronic back pain may receive recommendations for exercise meant to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Strengthening these complementary muscles may relieve some of the stress place on the affected area. In the aforementioned back pain example, abdominal muscles help maintain posture, so strengthening of these muscles may remove some pressure from the back.