Millions of people live with chronic pain on a daily basis. Although some medications can help, when pain is ongoing they may not seem like the healthiest solution. If a condition is predicted to deteriorate, sufferers may want to avoid prescription medication, as a tolerance can build up limiting choices and leaving no solution for when the pain worsens.
Exercise may seem like a contradiction for helping pain as movement can often make pain worse, however with the right exercise, you can increase mobility while enjoying the natural mood enhancing properties of burning calories.
Why Exercise Lifts the Mood
When you move your heart rate increases. It doesn’t have to beat too fast for you to enjoy the benefits of exercise. As your heart rate increases, your lungs absorb more oxygen and your brain releases endorphins which are responsible for your positive state of mind.
How Exercise Helps You Fight Pain
Endorphins are also incredible at being a natural pain reliever as they increase your pain threshold allowing you to feel less of the effects. In fact this Is how many prescription drugs work, by forcing your brain to release these endorphins in order to help you experience relief. You can do this naturally with gentle exercise.
How Exercise Makes You More Mobile
Along with the endorphins, when you exercise you send more oxygen to your muscles. This in turn increases joint health and works to make you more mobile. Your muscles need oxygen to stay healthy, and they need to move in order to reduce the possibility of immobility.
Where to Start with Exercise for Pain
Every pain sufferer is different and exercises suited for one patient may not be suitable for another. It all depends on the site of the pain, the condition and any associated illnesses. You can find the exact site of the pain by visiting a pain management clinic which is often available on the NHS.
At a pain management clinic you will be put through a series of gentle exercises which are all designed to see which movements prompt pain and which don’t. A physiotherapist will make sure you don’t suffer unnecessarily, while taking details notes of the cause and effect of the exercise.
The physiotherapist will let you know that pain that comes and goes with exercise is fine. Pain that stays after the exercise is completed means that the motion should be avoided.
Your physiotherapist will suggest some exercises to aid mobility depending on your site of pain and if no further investigation is needed, you’ll be given a pain management plan.
Pain Relief for Injuries
If you have an injury such as a frail knee or spinal pain, you will be given exercises that help with mobility while strengthening other muscles so they can take the majority of the strain. Common exercise for injuries includes many Yoga positions which may not increase your heart rate significantly but will ensure endorphins are released and oxygen flows to your muscles. There are countless pain relief techniques that one can apply for pain control. People should get more information about the types of pain treatments and then select one with the consent of professionals
Pain Relief for Chronic Illness
If you experience pain due to a chronic illness such as kidney disease or endometriosis, the best exercise for pain relief is usually low impact cardiovascular exercise. This includes long gentle walks, gardening, going to the gym for aerobic classes, dancing and active hobbies. Exercise doesn’t have to mean you become a regular on the treadmill at the gym; it can simply be incorporated into your life as you do something you love. Activities such as swimming or even cycling can help strengthen your heart while releasing those all-important endorphins. Even housework raises your heart rate so the next time you clean your windows or hoover congratulate yourself on the calories burned and the exercise you’ve just completed.
As exercise lifts the mood it is important for sufferers of chronic pain as it’s easy to slip into depression when living with pain every day.