In many cases of chronic pain, pain relieving drugs are prescribed in order to manage the pain, however these can often cause some undesirable side effects for the patient. Many sufferers turn to alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, reiki and mindfulness techniques in order to alleviate the pain, and also look at lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.
Chronic pain is consistent pain and is defined as pain lasting beyond normal tissue healing time, generally taken to be 12 weeks. It contributes to disability, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances and often an overall poor quality of life.
In the past, chronic pain sufferers were advised to save their strength and not exert themselves with exercise. It was thought that too much activity, especially the wrong activity, can make chronic pain worse and this is why those who suffer from chronic pain syndrome can be apprehensive about exercising, especially if by doing so they are making a significant change to their lifestyle.
However nowadays, exercise is a common treatment for chronic pain. It is said to decrease inflammation, increase mobility, and decrease overall pain levels, and many people are looking at specific sports and exercises to help cope with their chronic pain.
Is Walking Good for Chronic Pain?
Walking 30 minutes 3 to 5 times per week can help increase strength, endurance, and heart health. Walking can be challenging if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle so don’t be afraid to start slow and only do a short distance. You can work your way up to longer walks and increase your pace as you get stronger and more confident. Try to go with a friend for encouragement and support and you will start to find your walks enjoyable.
Swimming for Chronic Pain
Swimming is an excellent activity for those with mobility issues as it is not weight bearing. Although still cardiovascular so good to increase your heart rate, swimming is a low-impact exercise and can help keep you moving without putting added stress on your joints and muscles. Many people find swimming has incredible mental health benefits, whether you are in a pool or a lake, as it is a great form of exercise to clear your mind and soul.
Yoga to Help With Chronic Pain
Research has shown that yoga appears to reduce chronic pain and fatigue and gentle stretching exercises can have a positive impact on chronic pain sufferers. Yoga helps to clear the mind and body and can help people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions. Chronic pain can worsen with stress and regular yoga practice can improve stress management.
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises for Chronic Pain
Stretching can relieve tension and stiffness and most exercises don’t rely on equipment, or take up a huge amount of space or time, therefore it is easy to build stretching into your daily routine. Stretching programmes incorporate all parts of the body and there are various free programmes and tutorials that can be found online. Remember to warm up first and give your body time to stretch – start gradually and increase the stretch position when you are able to.
Exercising Tips for Chronic Pain:
- Always talk to your doctor or health professional before you embark on a new exercise programme, especially if you are new to exercising
- Start slowly and gradually
- Exercise daily if possible
- If you feel tired or that your pain is getting aggravated, slow down or rest for a few days
- Appreciate that some days will be easier than others and listen to your body
- Keep a diary of your pain scale and how you feel both mentally and physically pre and post exercise
- Be patient with progress
Inactivity does not cause chronic pain, however there are consequences to our body, mind and overall lifestyle from inactivity. Being inactive can lead to stiff muscles, decreased strength and overall decreased mobility which in turn can worsen the symptoms of chronic pain. Engaging in regular exercise and following a healthy and balanced diet can help manage symptoms of chronic pain, fatigue and fibromyalgia, and help you to live a better life.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, CRPS, or any chronic pain condition as a result of an accident that was not your fault, and even if you have an existing claim, get in touch with Brian Barr Solicitors to see if we can assist. It is simple and hassle free to move your claim to Brian Barr Solicitors who are experts in dealing with chronic pain litigation. Call us today on 0161 737 9248 or visit our website (www.brianbarr.co.uk) to find out more.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. The blog is for information purposes only as we are not medical professionals. We do not endorse any medical advice provided and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider before any changes to treatment and / or management of your condition is undertaken.