If you experience chronic pain, you may be tempted to skip exercise altogether. Many people with chronic pain think that exercising will make their pain worse, however, that’s not the case. Exercise can actually benefit people with chronic pain in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll discuss different exercise options to try, as well as share tips for making movement safe and effective.
Unlike an acute injury, many types of chronic pain are less about structural or tissue damage and more about the sensitivity of the nervous system. Research shows that in people with certain types of chronic pain, including fibromyalgia and neuropathy, exercise can actually help desensitize painful nerves, leading to a gradual reduction of pain over time. The more consistently you exercise, the easier you’ll be able to engage in activities and daily living.
Additionally, exercising has been shown to improve mood, boost energy levels, stimulate blood flow, manage weight, and improve sleep, all things that are very important in those living with chronic pain.
Incorporating a combination of stretching, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercise is ideal for those living with chronic pain.
When experimenting with different exercises, take notice of which ones you really enjoy. Finding ways to move that you actually like will make adhering to a consistent exercise program much easier.
Ease yourself into your new exercise routine slowly, especially if you haven’t been active for a long time. Start with just five to ten minutes a day and slowly increase your efforts as you gain strength, flexibility, and confidence. Additionally, if you choose to exercise in a group setting, move at your own pace. Never try to keep up with a class or group just to blend in. Find your own rhythm.
Exercising won’t make your pain magically go away, so accept that you’ll experience some pain and discomfort while exercising. The key is to find a happy balance where you’re able to move your body, but not cause yourself too much pain. It can be helpful to use the 0-10 scale to monitor your pain levels when exercising. If your pain level increases by more than two points from baseline, you should temporarily stop or modify the exercise. Listen to your body and be patient with your progress.
To reduce your pain before, during, or after exercise, consider using natural pain relief products. Aromalief offers 3-in-1 vegan hemp lotions that relieve pain, moisturize the skin, and offer the calming benefits of aromatherapy. Aromalief’s soothing lotions contain several pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory ingredients, including hemp seed oil, menthol, glucosamine, chondroitin, L-arginine, MSM, and aloe vera.
You may also want to consider using a compression sleeve to stabilize your knee, ankle, or elbow and improve blood flow. Apply Aromalief lotion first, then slip on your compression sleeve.
The bottom line
Just because you have chronic pain doesn’t mean you should avoid exercise. In fact, moving your body is an important part of managing your pain and improving your quality of life. Everybody can find some form of exercise they can do and enjoy. Just remember to pace yourself and consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Please consult with your doctor before starting any pain relieving regimen. The tips provided are not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.